As a health-club owner, you are always on the lookout for new members.
However, too often, sales staff of health clubs and studios sit back and wait for walk-in traffic. Sure, there will be walk-ins. There will also be leads found online through your inbound and content marketing tactics. To keep the membership pipeline full, it might be worth looking beyond individuals and targeting corporate memberships.
Many companies of all sizes are looking for ways to save costs. With one cost-benefit analysis of corporate gyms finding that corporations save $1.15 to $5.52 per dollar spent, there is ample opportunity to sell them a company-based membership plan.
Of course, if it were that easy, everyone would be doing it. Selling corporate memberships does take some work—actually, it often takes double the work, as you will need to convince the company to partner with your studio and then convince its employees to join the gym. But with a corporate membership plan and targeted messaging, that extra work can pay off for your facility in a steady stream of members and ancillary sales.
Unlike the emotional, one-on-one dynamic that most health-club salespeople are used to, corporate fitness is a different animal. Depending on the size of the company, you may be talking with the HR person, the benefits administrator—or even the president, CEO, or owner. And unlike your typical prospect who is looking to lose weight for a reunion or keep up with the kids or has been told by the doctor it will keep him or her alive longer, these corporate folks care about the company’s bottom line and will need to be sold differently.
1. Be a Pro: Be sure to approach them in a professional manner. Don’t just drop in unannounced. Odds are, they aren’t sitting there waiting for you and your “great opportunity.” Learn who it is you need to speak with and call or email to make an introduction. Set an appointment. When you show up, be dressed professionally.
2. Do Your Research: Be armed with information that speaks to the company’s needs such as costs and benefits, reduction in sick days, and employee retention facts. Remember—the person you are talking with isn’t motivated by losing 10 pounds, so speak to his or her concerns about what working with your health club will do for the company and its employees.
3. Know Your Pitch: Are you going to get the company to pay for the memberships? Will it supplement part of the dues? Will it just help market your studio to its employees in return for a reduced rate? Each of these options may be viable for the meeting. Just know what they are and make sure you are prepared to explain them and their benefits to the company.
4. Follow Up: Odds are, any decision will take awhile. Most companies will meet, discuss, and weigh the ROI of setting up a corporate membership with your studio. Even if it is just you giving them a lower rate for their employees, most likely they’ll want to research your club’s reputation and staff before doing business with you. Be sure to set up tasks in your club management software to follow up with your point person so that the deal doesn’t die on the vine due to inactivity.
5. Be Prepared: When the deal is signed (and you should always assume it will be), make sure you are ready to proceed. Ensure any enrollment forms, the company microsite (if you do one), promotional materials, pricing in your system, and anything else you need to make it easy for the corporate members to learn about and join your gym are in place prior to the corporate program going live.
If you spend some time wooing and closing corporate sales, once they’re in place, they can provide a steady stream of revenues for your health club with little work beyond providing a great member experience.
What have you done to expand your corporate membership base?