Sales tactics in the gym business are key. The success of a climbing gym is built on its members. So how do you increase your gym’s sales? Prepare an offer of membership that a customer will not want to cancel.
For the customer, the contract should be easy to terminate. For the climbing wall, a good deal should be hard to break. How do you reconcile both parties’ expectations? By crafting a contract that simply isn’t worth terminating.
This article takes a look at the various ways to configure a membership arrangement for a climbing wall.
How do you make a good climbing wall member’s agreement?
Consider issues such as:
How to discourage a member from terminating a contract?
#1 Tip: Use a sales trick. The customer who has just signed an agreement, valid from January to December, pays in advance for two months of the membership. Where is the sales trick: the customer pays once for the first and last month of the agreement, i.e. January and December (at a discounted price).
This is a common sales trick. In the agreement, the customer pays for each month of membership, according to the order of the months: January, February, March, etc. You might be able to get clients to pay their membership on time by offering a discount for paying two months in advance. What’s the discount condition: the customer has to pay for the first and last month of the agreement. Now the customer knows that he/she can go climbing in December – there is no point in terminating the contract. After all, the agreement is almost fully paid!
Is there someone among your clients that you wish you could treat with extra care?
Maybe they’re pro clients who’re getting ready for a competition, or maybe you’re giving a client a birthday present?
#2 Tip: Allow the occasional change of the monthly fee.
Example: the monthly membership fee is € 60. One customer regularly uses the climbing wall and attracts new customers – recommends the climbing wall to his/her friends. You can reward this member and occasionally lower the membership price.
Do you offer flexible membership to your climbing wall?
The annual contract requires that a member pays for a membership on a regular basis, say, from January to December, depending on how long it lasts. What if during the term of the agreement, your customer wants their family members to use the climbing wall too? This situation typically leads to a second agreement which includes the family membership package. The customer ends up with two agreements. That’s an issue.
#3 Tip: Satisfy the client’s needs and allow an assignment of agreements. It is a change of agreement terms, without the need to terminate the agreement that the customer no longer finds useful.
Do you allow customers to enter the climbing wall area if they have an active membership but did not pay for the rental of climbing shoes during their previous visit?
This situation can happen if a customer uses an open account – instead of paying each time for additional services, all purchases are automatically added to the customer’s account. If customers want to leave the climbing wall area – the access control system will not let them out – so they have to pay off the overdraft.
#4 Tip: Some climbing walls allow a customer to have an overdraft and do not require its immediate repayment. This is a common practice if the climbing wall sells annual memberships. If the customer has an active membership, but the account is in overdraft, the access control system will allow the customer to enter the climbing wall area. As the customer pays for the membership and uses the climbing wall, it is worth showing understanding. The front desk employee will remind the customer to pay off the overdraft.
Do you allow the customer to suspend agreements, because of, say, long vacation?
The customer signed the annual membership agreement: January-December. But he/she is about to take a two months’ vacation. According to the agreement, the customer has to pay for membership every month, even if he/she does not use the climbing wall.
#5 Tip: Set up contract suspensions — the contract is then extended beyond the period of suspension. In this situation, the customer would terminate the contract two months later, i.e. in February. The suspension of the contract may be free or additional payment required.
How do you remind the customer that the time to pay for the next month of membership is approaching?
#5 Tip: Email a reminder a few days before the due date. Also, notify an employee via email that one of your customers may be in arrears.
Want to introduce a loyalty program that gets customers paying for their membership on a regular basis?
#6 Tip: Inform customers that if they pay for their membership on time, the price will be lower by, for example, €2 each time. You can also introduce a lower price only for the first 2-3 months of membership.
Do you appreciate loyal customers?
It is standard practice to reward new members when they sign their first membership contract. But why not reward current customers who already have a monthly pass?
#7 Tip: Offer a lower monthly payment arrangement that only current members can sign. To ensure the client will pay regularly, add one condition important to your company – the contract is only signed with active recurring payments.
You can’t remember the promotion details? The software will do it for you!
Each business model is different – some solutions related to the sale of membership are found very rarely and have the form of a seasonal promotion. Others are a constant element of the sales process.
What you should know: every idea outlined here is built-in to our software, so almost all activities related to agreements or membership terms and conditions are automatically handled.
CLIMBMANAGER is flexible software. The functionalities available in the software are created in cooperation with managers and owners of climbing walls. You, therefore, benefit from solutions developed by the industry’s practitioners.
What we have learned from daily conversations with managers of climbing walls and other sports facilities: every climbing wall has its own unique business model. Many of the needs for running a climbing wall are the same, but there are also some things that set a particular wall apart from the competition.
In many cases, CLIMBMANAGER functionalities inspire changes in the way the climbing wall is managed. We’re not going to say: We have everything your climbing wall needs. However, we will say: CLIMBMANAGER has many options that may be of interest to you. One of the more comprehensive areas is a set-up for memberships and passes.
Some options are activated occasionally, for example, a one-off discount on the instalment. Recurring actions are automated: you do not need to remember to send a reminder to the customer that they should pay for the next month of the agreement. No more trying to determine whether a member has a current membership, just so you can hand him/her a contract that existing members only have to sign. CLIMBMANAGER will take care of it all for you.
If you have a good idea you want to automate, let us know!