Sales is the process of building relationships and influencing prospects to the point of mutual agreement and benefit. It’s the opportunity that puts the consumer within reach of the service or product that they desire. Over time, however, sales has developed a bad reputation. This is partially because customers have been presented with something they did not want at an inopportune time. Now, many people view selling as an undesirable and difficult task. As a result, they approach it with apprehension and the anticipation of being rejected. Help your team overcome this negative association with training that renews their perspective.
The Big Picture
Why are we in the fitness, health and wellness business? Every day, we have the opportunity to change people’s lives for the better. Reflect this focus in your mission statement; it will help your staff realize the ultimate purpose when signing up a new member.
Following a positive sales track begins with clearly stating your purpose. You want your purpose to be truthful, simple and more than just the same ideas that are commonly spoken in the industry. Every team member should be unified by a single determination and digest it daily. The purpose should come from the heart and be far more meaningful than an elevator speech. Without a purpose, you will not have a foundation; without a foundation, you will fail.
Nothing in Life Is Free
Imagine pulling into a local fast food restaurant and placing your order, and then hearing, “I know this might be expensive, but your order comes to sixteen dollars and twelve cents.” When your staff has a problem with the created price list, they may seem apologetic when discussing costs with a potential member. Address this issue by clearly explaining how sales and marketing work.
Your members and prospects are constantly bombarded with advertisements to influence their lives on almost every level — what to eat, what to take to relieve their pain, what to wear, what gym to join — the list goes on and on. This constant persuasion is used to motivate consumer buying, and it works. By the time a prospective member enters your facility, the preliminary marketing work has already occurred. What he or she wants to know is whether your service meets his or her expectations and the cost — proving that you have a sellable service. During the sign-up process, your staff is simply providing the price for the opportunity to change that individual’s life.
It is also equally important to be considerate of the fees you set. Equipping your staff with a price list that offers a range of affordable costs and easy payment options will help money discussions flow much easier between your staff and the prospective client.
Beyond the Numbers
Believing in your service is close to 80 percent of your sales success; persuading the customer is only about 20 percent. And, while your employees may verbally communicate their confidence in your program, their body language may be saying the exact opposite. Teach those who sign up new members how to avoid deal-killing body language. Poor eye contact, turning his or her palms upwards as they speak, tilting his or her head, poor posture and biting their lips are all negative gestures. Although they may very well be subconscious body movements that have nothing to do with the sign-up process, the client will interpret them as indicators of a bad proposition. Your staff’s body language should convey that a membership with your facility is a true and long-term solution to their fitness wants and needs; the beginning of a fulfilling journey towards permanent life change.
Also, provide team members with training that gives tips on how to quickly relax before discussing a customer agreement. Introduce them to positive thinking exercises. It is crucial that your staff mentally embraces the idea of your facility existing to change lives. Once they do, the growth of your business will flourish.
Terrell McTyer is the marketing monster of Affiliated Acceptance Corporation. He can be contacted at 573.374.9970, or by e-mail at Terrell.McTyer@Affiliated.org.