The other night I was going through my Netflix searching for a movie to watch and came across “Glengarry Glen Ross.” The infamous American drama penned by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright David Mamet. The film depicts two days in the life of four real estate salesmen and the life of high pressure sales. About 90 minutes later, I sat open mouthed on my couch, ruminating on the master class in drama I had witnessed. What really struck me was how true it was to real life. Just the week before, I had dealt with not one, but two of these slippery salespeople who wielded their Jedi mind tricks. It left me thinking, “there has to be a better (insert classier, more authentic, or maybe honorable here) way to do business and still keep your conscience clear,” but how?
In our business as Pilates instructors, unlike the sales team of Glengarry, we rarely receive training on how to convert a first time student into a life-long practitioner. Depending on if you work in a private studio, in the client’s home, or for a big gym, you might have more pressure to close that sale but close the sale you must. I don’t know about you, but I break into a cold sweat just thinking about cold calling or pressuring someone into plunking hundreds of dollars worth of Pilates onto their credit card. Nevertheless, we all need to put food in our mouth, clothes on our back, and maybe pay the occasional bill or two. Below are my do’s and don’t’s of making a successful sale less slimy and more smooth:
Do let people know what you have to offer. Nothing sleazy or underhanded here; just the facts. I teach Pilates, period. You’d be surprised how many people don’t even know what you do…
Don’t bombard your Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks with sales-y posts. Think of social media as the dating period. Would you have a second date if your blind date asked you to get married right away? It takes time for prospects to get to know you and trust you before they buy.
Do give away high value for free. That’s right, be willing to give some of what you got for free. It says to your prospects, “You like this awesome stuff I’m giving away? Uh huh, there’s much more where that came from!” Get your free stuff out to the world by writing informative articles, giving potential clients a comp session, or making free YouTube videos strutting your stuff. Once they see what amazing content you are offering for free, they won’t be able to wait to see what your paid programs are like! The general rule is, free, free, fee.
Don’t try and sell anything that you wouldn’t buy. Authenticity is key here. Let your zeal and excitement for what you do shine through. Just a little natural emotion when you share about the benefits of a Pilates practice, the advantages of learning it in a professional studio, or the value of multiple sessions a week- can make the sale alone. Passion is contagious and yours will be IF it’s real.
Do use call to actions in your marketing materials and blogs. A call to action is just a simple phrase or link for someone to take action after reading something you’ve put out in the market-o-sphere. For example, you’ve just written a great blog post about the history of Pilates and Joe Pilates himself. At the bottom of your article you could add something like, “If you’re interested in experiencing the work of this amazing man for yourself click here and book a free intro session with me today!” Maybe, it’s not even a sales call to action but rather one to further engage with your ideal customer. If you post something on Facebook about getting your weekly Pilates workout in, ask people to comment below and leave examples of what exercises they found challenging. This leaves a perfect opportunity to interact and continue to build your relationship with your followers and give away free advice.
Want to learn more about being authentic in your marketing? Lindsay is sharing her tips and tricks at this month’s Biznass Social May 30th in NYC. Click here for details and to register.
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