The 10 Best Kept Sales Secrets

1. Smile at everyone you meet : This is the most simple thing to do but many people are still not slowing down, taking time to smile and engage with their customers properly from the start. First impressions are critical whether it is in your leisure centre, in the gym, at a school fete stall or at a shopping centre outreach stand.

2. Ask specific questions : Cutting to the chase and having a specific intelligent conversation is even more important in today’s fast-paced society. Every single question you ask in the sale process must be well thought out and have a flow to help you step your customer through a thought process to allow them to decide if you are the fitness business for them. Make a list of 10 or so specific questions to ask your prospects and ensure you stay on track to identify the reason they need you and how you can help them.

3. Use systems : Systems will support many of the points listed. They are important to allow staff to get better at what they do each day and ensure the customer has a good experience through what can be a nervous time for them. Phone scripts, sales processes and follow up are a must to increase the service experience and delivery, which will result in more sales and referrals. They will also help you track performance of the promotions, business and staff.

4. Learn to listen : When your prospect talks, ensure you not only hear them, but listen to them. It is not a time for you to talk about your products and services, but rather a time for them to verbalise how they are feeling. Don’t start lecturing to them about what to eat or how to exercise until they have engaged your services otherwise this could make the sale go cold.

5. Don’t rescue them : Many of us feel a little uncomfortable when someone is starting to tell us how unhappy they are because they are overweight. If you rescue them at this point you may make them feel better and they will give you the ‘I need to think about it objection’. Understand that your services are the rescue, so once they have chosen a personal training or membership package, that should be enough to make them feel like they have taken proactive steps to doing something about their problem, which should make them feel happy again.

6. The truth will set them free : Always be honest with your customer. Selling doesn’t require tricks, but, rather, detective work. Find out what is wrong and solve their problem with your services or products. It really is that simple. An offer or discount doesn’t make them decide if they want to buy or not; it just makes the deal sweeter for them.

7. Train like a professional sports person : Ensure you spend a minimum of 15 minutes per day and two hours a week practising your phone calls, upgrades, referral and promotion scripts and procedures. A professional sports person trains daily and repetitively to ensure that when they are in the game and receive an opportunity they are ready to take it.

8. Great sales people ask more than once : Remember to ask for the sale more than once by isolating what the objection is, providing a solution, and asking the question again.

9. Learn to deal with rejection : Let’s be honest no one in the world wants to buy a membership or have a personal trainer. What they do want is a result, which takes courage, hard work and a goal that is burning inside them to be achieved. With growing obesity rates it is obvious that fitness is not a preferred choice of leisure time or priorities. Understanding this helps you deal with rejection and keep moving on to the next person, and the next, until you find someone willing to put their hand up and say that they want you to help them.

10. Replace a lead with a lead : Don’t get lazy with referrals. Understand that to grow business you must replace the lead you are converting into a sale, with a new lead by asking for a referral. This is the way you ensure that there is a pipeline of customers for the future and your current clients get a better experience doing it with their friends improving their results and your retention.

Article written by Amanda Bracks for What’s New In Fitness Magazine – Spring 2013 edition.

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