“Great salespeople are relationship builders who provide value and help their customers win.” – Jeffrey Gitomer
One thing’s for sure: Your studio can have the best marketing, the best service, the best staff, and the best experience available; but if you can’t close a sale, you’re not going to be around long enough to show the world how great your brand is.
If the sales process at your studio needs some TLC, we’re here to help.
We’ll break this down into two sections for your convenience: in-person sales and online sales. Feel free to jump to the section that makes sense for your business. And if you have a hybrid model (some in-person training, some online training), then read both sections.
And at the end, we’ve got some tried-and-true tips to help take your sales to the next level.
Sales Strategies for In-Person Sales
1. Get them the price ahead of time.
There’s no need to waste your time (or your prospect’s time) by waiting to have the “how much does this cost” conversation. Before a prospect ever enters your studio doors, they should know the cost of your services.
You can share pricing on your website, or you can send them a membership document when they submit their information through your lead form. Either way, they need to know the cost of your service before they come in for a consultation.
Yes—your studio has set prices. But you can (and probably should) customize your pricing in situations where it makes sense for you and for your prospect.
For example: Let’s say you have 8x/month, 12x/month, and 16x/month membership options. But you have a prospect that really thinks that 14x/month would work best for her. Use this as an opportunity to customize! Simply charge her for two more sessions per month. Don’t get stuck on your prices and miss the sale. (Bonus: you make her feel special by providing a custom option.)
3. Use decoy-based pricing.
Decoy-based pricing forces customers to choose the option that you want.
For example: At Urban MVMNT, Stu offers the following monthly membership options:
- 8x/month for $160
- 12x/month for $180
- 16x/month for $189
Do you see what he did there? For only $9 more, an Urban MVMNT member can go to 16 classes per month instead of 12. This pricing strategy encourages the prospect to choose the most expensive option on Stu’s menu.
4. Record your top salesperson’s sales pitch and create a script.
Most studios have a top salesperson—the person who closes sale after sale. (And yes—this is often the studio owner. They know the most about the service, and they typically care more than everyone else.) Have that person record their sales pitch, and then create a script based on the pitch.
The salesperson simply puts their phone on airplane mode, plants it face-down on the desk where they’re making the sale, and records the audio. No one will be the wiser, and then you’ve got an example to build from.
And when you create a script, on-boarding a new employee becomes easy. You train your new staff member on the script, and over time, they’ll make it their own.
5. The bigger the barrier, the longer the consultation.
For those of you who follow a “PT First” model—a model where you require members to do some one-on-one training prior to joining a group class—provide an in-depth, formal consultation to show them the value of their big, up-front purchase.
For those of you who follow a “Straight-to-Class” model—a model where prospective members can jump right into group classes—don’t worry about spending tons of time upfront. The barrier to entry is much lower, so conserve your time.
6. Always have an evergreen offer available.
To get people in the door, you need to provide some incentive. Something like a “Free Week” or “10 Days for $20” will encourage prospects to come try your service. Because remember: It doesn’t matter how wonderful your studio is if no one comes and gives it a try. Get people in the door!
7. Get their credit card on file before they purchase anything.
Make it a rule that in order to participate in your evergreen offer—whatever that might be—the prospective member needs to put a credit card on file.
You won’t charge the card unless they don’t show up for their free session—in which case you’ll charge the no-show fee.
This, quite obviously, incentivizes the future member to actually show up to class.
And it also eliminates the awkward payment conversation when you go to close the sale: “I’m so glad you loved the class! Which membership would you like to sign up for? I’ve already got your card in the system, so just tell me the option that works best.”
8. Up-front discounts are cool.
While we don’t normally encourage studio owners to discount their services, there is a time and place for a membership discount. And it’s typically during the first sale.
Your new member doesn’t know you or your studio yet. You haven’t built any trust. So by offering your service at a discounted rate for the first month, you’re giving them the space to say “yes.”
We’re particularly fond of providing a discount before your evergreen offer expires.
For example: Let’s say you offer a free week. You can offer your prospects 25% off their first month’s membership if they sign up before the free week is over. This little bonus gives them the push they probably need to say yes.
And from that point forward, there’s no need to discount. They’ll see that the service you provide is worth every penny and more.
Sales Strategies for Online Sales
1. Adopt the HVLP Pricing Model
A virtual experience is not the same as an in-person experience. And your pricing needs to reflect that reality. If you’re selling online workouts, go for the High Volume, Low Price model. Aim to get a lot more members paying a much lower monthly rate.
2. Put out great media.
In order to get new clients to buy your online workout program, you need to have videos and photos. Perhaps most importantly, you need to create a “How to get started” video that takes the place of your in-person consultation.
These videos don’t need to be highly-produced. You don’t need a big production budget. It’s okay for your media to be pretty raw—you’re a small business. Just get the video out into the world.
3. Freemium offers for the win.
To get online clients in your virtual “door,” give some of your stuff away for free. You’ve got to provide incentive for prospects to become members.
Freemium offers (a pricing strategy by which a basic product or service is provided free of charge, but money (a premium) is charged for additional features and services) is an excellent way to grow your online fitness business.
Using the freemium pricing strategy, you can attract enormous amounts of subscribers (since your basic offer is free) and then sell them your studio’s additional services over time.
4. Play up your online community.
It’s very difficult to compete with brands like Fitness Plus and Sydney Cummings. They’re putting out very highly-produced content. But what they can’t compete with is your close-knit community.
Show leads and prospects how your community is the missing piece, the thing they won’t get with big, impersonal fitness programs.
No matter what you’re selling—whether it’s in-person training, online training, or a hybrid of the two—a few solid sales tips will go a long way.
1. Let them talk.
When you’re selling, aim for 80/20: Your prospect speaks 80% of the time, and you speak 20% of the time. And during that 20%, ask them questions. Let them talk. Allow them to tell you all of their pain points, objections, concerns. The more they talk, the more likely you are to close the sale.
2. Close the deal before they sweat.
Ideally, you’ve already closed the deal before they even take a class at your studio. This takes place during the initial consultation. Find out what they want, and show them how your studio can deliver.
3. Create a laminated price sheet for in-person consultations.
Make a price sheet. Laminate it. Use dry-erase markers on the sheet to circle what membership option works best for your prospect.
And make sure that as you’re going through pricing, you don’t make this fatal error:
“So…do any of these look good to you?”
Instead, assume the sale:
“Which one of these memberships do you want?”
4. Get ahead of objections.
If you have a prospect coming in for a tour of your studio, do some digging around on their social media before they come in. If they’re married, send them a DM and invite their spouse to the consultation. This way, they don’t hit you with the “I need to talk to my husband/wife first.” Get in front of as many objections as you can.
Cheers to closing more sales!
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