The Psychology of Selling
Sales isn’t some esoteric art that requires initiation into the cult of the used-car salesman to be effective.
But there are some rules to follow if you want to turn prospects into clients, and keep them that way. Almost all of them require you to see the situation from the buyer’s perspective, and then use this to communicate more effectively.
Remember it’s not about you
Here’s an example: you’ve just opened your new gym – your baby – and give your first prospects their tour. You tell them about the great equipment you have, the size of your free-weights area, the composite properties of the matting you’ve put down.
Stop. Your prospect doesn’t care about this stuff.
You need to make their experience of the gym about them. What are their goals? How can the gym help them get what they want? Keep bringing yourself back to their point of view. This attitude of “what’s in it for them” and focusing on benefits over just features should run through all your communications.
Reduce the risk
Thanks to the old-school fitness model which doesn’t value the member past their initial sign-up, people are extremely wary of committing to a contract. In sales, we need to lower the barrier of entry and make this risk less intimidating.
Tools like the thirty-day trial are a crucial part of this, but so is the way you communicate. The way you speak, how you present the gym, the copy in your ads; everything is about communicating that you’re not out to trap the prospect in membership hell. They’re in control here.
Make a connection
The prospect of joining a gym can be deeply anxiety-provoking for many individuals, especially those who are out of shape. Your job is to get them to a place where they feel proud for wanting to make a positive change, and confident that they’re doing the right thing.
This means relatable staff who are close to the target demographic – a 40 year old mother of three will find it hard to relate to a super-lean 19 year old who doesn’t even know that “baby weight” is a thing. It also means individualizing the sales process so it’s relevant to each person. Don’t assume that women want to lose weight, not get strong; or vice versa for men. Tailor your approach to their goals, not your ideas.
The heart of sales is a true understanding of your customer, and a selling process that’s tailored to them.