// Nine steps to an effective price presentation
By mastering one of the most challenging aspects of the fitness sales process, you will gain the confidence to convert more prospects, says Gabrielle McMillan.
Presenting prices is a notoriously tricky part of the fitness sales process. Despite believing in the quality of the service they are selling, many fitness and sales professionals hit a real stumbling block when it comes to discussing money. By adopting the following nine simple steps to an effective price presentation, you will increase your sales with ease.
Start your price presentation only when the prospect is ready. In the sales process, price presentation is only done once the prospect has fully evaluated the facilities and services. Via the use of ‘trial closes’ and a ‘pre-close’ the prospect should have indicated that they like what you have to offer, that it fits their needs and they have no other outstanding questions about membership.
Your sales presentation should also be structured to clear potential hurdles (objections) before considering the cost. It is much more effective to clear hurdles prior to price presentation than it is to do so afterwards. From the prospect’s point of view, they should be thinking that, provided the price is ‘right’, they are ready to join.
Assume they will join. If you have received a ‘yes’ for all of the trial closes and cleared potential hurdles earlier in the sales process, it is reasonable to assume that the prospect will join. You should be confident and relaxed.
Getting the body language right. If possible, sit beside the prospect while presenting, with your body at a 45 degree angle to them. Don’t sit too close; be aware of their personal space and be careful not to create any sense of a threat. You should be relaxed and confident, and speak slowly and clearly. Don’t forget to smile and make eye contact!
Use a presentation folder ‘pitch book’. Why add the complexity of writing out the prices each time? This can seem to the prospect as though you are making prices up as you go along and, importantly, it also diverts your attention from engaging fully with the prospect during your presentation. Take some time to develop a pitch book for your club with the different membership options outlined in a clear way – Network’s Member Gymbag has a sample pitch book for you to download and amend to suit your needs in the Business Resources section at www.fitnessnetwork.com.au/gymbag
Start with a recap of the features, benefits and hot points. This is a quick recap only, to review the membership inclusions – you are not providing any new information or doing a sales pitch. If you have a large facility it may have been five minutes since they saw or heard what they liked most (hot point). The recap will ensure the key benefits are front of mind just before considering the ‘cost’.
Keep it simple – offer only two alternate options. If you offer more than two service and/or price options, you run the risk of overwhelming the prospect. This can often result in the prospect needing to go home and ‘think about it’. By presenting the prospect with only two options, it is much more likely that they can consider and make a decision about your service while they are with you. Using an ‘alternate close’ also makes asking for a decision easier – it’s not a case of ‘would you like to join?’ but simply ‘which option would you prefer?’
Of course, most clubs have more than two membership options, so you will need to decide which two you will present. If you’ve been listening to your prospect during the tour you should know what membership length and level of service is likely to suit them. You can start by saying, ‘I’ve selected the two membership options I think are most likely to suit your needs…’ and go from there.
When presenting the two options, be confident that they both represent great value for money based on the services and facilities your club provides. Run through each one and then compare: ‘Most people take the X option simply because of [name benefit]… However, lots of people have been going for the Y because of [name benefit]. Really, I think it comes down to [name benefit] and which one suits you best’. In this way, you can subtly promote the one you would like prospects to take – but be careful not to denigrate or devalue the alternate option.
Ask for the sale. Many sales staff simply do not do this well. Once you have compared the options, as detailed above in Step 6, the close is as simple as this; ‘which one would you prefer?’ If you find it tough to ask for a decision, it would usually suggest that more attention is required during the presentation (see Step 1).
Wait quietly for an answer. Many sales people are disconcerted by long periods of silence and misinterpret this as a lack of interest on the part of the prospect. As a result, they jump in trying to ‘sell harder’ or overcome hurdles that are not even there.
If the prospect is quiet, it is usually because they are thinking about the options. If you interrupt at this point, it is difficult for them to continue thinking about the options. In this instance they may feel that it will be easier to think about it at home – turning a likely sale into an almost certain ‘sale pending’.
Respect your prospect and give them time and space to think and make a decision. They should respond with a buy decision. Otherwise, they may respond with a well considered concern that you can then address.
Just be still and quiet, you may avert your eyes rather than staring straight at them. Whatever you do, don’t start tapping your pen or nails on the desk!
Answer questions positively and in full, e.g. in response to ‘Do I need to pay the initial deposit today?’ answer ‘Yes, your initial deposit is payable today and covers all of your X, Y & Z. The next payment doesn’t come out until [date]. You can pay your initial deposit by cash, EFT or credit card’. Don’t assume someone has an issue just because they are asking a question. To use the example above, wait for them to say ‘I can’t afford to pay the initial deposit today’ before asking ‘What can you afford?’
Price presentation is just one of the essential elements of sales, but by practising these steps you will eliminate the trepidation surrounding what many find to be the most confronting aspect of the process.
As the Director of Sales and Marketing at Advance Fitness Marketing, Gabrielle has over 12 years experience in sales and marketing within the health and fitness industry, with Advance’s sales teams generating over 12,000 new members per annum. Advance Fitness Marketing delivers results, growth, profit and success to fitness businesses through a complete range of sales and marketing services including large scale campaigns, websites, lead generation and sales training. For more information visit www.advancemarketing.com.au
NETWORK • SPRING 2010 • PP 33-35