By Josh Leve, AFS Founder & CEO
Convention wisdom says that fitness professionals hate sales. They’re in the training business because they are about people, want to help society, and make an impact in their clients' lives. If that’s you, if you hate sales, then you either have to figure it out, or try another career, because no business can survive very long without sales.
Some of the best sales people approach sales from a different point of view. Too often those apprehensive about selling feel as if they're "convincing" someone of something. You're anticipating a reaction, a negative one at that, and you're thinking how you can turn what's about to be poor experience into a positive one. Now take a step back, what exactly are you selling? Health and happiness? The ability to sleep better, have more energy, keep up with your kids, be more focused? Hmm, sounds like a pretty good product to me.
So how do you overcome the objections you hear all the time? You know the ones...1) time 2) money 3) convenience 4) spouse confirmation, etc. Here are 4 ways to get you started.
1. You're Not "Selling" Them Anything
The best sales people in the country know this. In fact, they constantly tell themselves this. So much of sales is confidence. Think about it, now put yourself in the shoes of your client for the first time. Would you be more inclined to purchase from a trainer, coach, instructor who's confident in their abilities, know's their product, has shown you the progress you're making or will make? Or are you willing to pull out your credit card with someone who's unsure, and make you feel unsure in any way shape or form? Of course not. The best sales people know that they never sell something to someone that they don't already want.
People will pay, in fact they expect to do so, that's why they're in front of you many times to begin with.
2. Develop Your Skills
You're a great trainer. I'm going to go out on a limb and state anyone reading this article from a trainer's point of view better believe they're the best trainer in the world. You're clients love you, right? You've got at least one certification, maybe a few, and know the human body well enough to be confident in your training abilities. Now, what they don't teach is the simple fact that all those skills gets you no where when it comes to overcoming objections.
Like it or not, as a trainer you're also running your own business. How you train, how you look, carry yourself, write an email, etc., are all part of your personal brand. And when it comes to being successful in the fitness industry you must, and I repeat must, develop your skills in sales, marketing, and emotional intelligence to ensure the confidence you want to exude comes through time and time again.
3. Take Your Client on a Journey
One of the most successful trainers I ever knew didn't even realize what she was doing to see the success that came to her. She took a Pilates department, with 4 instructors from 30 paid sessions a month to nearly 300! She alone was able to conduct over 100 session consistently, blow her renewal rate out of the water, and sell her clients anything at anytime. How? Simple. She had the ability from the moment she met her client to the moment that client renewed to focus in the results they were seeing from week to week.
Like it or not, as a trainer you're also running your own business. How you train, how you look, carry yourself, write an email, etc are all part of your personal brand.
Her communication abilities were outstanding and the journey she'd take her clients on from session to session would showcase their progress. She would hone in on the fact that, "last week you couldn't even hold a plank for 30 seconds, now look at you - going for nearly a minute!" It's these small cues that show you care, show the progress your clients are making and make YOU the expert in their eyes. When you're the expert your clients will easily renew, see that they can't go without your services because it's how you make them feel about themselves.
At the end of the day, don't think of sales as sales. Think of it as the process of relationship building. The confidence you bring to the table from the moment you meet your client, through each and every session, to the time they renew will make the process of "selling" a much easier task and with some practice, you'll overcome any objection thrown your way.
Josh Leve is the Founder & CEO of the Association of Fitness Studios (AFS). AFS’ mission is to provide studio owners and entrepreneurial fitness professionals with the platform to effectively start, manage, and grow their businesses.
With over 60 industry partnerships – Josh’s success with AFS has translated into being featured in all major fitness publications and is also a featured speaker for events such as Club Industry, NSCA, NASM, Athletic Business, EMPOWER!, and more.