For many of us fitness professionals, we started our careers because of our love for what fitness has done for us and what we believe it can do for anyone and everyone. We come at it with love and passion. We become zealots. And so, we start a business.
Many of us, much like every other business, believe the “if you build it, they will come” mentality. We think, “I just need a space, some gear and a sign, and people will come pouring in.” They will come clamoring for our knowledge and begging us to take their money so they too can have a six-pack and a “magazine body.”
Then we learn the hard lesson: no one is knocking down the door. In fact, getting people to sign up gets hard; sometimes it even feels impossible. What’s worse is we can’t figure out why. We’re good people and we want good things for others. We’re kind, courteous and passionate. Why won’t they sign up?
Over the last several years I have racked my brain to answer this question and I think I’ve found an answer. Maybe not THE answer, but an answer none-the-less.
Not the customers; no, we are afraid. Afraid of rejection. Afraid we won’t be able to deliver on the value we’re asking people to pay. Afraid to ask for what we charge and offer discounts to counter that fear. We’re afraid to say the wrong thing. We’re afraid, and it seems insurmountable when you realize it.
However, there is one thing you can do to counter that kind of fear.
What do I mean? Next time you go to call a prospect, give a tour to a new person who’s just walked in or chat with someone who just tried a free class, take a second and remind yourself why you do this.
Love and passion. A true desire to see people become fitter, healthier versions of themselves. I remind myself I am offering them a path to that end out of love and care.
The trainers that work in my gym, including myself, have started doing this and it has made all the difference. It’s made giving our recommendations as professionals so much easier. It’s made overcoming objections much simpler and made rejection easier to deal with.
Example of our dialogue: “Because I care about you as a human, this is what I recommend to get your fitness on the right track. That doesn’t work? What if we do this instead? No? Not for you? OK, what can I do to help you find what you’re looking for on your fitness journey? Awesome! Here’s what we can/you should do.”
Did you feel that? How easy that was to read? How would it feel coming out of your mouth? You give your recommendation out of love and if they don’t take it, that’s OK. Have a back-up and if they reject that, don’t just cut them loose, but ask how you can help. Why? Because if you really live in a place where you are doing this for the love of helping people get healthy and fit, pointing them in a direction that will help them will put you at peace that you did the right thing. It will do the same thing for them. And now, you build a reputation. As your reputation grows, so too will your confidence.
Obviously, the above statement isn’t verbatim, but it’s a template. Imagine they say yes to the first or second option. But the statement and idea are built to help drive out fear. How? Love drives out fear. If you love what you do in a conscious way, the fears of rejection and inadequacy fade. Even if they do reject every offer, you acted out of love, passion and integrity.
You need sales to survive as a business. Making sales is scary for everyone. If you can focus on love and caring, the fear slips away and sales gets a little easier.