The Secret to Increasing Average Price per Member

January 9, 2018

With all good secrets, there’s a story. This story starts with how did we get here, how did the average price of a membership get so low? The introduction of the low-price high-volume business model created an immediate short-term surge for the industry. The attractiveness of the low-price offering was designed to bring in the untapped masses of the unfit population. If we could just get to the 90% of people who don’t exercise with this low-price offering, there would be plenty of revenue to offset the decrease in average price per member, right?

For a lot of operators this business model worked for a few years; but, with the volume decreasing and the low average price per member, the margins have become extremely tight or nonexistent.

The dilemma of deciding how to increase the average price per member looked to have one solution – sell them personal training. So, your member base that came in for low price offerings is now your target market for selling EFT personal training. But, what we failed to see was that all the high-ticket members had slipped out the back door for boutique studio training while we were packing our gyms with low-price members. The reality was, finding a low-price member willing to pay for EFT personal training was like trying to find a needle in a haystack – there were just not enough needles.

A new offering had to be created, something appealing to the masses that was low-priced, offered core competency (fitness results) and had a cost-effective delivery method.

The solution, the secret, the answer – TEAM TRAINING. What a revolutionary concept! Get an instructor and a group of people together to exercise. Oh, wait, we’ve already been doing that for 30 years; we’ve been running group classes in our gym forever, and we’re good at it. But the concept of using a personal trainer to run a class that combines cardio fitness, resistance training, and stretching – now that’s out-of-the-box thinking.

Operators who were leading the charge on running this play of Team Training from the fitness side had some challenges, including changing the mindset of personal trainers from one-on-one to group training, coming up with the programming, and designing the floor space in their gym. But, these challenges were nothing in comparison to the uphill battle of convincing the $9.95 member that they needed to pay for fitness.

“Group training has always been free. If I just walk around the gym and use these weights, I’m going to get fit – that’s what you told me when I bought this membership.” Overcoming this mindset of members and prospects appeared to be too big a hill to climb.

Club owners started moaning, “I’m going to have to change my marketing message from just advertising my prices to now selling results and fitness. I’m going to have to change my entire sales process from just order-taking to selling fitness at the point-of-sale. I’m going to have to change my whole pricing structure. And, more importantly, I’m going to have to use my sales staff to educate customers on why spending more on

fitness is beneficial to their life. Maybe I should open a Subway.”

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As with all seismic shifts in any industry, there are always a few brave souls who forge on and create a new way; thus, team training was born – a complete program from fitness to sales.

And now you know the full story. So, what’s the secret? How do I increase my average price per member?

Team Training. But, how do I move my clubs to this business model? How do I know it’s proven? How can I avoid the mistakes of rolling out a new program? The answer – Partners. Partners who have been there before, who have a proven track record, and who can help accelerate your speed to revenue.

Start by calling your VFP representative. They will put you in touch with the right people to help you roll out the right compensation plans, floor plans, and fitness programming. And, of course, VFP can handle the sales system. It all starts with a conversation.

Contact your VFP sales rep today at VFP.US.