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Top 8 ways to boost gym sales and increase membership rates

Angharad Saynor
October 18, 2023
Top 8 ways to boost gym sales and increase membership rates

Successfully running and managing a gym requires hard work to generate revenue. Although your gym may feature world-class trainers and top-tier equipment, are you doing everything possible to boost gym sales and increase membership rates?

Post-pandemic, people are more determined to improve their fitness and regain control over their health. This is great news for gym owners worldwide. Needless to say, the gym industry will grow continuously. However, major industry growth also results in increased competition, with newer gyms offering discounted membership packages or trendy fitness classes.

As a gym owner, you should emphasize around the happiness of your customers and the success of your gym. Here are eight ways on how to boost gym membership sales and increase membership/retention rates:

1. Consider new marketing strategies

The fitness industry, like other industries, is constantly evolving. Gyms have various niches that determine their main customer base, and defining your gym’s unique branding will help you formulate a marketing strategy tailored specifically to boost gym sales. The first step in developing a personalized marketing strategy is asking yourself the following questions:

  • Who is your intended customer?
  • What unique benefits does your gym have vs. competitors?
  • What is your gym’s approach to new members?

Convert the answers to these questions into an action plan focused on the individual needs of the gym and its members. Once you have an idea of who you’re marketing to and what you hope to gain through these marketing strategies, it’s time to utilize targeted marketing via Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and Bing Advertisements.

These tools are considered pay-per-click advertising that target specific gym enthusiasts or groups through search engine advertising. Future gym members located within a 10-minute radius will receive targeted marketing and ads about your gym. Google Ads allows you to target various groups based on keywords, languages, demographics, etc. to boost gym sales.

Leverage social media marketing

You should also consider leveraging social advertising through social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to boost brand awareness. Social media marketing allows you to reach and engage with a broader, and usually younger, audience. Facebook makes it extremely easy to upload personalized marketing lists to target specific people.

Another often overlooked marketing strategy is reconnecting with previous gym members. Some members may have been unexpectedly affected by financial burdens that caused them to cancel their membership. Consider reconnecting with previous members via personal messages or emails to convince them to rejoin.

This may be the perfect time to run a limited-time offer to boost gym sales quickly. Hence, create a clear deadline and compelling offers that will attract new customers. Moreover, a deadline creates a sense of urgency. Deadlines push future members to take a leap of faith and purchase a membership.

2. Boost gym sales and track funnel metrics

Gym sales funnel metrics can help you identify areas of weakness. Thereby, creating an impactful and effective solution to boost gym sales. Many gyms rely on word-of-mouth advertising or referrals to attract new members to their gym. Unfortunately, if you don’t track your gym’s performance, you won’t be able to improve your business strategies. Nonetheless, to boost gym sales, consider tracking the following gym sales funnel metrics:


Creating a solid business strategy is a fundamental pillar of any successful business. The first metric you should be tracking is the lead metric. This metric calculates the number of people contacted by your gym who show an interest in joining. Lead tracking allows you to see how your money and time are spent and develop reasonable goals. For example, if you generated 10 leads this month, you can set a goal of 20 leads next month and boost gym sales.

Conversion rate

Your gym’s conversion rate is a direct representation of how well your gym is attracting and gaining members. For instance, the conversion rate can be found by dividing the number of new members by the number of leads created within a certain period. Conversion rates let you track various strategies and discern how well they’re performing. Thus, allowing you to eliminate strategies that aren’t playing a crucial role to boost gym sales.

Retention rate

The retention rate can be calculated by dividing the number of current clients at the beginning of a period by the number of total clients by the end of a period. This percentage will represent the number of members who are satisfied with their membership and want to continue supporting your gym. In conclusion, if your retention rate is low, it’s important to pay more attention to your current members rather than trying to acquire new members.

Average membership length

When the average membership length is low, it is a clear indication that your current members are not as interested as they should be. Hence, your gym membership sales strategies to boost gym sales are falling short. If the average membership length is high, your members are happy with the services and products offered and are willing to retain their membership. For example, this number can be found by dividing the number of periods in which members were retained by the total number of members within that period.

3. Research gym sales funnel stages

One of the easiest ways to boost gym sales is through your membership rates and employing gym sales funnel stages. Gym sales funnel metrics and tactic provides you with a structured approach to convert potential leads into future paying customers.

Gym sales funnel stages can be broken into five parts:

  1. Build awareness through social media, blogs, webinars, etc.
  2. Create interest via chatbots, marketing campaigns, and email marketing.
  3. Evaluate your pricing pages, testimonials, case studies, and your business’s strengths.
  4. Engage with your leads and members through follow-up emails, special offers, and customer success stories.
  5. Push leads to purchase memberships through strategic social media campaigns, referral programs, re-engagement emails, etc.

Once you understand your customers’ needs and how to improve your daily operations, you’ll be able to successfully boost gym sales. An important part of any prosperous gym is hiring a team of professional fitness trainers and nutritionists. A gym that features an elite team of expert trainers will be able to boost gym sales as well as its reputation within the fitness community.

Include customer-level engagement in sales funnel stages

Gyms should also engage with their audience via social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to attract new leads and strengthen loyalty among current members. Additionally, maintaining a user-friendly website is a must for all fitness center owners. Creating a strong online presence allows potential leads to easily explore your website and learn more about your gym’s services and values. This can in turn help to boost gym sales.

An often overlooked gym sales strategy is researching your competition. Gyms and fitness centers are popping up in every part of the world, so standing out from the crowd is essential. Boost gym sales by working with relevant data to determine how you can make your gym unique in a market filled with similar fitness experts.

4. Overcome sales objections

Every gym, regardless of strategies or techniques, will encounter sales objections. Customers may choose to shop around before committing to your gym, or they may ask tough questions about the products or services you offer. Avoiding sales objections isn’t possible, but learning creative methods for overcoming objections is. These four sales objection techniques are the best strategies for overcoming common obstacles. Thus, allowing you to boost gym sales.

Learn to sell yourself

Customers are more attracted to investments that offer certainty. If you’re trying to convince a lead that your gym offers premier services and products, but the lead asks questions that cause you to doubt yourself, you’ll likely lose the sale. Customers must believe in your fitness center’s ability to help them lose weight or improve their fitness. Any indication of doubt may cause the customer to take their business elsewhere.

Validate concerns

Your members may not be transparent about their real reason for joining your gym. In many cases, people join gyms to lose stubborn fat that the member may feel self-conscious about. If your members don’t trust you enough to share their fears with you, you won’t be able to tailor a fitness experience around their individual needs. This could cause the member to lose faith in your gym’s ability to meet their goals.

Create a judgment-free atmosphere that encourages honesty and transparency. When a member shares a fear of theirs, validate the concern and offer a relevant solution. If your customers feel that their concern is valid, they are more likely to become loyal members. Validating their concern can boost gym sales.

Solidify your marketing abilities

The fitness industry doesn’t solely care about your gym’s appearance or reputation. A successful business needs proper branding and marketing to grow and flourish. Apart from your gym’s appearance, the way you market your services will determine the success of your fitness center. When drafting marketing emails or newsletters, be mindful of your intended audience. Keep the messages upbeat and engaging, and explain why your gym stands out from the rest.

Boost gym sales: recognize problems and provide solutions

At some point, your gym will encounter an unhappy customer. In other words, this is an inevitable situation, and the way it is handled will determine your brand’s reputation. Before addressing customer complaints, research the problem and identify the root of the complaint.

Come up with multiple solutions to address the complaint, and offer these solutions to the customer. Acknowledge the customer’s frustrations and provide relevant solutions to boost gym sales. If the customer feels their worries or concerns are validated and will be rectified, they’re more likely to leave the encounter feeling acknowledged and satisfied.

5. Create a gym membership sales script

A gym membership sales script is a set of points that enables sales team members to easily speak with future customers. This is a very important task to boost gym sales. Each member of your team is different, and what works for one person may not work for the other. A generalized sales script allows your sales team to maintain consistency throughout the sale process.

A good gym membership sales script starts at the door. When customers call or enter your gym, their first impression should be welcoming and inviting. A warm welcome to customers can help boost gym sales. The front desk reception should pay attention to the member. Ask about the customer’s current fitness level and goals before recommending a membership.

Include customer touch-point in sales script

This should be followed by building rapport with new members. Try to learn about the member’s personal hobbies or family life. Asking basic and conversational questions allows the member to feel appreciated. Your customers are not there to buy a generic service; they’re there to work with trainers that know their needs. To boost gym sales you need to build interpersonal relationship with customers.

It’s equally important to understand your new member’s goals and demands. Take some time to sit down with each member and provide them with individual attention. Ask about their goals and what they hope to achieve during their fitness journey. This will allow you to create a sales strategy catered to each member.

Always remember to offer members a grand tour of your facility. Introduce the member to some of your trainers and allow them to become familiar with the workout machines and services offered at your gym.

Once the member feels well-acquainted with your gym’s layout and trainers, consider offering them a trial membership. Trial memberships are an excellent way for hesitant leads. Depending on your flexibility, you can offer a single-day free pass or an entire month free. This flexibility may be the push the prospect needs to sign the membership contract.

6. Boost gym sales with outbound calling

New members can easily be won with the right over-the-phone strategy. Gym sales outbound calling allows you to create a telemarketing campaign that reaches more clients than traditional marketing techniques. However, creating a successful gym sales outbound calling script isn’t an easy task and should include several techniques to make the call worthwhile.

The first part of the script should include a statement of your full name and the company’s name. Your leads regularly receive scam calls, so it’s important that they immediately know who you are and that you won’t waste their time.

After stating your name, explain the purpose of your call in a single sentence. Your sales pitch should be combined into a single sentence that includes the following points:

  • Your name and the gym’s name
  • What product or service you are offering, and why it is beneficial to them
  • The overall purpose of your call

Here’s an example of what your pitch might sound like:

“My name is (insert name) at (insert gym name). We are a local gym that offers easy and effective fitness activities that can help you meet your fitness goals in just a few months.”

Following this sentence, it’s important to let the lead know how much time you’ll need from them. This lets the potential member know that you respect their busy schedules and want to work around their needs.

Make your outbound calling pitch short and sweet

Similarly, your pitch should be short and to the point, ideally within 30 seconds or less. If the lead asks questions, answer them thoroughly and continue the conversation in a natural manner. After you’ve completed your pitch, allow the lead some time to respond or ask questions.

Within those 30 seconds, mention what makes your gym unique and distinguishable from other fitness centers. This could include discounted services, opportunities to exercise with expert gym trainers, free instructor services, and more. Additionally, avoid making promises that you can’t keep. Most importantly, this is a common mistake made when sales teams try to entice new members with great promises that are impossible to keep.

7. Win more members with an SMS engagement channel

Real-time communication is a highly successful marketing strategy that allows fitness centers to directly contact new leads and members. This technique is well known for its high click-through and open rates, allowing gyms to reach their target audience and boost engagement rates. To clarify, gym sales SMS messaging is an opportunity for you to send customers motivational messages that will keep their spirits up and allow your gym to resonate in the back of their minds.

SMS messaging is a great way for gyms to follow up with prospective members. Consider enticing new leads and old members with valuable offers, such as a discounted membership or a limited-time class. You can also send new members promotional offers, such as free classes or gym swag. For previous members with a lapsed membership, offer special deals and discounts on memberships to encourage them to rejoin.

Within the text message, it’s important to create a personalized touch. Address potential customers by their name, as this allows them to feel seen and heard. You can also send encouraging messages that invite members to return to your gym. Send a notification about an exciting new class, or remind them about relevant fitness goals.

SMS messaging can also be used to promote early bird discount offers or a refer-a-friend program. Each of these promotions are a great way to reach more customers and spread brand awareness while rewarding loyal members.

8. Try new closing techniques to boost gym sales

Closing techniques are an invaluable skill that can generate more revenue and improve a business’s market shares. Convincing a prospective member to sign a membership contract plays a pivotal role in your gym’s overall success. You and your team have dedicated time and effort into creating products and services guaranteed to satisfy your members. However, this dedication could be useless if you aren’t able to close the deal.

Closing a deal and convincing a member to sign a contract is relatively easy when you understand the different sales closing techniques. Each technique has individual merits that should be applied on a situational basis. Consider including one of the following closing techniques during your next gym membership sales pitch.

Now or never close

The “now or never close” works by creating a sense of urgency that the current deal won’t last forever. Also known as a “scarcity close,” this technique appeals to the future member’s desire to not miss out on a good deal, which could include a soon-to-expire sales price. This method is especially useful in situations where the prospect is close to finalizing the deal but needs a small nudge to move forward.

Assumptive close

An “assumptive close” is an effective closing tool that requires 100% certainty that your lead is ready to sign the contract. This method involves speaking in a manner that assumes the sales offer is inevitable. To make the most of this technique, start by summarizing the terms of the contract and the advantages offered to the prospect.

Puppy dog close

This idea is centered around the hope that the prospect will borrow the “puppy” and never return it. In other words, offer the lead a “free trial” to test out your gym and its amenities. Ideally, the prospect will be happy with your gym’s products and services and will ultimately sign a membership contract once their trial expires.

Summary close

A “summary close” involves a brief summary covering your gym’s best products and services. Create an overall review of your gym’s top features and aspects to remind the customer what your gym has to offer. This will allow the member to envision how they could use your products or services in a way that meets their needs.

Bottom line

Throughout the years, the fitness industry has experienced a monumental boom caused by increasing interest in a healthier lifestyle. However, gyms are now facing an increasing amount of competition as budget fitness studios and modern gyms seemingly appear out of nowhere, so your gym must stand out from the rest.

By creating new marketing strategies, reviewing sales metrics, developing methods for overcoming obstacles, and adopting new closing techniques, your gym will have increased membership rates and sales in no time. The eight methods mentioned above for boosting gym sales are just a starting point and should be used in conjunction with other sales techniques.

A successful gym must recognize its current circumstances and adapt its strategies to meet increasing customer demands. Pairing expert gym sales strategies with the knowledge of your own gym’s strengths will allow you to run a successful gym that helps people meet their fitness goals while simultaneously generating a significant profit.