In this competitive fitness industry, learning how to close a personal training client is something that can have a real impact on the growth of your business.
From my experience, most trainers are really good at the rapport building, establishing the client’s goals and then explaining how their service is going to help that specific client. But the real hurdle, the thing that most business owners have some difficulty with is the actual closing of the sale.
I have a sneaky suspicion that it has something to do with the whole asking-people-for-money thing. I know, I know – you love training people and asking people for money (or closing the sale) feel’s so unnatural and outside your skill set that you have a tendency to not push the subject.
In my own experience, I have noticed that there are three main reasons why trainers lose a sale at the last hurdle. They are:
1. Not questioning the excuse or objection.
2. Not actually physically asking for the sale in the first place and…
3. Not having a tight response time and follow up procedure in place.
I am going to briefly talk through each one so that you don’t fall into these traps and miss out on potential sales.
But before we do, I want to clarify my position about where I see sales fitting into your business. I see it as a necessary part of building your business and therefore a skill that is definitely worth developing.
But it is also not the only skill that is essential (as a sole trader) to run a successful fitness business. Lead generation, service delivery, client care and follow up, retention, staff management and all the different types of administration are all essential in building your business.
On top of all that, closing sales is right up there with a “must have” skill to continue to build your business. Like I mentioned earlier, most trainers who run there own business have the rapport building/goal setting/solution bit down pat but it is really at the end of the sale process where the work needs to be done.
I think it is important that you do sharpen your skills in this area of the sales process because if you can’t close a sale then it is gong to be much harder to build your business. Let me talk you through the three biggest mistakes that I see people make when trying to close the sale and how you can overcome them.
Reason #1: Not questioning the excuse
Because a lot if trainers hate actually asking someone for money and closing a sale, the first excuse or objection that a prospect throws up is commonly met with…
“OK, no problem – guess I will see you around“
I understand that you may not feel comfortable with sales but let’s look at it from a different angle.
You are trainer and it is your job to motivate (make) people do the things that they can’t do themselves to get in great shape. You do it all the time with your clients. They give you some lame excuse why they can’t do something, you refuse to accept it and motivate then to do more then they feel they can do themselves.
Closing a sale is exactly the same. You are a trainer so it is your job to make people responsible for their health and fitness.
Yes, you as going to be confronted with every excuse in the book. No money, no time, no energy, no idea – I am sure you have heard it a before.
All I ask is that when you are confronted with an excuse you ask then two things:
1. Is achieving (insert goal) really important to you?
2. Has this problem of (insert excuse) held you back achieving this in the past?
Then let them know that you want be the person that helps them actually achieve there goal once and for all.
But you need their help – they have to find the (time, money, motivation ect) to the process. Because if they do that, you will do everything I your power to make their goal a reality
So can you see that with a few small changes from your end and 100% commitment from me how together we can make his happen?
Good, let’s get started :-)
Reason #2: Not physically asking for the sale in the first place (making assumptions).
This is something that I see all the time with trainers who feel a little uncomfortable with sales (and I actually used to suffer from this as well). You know when you are going through a sales call or consultation and you start getting a bad or negative vibe from your prospect?
They are not very responsive and you get a clear impression that they are just not interested. Because of these indicators, many trainers will not even ask for the sale in this situation.
Based on the conversation, they feel that the prospect is just not interested and rather than get a knock-back they just don’t ask for the sale
THIS IS A MISTAKE.
People are funny beasts and especially if you have just met this prospect, then it is impossible to know exactly what they are thinking about your business.
Once I was talking to lady about starting some training and she was giving me absolutely nothing. I thought it was probably best that I not attempt to close the sale on the first contact and thought I would call her back the next day to see if she was a little more interested (big mistake).
I called the next day and she told me that she informed me that she had started training somewhere else (with my competition in fact …grrr). She told me that I never asked her to begin training and that she was ready to get started but I never asked for the sale so she just got off the phone and called the next business.
The lesson: never assume that you know what someone is thinking about your business.
Not until you ask for the sale and they actually say no (or yes) that you know what your client is thinking about getting started. You can establish this by asking questions like:
“Can you see the value in that?”
“Can you see how this program will help you get your goal much quicker?
Then once you get that “all-clear”, ask for the sale and book them in.
Reason #3: Not having a tight response time.
Ok – I am not going to bang on about this because you should already be all over this one.
Here are two basic rules of engagement:
1) The quicker you call or email someone back after their initial response the higher the conversion rate.
At the point of contact, your prospect has the strongest desire to create change in their life. They have made the first step, plucked up the courage to make contact and this is the perfect time to close a sale.
No excuses – this is too easy not to do.
2) Make sure that you are in control of all follow up contact.
Letting your client “think” about it and then call you back when they have an (or have discussed it with their partner is just not on. Yes, you will have situations where people are not ready to buy from you at very moment but it is ESSENTIAL that you identify when YOU will call them back to follow up.
A golden rule that I always follow is to always make a book from a booking – regardless if they are a prospect, client or business alliance. Commit to this process with discipline and you will make more sales and book more sessions.
Make a move…
Closing a sale is a lot like going in for your first kiss (stay with me here). You have spent some time getting to know each other, you feel like you could easily spend some more time together but you are not sure if they are ready to take the relationship to the next level.
You feel like if you make a move and you get denied that it is just going to smash your confidence – so you don’t make a move.
My advice – go in for the pash on the first date (metaphorically speaking of course). This is your business, so remove the emotion and just ask for the sale. Be the person who is going to change their life.
You may get the odd rejection but you will also get make a heap more sales.
P.S: Post a comment below and let me know what you have fond to be the best way to close a sale….
P.P.S: If you are chasing some more detailed information, check out this video I made about making more personal training sales.