It is crucial to realize that during a club visit you are not only representing the club, you are dealing with people's concerns and emotions, as well. By properly addressing those concerns and emotions, you can help the guest reach agreement on the value and benefits of joining your club.

CONFIDENCE NOT CONNED

People want to feel confident that they are buying the right product at the right price. They want to feel they are doing the right thing. I want to underscore the word “feel,” because emotion is often a critical factor. They want to feel good about the product, the people, the price and the expected service. If they feel confident in you and your company, they will make the purchase.

Good rapport starts with how the salesperson feels about the prospect. Effective selling starts with caring about your prospect and showing interest in them and in fulfilling their needs.

One of the interesting things about a club membership is that everyone knows that staying healthy has to be a top priority. Everyone needs your service. Health is a result of participation, not being inactive. Therefore, since everyone needs your service when you get a walk-in from your marketing efforts, you can definitely lean toward an assumptive close.

EASY AS 1, 2, 3

Sales can ultimately be broken down into three components: communication, emotion and agreement. In this article, we will emphasize the agreement area. What is a sale? It is an agreement between two parties. It is an exchange where both parties win. We are trying to close the deal so that the prospect joins the club and becomes a participating member. When the deal is closed, we make an agreement and put it in writing — a contract.

In the process of sales, from beginning to close, you are looking for areas you and your prospect can agree on and looking for solutions to the objections the propsect raises. The objections are disagreements or areas in which you are not in agreement. When there is agreement, the sales process flows smoothly. When there is a great deal of disagreement or an inability to reach agreement, the process feels like a lot of effort and struggle — one step forward and two steps back. Therefore, it is crucial to build agreement as you go along in the sales process.

From the initial contact with the prospect, it is important to establish good rapport and good communication so the prospect feels comfortable when talking about a stressful topic. By finding and establishing areas of agreement the sales process can start.

The sales process is a matter of establishing a series of little agreements and handling any disagreements so that the final agreement can be reached and the contract signed. The agreements start from the initial greeting all the way to the close. Your staff might as well get the prospect used to making agreements with you all along the way. When it comes time for the close, the final agreement is easier to make.

Nodding your head up and down is good body language that supports the agreements being made. Being aware of the agreements and disagreements and the way the process is flowing make this method an effective tool.

By viewing sales as a process of making and negotiating agreements, it becomes easier to find out what the prospect needs and wants. In addition, it makes them feel good and confident in the products and services they have purchased. Sales start with caring about your members and providing them with excellent customer service.

Klaus Hilgers, founder and president of Epoch Consultants Inc., is an internationally known consultant, speaker, author and trainer. Contact him at epoch@verizon.net.