It may seem obvious, but a genuine smile is the easiest way to break the ice when meeting a potential client. According to “Psychology Today,” a smile is contagious. It makes you appear more attractive and less threatening to others, and smiling releases happy hormones that relieve stress and put you at ease. Your prospect will pick up on your relaxed and happy vibe and reflect it back to you with a genuine smile of their own.
2. Project Professionalism
Potential clients want reassurance that they are putting their health in the hands of a trustworthy professional. Professionalism is hard to define, but it is reflected in your behavior, speech, appearance and non-verbal cues. Good grooming and pride in your personal appearance, good manners, correct grammar and steering clear of slang and profanity are all ways to present yourself as a professional.
3. Use Open Body Language
Open body language sends a non-verbal cue to others that you are not a threat, and that you can be trusted. Sitting or standing with arms and legs uncrossed and palms open and relaxed puts others at ease. Relaxed and prolonged eye contact shows you are genuinely interested in others and in what they have to say. Good eye contact also lets others know you have nothing to hide, and that you can be trusted.
4. Analyze Needs
Getting a clear understanding of why your prospect is interested in you and your services is fundamental to sales. Asking specific open-ended questions will prompt your potential client to open up about their reasons for seeking you out. This in turn will equip you to answer any objections that crop up later on in your sales interview.
5. Make Your Customer the Star
Tooting your own horn and talking at your prospect rather than conversing with them are two of the quickest ways to lose a sale. Instead, focus on your prospect, not only as a potential client, but as a human being. Find out who they are and what they are interested in. Do they have a family, or pets? What do they like to do for fun? By making your customer the star of the show, you are letting them know that you care about them as a person, and that they are not just a number.
6. Listen Attentively
When you listen carefully to what your prospect is saying, you show demonstrate respect and concern for their needs. Attentive listening is the first step to building a trusting long-term relationship with your new client.
7. Forget About the Money
Unless you work in a bank, your prospect did not come to talk to you about money. They came to learn more about your products or services, and to decide whether they want to do business with you. Focusing on the costs rather than the benefits is a sure way to squash your sale. Relax and enjoy your interaction, and don’t worry about the money.
Selling your services or products is an inevitable part of business. W.I.T.S. has the sales tools you need to succeed as a fitness practitioner. The W.I.T.S. Fitness Management Certification course offers countless tips and strategies for growing your business through new sales. Continuing education courses that focus on sales can also be found in our Fitness Business Institute. Try one of the following: Promotion and Sales Basics; Identifying Your Products and Services; Setting Prices for Profitability; Developing Your Business Strategy; Establishing Your Brand and Image; Developing Your Marketing and Promotion Strategy; Developing Relationships: The Key to Success.
ChangingMinds.org: Open Body Language
Psychology Today: There’s Magic in Your Smile
*Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.