Are you wondering why prospects aren’t showing for appointments more often and why it is becoming more difficult to close? The reason is quite simple, the best way to explain this is, go back in time and recall what some of the most successful Clubs and salespeople were doing many many years ago.
I can remember when I first started in the very early days of the fitness industry in Australia, when the concept of a Health Club was new and the people who opened, owned and worked in these Clubs were fitness and training fanatics who walked their talk and were passionate about the way they trained and what they ate. Back then, training techniques were quite straightforward some may call them simple, and because of their simplicity, many of them worked. Training at a Club was usually fun; many members achieved results, which made the Health Club more than a place to train it was a meeting place too and a place to make friends.
There was usually a very hands on culture with the Owners, Managers, Sales People, as most of the successful ones were training regularly, looked the part and knew their stuff and knew how to train and eat well. During the sales process the Owners, Managers, Sales People shared what they did in their training and what worked for them and this gave the prospective member HOPE that they might achieve the same and it was INSPIRING. Sure they needed to build some rapport and sure they needed to find their compelling reason to buy and of course, they needed to know how to ask for the sale and close BUT selling was easy then. This was because the Owners, Managers, Sales People or Trainer were INSPIRING and gave the prospective Member/Client HOPE because they know what they are talking about and they were perceived as a ‘Hands on Expert’ and the prospect WANTED to buy, there was no need to use a big offer or to drop your price, as people wanted to buy from someone they trusted and believed was telling the truth and back it up by saying “this is what I do/eat” or “I know what you have to do because I have helped others achieve that result too”.
The secret ingredient back then was, the person selling wasn’t selling – They were sharing their knowledge and were excited about helping someone else and they used to tell the prospect what they did in their training and what others did, but it was a TEACHING not a generic telling that they will get a result. They told them What they could do HOW to do it, they explained some ways to train that the prospect didn’t know about and they truly believed that the prospective Member/Client could possibly start to see improvement too. This inspired people to buy who were grateful and glad they met with an expert, someone who knew what they were talking about, not just a salesperson who spoke generically who was uneducated on training and nutrition and relied on using an offer and call to action to close.
The question you must ask yourself now is, do your salespeople know your product well enough? Can they educate/teach a prospective Member/Client about new exciting ways to achieve their results and to inspire? Do they know what people need to do to get certain results and how your Club/Studio team will provide that solution? Do they know some easy to do Nutrition ideas that someone could be told about that would be benefiting them even if they didn’t join? If they can and do this, then they are probably having some great success.
If they aren’t here are some ideas and tips you can use:
- Firstly, I suggest you look at who you are recruiting for sales and start employing people that have some training (exercising in a Club/Studio) experience and are willing and excited about continuing to learn new ways to train and actively workout themselves.
- Ensure that everyone that sells can teach prospects things they wouldn’t know – This process in called INKing – I Never Knew that material.
- The best way to be able to use INKing is to create Teach Sheets that the salesperson/personal trainer can use when they are on the phone and during the sale face to face to inspire. Example: Types of Training and Facts about: Weight Loss, Building, Toning, Stretching, Toning etc. Also Facts & Myths about Weight Loss, Building, Nutrition. This works very well!
- Always be up to date about how they get the best possible results safely – This can also create USP’s (Unique Selling Points) for your Club/Studio and it will inspire people.
- When you are touring and or explaining ensure you prove what you taught them earlier is true, this is called Proofing. To do this well you need Proof Tools, examples and ways you can show, tell or have the prospect do that will ensure they continue to be inspired and believe what is taught to them is true. This helps to make closing easy, as this is really the close.
Please remember, you can’t make someone like you, love you or make him or her buy from you, people need to see value, trust you and believe you so they can sell and close themselves. People are inspired by experts that believe what they believe and can prove what they say is true.
We have almost come full circle. The Fitness Industry has become a very competitive market place and to be successful you must make the most of every opportunity. If you want to make more sales and not have to rely on big offers and dropping your prices, ensure that when someone calls or you contact them, you or your salespeople know your product well and can teach a little and inspire people to want to come to the Club/Studio meet so you or your salesperson can reinforce what was said on the phone during the chat. By being genuine and able to prove what was said on the phone you become someone that is inspiring because you will be the expert the prospect has been looking for. The prospective Member/Client will buy easily because they feel comfortable and inspired by you or the salesperson.
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