The growing number of clubs, price wars, the difficult economic situation in the USA forces the owners and heads of sales departments to think about the format of club membership: what and how to offer to consumers. Fitness has come to the point where you need to enable clients to pay for club membership in monthly payments. We will talk about typical mistakes that clubs face when introducing loans and/or installment payments for a gym membership. We interviewed Donna Graves, sales director of the Equinox fitness company.
Donna Graves about loans and payments in installments
In the current economic situation, in my opinion, there is no longer a doubt whether to introduce or not to implement loans and payment by installments. In any case, if you have a fitness club, you will come to this anyway. But it’s better to think about it right now. According to many experts, unfortunately, in the next three years, the situation in the country’s economy will not change for the better, so your existing and new potential customers will become more economical about their spending. Thus, by offering a loan or an installment plan for your services, you get an additional opportunity to retain and attract customers.
We analyzed the top 5 reasons to quit training in fitness clubs in 2020. Each of the focus group respondents could choose up to three reasons for refusal:
- 40%: too expensive / I can’t afford it;
- 30%: do not need fitness / do not attend;
- 20%: the move / location of the club became inconvenient;
- 19%: I can go to another place for free
- 17%: too many people, therefore uncomfortable.
As you see, 40% of the respondents answered going to a fitness club is “too expensive / I can’t afford it”. Big number.
We, as fitness operators, sincerely believe that a person really wants to choose a training club he or she really likes. Therefore, if you are not ready to give the client an installment plan for a club card, the minimum program that you should have is online lending. We usually recommend such clients to take out Connecticut payday loans since they are fast, easy to access, have affordable rates and can be obtained purely online. A person fills out a basic application online without any paperwork. Experience shows 93% of our clients have been accepted for a payday loan and received their funds as soon as the same day or the next day.
A loan is a great chance to attract and retain customers. Nowadays, many people find it more convenient to take out a loan than go to a cheaper fitness club they do not like at all.
So, loans help attract/retain customers, don’t they?
Based on the experience of our company, yes. By offering a loan or an installment plan to a client, we give the client a choice – to pay for the gym membership in a lump sum at a time or pay in small installments. Having an alternative is always a benefit.
If our client does not have the desire or ability to conclude an agreement with the lender but wants to pay monthly, he or she has another option – club installments. According to the terms of the club installment plan, a beginner makes an initial contribution + pays the cost of one month, then payment is made for each month separately. In this case, the cost per month for the client increases slightly. By overpaying a small amount, a club member gets the opportunity not to enter into a relationship with a credit institution. For some people, this is a significant advantage. Both loans and club installments are a great chance to attract and retain customers.
Would you advise introducing lending to other clubs?
An installment plan is a working tool, but a positive result from its use will be only if the club has earned the trust of the client. No discounts and installments will force a person to renew a gym membership if he or she does not like the level of service and the quality of services. The main thing that people want to get when they come to the fitness club is really nice offers for lending. And we give this confidence by referring them to our credible partners providing payday loans online. This is an additional tool to increase customer loyalty and show that we do care.
What are the pros and cons of payday loans?
- the ability to start training even at a time when there is no cash to pay for the services;
- expenses for a gym membership easily fit into the budget of the client (family);
- the amount of a payday loan is small, so you can easily repay it and build a positive credit history, which is very important for most people;
- you can repay the loan ahead of schedule at any convenient time and thereby win in price;
- fast processing, there is no need to do paperwork, you only provide basic personal information.
- you need to pay interest for using the loan, it’s individual for each borrower;
- it is necessary to remember about monthly payments to the lender in order to avoid delays and debt formation.
What risks do you see?
Risks for clients are minimal, as the bank always offers (at the discretion of the client, and this does not affect the decision to approve the loan) to take out insurance for disability. That is, if clients lose their jobs during the repayment of the loan, the insurance company will carry out their payments. In the event of force majeure, the contract can also be terminated on the usual terms of the club. For a club, there are no risks.