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The Softer Side of Selling

Your Sales Personality Profile

For fitness professionals, business growth and prosperity is dependent on attracting and retaining new and repeat business. While we would all rather just teach and train our clients and members, we sometimes have to change hats and become salespeople. If your bliss comes from mentoring and motivating, you may think that you are not the sales type. But according to a recent article in Harvard Business Review, the top sales performers do not fit the stereotype of sleazy used car salesman. In fact, the best salespeople are modest, conscientious, goal-oriented, curious, confident and optimistic.

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Pressure vs Pleasure

Most of us have had buying experiences where we felt pressured to make a decision that we were uncomfortable with. Oftentimes the experience can be downright unpleasant. However, you can successfully sell by relying on strengths that you already possess, without turning into a bully. Your ability to create and sustain successful relationships is what makes you a good fitness pro, and that ability can be key to your selling success. By keeping your sales interview conversational and employing storytelling, you will engage your sales prospects on an emotional level that lowers their resistance and opens their minds to what you are offering.

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Customer-Centric Sales

Soft selling shifts the attention away from your product or service and focuses on your customer. It creates a relaxed, low pressure environment in which you act as a consultant, enabling you to show how you can help your prospect solve a problem. Determining your prospect’s needs by asking open ended questions and listening attentively is key. Once you know what they are looking for, you can easily demonstrate how your product or service can satisfy their needs.

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Networking Made Nice

Because relationship building is the foundation of soft, customer-centric sales, you will automatically set yourself up with a network of happy customers who will gladly refer others to you. Maintaining good relationships can be as simple as going out of your way to greet members and clients by name. Mentioning a personal detail about something meaningful to them, such as family, pets or hobbies, makes them feel valued as customers. At the end of the day, people will not remember what you said in your sales interview. They will remember how you made them feel.

Resources

For fitness professionals, training is often the easy part of the fitness business. Selling can be intimidating, and canned pitches can sound phony and insincere. W.I.T.S. has the tools and support you need to become a sales whiz-kid. Check out the following online continuing education courses from our Fitness Business Institute: Introduction to Sales Fundamentals for Fitness Professionals; Practical Sales Techniques for Personal Trainers; Promotion and Sales Basics; Fitness Management Certification. These and dozens of others are available to help you make your business boom!

References and Credits

Bloomberg Business: The Art of the Soft Sell
http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/stories/2009-10-08/the-art-of-the-soft-sell

Entrepreneur: 12 Tips for Using a Soft Approach to Make the Sale

12 Tips for Using a Soft Approach to Make the Sale

Harvard Business Review: Seven Personality Traits of Top Salespeople
https://hbr.org/2011/06/the-seven-personality-traits-o

*Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

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