This article first appeared in Club Solutions Magazine in November 2020.
Sales remains at its core a conversation focused on discovering the wants and needs of a prospect and agreeing on a solution that helps them to reach their goals. At the same time, the COVID-19 era necessitates some adjustments to the way that fitness and nutrition sales consultations are conducted.
In-Person and Remote
Especially with the advent of online and hybrid membership offerings, clubs can benefit from flexibly making consultations available both in person and remotely in order to accommodate continuing concerns about face-to-face interactions and for simple convenience. In addition to having socially distanced sales conversations on site, clubs can deliver full sales consultations for membership and other services by phone or videoconference. For these remote consultations, the ideal approach incorporates a screen-shared presentation that provides a visual element for improved engagement and consistent conversation structure, a shared video feed of your enrollment consultant or coach to make the interaction more personal, and an online digital assessment administered in advance of or during the sales consultation to more efficiently and thoroughly capture information about your prospect.
The most obvious new element in COVID-19 era consultations is the need to address safety at the very outset, regardless of whether your prospect has explicitly asked or expressed concerns. This includes reviewing safety protocols with reference to standards that have been set for your local area and discussing expectations for member conduct while on site. To preempt later issues or potential conflicts with other members or your staff, this conversation can also address the ways that your location is enforcing compliance, and the steps that a member can take if they have safety concerns after joining.
For many prospects, limited access to fitness facilities due to closures and restrictions along with the inactivity, weight gain and decline in fitness level that may have resulted, has driven a reprioritization and heightened awareness of their physical and mental health. Exploring with your prospects the challenges and impact of this recent period and presenting fitness as a way for them to return to greater normalcy, reduce stress and restore or protect health can be a helpful and influential backdrop to the presentation of your services.
In the rapidly evolving world of consumer retail and AI-enabled smart home devices, prospects increasingly take for granted that they will be understood at a highly personal level by product and service providers, and this expectation has only accelerated across the past months with the further adoption of ecommerce. With that in mind, a comprehensive needs analysis of your prospect, particularly one that is technology-driven, can increase the personalization of your recommendations and in turn improve sales outcomes. The more holistic the needs analysis, the greater the sales benefit, which suggests capturing information that spans body metrics, goals and motivation, fitness history and condition, and weight management history and behaviors, thereby providing the most opportunity to match prospect needs with your full range of services.
Paul Amoruso is the Founder and CEO of Inciteful, which provides contactless online sales assessment software to clubs through its real-time needs analysis platform. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.