#020: How to Quickly Grow Your Membership from 0-90

#020: How to Quickly Grow Your Membership from 0-90

Are you interested in learning how to add 90 members in just 4 months, WITHOUT having to use short-sighted gimmicks or corny marketing? If the answer to that question is YES, then be sure to join us this week on Gymwright LIVE as we interview Atlanta based box owner Jack Green, as we break down exactly what he has done to rapidly grow his new gym from 0-90+ members in just 4 months.

This show was recorded live on Gymwright’s Facebook page on Friday, February 26, 2018. 



  gym membershipImage Credit: CrossFit Liberate

3:23 How Do You Handle Discounts for Gym Memberships

We started the show with this topic because it may be a brand new gym’s go-to when looking to quickly fill spots before they open their doors. Jack Green and his team at CrossFit Liberate don’t offer any deals other than discounted membership rates for longer membership contract periods.

There are no discounts for students or military. While this might sound out of the ordinary, Markus mentions that after speaking with so many gym owners over the years who’ve done it all – many have found that their members were actually pretty offended when they found out that other members were getting discounts. There are people who are paying in full and can barely afford it who should get the same treatment as the other members. At the end of the day, it makes sense.


gym membershipImage Credit: CrossFit Liberate

5:45 CrossFit Liberate’s Methodology for Offering Exceptional Customer Service

Jack and his team are improving the standard of service in an industry we might all agree is lacking in some areas of professionalism and service. Jack’s been a financial advisor since he was 23-years-old and through that vocation has learned in order to stand out, it’s a synergy of every experience – not just the actual service you’re selling. You’ve got to tell your story, make lots of calls, show how you’re better and different and their #1 methodology – the first to respond is the first to resolve. They always respond back within 24-hours (unless it’s a weekend).

Gymwright has worked with CrossFit Liberate since before they launched helping them with their processes and best practices for opening and running a 5-star gym. Today, CrossFit Liberate has 94 members and have only been open for 4 months. Getting the right guidance into motivated peoples’ hands is a very easy recipe to succeed. They now have processes in place for every aspect of the business which Jack explains is a total game changer for your business. Too many gyms skip this important step.

gym membershipImage Credit: CrossFit Liberate

8:22 How Can a Gym Owner Get More Comfortable with Sales?

Jack believes that many gym owners are timid with the business side of running a gym. We agree the industry as a whole should and can do a lot better in this department. Too many gym owners see the business broken down into two parts; the part where you do the passionate stuff like training people and changing lives, and the other part where you charge people for it. Don’t silo your business because it can freak you out about charging for your services and operating like a real business. We don’t take people through workouts. We change lives. You don’t have to do shortcuts or give handouts because your service is worth every penny – and probably more.

 gym membershipImage Credit: CrossFit Liberate

10:50 Pre-opening Strategy

Jack wanted to launch with momentum and change the view of functional fitness in Athens, Georgia. He wanted to bring more professionalism and quality service. He started cultivating his tribe by scheduling community workouts while the gym was being built. They went to a brewery, a park, a Lulu Lemon. All of his staff and himself got their first people to these events by creating a master list of people they knew. They gathered the contacts of every friend, family member, co-worker, and random business card they could to spread the world. They were brave in their outreach and it paid off.

But it wasn’t enough to just get people to these events. The strategy was to create an awesome workout experience and to have them reconvert (get their contact info again) just to make sure they had all the right info – and also because there were other attendees who weren’t on the original list. In this interaction, Jack’s team would tell the attendee that they were opening a gym and that they would be contacting them closer to opening with more details.

CrossFit Liberate promoted the community events by also creating Facebook Events but never did any advertising through Facebook. Attendees came through outreach and organic interest.

Founders’ Club Membership

CrossFit Liberate sold Founders’ Club Memberships which were discounted rates which must be paid in full which helped fund the opening of the business. Here are his prices:

  • Founders’ Club 1-year contract: $120/mo paid in full upfront
  • 1-year contract: $130/mo
  • 6-month contract: $140/mo
  • 3-month contract: $150/mo

It’s important to mention that the Founders’ Club rate does not renew when the year is up. Many people do founding deals and let members stick to the rate for far too long just to realize they can make up 25%-50% of their membership base and have to go back on their word which is never a fun conversation.

When CrossFit Liberate opened, they were at 22 members. They allowed the Founding Members to come in for the week prior to train before their official opening day.

 gym membershipImage Credit: CrossFit Liberate

17:36 What Does the Sales Process Look Like?

When Jack got sales inquiries through their website they made sure to always follow up within 24-hours. He mentions some people were actually surprised by the quick follow up. At this stage in the sales process, you should focus on just quickly introducing yourself and scheduling this prospect for their free one-on-one session. That’s it. It’s not the time to explain your gym’s differentiators or make a pitch. Make the call as easy and low impact as possible with the point of just getting them to the gym as quickly as possible. Get the closest possible time slot they have available so they don’t talk themselves out of it. The little voice to stay in their comfort zone may override their urge to challenge themselves.

Jack also mentions the power of The Platform Pipeline which is a major step in his follow-up process. His top priority as the owner of CrossFit Liberate is to manage this pipeline. No one falls through the cracks and no one is forgotten. And getting back to someone after too many days have passed just won’t work. You’ve already missed the bus.


gym membershipImage Credit: CrossFit Liberate

22:28 One-on-one Intro Session Strategy

CrossFit Liberate’s one-on-one intro session looks like this:

  1. The prospect comes in and is greeted at the door. She’s already been prepped via email and phone call on what she can expect during this session so she comes in ready for a workout. No surprises on day 1.
  2. She’s given a tour of the facility.
  3. She sits down with Gabby, the one-on-one specialist at CrossFit Liberate who asks the prospect about her goals to understand her challenges, personality, and to get her talking and comfortable. Gabby also inquires about any injuries and past fitness experiences. As Gabby finds out this prospect is new to fitness, she doesn’t use functional fitness jargon in her communication.
  4. The prospect is then taken through her one-on-one training session which includes warm-up, Baseline, and cooldown.
  5. Gabby then uses the prescriptive selling method to see if the prospect would like to sign up at the end of their session. If not, Jack will follow up shortly on the phone to make a closing call after getting as many details about the prospects experience from Gabby.

gym membershipImage Credit: CrossFit Liberate

27:05 What’s Contributed to CrossFit Liberate’s Consistent Growth?

Jack’s team has had a lot of success with the community workouts. They’ve don’t 6 events and have 5 more coming up. They recently did a booth at a bridal convention which cost them $800. At this event, the scheduled 11 intro sessions, had 6 show up, and signed-on 5 new members. His tips for having a successful booth are: 1) Make your booth a fun place to be – get creative. 2) Be in control of the sales process. Make your #1 goal to get contact information so you don’t rely on people grabbing a business card and calling you next week. This isn’t the time to take a passive approach.

gym membershipImage Credit: CrossFit Liberate

34:16 How to Create Raving Fans

CrossFit Liberate creates an amazing overall client experience so they are quickly cultivating a tribe of raving fans who aren’t just happy with the service they’re getting – they’re actively telling people about it.

As you probably know, word-of-mouth referrals are powerful but they’re also inconsistent and can be poorly communicated. Jack’s team uses the Gymwright referral program model of giving $100 and getting $100.

As a member of CrossFit Liberate, you have the ability to give $100 credit towards any friend or family members’ first month. If they sign up, you get $100 towards your next month’s membership. The amount the gym offers to give and get may change based on the individual gym, but the structure remains the same:

  • You make the member feel special by empowering them to help your gym succeed
  • You remove the sales process for them since you then have the power to follow up with the prospect while the referer just cheerleads
  • The barrier to entry is lowered for the highest quality lead
  • The member gets a “thank you” reward rather than a hard “we pay you for leads” feeling created by most referral programs.

gym membershipImage Credit: CrossFit Liberate

35:26 Q&A from Facebook Live

Brittany W.: As you scale your business will you always be the person to follow up or do you feel comfortable handing that off to a manager or head trainer?

Answer: Jack may at some point, but he really likes doing it and does it well so he’ll keep that role for now. He feels it’s the most rewarding to do the initial connection of the dots what he knew what was going to be a great fit for them.

Emily C.: What’s your next step if they don’t sign up day one or in the initial follow up. Do you ever bring them back in for a class or is it all in follow up?

Answer: At that point, we believe they don’t need to see any more of the gym to join. If they specifically want to try a class, he’ll let them do this but he believes you’d just need to touch on the right point for this lead, not offer another class.

Ask the questions on the phone of where they’re at, ask what happened at their last gym, where do they want to go, what do they want to do. Your competitors are just taking them through a class – you need to take them into their minds to find out why they really want to do this. They’re looking for an upgrade. They want to get better coaching. This is your opportunity to show them how you care about them and work specifically around that shoulder injury, for example.

Brittany: W. How long from the time someone did a 1:1 and didn’t sign up do you reach out?

Answer: Jack will call the person in 24-hours, sometimes on the same day, sometimes if its a weekend he’ll call on Monday. But usually next day.

Beau S. How are you incentivizing your head coach? 

Jack says that no one person is bigger than CrossFit Liberate. He could take their model and processes and move it to any place and he believes they’d be successful. If someone leaves and sees an opportunity, then that’s what’s got to happen and they’re fine with it.

CrossFit Liberate also uses Gymwright’s 30, 60 90-day follow up with new members. Every one has Jack’s cell phone, they get a “congrats” at the end of their first month, at 6-week’s they get asked for their first review which is very important, then at 90-days, they’re asking for a referral at a time when they’re feeling most comfortable. The processes in place so if anyone left we’d still be in a good place.

It’s about building the brand, not just about the individual. If you want to leave or sell the business, you want the business to run even if you’re not there. The roles would still get done and it wouldn’t be a reason for people to leave.

Brennan T. What are the latest community events you’ve done to gather your mot recent leads?

Answer: A professor of kinesiology brought in his class to do a session. They did an event with the software company next door. They have a placement at the  Chick-fil-a 1/2 marathon. Jack get’s creative but the strategy is always the same. Get people’s contact information and put them into the pipeline for efficient follow up.

About Jack Green

Jack Green is the co-owner of CrossFit Liberate in Athens, Georgia and a Gymwright client who’s been utilizing The Platform since before they opened their doors. Jack’s also a Financial Advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with Morgan Stanley. He is a busy man – no excuses people!

Want more Jack Green?

Jessica Depatie About the author

Jessica is the marketing maven here at Gymwright. She's a business consultant and holistic marketer for fitness businesses. She specializes in the decision-making psychology of what makes everyday people want to optimize themselves. She dives deep into how people seek out growth in the pursuit of living happier and healthier.

No Comments

Leave a Comment: