One of the best sales lessons I ever learned came from watching an amateur 10K race from the finish line. The winning runners made excellent times, easily cruising across the finish line while barely breaking a sweat. The next group had obviously undertrained and overpushed, stumbling to the race’s end flushed and sometimes physically ill. Last were those who clearly embraced the joys of strolling and socializing, but who seemed unconcerned about how well they finished.
FFitness professionals often use success stories and client testimonials to strike an emotional chord with potential clients. Personal trainers who incorporate these elements into their pitches (often via “brag books”) may find them powerful during new-client interviews or business development meetings, according to Derrick Wilburn, MBA, IDEA presenter and director of education for Achieve Fitness USA (Wilburn 2010). But what if potential clients or business partners do their initial research about you over the Web?
Whether you sell facility memberships or your own training services, at some point you’ll be asking a potential customer for money. Yet you may find yourself racked with stress about conducting such consultations, the thought of closing the deal bringing more sweat to your brow than your last blast on the cardio machines. newsletter_teaser: Check out this great article from the IDEA Online Library, and find out how to make consultations more comfortable, and learn to close the deal.
Given the sheer number of people using sites like Facebook and services like Groupon, fitness professionals are investing their advertising dollars in spaces where they can influence local groups and social networks. With better research into consumer insight (thanks to profile pages), personal trainers can identify their audiences and target their digital ad campaigns more effectively.
A list of current and prospective clients can be invaluable to fitness professionals promoting upcoming events, distributing newsletters and cultivating member relationships. IDEA FitnessConnect’s client management system makes it convenient for fitness professionals to manage and grow their clientele directly from their profile pages.
Regarding the news item “Leverage Daily-Deal Sites for Business Success [Making News, March 2011], my business partner and I have featured our company on a number of the daily-deal sites in Los Angeles and have had mixed experiences. While I agree it was a great way to expose our business to a huge market that might not know about our outdoor circuit training classes, it was a lot of work for very little return on investment.
According to the 2010 IDEA Personal Training Programs & Equipment Trends report [IDEA Trainer Success, September 2010], only 19% of respondents offer online training programs. Nearly 50% provide online client reminders and information. These data may seem unimpressive now, but IDEA member Jason Bosley-Smith, CSCS, believes the Internet is the perfect venue for business growth. He recently traded his brick-and-mortar training facility for www.thefitrx.com, a website that provides online coaching and training, among other offerings.
Fitness professionals are not the only ones maintaining profiles on IDEA FitnessConnect. Program directors and club owners are also leveraging their clubs’ presence in this directory to feature staff, increase member leads and reinforce marketing efforts.
“Close” is a worrisome word in sales, often evoking cringe-worthy images of high-pressure boiler-room selling tactics, used-car lots and plaid suits. Canned one-liners aside, the “close” is simply the final part of a conversation when you ask the big question, “Yes or no?” As this involves securing both a decision and money, it can be the most stressful part of selling for both fitness pro and customer.
You stock your training tool kit with uber-adaptable equipment for every fitness level: a TRX, a stability ball, maybe some tubing or a yoga mat. Since you can never be completely certain what your fitness client will need on any given day, your go-to gear adapts to any training trial. But what about the tools you use to gain new training customers--do you have a stash of stand-by sales phrases that adapt to diverse personalities equally well?