Assumptive…is that even a word? And what in the world does it have to do with the ability to sell?
In the beginning of my sales career, I would have been asking myself that question. Today, assumptive is the quality that I attribute to sales success.
In relation to membership sales, assumptive describes an approach in which you assume (or believe) that each prospect who comes into your club is there to enroll. Assumptive selling begins with communication. Your conduct will determine whether you are in the “driver's seat” of a sale. You must pay attention to your greeting, your eye contact, and your ability to ask questions and listen to a prospect.
You must also have confidence in yourself and your facility. With so many clubs available, it's easy for prospects to object to a sale, saying that they want to check out other nearby clubs first. That's why you must be in control in order to close.
When it comes to selling, attitude is everything. Or is it? If you're not in control of the sale, your attitude may not be enough.
To gain control, you must use the tour to analyze needs and gather information. But first put the person at ease. Prior to showing a prospect around your facility, take the time to sit down in a comfortable setting and build a relationship. After greeting the prospect, let her know the agenda of the visit. This allows the prospect to take her guard down and begin to feel comfortable about what is going to happen. Remember, people only buy from people they can trust.
The key to maintaining control is to ask qualifying questions that will help uncover potential objections which may arise later on. Asking questions will also teach you to keep the prospect involved. If you analyzed the prospect's needs, you should be ready to show her how your facility will meet her needs. (Notice I used the word “will,” not “can.”)
Think about how to make the prospect visualize herself as a member. For example, show her how she will check into the club with a membership card. This way, she can actually “picture” doing it.
Focus only on the areas of the club that are of most interest to the prospect. If you know she will be using the club before work, or during lunch, make sure to show her how the lockers work, explaining what she will need to bring.
If your club offers complimentary fitness orientations, make it a point to introduce your prospect to the trainer who will help her start her program. The more people (members and staff) your prospect can meet, the more she will feel comfortable about the decision to join your club.
Closing the sale should be the logical progression of the sales process. If you have used an assumptive approach throughout the sale, the closing stage can be as simple as the prospect picking out a membership option and choosing a payment method. At least that is what should be going on in your mind.
Remember, a “no” is not about you personally. What “no” really means is that a prospect just doesn't have enough information to make a decision. If you have done a great job of communicating, maintaining control, and involving a prospect along the way, then presenting membership options with confidence will often result in a successful close.
The bottom line: Assumptive equals confidence equals increased sales!
Stefani Whiteman is a sales/marketing consultant in the health/fitness industry with more than seven years of experience. She is based out of East Providence, R.I., and can be reached at (401) 433-4692 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sample Agenda for Controlling the Sale
“John, the first thing we'll do is have a seat so that I can find out a little bit more about you and your goals. Next, we will take a tour of the facility. After I show you the facility, we will come back, and I will sit down with you and review the different membership options to find out which one will work out best for you.”
Are You Being Assumptive?
ASSUME each member who visits your club is there to join.
ASSUME a telephone inquiry is going to result in an appointment.
ASSUME at point of sale you will be receiving referral names from each new member.
ASSUME when calling renewals who are about to expire that they're going to re-sign.
ASSUME that by using these techniques you will begin to sell more memberships!