The sales call is a vital part of having a higher-priced coaching offer. For group coaching or lower priced offers, selling via social media, direct messages, or email is possible. But for one to one coaching, being able to conduct a sales call with confidence is an essential skill.
In this article, we're going to look at some of the things you should say on a successful sales call, as well as why they're important. The purpose of talking to your prospective clients on the phone is to establish what goals they want to achieve, whether the goal is time-sensitive, and what roadblocks they feel hold them back from achieving that.
#1. Set the Tone by Asking Permission
Starting the sales call is a vital stage where you frame your authority and set the conversation tone. Taking control of what will be discussed and getting express permission from the prospect to lead things is a great way to kick things off.
"I need to understand where you're coming from and what you want to achieve, [name]. This will help me fully understand your goals and what you feel has been holding you back from achieving them so far. I don't want you to feel too interrogated, so is it alright with you if I ask some questions?"
Asking for permission does a few key things. Firstly, it positions you as an expert making a diagnosis of their problem and making a prescription of what they need to overcome it. Secondly, it creates a collaboration between you as the guide and them as the person with the problem's first-hand experience. From this point on, you're working together against the pain. This is key because you're no longer trying to sell them into your programme as a "me versus you" scenario.
#2. Find Out if Your Prospect is the Sole Decision Maker
Near the beginning of the call, you'll also want to set out your expectations. The worst-case scenario by the end of the sales call is someone that doesn't commit either way. One of the main objections may be that they need to speak to a partner.
You can ask something like, "by the end of this call, if everything goes well and you're a good fit for the programme, you may be invited to invest and come on board. There is a financial commitment involved, which you'd have seen when you completed the application form for this call. Is there anyone else that needs to be included in making that decision?"
This question pre-empts the objection about needing to speak to a spouse. There's nothing wrong with talking with a spouse, and being inflexible about including their partner in a decision about their health is a mistake many fitness professionals make. It's far more effective to be proactive about including them with questions like: - Do you have a good support network in place to help you to make these changes? - Does your partner know how you've been feeling? - Have you told your partner how important it is for you to make this change now?
When your clients have support at home from their families, it can make a real difference to their compliance with your programme, as well as their comfort level around investing money in your coaching.
For the sake of the call though, finding out at the start if they are ready to decide on their own will be useful. You may even be able to ask that partner to join the call there and then if he or she is around, or you will be able to focus on the prospective client throughout the chat knowing that a final decision won't be made just yet. That's OK too. It might even help you draw a better picture to that client about how you'll help them so they can pass all that value onto the partner.
#3. Encourage Honesty
Another common objection is that they'll have to think about it. In many ways, this is the worst objection because you know they aren't entirely sold on your coaching as a solution, but by leaving things on a "maybe", you'll waste energy trying to get them to buy and then may still end up refunding them. Being proactive with this objection can feel scary to vocalise on the phone, but it protects your energy after the call and saves you from being ghosted.
You can say something like, "if you're invited to join the programme there are a couple of things you might say to me. First, it's 'I'm in!' and I set about creating your plan and supporting you immediately. You may also say, 'no thanks, this isn't for me' and that's fine too. No hard feelings. But you may be tempted to say, 'I'll have to think about it' and if this is a polite way of telling me no, please don't spare my feelings. I don't want to embarrass you by chasing you up, and making us both feel awkward, so please feel like you can be honest with me, OK?"
#4. Investigate Their Goals, Motivations and Roadblocks
The real "meat" of the call is understanding a few things that you can find out by asking at least the following three questions:
1. What's the goal you want to achieve? 2. Is that goal time-sensitive (such as a wedding or a holiday)? 3. What do you feel is holding you back from seeing the results on your own?
The answer to the last question is pivotal because what they say in response is how they convince themselves that they need your help, and you don't have to do any hard selling at all.
#5. Dig Deeper Into Their Why
Don't be afraid to ask why these elements are essential and allow them to open up about how those struggles impact their everyday life. They'll likely relay a very surface-level, external problem first. Without digging into some of the significant impacts those roadblocks have on their lives and their internal feelings, you're unlikely to make a sale. This is where experience in motivational interviewing will come handy.
For example, they may say they want to lose 20lbs for a delayed honeymoon. You can word the question like: Why do you care about this goal, and what will your life be like when you've achieved it?
When you show compassion and understanding, eventually they open up to you emotionally about how they felt about their wedding photos and how they want to feel more confident in their first photos as a married couple.
#6. Find Out Why They Chose You
Asking them about what they think you can do to help them will tell you why the person on the call thinks you're the right trainer to help them. It may also reveal which parts of your marketing have been most effective.
If you've done a great job with the previous questions and you can genuinely help the client, by this stage they will know if they will hire you or not. Ask this simple question "Why do you need my help to do this?"
#7. Figure Out How Urgent It Is For Them
You can ask the question towards the end before you close the call: "Why is now the right time?" This question will create natural urgency for your prospect. Explaining why they're no longer willing to wait and that they want results straight away will help them handle any hesitation they may feel about seeking change.