Posted by Karen Bryan on 15 December, 2016
In part two of the fitness business podcast series ‘Get your Fitness Business Ready for 2017’, we spoke with Tom Gannon of Fitpro Business Solutions to bring you the best tips when it comes to breaking through the sales barrier.
Get your sales process right and start hitting your sales targets in 2017!
Let's start by drawing the parallel to a newbie coming into your gym. They’ve never trained formally before, they’re not used to structure, they’ve never experienced progression. You can guess why.
What would happen if they started training three times a week, for 26 weeks? If they put in the work inside the gym and out, they’d be on a whole other level, right? It’s the exact same for trainers and fitness business owners who are trying to sell.
When you put in the work, develop a sales process and actually follow it - your sales could jump from stagnant to soaring in no time. Think about it, learning to sell could be the best way to drive your business forward. It’s all about turning that enquiry into a paying client.
STEP 1: PINPOINT YOUR WEAKNESSES
Before you start developing your sales strategy, you need to get a handle on where you currently are. How many leads are coming through the door? How many of these leads do you convert to members? From here, you can pinpoint exactly where your weaknesses lie.
If you’re receiving 7-10 enquiries a week, and ZERO new customers are being confirmed on a week by week basis, there’s a problem with your sales strategy. Don’t let potential clients leak out of your funnel. If a gap exists, you need to figure out how to close it.
Chances are, you need to sit down and really take the time to learn the basics of selling. Draw the parallel as you would with a new client, developing their training program. Would you jump straight into training before asking them what their current fitness level is? What can they press or how much can they deadlift?
Start by asking yourself these key questions:
- How many enquiries do I get per week?
- How many of these enquiries end up becoming clients?
- How many of these clients do we actually hold onto in the long run?
STEP 2: CREATE A SALES PROCESS & FOLLOW IT
Before you start pushing for more leads, it’s crucial that you understand how you’re going to convert them i.e. the sales process that you’re going to follow in order to take this enquiry and turn it into a paying client. Without an effective sales process in place, you’ll just be increasing the gap in your sales funnel, the gap that we’re trying to close in the first place.
Just like when a client wants to drop those last few pounds, they often assume that adding more training sessions to their week will help them achieve this goal. However, often the problem lies somewhere else, for example, in the kitchen or against their overall recovery strategy. I guess what we’re trying to say is, most of the time, the ‘easy solution’ isn’t the right solution at all.
Now that you understand where your weaknesses lie, you can start asking yourself: How will we increase the number of conversions from enquiry to client? The process you create must be repeatable i.e. you must be able to train somebody else to do it.
What does a good sales process look like? A good sales process might look like this...
1. Email Enquiry
Breakdown your sales process from the very first touch point a lead has with your business: an enquiry. If you get an email enquiry, your goal at this stage of the process may be to get a contact number as soon as possible, so that you can call them.
This would involve responding to the query via email in a polite, non pushy tone. You might suggest an exact time for a call the next day. By suggesting an available time on your end, you can eliminate some of the thought process and make it as easy as possible for your potential client.
Why not try and sell them a membership via email? A call with your prospective client will give you a much better sense of where they’re at. You can get through where they are now and what they’re looking to achieve in a more fluid, conversational manner as opposed to having to go through 72 emails.
A first response email might look something like this:
Thanks for getting in touch!
We’d love to learn more about what you’re looking to achieve on your fitness journey. The best way to understand whether our [gym/studio] will be a good fit for you is by having a chat to discuss your needs.
Would you be available for a quick phone call tomorrow at 2pm or 3pm? Feel free to suggest an another time and send on a number I can catch you on.
Looking forward to speaking with you.
Yours in fitness,
Of course, it’s not that simple. What happens if they don’t respond to the email? What would the next step in your sales process be in this scenario? Contemplate answers to the following questions:
- Will you send a follow up email?
- After how many days will you send this email?
- How many follow ups can you send before marking a lead as ‘lost’?
- What will the content of these emails look like? Will you include customer testimonials and blog posts in an attempt to re engage the lead?
2. The call
Although we proposition this call as a “quick chat”, it’s not. This call should be factored into your sales strategy - the questions you ask, the responses you give. There should be a purpose behind each and every question that you ask. Every answer you receive should help you tailor your next question. Once again, it’s time to ask yourself some questions:
- What information do we need to?
- What information should we provide on our service?
- What are the “trigger” questions we should ask?
Craft questions that’ll help you determine whether they’re ready to be sold to straight away - a 2 week membership, a 12 week membership or should you start by offering a face to face consultation? Your succes here will be dependant on your ability to make decisions based on judgment.
3. The Consultation
The last thing potential clients will want is to arrive at your studio for a consultation and be asked the same questions again. Be familiar with the issues that arose on the previous call so you can tailor their consultation to their needs.
Don’t just give them a lap of the gym, ask them what they really want to achieve with the help of your gym or studio. Don’t waste time showing off all your cool equipment. Time is money too, the quicker you can help them realise you are the perfect fit for them or maybe not the perfect fit for them, the better.
STEP 3: breaking through the barrier
Let's get to it! Start following your new sales process and you'll learn even more about where your specialities lie and where they don't. For some, the best way to really break through the sales barrier is to get all hands on deck. There’s no shame in asking for the help of somebody who is more experienced in the sales sphere. Parallel to the fitness industry: if somebody wants to get fitter and stronger, they hire a trainer. Simple!
Get somebody experienced in sales to go through your process and figure out whether it can work or not. Maybe your process is good and it will work - but a second set of eyes may know what it needs to make it GREAT. Maybe if you do X instead of Y, you could achieve your goals in half the time! Now that's advice nobody wants to turn down.
The beauty of this is that you’ll start making progress quicker get closer to achieving your targets. It’s an addiction, when you start seeing progress you want to stick to it and make it better. Get your team on board to take strategy and the sales process seriously. If a customer is worth €1000 over the course of a year, every time an enquiry comes in - that’s a €1000 phone call.
Taking small, realistic steps each week CAN achieve goals. Be sure to break it down and make a long term plan for success.
The reality is, sales is happening all the time. Even when you’re training your current clients, you’re encouraging, motivating and essentially selling them to come three times a week. You’re selling them to use proper form when training. You’re selling them the importance of nutrition. We need to rid the mindset that ‘selling’ is a dirty word. In this profession, you need to be motivating and convincing, or else you won’t be a successful trainer or business owner.
Listen to the full Podcast here:
Topics: Business Management