As a personal trainer, especially if you're running your own business, there’s no step more important than closing that sale.
All of the rapport you built with the prospective client leads up to this step, so it’s natural to feel some nerves as it approaches. But, as with any goal worth striving for, the work that goes into effectively closing a sale is what makes the success so rewarding. And, it's always nice to get paid!
Most personal trainers who are really successful at selling their services, whether those be in-person or online, remember how important it is focus on fixing the prospective client’s problem. It's all about the client.
These successful trainers have learned subtle psychological techniques to provide prospects with a nudge, or a slight cue that triggers the brain to make a decision towards purchasing one of the services you’ve discussed. You don't have to be a loud, flashy salesman to sell. You just have to be strategic.
These "nudges" usually come in the form of giving the potential client options. You want to make it their decision. You want them to own that choice. You never want a client to feel pressured to buy. And remember, the options you present really do solve the prospect's problems, so you never have to feel guilty about selling. You are helping.
Here are a 3 techniques that you can start practicing to close more sales with much less stress and effort:
Technique #1: The "Now Or Never" Close
The "Now of Never" close presents a one-time or limited-time discount for services the client might be anxious to take advantage of. This is a chance to defer the pressure onto the buyer to make a decision sooner rather than later.
Your job is to communicate this as a rare opportunity in which you are providing added value that your competition won’t be able to offer.
As a personal trainer, you already already know that most people have a tendency to procrastinate - they do it with their workouts all the time! It's similar when it comes to making a purchase decision. People will put it off IF you let them. Adding a unique discount is a fantastic way of doing this.
Use this close the next time you have a prospective client who says, "I'm not sure if the time is right," or, "I'll think about it and let you know." Consider telling them about how you can provide a small discount, often referred to as a fast-action bonus, only if they make the purchase today. For example:
"Jon, after our discussion, I'm really excited to help you get prepared to run a 10km race in May. I've helped so many guys like you do it, and I know you're going to be my next success story.
Because I like to work with decisive clients, those who are really committed, I'm going to give you a 10% discount if you agree to join today. Would you like to get that special offer today?"
The increased sense of urgency will give your prospective client notice that the time to make a decision is either now or never.
Technique #2. The "Summary" Close
This technique might sound a little old-fashioned, but this particular method wouldn’t be as common as it is if it didn’t result in sales.
The concept of this closing technique lies within the title. Your effort to get the prospect to sign up for one of your programs will conclude with a detailed summary of the services you can offer, and more importantly, the benefits to the prospective client. You summarize in order to further emphasize the value of the package you're offering.
At this point you should have established the prospects expectations of your services and have created a package that meets each desired outcome. The only question left to ask is, “When are we getting started?"
For example, if you are selling to a woman who wants to lose weight, particularly around her midsection, a summary close might state something like this:
"So Sandra, I know you want to lose 15 pounds, and it sounds as if you've tried a few different ways to achieve that goal, but none of those have helped. That's why the plan we talked about includes both an exercise plan and a nutrition plan - using that combination is the best way to get your weight moving in the right direction.
And, included in the exercise plan, we're going to be using the interval training methods we looked at together. Remember, training with high-intensity intervals is a great way to increase your metabolism, which will help you burn fat faster than the type of exercise you explained you've done in the past."
Sandra, in this example, has just heard a summary of a program that perfectly meets her needs. She has no logical choice but to say, "Let's do this!"
Technique #3. The "Question" Close
Any personal trainer seeking to grow their online business should be actively focused on asking questions to their prospective clients.
This can be done effectively in-person, via Skype, or on the phone. Successful trainers are those capable of gauging the interest level of the prospective client and refuting every objection they might have to buying.
Your goal is to secure a first commitment, since you know that it will be one of many. As soon as you see potential to gain commitment, take it!
You might be wondering how the process shifts from asking questions to getting that commitment. You do this by asking an open-ended question that will likely illicit a favourable response. For example:
Does the package we just looked at solve the problems you told me about?
If the answer is a "YES!" you can focus on booking that first appointment or begin planning for a start date for your new client’s program.
Suppose the prospective client says, "I'm not sure." This is your opportunity to clear up any apprehensions they might be left with after hearing about your solution.
You should approach this as an opportunity for further selling, so you can further add to the value of what you offer. Then, once you have clearly explained the added value and the totality of the solution you're offering, ask the closing question again.
It could take 2 or 3 times through this process before your prospect is ready to sign on the dotted line, but be persistent. You will get them there by asking the right closing question.
Close More Sales: Conclusions
Closing the sale is one of the more difficult aspects of securing new clientele. Not everyone is a natural born salesperson, and there’s no doubt that there are certain aspects of growing your online personal fitness business that come more naturally, especially since you many have no formal sales experience.
When it comes to closing sales, it's ultimately important to remember that there is no one particular method proven to work better than another. Test, practice, test, practice, and test some more. Eventually you will have a go-to closing method that works perfectly for YOU.