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7 Tips to Increase New Membership Sales at your Sports Facility

Continuing to grow membership sales requires ongoing attention and prioritization. To really get it right, it takes time and effort to establish a strategy that works for your facility.

The challenge of attracting new members is not merely aesthetic; it’s a financial hurdle that can jeopardize your training center’s longevity and profitability. Regardless of your business’s focus, mastering the art of attracting, converting, and retaining members for your training facility is paramount for long term success.

As the new year approaches, it’s the perfect time to refine your membership sales strategy and elevate your game.

So, how can you propel your sports business towards increased membership sales?

How to Increase Membership Sales

1. Create targeted marketing campaigns

One of the first questions to ask when implementing memberships (or any program!) is “who are my ideal members?” Write down the characteristics of target clientele – for example their behaviors, goals, interests, and needs.

Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can create marketing campaigns that resonate with those interests and needs. Utilize your various marketing channels to reach potential members through online advertising, social media, and email marketing. For example, in Upper Hand, you can filter your contacts to identify your contacts that are not yet in a membership, and send them a marketing email encouraging them to explore the benefits of a membership. Or, run a small social media ad campaign to people in your area with an introductory offer.

2. Run promotional offers & discounts

Speaking of running an introductory offer, another way to entice clients to enroll in a membership is to introduce special promotions or discounts for new members. This could include waiving the join fee or offering the membership at a discounted rate for the first few months.

To create a sense of urgency, you may consider offering these promotional discounts or offers for a limited time only. With the new year approaching, now may be a great time to run a promotion.

Related: 3 Holiday Promotion Ideas you can steal for your business.

3. Invest in your staff (your sales team!)

You may have the best offerings in the world, but if your team is not equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to make a sale, you could be missing out on the clientele and the revenue. So, it’s important that when strategizing about your membership sales, you don’t neglect to invest in your team.

Tools like ChatGPT can help you generate scripts that your staff members can use to communicate the value of your memberships and address customer inquiries. These scripts can be tailored to handle different scenarios – key selling points, common objections, exclusive benefits, and more. Remember, a well-informed and confident team armed with these insights can significantly impact the success of your membership sales strategy.

4. Incentivize your staff

On the topic of supporting your staff, another way to boost your membership sales is to reward your staff members when they make a sale. Consider offering a commission or incentive when a staff member sells a new client membership. This will provide a little extra motivation for them to actively engage with potential clients and showcase the value of your programming and offerings.

By implementing a commission or incentive structure, you’re not only able to recognize and appreciate your staff, but you can also foster a culture of sales excellence amongst your team. Additionally, this added motivation can translate into increased enthusiasm during customer interactions, which can ultimately result in higher conversion rates. Not to mention, it reinforces a sense of ownership, as they directly contribute to the growth and success of the sports facility.

5. Implement a referral program

Another impactful strategy to boost your sports facility membership sales is to empower your existing members as ambassadors through a robust referral program. Encourage your clients to become advocates for your facility by incentivizing and rewarding them for successfully referring new members. This incentive system could be a free credit for a class or program, or give them an Account Credit that they could use towards future purchases.

By turning your clients into enthusiastic brand advocates, you are tapping into the power of word-of-mouth marketing. This not only builds trust around your brand, but it also expands your reach to potential members who may be more receptive to joining as a result of that personal invitation. A well-executed referral program not only fuels the growth of your membership base; it also cultivates a supportive community atmosphere amongst your members.

6. Optimize your online presence

In today’s digital age, your online presence is often the first interaction potential members have with your sports business. Ensure your website is user-friendly, and makes it easy for prospective members to find information about your memberships (and your other offerings!). Investing in a compelling online experience will help you convert visitors into members and enhance your sports facility’s overall visibility.

In addition, it’s imperative that you are active on social media! Keep your social media profiles up to date with dynamic content – including member success stories, behind-the-scenes glimpses, announcements of upcoming events, special offers and more. By incorporating your memberships into your digital marketing strategy, you can create an online environment that captivates and converts prospective members, driving the success of your sports facility in a competitive space.

7. Make it easy to enroll

At the end of the day, if it is too complex or difficult to enroll in your sports facility’s memberships, prospective clients will take their business elsewhere. Even if you have a great script or are active on social media, unless you make it simple to enroll or request more information, you risk losing potential members who may opt for facilities with more straightforward processes. The journey from interest to enrollment should be a seamless transition, devoid of unnecessary hurdles.

A powerful sports facility management software will help you manage and sell your memberships with ease, both boosting your client experience and your bottom line. A sports software like Upper Hand makes it easy for clients to view membership benefits, compare offerings, and make decisions that are the best fit for them. This leads to increased client satisfaction, which ultimately results in increased brand loyalty (and, as mentioned previously, brand advocates)!

Related: Take an interactive tour of Upper Hand’s sports management software!

Ready to Increase Membership Sales?

Memberships are a great way to establish stability for your business, as the recurring revenue they provide helps you invest in your business and plan for the future. Whether you’re thinking about implementing a membership program for your business, or are looking to give your existing memberships a boost, these 7 strategies will help position you to make 2024 a great year for your sports facility.

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