Welcome to From Passion to Profit, where we talk about all things related to creating a successful health and fitness business. I'm your host, Nichola Page. And in this episode, we'll be looking at the four mistakes to avoid when you're signing up new clients.
Firstly, though, we do need to understand why people make buying decisions in the first place. Then we need to make sure we show them how what we are offering, is the perfect solution. We need to make it as simple as possible for them to say yes.
We also need to have a process in place that doesn't leave money on the table, which is something I see happening a lot. It's a big mistake I'm keen for you to avoid.
But how do people make buying decisions? Often, we assume that a buying decision is a logical thing. When in actual fact, it's not logic that causes us to make a buying decision, it’s actually an emotional decision. We actually back rationalise after we've made the decision. At the time of saying… Yes, I want to sign up, or yes, I want to buy this thing (unless what we are buying is a matter of life and death) we will base the decision to say yes to something, or no to something, based on how it makes us feel.
The brain is set up in a way to keep us safe. If we are being positioned with, or propositioned with something where someone is saying… you need to buy this because XYZ - if our subconscious brain is thinking, ‘that doesn't make me feel safe, this is not the best decision for you to make’, you will get a sense of NO, I don't think that's for me. You will come up with a whole host of reasons as to why you shouldn't do that. I can't really afford it right now. I haven't got the time for that. I need to check with my significant other. There will be a whole host of reasons and probably there are reasons you might be hearing from your prospective clients. All of these excuses and barriers come up because they didn't feel (which is an emotion), that this was the right decision for them.
What we have to do when we're positioning what we offer, is make sure that we connect to those emotions. So how do we do that? What we offer, must show that it is the solution to get them from where they are, to where they want to be.
For most people, buying something particularly in the health or fitness industry - the reason why we are looking for a solution is because they want to move away from something that we're not happy with at the moment. We want to move away from pain. You've probably heard about the pain and pleasure principle. You want to move away from pain and over to pleasure. That's exactly what is happening, particularly in our industry.
It might be that it's physical pain, back pain, neck pain, whatever it is. It might be actual physical pain that they want to move away from. Or it might be more emotional pain. How they're feeling about themselves, Or it might be to do with their fitness. There are pain points as to why somebody wants that solution in the first place. So, we have to connect to that. We have to show that, what we are proposing they do next is going to move them away from where they're at right now. Which is something they don't want or they're confused about, or they're worried about and so on. And then how what we're offering takes them over the bridge and over to the land of pleasure. It gets them to where they want to be.
Sometimes people don't necessarily know what it is they want, they’re more fixated on what they don't want. If you've ever done a goal-setting session with a client for the first time and you've said… Okay, tell me why are you here? What is it that you want? If you pay attention to what they're saying what you'll actually hear, even though you've asked them, what is it you want, what you'll actually hear them say is… I'm really not fit enough, or I don't like the way I look, or I've put on too much weight, or my back's really hurting. What they've just told you is, what they don't want. Even though you specifically said, tell me what it is you want. It's because they are so entrenched in where they are at right now, sometimes they don't know what they can have instead. We have to paint that picture very clearly about what it is they want.
Understanding that in order to make a buying decision, you've got to connect with somebody's emotions. In order to be able to help that person and take them over the bridge, away from the pain and over to pleasure.
Mistake number one that I see happening a lot is - talking about features, what's included, what they get access to, far more than the outcomes. So, for example, it might be that you are offering a package that has access to 10 sessions, they're an hour long, you get a diet to follow, you get access to a library of recorded workouts - that's the features. You've just listed, what's included. That is not going to get the person to say yes, not on its own.
You still need to say what's included, but you need to make sure you link each one of your features to an outcome. Why is having access to a library of recorded videos of benefit to them? How does that help them? Take them over the bridge? How does having access to 10 hours’ worth of classes or sessions, take them over the bridge? How does, giving them the right exercises to do, take them over the bridge?
Mistake number one is just listing features. Take a look at, or think back to the last time that you spoke to somebody in a selling scenario. Where you were trying to get them to say yes to what you're offering? Did you just list the features? Because if you did, you weren't connecting to that emotional part of the buying decision. That's something you need to start to look at. How can you link your features to the outcomes?
Mistake number two that I see happening is …giving people too much choice or not enough. For example, if you have a membership on offer and you only want people to do one class a week. You might say, so here's what you can sign up to next… It's a membership, it's once a week. Even if you list all the features and the outcomes, and you then say - is this something you'd like to do? What you've done is given the choice of yes or no. By just offering somebody one thing that they could sign up to, they've still got two choices - yes or no. You've dramatically increased, particularly if you make mistake number one which is not including outcomes, the chance of them saying no, right now. We want to avoid just offering one thing to somebody.
The other mistake that's in line with this is - offering too many options. This is very common. There might be a once-a-week option, or twice-a-week option, or three times-a-week option. There might be another option where you could do it online, or it could be offline, or it could be a hybrid mix. They're going to experience what's called, analysis paralysis. It's too overwhelming. If you are positioning all of these different options to somebody, they are going to have to think about it. This is where you start to hear… have you got some information you can send to me. Let me have a think about that. That's code for, I have no clue, you've just given me so much to think about, I don't know which one is right for me.
The mistake I see here is either giving one option, which means you've dramatically bought no in to play, or giving too many options where you've just overwhelmed somebody, they don't know what they're doing, they need to go home and have a lie down in a dark room to think about it. The best way to go about this is to offer two or three options. You can ask them which one of these feels best for you. You can even give your guidance as to which one you feel is the better option.
So, mistake number one was just listing features, without the outcomes, stop doing that. Mistake number two is either giving one option, or too many. How can you bring that down to two or three maximum options for somebody to choose from?
There is something called the rule of three. Which is where, the ideal scenario is, you give somebody three choices. People like to be in control. They don't like to feel like they're being backed into a corner. If there are three choices, I can think about which one of these is better for me. Showcase how each one is slightly different.
Mistake number three is not asking if somebody wants to sign up. Again, this is very common. So, here's how this one plays out. Somebody has signed up to your taster class, they come along to that taster class, they have an amazing time, of course, because you're great at what you do. You speak to them at the end, you say how was it? Did you enjoy it? They love it. There's all of this conversation that goes on. And then you say. here's some information or have a think about if you want to sign up, let me know if you would like to carry on. And off they go, off they trot. You didn't ask them there and then; you didn't tell them what their options were, and you didn't say - so which one do you want to move forward with?
You just left the money on the table, the minute that person walks out the door without you even attempting to ask them if they want to sign up. As soon as they walk out that door, the colder they get. You're there to provide a service to somebody. You know that you can help them and the only way that you can help them achieve the results they want, is by them saying yes and signing up to what you are offering.
But somehow this whole asking for the money side of things just gets in your head, and it just stops you from actually getting somebody over the line. Is that you? Because if that is you, that's often down to money mindset. You can do this in a way that is not pushy, that is not salesy, that's giving somebody the options of getting some more help. That's all it is. They've taken a step towards you, at least give them the option to move a bit closer. At least ask them if they would like more help rather than letting them go away and have a think about it because you feel slightly awkward about asking for the money.
If you are asking, if you are presenting what the options are and asking them if they want to sign up, and then letting them know … great, I'll send you an email with a link in for you to sign up. They're going to go away, and life is going to get in their way. Something is going to happen, whether that email gets through or not in the first place, whether something has occurred, and now they're really busy, they don't see the email.
Now time goes by, and they're still not signing up. And you're left thinking, do I follow up with them? Are they going to do it or are they not? Have a way in your business, where if somebody says, yes, I want to sign up to x programme - you can there and then say great, here's a link you need to click on or if it's face to face, great, let's do your payment side of it. Have some kind of payment system that you can take the money there and then rather than sending them an email after the fact and hoping that they follow through. Some people will but there'll be a large percentage of people that won't. And again, you've just left money on the table.
The fourth mistake is no follow up. The scenario goes like this… Somebody comes in, has a consultation with you, seems really interested. Maybe you didn't quite nail the outcomes? Or maybe you didn't ask them if they want to sign up there and then. They go, yep let me think about that. So, it wasn't a yes and it wasn't a no. It’s send me some information, or I need to speak to my other half about that first, or let me move some money around or whatever the myriad of excuses are. And off they trot. You're left thinking, are they going to do it? Or are they not and therefore you don't follow up.
Mistake number four is no follow up and no consistent follow up. Maybe you try and reach them the next day and you don't get an answer. Or you send them an email and there's no response. You're like, oh, they obviously don't want it then, that was a time waste. No, not necessarily. You have to have a follow up process that will continue to follow up with them for weeks, months, maybe even years.
Something may have happened that affected their decision to say yes to you at that particular time. But if you don't follow up, consistently follow up, somebody else will step in, and they will become their client.
What I hear a lot is, I just feel too awkward. Is that not being too pushy? I feel like I'm being desperate if I continue to follow them up. No, they came towards you. They were looking for a solution to a problem that they have, and you have the answer to that. It was just at that time, for whatever reason, maybe due to some of the mistakes we've said here or maybe there was something else, that meant that they didn't sign up there and then. But they didn't say, No, I don't want it, I'm not interested. Please don't contact me again. They said, let me think about it. Or yeah, I'll come back to you. That was a maybe.
There are some stats that show 20% of people who have an experience with you, will sign up straightaway. They were already going to sign up with you. It didn't matter what you did, unless it was completely awful, they were going to sign up. 20% easy. There are 20% of people, particularly if what you're offering is free, that are just not going to sign up, no matter how great or amazing you are. Then you've got this big pot of 60% of people who could, with a few more follow ups with a bit more connection. Maybe they are not ready now but if you follow up consistently, they will do at some point in the future.
I've had people that I've had conversations with for my business, who I felt sure were going to sign up there and then, but it didn't happen. Because I was consistent with the follow up, two years later they become a client. Because I stayed in their minds, I kept connected. It might not be the right time for them then, but at some point, in the future, unless they go somewhere else, you will be the perfect solution.
Have you got a strong follow up? And if you haven't, you are again, leaving money on the table. So don't forget to follow up.
Let's re look at what those four mistakes are for you to identify. Are you making any of them and if you are, your actions are to rectify that part of your business.
First and foremost, how do people make their buying decisions in the first place?
Mistake number one was - are you just showcasing the features without the outcomes? People need to see how what you are offering, what you are doing takes them over that bridge. The only way they can see that is by you showcasing the outcomes they will get, the results that they get from working with you. Are you doing that or not? If you're not, start doing that.
Mistake number two was looking at the number of options that you are giving people to work with you. How many are you offering? One? Because if you are, you've just put no into play. Are you giving them too many options? Because if you are, you're confusing them, overwhelming them. Strip it down to two or three options.
Mistake number three, are you even asking them if they want to sign up? Or do you get to that part of it, and you just feel so awkward? Here's some information or have a think about it and let me know. Find your way of being able to overcome that, whether it's your own money mindset, or whether it's just a tweak in the way that you say things. But don't forget to ask, do they want to sign up.
Then the final mistake was, your follow up. If you're not following up, you're leaving money on the table. There is another term that's out there in the sales world - the fortune is in the follow up.
I hope you found this session useful, and it's got you thinking about the different mistakes that you may be making. Pick one of them and rectify it. If you've got more than one, just pick one. Start from the beginning, pick one, change that, improve that.
Remember, the only way that you get to help more people is by positioning what you're offering in a way that they're going to say yes to.