Are Gym Members defaulting on their payments with you an ever present issue? According to statistics, only half of your gym members will actually turn up on a weekly basis. This gives those clients who fit within the inactive bracket the feeling that it is their right to default on payments. They may think, well I’m not going so I don’t need to pay. And then, what about the clients who are active members, but still don’t pay their bills?

There is a whole host of variables that could cause a client to default on their payments. Are they unsatisfied with your services, is this just a one-off mistake, can they simply not afford it in the long run?  Here are a few tips on how to stop clients defaulting.

 

ESTABLISH AN AUTOMATED GYM SOFTWARE

Putting your members onto a direct debit system as soon as they start using your facilities, is perhaps one of the best ways to ensure that you will actually get paid. I mean, it works perfectly, doesn’t it? You don’t need to invoice every fortnight asking for a payment, you won’t need to scan your accounts to see if reference numbers match accounts. In fact, I’m sure that as a gym owner, a direct debit system was as necessary an investment as a treadmill. So it’s all up and running, and don’t get me wrong, the majority of your members are honest, paying clients. Astoundingly, across Australia, gyms have reported that 13% of their members still default as each payment cycle comes around.

 

NOTICE THE WARNING SIGNS

Some financial patterns that could be a warning sign that a client is highly likely to default on their payments. Fortunately, there are some red flags and financials patterns that can warn you when a client is likely to default on a payment. Consistently late payments, several missed weeks and radio silence are a few common signs. Warning signs can help you anticipate any trouble and take appropriate action if needed.

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HAVE A COLLECTION PARTNER

Engaging with a third party collection agency means you will spend less time chasing payments while keeping those all-important relationships intact. No one likes asking for money. No one likes being asked. So keep the awkwardness to a minimum and outsource this task to the experts.

 

CREATE A MOBILE GYM APP FOR ALL YOUR USERS

Allowing your members to have control over their account is a good way to put the power back in their hands. Having a bespoke mobile app which is unique to your gym and to your users can allow your members to track their account. From here you can notify your members of when a payment is coming up. If they have the money available, they can pay their account early, if not then they can make sure that it is available.

 

BE INFORMED

Instead of approving a client on the spot, it is worth checking their credit score. This will help you make the instant decision as to whether they will pay or whether they are going to be a pain. Reserve your right to turn people away who are not suited to your business. Prevention is the best form of cure.

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Struggling to motivate your gym clients? Are you beginning to see a pattern of clients who are enthusiastic for a few weeks and then just stop turning up or start making excuses? Whether you are a strength coach, a yoga teacher or a swimming instructor you can use these tips to keep your clients motivated and kicking goals in your gym.

 

Why are they there?

Before you can motivate your gym clients, you need to know what motivates them to get a personal trainer in the first place. Is it someone to teach them the right techniques, tell them when to eat and when to sleep to get the best results?

The motivation to keep training does not come equally to all of us, so finding out why your client has sought to find a personal trainer in the first place will give you an understanding of how you can help them achieve their goals.

 

Provide a Personalised Experience

This is simple, what are your client’s actual goals? Be it more strength, bigger muscles, greater flexibility, better fitness or weight loss. These reasons should be at the forefront of everything you work on together. Everybody has a different body type so the cookie cutter approach to achieving your client’s fitness goals does not cut it. Don’t treat your clients like another pay check, if you want them to keep coming back then you need to show them you know what they want and how to get there.

Providing your clients with a personalised plan which accounts for their goals and personality type (for example are they someone who needs lots of motivation or someone who doesn’t need to be told twice) will enhance those interactions in the gym. Spend time getting to know your clients beyond the information that you have in front of you and take that into account when you are tailoring their experience with yourself and your gym.

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Find out what motivates them

Don’t assume that all your clients have the same outlook and are in the gym for the same reasons. Every client has their own reasons, their own vision, and their own personal focus. Isn’t that what makes the profession so interesting? Your role in their story is to design their fitness plan and help them reach their goals. So when you are wondering how to motivate your gym clients, first find out what motivates them in the first place.

We all know the saying, no pain, no gain. For some people, pain is not fun, pain puts people off and stops them from coming to your training sessions. So, what can do to keep them in your gym? Distract them! Inject some fun into your routine, be a friend, be contagiously positive, make it a game. Find out what motivates them and do more of that.

 

Master the process, see the results

They say it takes 20 days to make a habit, but in reality, it takes more than just time to kickstart a new lifestyle. Demotivation can happen when the client finds themselves becoming too focused on seeing the results, and not on the actual process. People can get fixated on seeing results, they lose focus when they are coming quick enough. One bad training session can mean that they won’t turn up for the next one.

Instead of placing a heavy emphasis on results such as losing 5 kilos in two weeks, instead, focus on the day by day process. Give them the right tools, techniques, and mindset to accomplish their goals.

 

Software

Introducing an app or some control management software into your gym does not have to be complicated or cost you an arm and a leg. There are tools out there which can bolster your clients engagement. The ability to track the more vanity metrics of their journey such as muscle gain, weight loss provides value beyond their sessions with you. Use reminders and messages to remind them of their upcoming training. Provide their nutritional plan, techniques, and progress all on the one system to give them the control over their goals.

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Gym Member retention is a constant problem for gyms. When you meet your membership goals and feel like you have had a steady stream of new members, you are always worrying about retaining your existing clientele. I’m sure that you know the maths around acquiring a new customer versus retaining your existing ones. If you are not, I’ll tell you now. It’s expensive.

Customer satisfaction is the main motivator for keeping your members in your gym so read our top tips on how you can keep them satisfied.   

PARTNER WITH LOCAL COMPANIES AND CORPORATIONS 

Typically, the people who are using your gym are local to the area. They live in the area, they might even work in the area, the point is that attending your gym is convenient for their lifestyle as they don’t have to travel far and wide to incorporate their fitness goals into their week. So it seems only natural that you would partner with local companies to leverage each other’s network and build a sense of community for your members.

BE DIVERSE    

Stock standard, one size fits all, cookie cutter approaches do not work today, especially for your members. We live in a highly personalised world and your members expect the same response from their fitness experiences. While some members are happy to come into your gym and be left to their own devices, others would opt for group training. Having a variety of different offerings and services available to your clients, as well as pricing which is suited to more than one budget. 

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OFFER DISCOUNTS FOR LONG MEMBERSHIPS

This may seem counterintuitive to offer value adds to your long-term memberships at a discounted rate, or even for free, but, there is a method to this madness. You might be thinking, my long-term members are the guaranteed income, but your long-term members can also be your advocates. Rewarding them for their loyalty with incentives will have them raving to their family, friends and work colleagues. As well as motivating them to keep up their good work.

OFFER REMOTE GYM CLASSES     

Offering classes to your members where you step away from the brick and mortar of your gym and into their space is becoming increasingly popular. People are getting busier and busier and this means they stop prioritizing the things that might have once really mattered to them, like going to the gym. Think about offering a class to your clients, such as professionals where you go to their workplace, or a personal training session that you can have in a clients backyard. Or even putting your services online and doing a training session which you can stream.

ESTABLISHING A GYM APP OR A GYM SOFTWARE     

One thing that is going from strength to strength is the use of user-friendly technology. Most people are going the tech way. Investing in your own gym app or gym software for your business can be a great investment to market yourself and also make your services much convenient to people. Identify what your clients are looking for and offer it in your own software.

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