The mindset of the customer has changed and as a result, many are halting ancillary spending. Fewer leads means you need to increase the quality of the presentation for higher closing percentages. Customers are finding more ways to cut back. For example, phone bills, cable packages and gas are all items people are more aware of and looking to cut back on. In the current economy, being media driven, people are looking for deals (80 percent off in retail stores). However, as Casey Conrad, a health club sales trainer, discusses on her website HealthClubSalesTraining.com, “in the health club business it should be the perception of a deal through value — not discounting price.” People are having mental shifts in their spending even if they have not been affected. They are researching more before they commit to buy, which means the sales process is now a weeklong process instead of a 30-minute process. More than ever, people want to do business with people they know and trust. Here are five ideas to help with the new mindset of the customer.
Eliminate the Barriers to Entry
- Have a program-based membership.
- Have a short-term membership and/or PAG.
- Give away more 7 and 14-day passes.
- Pre-frame the customer — “I’m not interested in selling you a membership, rather I’d like to help you get started in enjoying the benefits of exercise…”
- Remove the sales pressure from the sales process, become more discussion oriented.
- Come up with a plan of action for their results — joining is NOT a plan of action. During the presentation you get to diagnose and discuss a specific plan to get results. Joining is a great start.
- Consultative selling, not the typical “Disney Tour.”
- Discuss their plan of action for results on the tour.
- Perception is sales people are pushy — don’t push people into buying, pull them into fitness.
- Fitness Factoids — you must be able to offer an encyclopedia of information, facts and benefits of exercise at will during the presentation and tour. Become a fitness expert. Get a copy of “Healing Power of Exercise” for great factoids of fitness.
- Six most common objections — Think about it, money, time, spouse, shop around and commitment.
- If you present correctly through connecting and building rapport with the guest, then you should never get the commitment objection. This is where you have the greatest opportunity to build value.
- All objections are value based, which really means money.
- Pre-frame price during tour or PFC if you want to build value. After discussing the benefits of exercise and their commitment, “How do you feel about achieving all this for less than $1.75 a day?”
Six Steps to Overcome Objections
- Be quiet and listen completely.
- Align using feel/felt/found statements.
- Question nicely.
- Isolate the objection.
- Find a solution.
- Close again.
Shawn Stewart is the Operations Manager at Gainesville Health and Fitness Center. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org