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So you’re looking to get healthy and sign up with a gym as a new member. Everything looks great until you start to learn about the complex terms, lengthy contract agreements and large number of programs and offerings each gym requires you to select from. So what seemed like a straightforward decision before has quickly turned into a detailed, complex matter!
Not to worry though! The following article has been designed to provide you with specific actionable steps you can take to guide you through the process and get you a great deal on your membership at the same time:
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Find Your Match
When selecting a gym to sign on with, it’s always good to begin by doing a little research into the various options in your area, their relative offerings in regards to facilities, classes, and instructors, as well as price and membership packages. This not only prepares you well for negotiating a good price on your membership, it also has an added benefit of helping you determine your top choices for what you’re looking for in a gym. In addition, if you find competing gyms with different price models, you can often ask the gym you are most interested in for a price match to obtain the benefit of the lower price offering.
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Time It Right
The best time to purchase a gym membership is off-season and at the end of the month. For many gyms, the peak period for signing up the majority of clients is during the winter months or at the beginning of the year (when people are still committed to their New Year’s resolutions!). For this reason, membership directors aren’t concerned about cutting you a good deal on a membership because they have plenty of other customers to service and satisfy. This becomes a very different story in the summer months when most people opt to exercise outdoors or take time off to vacation with their families. That being said, the summer months are the best time to sign on for a membership as directors are looking for new clients to increase demand during their slower period.
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When you begin a negotiation, always ask for a little more than you really want. Anchor your objective so that if they state the first offer, you state your price at an equal distance from their figure and the price you actually want. For example, if the maximum price you are willing to pay for a membership is $40/month, and the figure they provide is $50, your initial offer should be $30. In this way, you set your desired price as your midpoint leaving you plenty of room to negotiate a good deal!
Another common yet very effective negotiation strategy is to be a reluctant buyer. Meet with the gym’s membership director in person, clearly state your objectives and budget and be prepared to walk away if necessary. In most circumstances, they will have difficulty watching you walk away from the deal and will likely try to find a way to meet most if not all of your requirements.
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Many employers and workplaces offer their employees fully subsidized or partially discounted memberships to fitness facilities and health clubs so you can take advantage of this offering and cover the cost of your gym membership with this benefit. If your employer does not currently offer this benefit, speak with them about the benefits of starting a program like this and be sure to highlight all the other employees interested in this benefit as well! Garnering support from co-workers can really help your cause!