We’ve all been there: the first class in a new gym or the first time setting foot in a fitness studio you’re considering joining. It’s nerve-wracking and can be intimidating, to say the least. The first impression is everything and it can make or break your chances of returning to the facility again.
Part of being a great gym owner is creating an environment that is inclusive and welcoming for everyone who walks through the door. When it comes to welcoming new members into your fitness studio, it is especially important to remember that the way you treat them either encourages them to come back and become regular members or leads them to be ‘one and done’ clients.
Here are four ways you can successfully welcome new members into your gym:
1. Remember that the new member (or potential new member) walking through the door is more than a sale or revenue; he or she is an individual and deserves to be treated as such.
Take the time to get to know your clients by name, understand their goals/needs, and explain your fitness studio offerings to them before their first class. By humanizing the process, you are more likely to connect with them on a personal level and they are more likely to feel comfortable enough to return to your studio!
2. Ensure that your products and offerings are inclusive to people of all ages, fitness levels, and backgrounds.
If your fitness studio only caters to people who are already in tip-top shape, you will miss out on a key demographic that may not feel comfortable in your studio. Ensure that each person that takes his or her first class with you feels comfortable with your movements, whether that’s by including modifications or creating a variation of the same workout for different fitness levels. People will take notice of your initiative to include them!
3. Create a studio environment that is positive, motivating, energetic, and uplifting.
Have you ever stepped foot in an establishment and immediately felt either comfortable and welcome or uncomfortable and unnerved? It’s important to keep in mind that customers’ first impressions will be directly correlated to what your studio looks like, if it’s clean, if the trainers or employees greet them with a smile, and whether or not there’s an invisible, intimidating ‘ego’ within the room. If you want new members to feel welcome, try to facilitate a visit that will leave them wanting to come back for more simply because they felt so recharged and encouraged visiting your studio.
4. Invite them back and let them know just how much you would love to see them again!
It may sound like overkill at first, but the way you say goodbye to your new members after their first class is equally important as how you said hello to them when they arrived. It doesn’t need to be a big facade, but simply let them know that you would love to see them again, hear their feedback, and that you look forward to having them in your studio for a second (or third) time! Going out of your way to make them feel appreciated and wanted in your studio can make or break their likelihood of becoming loyal members.
As new members step into your studio, we encourage you to go out of your way to make them feel welcome, comfortable, and appreciated. We hope that these four tips will help you welcome your new members into your studio and will assist you in converting first-time studio attendees into long-term members!
This could be a life changing opportunity.