From Sales-Phobic to Sales-Focused: 3 Simple Tips to Refine Your Sales Process
By Lauren McAlister
When I think of the word “sales”, I don’t immediately light up inside (unless we’re talking about sales at Nordstrom). In fact, as a fitness studio owner, I used to wrestle with the idea of selling to our clients. I understood the importance of selling our services, however, I never wanted to seem “too pushy” or “salesy.”
If you’re like me, you didn’t make your way into the fitness industry to sell class packages and memberships. You opened a business because you wanted to help people feel better in their bodies and in their lives.
That being said, I know that the only way to do so is to ensure our business is successful, which means attracting and retaining new clients, long-term.
It starts with a well-defined sales process.
Here's what I’ve learned about creating just that—a solid sales process.
1. Write it down
When my husband and I first opened our studio, we didn’t have a sales process (remember, we were afraid of being used car salesmen) but as time went on, we found we weren’t retaining new customers as well as we needed to—which, without a sales process, makes a lot of sense.
Thankfully, our business mentor noticed. She encouraged us to craft a detailed process and, most importantly, put it in writing.
We started by thinking about the various ways clients came to our studio: through the MINDBODY app, as a guest of one of our existing members, or as a walk-in, and determined how our team would interact with each new customer. The first goal of our process: to reiterate the benefits of, and sell, our introductory offer.
We then determined a secondary step for those who purchased our one-month intro offer. With this process, we both welcome new clients into our community and encourage them to purchase the package or membership that's right for them.
Our introductory month process has evolved into one that is both effective and feels natural to our brand. It includes:
- Week 1: A personal, welcome email (“We’re so excited to have you for our Introductory Month”)
Week 2: A phone call to check-in and see how they’re enjoying their classes*
Week 3: A second email, including pricing options moving forward
Week 4: A second phone call to follow-up, answer any questions, and help with check-out*
*We’ve found that the combination of phone calls and emails work best. Clients really do appreciate a personal touch.
2. Get your staff on board
How your team interacts with customers makes or breaks your sales process. That’s why it’s especially important to take the time to train each person you hire upfront. After all, every person on your staff represents and "sells" your business.
If you haven’t already, create a sales training manual outlining the specific roles of each team member. Your manual should also break down your pricing options in an easy-to-understand way and include scripts to teach your team what your “perfect sale” looks like.
3. Know what your customers need
I’m a firm believer in selling the package or membership that best fits your individual client’s needs. Of course, I would love to sell a membership to every new customer, but if it doesn’t fit their schedule or wallet, I'm happy to suggest a different option.
First, we review the Attendance Analysis report and see how many classes they’ve attended. Then, we listen to their needs to find the package or membership that makes the most sense for them. Do they travel a lot for work and won’t be able to commit to a set number of workouts each month? A package with a longer expiration will probably be a good fit. Are they committed to attending a set number of classes each week and are looking to save per class? An autopay membership, with a contract commitment, makes sense.
Implementing a sales process has made a significant difference in both our revenue and retention. Although it was daunting at first, I’ve learned to look at our sales process as a way to really get to know our new customers and to express to them just how passionate we are about the services we provide.
It turns out I’m not alone. Implementing a well-defined sales process has a big impact on sales for most MINDBODY businesses. Want more ideas on how to perfect your sales process from business owners just like you? Join the conversation in our MINDBODY One community.