Are your sales and marketing strategies just plain OLD and STALE..?
Do you feel like no matter what you do… it’s not very effective at converting prospects into clients?
Let me ask you this question:
How often have you heard the phrase, “Always be Selling” — or, “Always be Closing”..?
It’s NOT new. That “sales mantra” is older than your parents!
Yet, this phrase is constantly preached by fitness sales and marketing experts — even to this day!
Unfortunately, those outdated, legacy sales techniques don’t translate well in today’s modern markets.
It’s particularly true these days since everyone already knows we’re all in “pitch” mode 24/7. I mean it’s non-stop. Right?
So, what to do? And, how to still have success?
Well, for starters… stop “pitching.”
That’s right. Stop the non-stop “always be closing” efforts and switch to something more tangible, usable and effective:
It’s not new… but, EDUCATION and SERVICE (before the sale) are more powerful and effective than almost any other sales technique in closing new clients.
In my 40+ years of marketing, I’ve witnessed this tactic as an absolute winner time after time.
This powerful combo beats almost every sales tactic I’ve ever seen. Especially NOW!
SEE THIS TACTIC IN ACTION WITH HONDA…
In Southern California, the Honda Dealers Association created a super successful marketing campaign called “Random Acts of Helpfulness.”
In this campaign they give away everything from free gas to hot dogs!
They even purchased new uniforms for a middle school soccer team.
And, they used real people with real expressions of surprise and joy!
That’s an example of SERVICE to the community. It has nothing to do with selling cars. But the message is clear. Honda gives back to the community.
It’s definitely SERVICE before the sale.
BIG PHARMA TOO…
And then, there are all the pharmaceutical commercials on television.
These are specifically geared to EDUCATE consumers about various solutions to chronic conditions.
Big pharma commercials bypass the medical professional community and speak directly to consumers via all kinds of “problem-solution” educational scenarios.
The ultimate goal is to motivate consumers to ask their doctors for a prescription of their drugs. They are literally creating consumer demand for their products.
Personally I think the ethics are questionable… but, I totally understand the marketing. And, it works.
SUPER CONDENSED FITNESS VERSION…
Even our Weight-Management & Lifestyle Seminar Kit is designed to EDUCATE the prospects first. It explains exactly why restricted calorie dieting does NOT work.
Then, proceeds to advocate for proper nutrition, productive exercise and positive mindset for long term weight-management and healthy living.
Yes, of course, the goal is to sell programming immediately after the seminar.
But, the seminar delivers an unbiased, truthful EDUCATION first.
Even non-purchasers walk away with tremendous value received.
And, the presenter has totally positioned himself/herself as an expert and authority on the subject.
HOW EDUCATION AND SERVICE WILL “CLOSE” POTENTIAL CLIENTS
Here is the 3-Step Process that demonstrates how EDUCATION and SERVICE will elevate you above your competitors as well as help you close sales and gain new clients.
DEFINE the EVALUATION CRITERIA
When it comes to choosing a fitness club, studio or trainer… one of the biggest challenges most prospects face is knowing HOW to THINK about their numerous options.
They know that clubs, studios and trainers are NOT equal. But, non-experts don’t really know enough to determine a realistic evaluation of the alternatives (beyond price).
So, here’ an immediate SERVICE you can provide.
Offer your new prospects with an unbiased definition to our industry options and what they can expect.
- Differences between personal training and group training
- Different exercise protocol and programming and their effects
- Various certifications and specialties and what they mean, etc.
The more you can help define the criteria by which a prospect can evaluate his or her options, the more you are creating a “good feeling” and confidence in your expertise.
Do you see how this education and service before the sale is positioning YOU as an expert and authority?
HOW TO HELP PROSPECTS EVALUATE THEIR OPTIONS
Of course, people might be suspicious when you present clarification to their options. It’s only natural that they might think you’ll ignore options that aren’t your own.
So, be sure to provide information on options you don’t even offer. As you present ALL the alternatives that make sense the more your prospects will begin to trust you.
And, the more you explain ALL the alternatives that relate to them — the greater the trust and belief in your role as an authority and expert.
Plus, since you don’t display the bias they presumed, your prospects are relieved and more inclined to listen to your expertise.
EDUCATING PROSPECTS IS SUPER SMART MARKETING!
I know this sounds silly and basic. But one thing I hear from sales people in all professions is this:
“If the prospect was better educated, I would have closed the deal!”
While it may sound like a lame excuse. It’s not.
The job of MARKETING is to create a “pre-sell” environment for SALES.
Focusing on education has the natural consequence of a better educated prospect.
Here’s how that will benefit YOU:
- An educated prospect will place VALUE on your certifications, qualifications and experience.
- An educated prospect will immediately DISQUALIFY non-certified, unqualified wannabe trainers and coaches.
- An educated prospect will have a better idea of what kind of PROGRAMMING is available and what is most applicable to his or her current condition, time availability and goals.
- An educated prospect will already know and UNDERSTAND that nutrition is part of the plan for long-term health. Thus, an immediate up-sell.
- An educated prospect will possess the knowledge to place QUALITY and VALUE as higher priority over price and convenience.
Here are just a few actions that our most successful fitness partners do to consistently convert prospects into loyal, long-term clients. Hopefully, you’ll find a few good ideas to get your creative gears turning:
- LIST: Create a one-sheet list of fitness certifications like ACE, NASM, NSCA, ACSM, ISSA, etc. De-Code the acronym and provide a brief one or two sentence description. You can pull the verbiage right off their websites. Of course, you’d want to list YOUR certification at the top of the list! This list can handed out to a prospect during a visit, posted on your website and re-purposed as a blog post.
- ARTICLE: Create an article similar to this: 10 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Fitness Professional – This article can be handed out to a prospect during a visit, posted on your website and re-purposed as a blog post as well as a social media “lead magnet.” There is no shortage of topics that can be converted into articles, handouts for your prospects.
- SEMINARS / PUBLIC SPEAKING: I’ve harped on this for 30 years so I won’t dwell. Live event seminars and public speaking was, is and will always be the #1 way to educate and convert new prospects into clients. Period. For more info just CLICK HERE…
- AUTOMATED COURSE: I’m not a huge fan of giving away your services. Nonetheless, there are several Onboard 101 Admin/Educators who use the Onboard 101 platform to attract and engage new prospects and convert them into paying clients. In fact, one admin gave the course to an entire town and generated over 2,000 leads! (full story).
Obviously, these tactics require some work.
And, even though the fitness business is “sales driven” I promise you the Education and Service (before the sale) tactics will be some of the most powerful and effective conversion tactics for your fitness business — ever.
You just need to decide if you’re willing to commit to it!