Taking the Emotion out of Sales Pitches

by Darren Jacobson on Aug 23, 2008

Most trainers are ill-equipped to sell their services. Without specialized business education, many trainers get emotionally involved when selling their services to prospective clients. Armed with the proper tools and resources, you can successfully pitch your services without falling prey to emotions.

Wearing the Sales Hat

To circumvent the emotional aspects of the sales process, look at the whole picture in four manageable chunks.

Cultivating Contacts
From this moment on, look at everyone you encounter as a potential client. The goal is to seek contact information during daily encounters, not necessarily to make a sale. Whether you use casual conversation, lifestyle questionnaires or discount fliers, the intention is to gather each contact’s correct name, phone number and e-mail address.

Arranging Appointments
Once you have your leads, you need to get those leads to commit to an appointment with you. To ensure that you approach this step without emotion, it is vital to prepare a “script” in order to keep the initial conversation going in the right direction.

Remember that your prospective leads are poised to shut you out should your approach/pitch go in a direction that does not connect with them. It will take some trial and error on your part to determine which words initiate a good dialogue and which of your statements will generate a confirmed appointment.

Pitching Services
Keep in mind that your presentation has a specific value in terms of the time you (and the prospective client) set aside, so there is some urgency to get the prospect to come on board. Here’s how to go about pitching your services in the proper manner.

Make a Great First Impression. Once an impression is made, people tend to cling to that impression—be it positive or negative. If you make a positive first impression, you have the advantage of starting on a good footing. Think about how you can make a great first impression.

Find a Nonthreatening Environment. Think carefully about where you want to make the “pitch.” The training floor can be intimidating to clients and the juice bar too crowded or loud. Look around your facility, and find a spot that works for both of you.

Develop a System That Works. To hone your sales ability, try a few different approaches before settling on one that flows well. Make sure that you deliver your pitch with intensity and excitement every time. Even if you have done the pitch 100 times before, this is the customer’s first time, so be sure to shine.  

Convey Professionalism at All Times. Don’t leave the impression that you will engage in “quick” chats with your colleagues or get distracted by unnecessary phone calls or other interruptions.

Keep the Pitching Session on the Right Track. Remember to actively listen and adjust your presentation depending on the type of individual in front of you. Do some research into personality traits, and understand how to tap into different ones.

Keep the Pitch Focused and to the Point. A good pitch should take 30 minutes of your time. You should make it your goal to convert at least 70% of prospective clients who sit in front of you.

Closing the Sale
If your sales pitch has been successful, then closing the sale will be the easy part. In the simplest and most straightforward terms, present your pricing system and any available packages to the prospective client. Answer questions in a polite and professional manner. Then get the prospect to confirm the conditions, and close the deal.

For more pointers, see the full article in the July-August issue of IDEA Fitness Manager or online in IDEA's Health and Fitness Article Library.

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About the Author

Darren Jacobson

Darren Jacobson IDEA Author/Presenter

Darren Jacobson is the innovator of the franchise personal training concept for Virgin Active South Africa, where he manages over 750 personal trainers in 88 health clubs. He holds a bachelor’s degr...