For the past few years most marketing and sales consultants in the fitness industry have advised independent personal trainers, studios and clubs to “SELL RESULTS… SELL RESULTS… SELL RESULTS!!!!”
Whether it’s weight-management or body-building, the “SELL RESULTS” mantra is pervasive. And, it’s re-enforced with images of skinny waists, bulging biceps, six-pack abs and sexy glutes!
Now… don’t get me wrong. I AGREE with selling results. Yes, I AGREE with it.
For most trainers, studios and clubs, RESULTS is what seals the deal… right?
But, selling RESULTS is only HALF of it.
Just selling RESULTS is like a ONE-NIGHT STAND…!
Here’s what I mean…
Exciting… and then, it’s over…
Not that I’ve ever had one, but, I’ve heard that a “one-night stand” is exciting. It’s way out of the ordinary with no guilt, no expectations, no commitment… no strings attached… just pure lust…! WOW!
On the other hand, a “one-night stand” is, well…, over pretty quickly. And, for most, that’s the desired outcome.
But, the truth is, we, as human beings are emotional creatures. We yearn for relationships. We want to be connected. On a primal level, we WANT to be LOVED.
Here’s how this relates to selling fitness.
I know you’re good…
If selling RESULTS is a big part of your sales process, and you’re as good as I know you are… then, here’s what happens:
- Prospective new clients fall under your spell and can visualize themselves being 30 pounds lighter.
- Just listening to you, they begin to feel “energized.”
- They are convinced they will develop a new positive mind-set along with renewed self-esteem and confidence..
- That life will be forever changed in a super-good way…. Hallelujah..!!! “Where do I sign?”
The deal is done and everyone is happy. Right?
That’s the “one night stand.”
But, unlike the traditional “one-nighter,” it’s NOT OVER. In fact, it’s just the beginning!
This is the part that really deserves your full attention
If you were selling a one-off product like a car or a computer… then, once the deal is done, it’s done (just like a one-night stand).
But, you’re in a service-based business. That means you now have a “relationship.”
If you’re dating or married, you already KNOW that RELATIONSHIPS require some effort. On both sides.
Before I go further:
Let me remind you of our business proposition…
We are asking people to PAY US MONEY to do something they inherently DON’T WANT TO DO — exercise and eat right.
Oh sure… they all WANT to be healthy and fit… but, would prefer us to simply “make-it-happen” with the wave of our magic wands.
So, right from the start, our relationships with clients are on tenuous grounds.
What the top professionals know…
Here’s the absolute GOLDEN NUGGET OF TRUTH that all successful service-based professionals know (in all businesses) and why they are so INCREDIBLY SUCCESSFUL. I hope I am describing you…
Top service professionals ie; coaches, consultants, trainers, etc., know that RELATIONSHIPS require more than technique and guidance.
What do I mean by this?
You probably know or have seen a trainer or coach who is more of a technical clinician. He or she is highly qualified and proficient, yet totally “disconnected” from the client.
This lack of connection leaves the client feeling like the trainer doesn’t really care and typically results in a doomed relationship.
Whereas top professionals understand the IMPORTANCE of CONNECTION between themselves and their clients. It is an unspoken, but, very real bond.
Perhaps at one point in your life, you had a coach or teacher who took you under his or her wing and mentored you.
- Do you remember how that connection felt?
- Do you remember your level of motivation?
- Do you remember how well you performed?
What the top professionals do…
So, how do the best in the business build relationships?
Over 25 years I’ve interviewed and spoken with hundreds of top performers who all agree on this. The most successful and profitable health professionals do just TWO (2) THINGS that elevate their businesses way above their competitors.
Here’s what they told me:
Relationships: Rule #1:
For starters, LISTEN:
But, not just passively listen. Be an ACTIVE LISTENER who not only hears what the client is saying, but what messages are being conveyed beyond the words.
- Is the client an optimist — or is the glass half empty?
- A control freak or more of a passive follower?
- Motivated to be with you or instructed by a doctor, work, etc?
You also can probe with open-ended questions about their jobs, families, goals, etc. that allow the client to reveal more about themselves. For example, consider the difference between these two questions:
- Is your job stressful? (closed)
- Tell me about your job? (open-ended)
And, then, LISTEN.
Relationships: Rule #2:
INCENTIVIZE, RECOGNIZE AND VALIDATE:
This point can not be stressed enough. As career health and fitness professionals we are in this business because WE LOVE IT.
But, that’s NOT the case for most people. Instead, they typically view it as a necessary evil. A chore.
As stated earlier, eating right and exercising are things most people inherently DON’T WANT TO DO. That’s why they hire us.
Because of this, incentives, rewards, motivation, recognition and validation are key to building RELATIONSHIPS.
THEY DON’T NEED TO BE EXPENSIVE:
As a mentor once told me, people are not nearly as motivated by money as they are by recognition. It’s true!
I think this true story really illustrates the power of “recognition incentives.”
Mary Ann Quigley is an ONBOARD 101 Educator.
For several months she struggled with getting her clients to actually take the time to go through the ONBOARD 101… even though they’d paid for it! It was FRUSTRATING.
Then recently, she shared this with me.
Mary Ann figured if Onboard-101 is like school, then she’d treat her clients like students… just like grade school kids.
She went and bought poster board and put all her ONBOARD 101 students names on it. Then, she drew a grid with all the Chapters 1-12 of ONBOARD 101. She hung the poster on a middle wall where it was easily viewed. You couldn’t miss it.
Then, she went and bought a package of Gold Foil Star Stickers and placed one on each chapter that each student had passed.
The results were AMAZING! The ladies wanted their GOLD STARS. They started to compete for them! It became a “buzz” and the WMU-101 Chart was very first thing they checked when they entered the studio.
The Poster Board and Gold Foil Stars were purchased for under $20.
Mary Ann is using similar “recognition incentives” with her other programs and achieving the same fantastic results.
The day after…
So, in the end, as good as it feels to sell RESULTS… like a “one-night stand” — just know the NEXT DAY, you’re in a RELATIONSHIP!
And, if you’re good, it will be LONG-TERM and LUCRATIVE!