7 Sales Tips for the gym owner
So you have accepted you’re in sales…
And hopefully you have embraced the idea of sales.
If you haven’t, maybe this definition of sales will help:
Sales is an organic conversation between two people to get to the bottom of something. In our case, to see if you have a solution to their problem.
Thinking about it this way often helps takes the pressure off the process. It takes the sales out of sales and just lets you be you: A genuine, authentic business owner who wants to help the right people get more fit.
What that being said, the reality is you DO need to make sales for your business to prosper. Alas, here are 7 sales tips—learned from MadLab sales guru Greg Mack, a larger than life character—the type of person you just want to be around—who happens to understand people well. That’s what makes him a great salesman, of course.
7. Stop selling, start interviewing
This means asking questions, questions and more questions about the prospect, as opposed to providing them stock information about what you do.
Mack adds: “If a suspect emails you for info, your primary goal is to get them on the phone. Have a few back and forth’s via email to check their interest in engaging you and then invite them to a phone consultation. I say it like this: “I appreciate the convenience of email, (but) does it make sense to speak by phone as this will speed up the process of figuring out if what we do fits your needs?”
Once you have them on the phone, try to get them in to the gym and from there the real interview begins to uncover their back story (i.e. their pain) to see if you have a solution to their problem/pain.
6. Get their back story before you reveal the cost
“Value is not just in an objective number. By definition, the value is the subjective sense of worth of something. The subjective sense of worth? What does this mean? I believe it is referring to the emotions surrounding a decision. In the suspect/prospect interview, the emotional connection to the decision needs to be revealed (if it’s even there). Get into the suspect/prospect back story and find out the real emotional need driving the decision. They have to say it or express out loud today in the interview. Only after uncovering the emotional connection do you then attach your numbers to what you offer. Not the other way around. Establish real value – stop being a commodity.” – Greg Mack
5. Understand you’re not selling a workout
A prospect isn’t there to buy a workout. He/she is there to see if you have a solution to their problem. The moment you realize you’re not selling a workout, or even a gym membership—be it personal training or a group class—is the moment you’ll become a great salesperson.
4. Don’t force a connection
This is true mentally and emotionally and also physically. Some of us like to get friendly, but tread carefully with the physical touch especially, Mack explained.
“When you meet a prospect face-to-face for the first time be careful about how physically interactive you are with them (e.g. hand shakes, hugs, pats on the back, etc). Some people don’t like to be touched. Especially by strangers. Let them initiate any physical interaction and then you respond. This is their way of letting you know it’s okay – or not.” -Mack
3. Get some sales training to help you develop a trusted system for your sales process
“Why do you need a sales system at all? Why can’t you just tell folks what you do? They see the value, and then just give you money? All good right? Wrong. A sales transaction, where money or some other thing of value is being traded off for something else, is a psycho-emotional decision-making event – for both you and the suspect/prospect. Maybe you have noticed that money is an emotional subject. In my experience, I have never seen anything ruin relationships faster than disagreements about money. And the flip-side where money can make someone jump around for joy! A system helps you and the suspect/prospect explore the psycho-emotional and logical process for making a decision. This can take a bit of time. Suspects/prospects often have distrust of the sales transaction process. Earning a modicum of trust with a complete stranger in order to overcome that distrust in a short period of time requires some intra and interpersonal communication skills. A system may prevent the sales transaction from breaking down and going off in irrational directions where neither party wins. Get and use a system.” – Mack
2. Avoid mutual mystification
“This means that we need to ensure that both you and the suspect/prospect knows exactly what the next meeting will be about and what the decision at the end will be based on.” -Mack
He recommends telling the prospect the goal of the interview (in-person interview) is to get a yes or a no answer by the end. This is the best way to avoid spending an hour with the person only to hear, “Let me think about it and get back to you.” That’s a heart-sinking moment all gym owners could do without!
So, be CLEAR that at the end of the introductory session/interview, the prospect is either going to sign up and pay for your service or he/she/you has decided you’re not the right fit for each other.
1. Know when you stop selling/interviewing
Mack’s words: “When you are presenting your stuff to a prospect and they indicate that they want to go ahead and get started, stop, shut up, and let them get started. Don’t keep talking.”