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Entries in member sales (11)


What Every Personal Trainer Needs to Know About Sales

Personal training is a large—and growing—source of revenue for many health clubs. But are your personal trainers willing and able to play a successful role in the sales process? 

According to the 2015 IHRSA Profiles of Success, a median of 10% of total revenues at leading health clubs comes from individual and small-group personal training. From 2013 to 2014, member participation in at least one personal training session increased by 11%. 

Clearly, the ability to sell personal training services is critical to the long-term success of your operation(s). And that means making sure your personal trainers are comfortable with and knowledgeable about sales.

It Takes a Team 

Building a robust personal training program is a team effort, and health club operators need to educate their employees on their particular role in the process. 

As Steve Satin, president and founder of Satin Wellness, notes, the focus of the front desk and membership teams is generating new memberships. So they may be concerned that bringing up personal training with prospective or new members comes across as overselling. 

The solution? Understanding the right way to approach the sales conversation. 

"The front desk team is a great place to ask appropriate questions, [and] the membership team can easily provide the option of personal training to an enthusiastic new member," Satin said at IHRSA 2016

Continue reading "What Every Personal Trainer Needs to Know About Sales."

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3 Marketing Secrets That Helped West Wood Clubs Survive Ireland’s Recession 

Can you name every single element of your health club business that falls under the umbrella of marketing? The answer may be longer than you’d think. 

“Marketing is everything you do that influences someone's decision whether to buy or not to buy from you,” said Alan Leach, regional manager of West Wood Clubs in Ireland, during his 2016 IHRSA Institute session. “It’s everything we do that influences someone's decision whether to continue to buy from us or not continue to buy from us.” 

During his Wednesday, August 3 session, Leach outlined the sales and marketing strategies that allowed West Wood Club to thrive during Ireland’s economic recession, which caused many health clubs to declare bankruptcy. 

The following are Leach’s top three marketing secrets: 

1. The Price is Rarely the Issue in Most Buying Decisions 

Leach cited a study done for Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It) by William Poundstone. For the study, researchers interviewed people who bought a slew of products—cars, gym memberships, etc.—and asked them how important price was in the buying decision. 

For those who bought the product they were considering, 14% said price was the most important factor. But when researchers asked the salespeople how important they thought price was in the buyer’s decision making, 84% said it was the most important factor. 

“In a lot of cases, the price is a far bigger issue for the people selling [the membership] than the people buying it,” Leach said. 

Knowing this, West Wood Clubs continued to charge a joining fee during the recession, while other clubs that eliminated their joining fees struggled. 

2. Winning the Battle for Sales Leadership Will Clinch the Victory for Decades 

“When it comes to sales, the golden rule is that ‘winning the battle for sales leadership in a single year will often clinch victory for decades to come,’” Leach said, quoting Jack Trout’s book Jack Trout's book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind. “When you have sales, you can fix anything.” 

3. Only Spend on Marketing if it Generates a Profit 

West Wood Clubs only spends on marketing if it has delivered a proven return-on-investment, Leach said. As a result, they only spend $35 on marketing and sales per new member.

Read more coverage from the 2016 IHRSA Institute.


Strengthen Your Health Club Staff with IHRSA's Professional Development and Management Videos

This feature is brought to you by the IHRSA Store spring sale. Now through June 30, save 25% on reports, webinars, and all other resources in the IHRSA Store by using promo code 2016SALE at checkout. 

A well-trained staff is a pillar of every successful health club, and studies have shown that educated, motivated employees result in higher member engagement and retention. But, unfortunately, many health club owners don’t have the time or resources to properly train their staff. 

To alleviate this pain point, IHRSA has developed a series of Professional Development and Management videos, which make it easy and cost-effective to train staff in all aspects of sales, service, and marketing. 

Titles include: 


  •  Selling Club Memberships (with Karen Woodward)
  •  Managing the Sales Team and Process (with Bill McBride)
  •  Selling Club Services to Corporations (with Bill McBride)
  •  Non-Sales Professional's Guide to Selling Club Services and Products(with Stephen Tharrett) 

Member Service/Retention 

  • Engaging New Members in the Club (with Brent Darden)
  • Creating a Warm and Welcoming Club Environment (with Brent Darden)
  • Creating and Sustaining a Member-Service Culture (with Herb Lipsman)
  • Increasing Membership Retention in the Health and Fitness Industry (with Bill McBride) 


  • Establishing a Powerful Online Presence (with Bill McBride)
  • Branding: Establishing a Promise That Engages the Emotions (with Stephen Tharrett)
  • Marketing: Communicating Your Brand’s Value Proposition (with Stephen Tharrett)
  • Digital Marketing (with Guy Dineen) 

These 12 videos are available in the IHRSA Store in a variety of formats, including DVD and digital download.


‘Discover the New Ways People Buy’ with IHRSA’s February 11 Webinar

To understand how to best sell your offerings to prospective members, you first have to understand how they make purchasing decisions—and their thought process may not be what you'd expect.

Bill McBride, president and CEO of Active Wellness & BMC3, will explain how people buy and how health club operators can use that knowledge to enroll new customers in his Thursday, February 11 webinar, “Unselling: Discover the New Ways People Buy.”

Unselling, by definition, is honest seeking and sharing to build an ongoing relationship through collaboration. Products and services are utilized as part of the elements of mutual achievement, almost always resulting in increased business, repeat business, and referrals.

“Transitioning from only sales and marketing to programs and results is a big transition,” McBride says. “Specialized studios and focused offerings are selling fitness experiences, energy, and results. Group camaraderie with HR technology is also proving to be an amazing motivator.” 

The hour-long webinar will help health club operators: 

  • Discover how people now buy and learn how to enroll your best new customers.
  • Learn how to optimize prospect motivation.
  • Discover how to get ahold of the customer pulse.
  • Learn how to determine what customers are looking for.
  • Explore adaptation versus re-creation.
  • Gain insight on coaching and customer service versus selling.    

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InfoPacks are unveiled at IHRSA/Fitness Brasil

IHRSA President and CEO Joe Moore explains InfoPacks at the IHRSA/Fitness Brasil Latin American Conference & Trade Show.Those who are attending the 15th IHRSA/Fitness Brasil Latin American Conference & Trade Show, currently running through Aug. 30 in Sao Paulo, have the opportunity to get a new IHRSA publication for free.

The InfoPacks are informative articles and ideas that are essential for club owners in Brazil, South America and Latin America. They also include trends and relevant cases. There are three available:

  • IHRSA InfoPack Management & Planning
  • IHRSA InfoPack & Sales Trends
  • IHRSA InfoPack Marketing

InfoPacks are free for those who attended IHRSA/Fitness Brasil and fill out a quick survey, until Sept. 30, at They are also available for purchase at the IHRSA Store.


Why You Should Think Small  

Why do people, why do prospects, elect either to join a club … or pass on the opportunity? Hossein Noshirvani, the cofounder and executive vice president of Motionsoft, Inc., and a regular CBI Unbound guest contributor, has a thought or two on the subject. The decision, he suggests, has to do with the industry’s messaging. Club operators tend to ascribe grandiose, but intangible, goals to membership in their advertising and marketing efforts. Instead, he says, they should focus on smaller, more immediate, and decidedly palpable benefits. Extended lifespan? Or playtime with one’s kids? The choice of message is critical, argues Noshirvani—so read on:

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A Sales Program that’s a “Lotto” Fun

Are you interested in hearing about a new way to increase member referrals and new membership sales? One that’s simple, inexpensive, effective … and, yes, even fun? If so, Colleen Kennedy, the director of membership at The Houstonian Club, a world-class fitness facility in Houston, Texas, has a thought or two that she’d like to share with you. To find out how you can generate some “excitement and hoopla,” while improving your club’s sales performance—read on:

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Industry looking positive according to IHRSA Index

For the third consecutive time, year-over-year performance has improved, according to IHRSA Index results. 

IHRSA Index shows the financial performance of the commercial health club industry.

The Index results for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2012, and year-end were released on March 28.

Read on for the rest of the story.


Hard or Soft: Which Sales Approach Works Best?

Coby HalpinHard sell? Or soft sell? Which club membership sales system works best? Which one yields the best long-term results? Which one leaves the sales staff feeling honestly good about what they do? Coby Halpin, the manager of the Goldfields Oasis Recreation Center, in Kalgoorlie, Australia, has tried both approaches—as well as a number of variations on the two themes—and has reached a conclusion. His thoughts on the topic follow.

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The Beginning and the End

By Hossein Noshirvani

Human beings are funny—me, in particular. We seem to remember only the very beginning of an experience, which is why first impressions are so important, and the very end, why results are so important, and tend to forget all the stuff in the middle.

You’re going to love the next paragraph:

“Quite frlakny, ttah’s a good tinhg for our isurtndy. If I reermeebmd how mcuh it htrus to do a becnh pesress I wluod nveer go itno a gym aigan. But tihs smae haumn tencdney is a hgue otpipnourty for gym orwens. Ulneftoarntuy, it aslo magnifies one of our bsigegt pmreolbs.”

This paragraph, more than anything I can say or write, demonstrates the importance of the beginning and the end. As long as the first and last letters of each word are in the right place, most people are able to read and understand it. This very cool notion can be applied to the gym business, as well.

How you ask?

Let me tell you.

It’s actually very simple. Once we’ve sold the memberships (the beginning), we need to help members achieve the results (the end)—whether that’s by selling them personal training, helping them find the right class, or giving them a reason to “find time” to come to the gym. For our industry to continue to prosper, grow, and progress, we have to go back to delivering results.

Online sign-up, low rates, clean locker rooms, and a perky front-desk staff are all nice, and help get people into the door, and may even improve retention rates. But I’m sure most people would give up all of that stuff if we could just deliver what we promised them when they first signed up—e.g., to look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie if they were just working out!

Bseucae rtelsus metatr!

Hossein Noshirvani is cofounder and executive vice president of Motionsoft, a provider of club management software and billing solutions to over 2,000 clubs. To read more about his perspective on our industry, visit