We’ve created this guide to help you in every sales meeting from here on out. This is for you the person who’s not a not a natural born salesperson. Luckily for you we can now base selling on science principles over charismatic genetics...well mostly...I’ve tested these techniques and 10 times out of 9 they’ve proven successful. The best part?? My sales increased, I got better clients and they ended up being longer-term clients as well. The secret? I stopped selling, I stopped pitching, never pressured anyone, and I started asking questions and actually listening.
Your goal is to create so much value by asking quality questions that they are ready to buy before you even tell them about the product. I’m going to break down some principles that will put the ball in your court and help you sell more memberships.
Here are some principles with some actual action items that you can implement now that will make a world of difference in your business and your bottom line. Some of these are based upon the principles of persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini.
Principles Of Persuasion
- Reciprocity -When you offer something first, people will feel a sense of indebtedness, which will make them more likely to comply with your subsequent requests. We’re deeply wired to be reciprocal. Example: You treat a friend to lunch and a few weeks later you go out and they offer to pay. Most of us have felt this or been part in this but maybe didn’t notice it. Action Item: Find some small give when a new person comes in for an appointment (bottle of water, kill cliff, energy bar) whatever it may be. By giving them something they’ll feel the need to give something back, or at least listen more intently. Tip: Don’t be cheap! What does an energy bar cost? Let’s say $3 you’re investing $3 into a potential customer that could potentially be worth thousands during their lifetime as a client.
- Scarcity- We typically assume that things that are difficult to obtain are usually better than those that are easily available. We associate availability to quality, look at Lamborghini and Ferrari. How about the local doughnut shop that only makes a limited amount every day and always has a line outside eagerly waiting to buy. Action Item: When talking to people about your promotion let them know that there’s a limited number of spots you’re looking to fill. If you present it as come one come all, everyone gets in, it stops being special. Most gyms can only have 8-15 people per class time. If a prospect member wants to come at 6 pm and you’ve only got space for 3 more, make sure you really highlight that! Let them know you’ve got a lot of interviews this week and that space is limited. In the long run, this will help people make decisions faster and save you the headache of trying to track them down.
- Liking - We tend to say yes to people we like and trust! This is one of the most important in my mind and one of the most overlooked principles. Example: Building rapport is easier said than done I know. Trying to find common ground is not the only way to be liked and or trusted. Tips: Pay attention to what car they pull up in, what shoes they are wearing, if they have a keychain with their kids picture on it. Showing genuine interest in a person can really increase their ability to instantly connect with you. You can typically find common ground before even speaking to each other if you keep an eye out. Check out this article on 10 easy ways to build instant rapport. https://theweek.com/articles/460974/10-easy-ways-build-quick-rapport-anyone
- Commitment/Consistency - Experiments have shown that if a person performs even a trivial favor for someone, she is far more likely to perform a bigger one later. In online terms, this trivial favor could be a Facebook “like” or completing a one-question survey, people want to be consistent. Example: If they make a voluntary public commitment, like saying they’re going to lose weight or commit to a 6-week challenge, they’re more likely to follow through. Action Item: Ask the person to put a monetary deposit to hold their spot along with a signature stating they’ve committed to the program. This is a smaller commitment and will dramatically increase signup rates.
- Social Proof - This one is pretty self-explanatory. We trust the power of the crowd and like to be associated with popular things. Action Item: Get on Google, Facebook, Yelp wherever you have good reviews from your customers. Take a screenshot and send it to the potential clients via email or text. You can say something like “here’s what our members are saying”. If you don’t have online reviews then call up 4 or 5 of your best clients and just ask them to write you one real quick. Or put out a post on social media that says “I’ll do 10 burpees for every review I get on my Facebook page, or 1 free protein bar for every confirmed review”. This will be a great way to get reviews.
- Authority - This one is simple. We follow people who look like they know what they’re doing. Let them know a small background on why you’re the expert and can help change their life. Action Item: Make sure that any of your degrees, certifications, courses are hanging on the wall framed. Notice when you walk into a doctor's office, or any medical office you’ll see accreditation from the medical professional on the wall.
TIP: Comfortability - It’s always hard for someone to get out of their routine and sign up to change their life. We need to do everything in our power to help them feel comfortable once getting to your gym. Action Item: Have an area set aside with seats already put out and a table. Have the coach waiting and ready to greet each person as they walk in. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than walking into a gym with the music blasting and having to ask some beefy guy doing power cleans where the coach is...Most people will just leave and you’ll assume it’s a no-show.
The Needs Audit
This next part is something you can print out and have on a clipboard when talking with these people. Remember when I said you’ll sell more if you just stop selling? This is what I’m referring to. This is the ASK questions section. In most situations when you ask open-ended questions they will recognize that you truly care, end up trusting you, and saying yes more often than not.
Here we are looking to find what their current status is, why they’re not happy with it, their vision (goal) and how you’re going to be the catalyst/bridge to get them there.
Status quo - You’re trying to extract everything you can about their current status and create a gap to their vision.
- Where are you right now?
- Why are you here? What motivated you to drive over here?
- Tell me why you want to change?
- Do you have any injuries?
- How often do you exercise now?
- What support system do you have?
- Why now?
- What programs have you done in the past?
- What worked for you in those programs?
- What didn’t work?
Vision - You’re getting them to get clear on their goals and how you’re going to help them get there.
- Where do you want to be in 1 month, 3 months, 6 Months, 1 Year? (Really expand here and get clear with them)
- What is your number 1 goal? Short & long term
- What is your secondary goal? Short & long term
- What would it do for you if you were at your desired weight?
- How would you feel if you were already at your goal?
- How often would you like to work out?
Once you ask all of your status quo questions, follow it up with their vision. If you follow this you'll see your sales increase, you'll develop better relationships, drive in more referrals, and have longer-lasting clients that will help you build your business. Develop a friendship...