Several years ago I consulted with a small health and wellness studio that was just beginning to expand its offerings. The owner decided to hire one of the front-desk staff to be her dedicated salesperson and customer care specialist.
The newly-defined role would be to meet with new clients, go over their health goals, follow up with them throughout their series, and try to convert them to a year membership. At the time, the year membership was just $99/month and included unlimited classes. The clientele of the studio consisted mostly of upper-middle class, and upper income women. The location of the studio was in one of the more wealthy neighborhoods of Seattle. Big homes, big lawns…you get the picture.
The young lady (we’ll call her Fae) who was hired for this position had a great personality, was warm, friendly and engaging. Fae was on the path to becoming an instructor herself, and was in the studio’s teacher training program. She knew the studio’s offerings inside and out, was great on the phone, and everyone liked her.
Her strengths shone through during the initial consultation and throughout the series when she checked in with clients, but she fell short when it came to asking for a commitment for the yearly membership. While she could sign people up when they knew what they wanted, she shied away from upselling or suggestive selling other studio offerings.
Since Fae would get a sign-up bonus for each membership she sold, she came to me for advice on what she was doing wrong. After all, she wanted that money!
After a lengthy discussion, we realized that Fae’s issue was she simply couldn’t comprehend how someone could afford $99/month (over $1200/year after taxes) to have a studio membership. Fae was young, hadn’t been to college, and lived with roommates while existing on a slightly better than minimum-wage salary from the studio. She also tended bar in the evenings. In her heart of hearts Fae felt that she couldn’t afford such an extravagance, and she had never been around people who could, so the whole concept was foreign to her. In Fae’s mind, $99/month for studio classes seemed like a waste of money, and she was being intrusive when asking for that kind of monetary commitment.
This is a classic case of how we, and our experiences, get in the way of our sales presentations. Your clients are not you. They have different needs, different financial situations, different triggers, and different wants. As a small business owner and/or salesperson, it is your job to figure out what your clients wants, what they need, what they can afford, and tell them exactly how your business will fill those needs.
With time and practice, Fae was able to overcome this obstacle and excelled in her new position!
Think about all the extra money you could make by being a mystery shopper, starting your own business, or working from home for a legitimate company. Take control of your income and check out our LEARN page for a list of classes, books, and more!