How to Increase Gym Membership Sales

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How to Increase Gym Membership Sales ~ Staying fit is part of living a healthy life. Unfortunately, this doesn’t prove to be enough motivation to get many people to sign up for a gym membership. 

If you’re a gym owner, this can be disconcerting. If a person’s personal fitness and health don’t motivate them, what will? And while this is a valid question, don’t worry.

There are some great ways that you can start to increase your gym membership sales without having to break your bank. 

If you need a way to start improving your gym’s sales, we’ve got you covered. Below, we take a look at some of the best ways that you can start to increase your sales in no time.

By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to bigger profits, more customers, and a greater reputation in no time. 

What to Consider

Before we get into the specifics of what you need to do, let’s take a look at some of the smaller considerations that you should be making first. 

Namely, keep in mind that the advice you find here may need to be modified to fit your personal circumstances. These suggestions are purposefully general, but you may need to change them depending on your personal situation. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments as necessary to make these work as well as possible for your business. 

With that in mind, it’s time to look at some of the other important considerations you need to be making before attempting to improve your gym membership sales. 

Your Audience 

First and foremost, make sure that you have a solid understanding of your target audience. Are you looking for people who are already into fitness, or do you want to attract new gym-goers?

Understanding this is crucial to developing a proper marketing scheme for your business. 

If you’re really looking to boost your gym sales, you’re going to need to pick an audience and stick with it.

Though this may seem like you’re cutting off potential, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that you’re going to want a strong brand identity that will bring people to your gym. 

For an example of this, just consider Planet Fitness. This popular gym is loved by some and hated by others—all because of its strong brand identity. For gym elitists who are looking for quality bulk training, Planet Fitness simply doesn’t make the cut.

However, for new gymgoers who are looking for the basic tools to get in shape, its judgment-free philosophy makes it an especially attractive option. 

Why? Because Planet Fitness realized that they needed to do more than just sell a gym to their customers. Instead, they needed to address one of the major concerns their audience had—fear of being ridiculed.

By stressing that they are a judgment-free zone, Planet Fitness successfully managed to win over a number of new customers. This strong brand identity gives it a comforting feeling to those who are just getting into fitness—helping the gym earn great top-of-mind awareness. 

To increase your sales, you’re going to need to do something similar for your gym. Because here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter if your gym isn’t part of a huge national franchise.

What matters is that you secure a strong brand identity in your local area. Then, if you’re looking to scale, you’ll be able to. 

But we know what you’re thinking—how do you form this identity? And what should you do if this identity is already taken? The good news is that it’s not as complicated as you think.

Below, we’ll take a look at what you can do with your identity and your reputation to start boosting your sales. 

Your Reputation 

As we’ve seen, your reputation is subjective—and that’s not always a bad thing. In fact, Planet Fitness proves to be divisive because of its strong brand identity and reputation. 

But you’ll notice, that’s also its selling point. And while your selling point doesn’t always have to be divisive, you can be sure that that’s a good sign that you’re moving in the right direction. At least, that is, in terms of establishing an identity. 

The problem comes in when you have an all-around poor reputation. What happens when you’re not really doing well with regular gymgoers or those who are looking to get into fitness for the first time?

When you find yourself in this situation, you’re going to be suffering in the sales department. And trust us—that’s not where you want to be. 

For this reason, you’re going to want to take a good, long, and hard look at your reputation. What are you known as in your local community? What are people saying about your gym? 

More importantly, what are you going to do about it? And where do you even start? 

To start building your reputation, follow these important steps: 

Find Out What It Is 

Before you can start to build or repair your reputation, you’re going to need to find out what it is. To do this, you can start to do anonymous customer surveys. This is great to do online, especially if you already have a social media presence. 

You can also start talking to other gymgoers as to why they chose another gym over your own. Be prepared to hear some harsh criticism here—and remember that this is the only way that you’re going to start doing better.

Without having an honest idea of what everyone is saying, you’re not going to be able to build your reputation. 

In this case, criticism is your friend. By not taking any of it personally, and by working to correct your gym’s issues, you can start to boost sales. 

Choose an Identity 

It’s more than likely that you’re going to find that most of your problems come from not being able to have a strong brand identity. And if that’s the case, the first thing you’re going to need to do is to make a choice. 

Usually, for gyms, this comes in one form. Are you going to cater to new gymgoers like Planet Fitness, or are you going to offer upscale equipment and amenities for regular gymgoers? 

Once you have the answer to this question, you’ll be able to know in which direction you should take your business.

And it’s only once you’ve established this business identity that you’re actually going to be able to see sustained growth in your gym membership sales. 

Keep in mind that other methods may help you have a temporary boost in sales, but without having a brand identity that you can deliver on, you’re not going to be able to make it much further.

For example, you may decide that you’re going to do a promotion in which you give a discount to new members. And while this can be a great way to start getting new people in, it’s hardly sustainable—especially if you drop the price too low.

What’s more, you’re not going to want to become known as being a sellout. 

As you may already be able to tell, having a brand identity will require you to make repeated choices. That’s because once you select one, you’re going to need to start making real choices—and these will often be difficult. 

And that’s for one reason. 

You Have to Deliver

Once you’ve chosen your mission and your audience, you’re going to have to deliver on them. This means that if you’re trying to be a gym for those into fitness, you need the proper equipment.

The better your equipment, and the more of it you have, the better you can expect to do. 

On the flip side, if you’ve got advanced equipment that attracts those who are already in incredible shape, you could be putting off those who are too timid to be hitting the gym.

And in this case, you’d be shooting yourself in the foot if you’re looking to attract new clients who haven’t been to the gym before.

For sure, you’ll still be able to get a mixture of both, but by running a mixed gym approach, you’ll leave your customers confused.

And because they won’t see you as number one in comfort or in training, they’re much more likely to start taking their money elsewhere. 

For this reason, make sure that any improvements that you make to your business model align with the identity you’re trying to make. While you can be sure that there will be sacrifices, you can also be sure that you’ll bring in many more customers this way.

Having a strong brand identity is key to increasing your gym’s membership sales—and the sooner you get to work on that, the better. 


We can hear you now—“but how am I supposed to make my brand identity if it’s already taken?” And the truth is that that’s a fair question. 

For instance, how can you compete with the comfort of Planet Fitness just a few blocks down the road? And the answer to that question is that you can’t. 

Yep, the cold hard reality is that you’re not going to compete against these brands—at least not in a head-to-head. The good news is that you don’t have to. 

Doesn’t make sense? Think of it this way. On the surface, you’re two gyms going after the same endgame, right? But that doesn’t mean that that’s how you have to perceive. 

Instead, make sure that you’re choosing a brand identity that will allow you to outcompete everyone in your field. In other words, if you can’t be number one in any category of gyms currently available, make up a new category and position yourself at the top. 

Sound dishonest? Trust us—it’s not. It’s the art of business. 

To continue our Planet Fitness example, think of it this way. Their judgment-free zone philosophy has made them nationally known and popular.

And if you’re trying to make your gym a judgment-free zone—and just that—you’re not likely going to be able to compete. Not only will you not be able to win over their customers by stealing their brand identity, but you’re not likely to be able to compete with them on a pricing scale either. 

So what do you do? Rebrand yourself. The good news is that your new identity doesn’t have to be world-changing. For instance, let’s say that you offer a good number more services than Planet Fitness.

For example, you may offer real personal trainers with one-on-one classes or a kitchen where protein shakes are prepared.

Or, you may have a swimming pool or massage room to help people get a really unique workout. 

In this case, what can you do? You’ve done everything that you can to make it feel as if it’s judgment-free. You’re sure that your customers won’t feel judged, and by your own reckoning, you’re offering a great deal more than Planet Fitness.

But you’re still not going to be able to steal their label and identity right out from under them. 

The Bottom Line

Building your gym’s membership sales doesn’t have to be difficult. By following the guide here, you can start increasing your membership numbers in no time. With a careful plan based on the above advice, you’ll experience business than you thought possible before you know it.