How to Sell With Bonuses

Unrecognizable woman holding beige present bag in hand and making thumbs-up gesture.

Do you want to know the top reason gym owners offer discounts?


But there are a dozen or more reasons why slashing prices is actually bad marketing.

Yes, a limited-time offer can motivate a teetering lead to sign up in your sales office. The problem: A discount is worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and a free water bottle might be enough to close the sale.

For example, if you charge $150 per month, you offer 20 percent off to police, and your average client stays for 1.5 years, that’s a gift worth $540 to every cop in your gym.

Could you afford to pay $540 to recruit every new client?

Could you afford to donate $540 to a local police officer right now? How about every cop who walks into your gym?

Most of us don’t run the numbers. We try to solve a short-term problem (how to get them to sign up) but create a long-term problem in the process (not enough cash, unequal pricing).

So how can we push prospective clients to buy without creating problems?

With bonuses.

Bonuses That Don’t Break the Bank

Just a bit of added value trumps a reduced price.

Consider these options:

1. “If you register for our on-ramp before Thanksgiving, I’ll give you our Holiday Meal Planner guide for free. It’s usually $75, but I think it’s really going to help you.”

2. “Nutrition coaching is probably your ideal starting point, but I want to help you build an exercise routine while we dial in your nutrition. If you’re up for it, I’ll give you a four-week walking plan if you’re ready to start today. What do you think?”

3. “Tell you what: I was going to say, ‘Let’s start after Thanksgiving,’ but that story you told me really hits home. Why don’t we bring your partner in for a 2:1 personal-training session next week? It’s usually $105, but it’s on me because I think that will help keep you on track. How’s that sound?”

Remember, the bonus you give must be valuable to the client. It doesn’t have to be costly for the business or take a lot of effort to deliver.

Real-World Example

My favorite “bonus”: I was doing a No Sweat Intro with an undercover cop. He spent a lot of time sitting in trucks, waiting for something to happen.

I gave him a prescription as I do in every No Sweat Intro, but then I asked, “How do you keep from getting bored all the time?”

He said, “It’s a challenge. I listen to audiobooks.”

I whipped out my catalogue and showed him some of my favorite audiobooks. We spotted three that I thought he’d love.

“I’m going to send you these three audiobooks—it’s on me,” I said.

“Um … what?”

“I’ll ask you what you think about the books at our PT sessions. OK?”

“You’re giving me homework?” he asked with a laugh.

“Yes, I’m serious,” I said.

“OK, sign me up,” he said. “This was great. Before I came in, I was worried this was going to be some kind of sales pitch or something!”

The undercover cop signed up for our $400-per-month premium service—and then he signed up his wife and son, too.

Consider Value

Bonuses can help you close a person who’s on the fence. But you don’t need to hurt your business long term by giving a discount that costs you money every single month.

What asset has value to the prospective client right now but can be given away by the gym without long-term cost? Think about free guides, templates, planners or even courses or seminars.

Do not offer a month of free classes—that’s too valuable.

Offer just enough value to motivate prospective clients, then focus on coaching them to accomplish their goals fast.


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.