4 Ways to Pre-qualify Prospects to Convert More Leads into Great Clients
If you're an online personal trainer, converting the leads you get during the sales process is the lifeblood of your business. It's how you generate cash, and it's critical that you make the very best of every "good fit" lead that comes along.
It would be best if you didn't accept people into your fitness business that you can't help, who can't ethically afford your services, aren't congruent with your ideal client avatar, or who you don't like. But everyone else? They're valuable leads. Here are 4 ways you can make sure the prospects that come to you will be ideal candidates for your program.
#1. Pre-qualify With Your Content
The first, and arguably most important, way to pre-qualify a prospect is through the content you produce and publish. Content is anything from videos, written posts on social media, and even blog articles. The content you publish should speak very clearly to one specific type of client. It's just as important that you repel the wrong clients as much as attracting the right ones.
Don't make the mistake of marketing your online training services as broadly as you would do your face-to-face training services in the gym. The online marketplace is enormous, and it's far more effective to speak very clearly to one type of client than it is to try to address everyone. Don't worry about turning people off your coaching, it's impossible to be too niche.
#2. Pre-qualify With Your Interactions
When people interact with your content, respond to your broadcast emails, or even vote on an Instagram poll, they're reaching out for interaction with you. That is an excellent opportunity to chat with them, maybe even open a conversation via direct messages to learn more about what they're struggling with and to feel each other out as a potentially good fit to work together.
Be patient, and don't be in too much of a hurry to sell to these guys. These interactions are more like dating than marriage. Get to know one another, be yourself, and use your social media app's voice note feature to get your personality and tonality across. Asking questions at this stage about how long they've wrestled with their problem, or why now is a good time to look for support with their goals can all reveal their readiness to commit to working with you. You can consider this a pre-qualification on "readiness to change".
#3. Pre-qualify With Your Booking Software
If the chat reveals that you could be a good fit and you'd like to learn about their problem, and their goals, in a bit more depth, your next step will likely be to direct them to book a phone call or a video chat with you.
Speaking to a human being is essential at this stage for many prospects, especially those looking for online coaching because you're asking them to hand over their money for your service. They want to know that you're a real person, that you care about them and their goals, and that you have some chemistry when working together.
If you have a personal trainer website, you might display the cost of working together on the site itself so that there are no nasty surprises when people sign up. But if you don't, you will still likely have some call booking software set up that allows people to schedule calls with you. If not, Calendly is a great place to start, it's highly affordable and integrates nicely with PT Distinction too.
As part of the software, you can include some questions for the prospect, including the investment they're ready to make. There's nothing worse than getting through the sales call, sometimes at pretty anti-social times, if you have clients in other time zones, only to find out, they thought this was some free or very low-cost challenge and have them pull out.
That's an hour of your life you'll never get back! Adding a question at this point makes it clear to the prospect that if you are a great fit to work together, and they can see the value in your coaching programme for their needs, this will cost them £X per day, week or month. You can even include a price positioning comment, like "that's less than a cup of coffee every day" for comparison to anchor the price of investing with you to something they already know.
#4. Pre-qualify With Your Opening On The Call
Once you get on a sales call, it doesn't hurt to ensure that the prospect understands they're booking in for paid coaching. Take the time before you start going deep into the conversation and confirm that if they are an excellent fit for your programme, and they see the value in your help, that you'll invite them to work with you at a financial investment that will range from £X to £Y.
That one question alone can save you spending an hour on the phone running through every little detail of your programme. If you've done all the pre-qualifying steps before this point, there should be absolutely no issue with asking that question upfront. They already understand how much they'll pay if they want to go ahead and it's a quick confirmation only.
Throughout your relationship, there are many times with the prospect that you'll check on their compatibility with your business, their readiness to change, and their ability and willingness to invest in your coaching package. Not everyone will be right for you as a client, and you aren't the right coach for everyone.
It's important these pre-qualifying questions are completed for a successful coaching relationship to give meaningful support to all your clients. These checklists ensure that you aren't diluting your message, accepting the wrong sort of client into your programme or accepting money from people you cannot help. In this way, pre-qualifying ensures that the sales process is smooth and, more importantly, ethical at every stage.