Building Value into the Price of a Health Club Membership

Your overall club value can be positioned in a way that goes beyond the gym membership cost while still competing with other gyms Photo by Shutterstock


One of the first things prospective members look for when shopping a health club is your price point. That’s because they don’t know what else to ask about. Every member had a reason for joining a gym, and the majority of those memberships were based on an established goal in their mind about how they wanted to look or feel. Your overall gym value can be positioned in a way that goes beyond the membership cost, while still competing with other gyms offering a lower price. Let’s look at how to add value in selling prospective members without losing them to your competitors. 

A minority of prospective members who run marathons, participate in functional fitness events and take part in team sport competitions will pay a premium for what your club offers. However, the majority of prospects will shop for the best price possible because they are not familiar with those activities—or are just inexperienced with working out—but they still have goals for how they want to look and feel. “How much does it cost”? It’s just the programmed response most of us have been trained to say when shopping. For those prospective members who are just looking for the lowest cost, there’s an opportunity to incentivize them by adding value to the offer. This can be done without getting caught up in the “Price is Right” attitude. There’s a reason why people happily pay $4 for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. The company has been diligent from its beginnings about building value into their brand by educating their customers about their products. Their audience is convinced they are receiving better quality and value and have no problem paying for it. The same could be said for your club.

Engaging Prospects in the “Sales Process” 

Understanding what a prospect’s expectations are with your gym, what their fitness goals are and how much time they are willing to commit toward their own fitness success can be great starting points in the sales discussion. They may not know what their fitness goals are, but they want to look and feel better. Also, they may have no idea how long it takes or how much time they can commit, but they do know their current schedule and free time. Consequently, it might be a gradual process easing them into a routine. From there, start a fitness assessment to determine a level of membership that best fits them. Be proactive and have a set of membership levels ready that you can offer to get them onboard. Ideally, an initial option might include some incentives, such as a limited number of hours with a trainer or group class, especially if the prospect is hesitant in moving forward. Your gym should be in the position to offer prospective members what they need to succeed. Once you both understand those goals, you’ll be able to offer the appropriate gym membership level. 

Selling a Committed Fitness Lifestyle

Taking the sales process further, educate your prospective members by describing realistic results they can achieve by committing to a particular level or plan, such as weight loss, muscle tone or higher self-esteem. Help them to not only build loyalty to themselves but to your gym with a new healthy lifestyle attitude. Let them know you will schedule regular check-ins to measure their progress using your gym management software. These meetings can be opportunities to offer training add-ons to help them in their fitness development and create more revenue for the club. At a certain point during one of these meetings, it can also be good timing to offer a higher-level membership that might include functional training classes or personal training to ramp up their workout.

Engaging your prospective members at the onset of the sales process helps to build loyalty toward your club. Offering education and various levels of membership packages create a perceived value in your club’s brand and offering. Be willing to add some limited training or classes that center on their fitness goals, as well as to encourage their commitment. You also will discover that your prospective member sales are more successful when you focus on improving their health. They all want results. It just requires patience and strategy in selling them their own personal vision of themselves.


Stephen Wilson joined the ASF Payment Solutions team as a veteran of marketing and advertising where he was principal and director of creative services at an advertising and public relations agency for 14 years, focusing on branding and strategic communications. He has worked in a wide variety of industries and concentrated on health and wellness for a number of years. His work on national marketing and advertising campaigns has earned him many accreditations and awards. ASF Payment Solutions is the innovator in payment processing and gym management software, including ACH, credit cards, point of sale and scheduling. Visit www.asfpaymentsolutions.com for more information on our products and services.

This article was created in collaboration with the sponsoring company and our sales and marketing team. The editorial team does not contribute.