Casey : I want you to imagine that when somebody walks into the facility, they’re a blank canvas in front of you and you’re trying to figure out enough information about this person, just cursory, right, so that you can intelligently move into a deeper qualifying, but you’re doing it because you gain rapport quickly with this person.
Chantal : Welcome along to the FBP Intensive Series, brought to you by ABC Financial. I’m your host Chantal and this is a four part series where one expert guest presents on one key topic each week for four weeks. During each show, you will receive practical tips and actions to implement in your fitness business. Our focus topic for this series is sales and our expert guest is Casey Conrad. Now if you missed episode one in the series, then head over to fitnessbusinesspodcast.com and select the tab at the top of the screen called “Intensives.” They’re you’re gonna find our first series on retention, plus episode one of our sales intensive series featuring Casey.
Now before we dive into this week’s episode, here is a quick word from our podcast partner.
Keith Lansdale: Hi, this is Keith Lansdale from ABC Financial. If you have a club anywhere north of Texas all the way west to Alaska and Hawaii, I would absolutely love to help you with your software and billing solutions. You can contact me at Keith.firstname.lastname@example.org. Look forward to hearing from you soon.
Chantal : I am very excited to say a warm welcome back to our expert guest, Casey Conrad.
Casey : Woo-hoo, yeah! Good to be back.
Chantal : I love your energy to start the show, Casey. Now last week you joined us and we talked about the eight steps to fitness sales. We said that this week we’re gonna be talking more about that initial conversation that you have before you actually take a qualified lead and you tour them. So do you want to start us off by telling us what’s the actual outcome that we should be trying to achieve in the conversation?
Casey : Sure. So of course what we’re talking about here is step two to the sales process, which is meet and greet. Okay? With the meet and greet, our goal here is to number one, pre-qualify the guest and number two, try to as quickly as possible establish rapport with them. All right now, when I say pre-qualify, what do I mean? I want you to imagine that when somebody walks into the facility, they’re a blank canvas in front of you and you’re trying to figure out enough information about this person just cursory, right, so that you can intelligently move into a deeper qualifying, but you’re doing it because you’ve gained rapport quickly with this person.
So the pre-pre-conversation to this is have you been studying personality types? Have you been studying NLP, matching and mirroring, facing and leading, all of those things? Those are all important behind the scenes. More advanced training, but certainly behind the scenes important components to doing this step well.
Chantal : Casey, so we’ve done that pre-work that you talk about so let’s put ourselves in that situation. Do you want to now talk us through any specific script suggestions that you might suggest that we use?
Casey : Absolutely, and I’ve been using them for 30 years. There are five pre-qualifying questions that should absolutely be asked at the front desk or wherever that lobby area is in your particular facility, because obviously we’ve got studios listening to us. We’ve got big box clubs. We’ve got smaller owner-operated clubs. It doesn’t really matter. Wherever you’re greeting the client, the prospect, this is where these five questions should be asked. It doesn’t matter whether you have a front desk person or not. Obviously you just tweak it if you’re the person approaching them the first time and they haven’t checked into a front desk.
So number one, you are always gonna say to the person, “Hi. My name’s Casey. How can I help you today?” Right? “And you are?” So there’s kind of two questions right there. You’re basically asking them how can I help you and you’re trying to get their name. So depending on how the person walks in, if I see someone’s coming in with a little bit of piss and vinegar, I might just quickly say, “Hi, how can I help you?” You know? Because I can see this person’s on a mission and I want them to feel that I sense and can relate to their urgency.
If they aren’t in such a rush and I am coming up after the front desk has paged me, I might say, “Hi Jane, Casey Conrad. How can I help you?” Right, so I know their name from the front desk, I can use their name. Casey Conrad, say mine. If I don’t know their name, I want to get their name but regardless, I don’t care if the front desk called you and said, “I got Jane here and she wants to talk to you about buying a membership.”
I always, always, always, always, always, always never assume. Ask the person, “How can I help you,” because two things. Number one, more times than not you get to the front desk. The front desk told you that someone was there for a tour and you get there and the person says, “Yeah, I’m here to cancel my membership.” It does happen. Trust me, right? So you want to hear it directly from the horse’s mouth. What does this person want, okay?
But the second thing that a lot of people don’t realise is you’re listening for cues. What’s an example? “Yeah I wanted to speak to somebody about membership,” versus, “Yeah, I wanted to take a look at your club.” Two very different personality types in terms of their strategy for communication. One is an auditory person. “I’d like to speak to somebody about membership.” And one is a visual person. “I want to take a look at your facility.” So you’re gonna, as you advance in your skills, you’re gonna actually adjust not only your language, but with someone who wants to speak to somebody about membership, you’re probably gonna spend more time sitting than you are up looking ’cause they want to speak to somebody. Whereas in a visual person, you’re gonna get through that sitting period as quickly as possible to get them out so you can show them the facility. Okay?
So that’s why I always, always, always… And I want to hear their tonality, right? I said, “Yeah, I’d like to take a look at your facility,” right? Well, let’s give you two examples. “Yeah I stopped by ’cause I wanted to take a look at your facility,” versus, “Hi, yeah. I wanted to take a look around.” So think of how much you just learned there to paint your canvas of this person. It’s interesting, isn’t it?
Chantal : Absolutely. Last week we talked about the importance of role play. So thinking about what you’ve just described to us and now knowing that it’s a complete guessing game. You could get any personality type at any given time. Does that mean that it’s important that we role play these different situations so it’s not one stock standard situation of how we actually greet someone, because as you’ve just said to us, sometimes we need to suddenly adapt and sit down with a person versus actually take them round for a tour. So is the role play… Is it important that we role play those different scenarios?
Casey : Yeah, and I’m gonna give you the lawyer answer in me. It depends, okay? It really does. If I’ve got a brand new sales team, I can’t do that. Shit, they’re having a hard enough time just doing the basic script, right? Now are they gonna think about, “Oh, they said visual words. I have to use look and see. Is that clear and imagine this,” versus “Does that sound good to you? Can you hear what I’m saying? Does that make sense, right?” So these are things that come natural to me because I’ve been doing it for 30 years. With an advanced team, this is the kind of stuff I like to bring to the table. We’ll put all these little things in a hat. So you might pull out visual woman who has a long time store.
So I’ll throw in all of these kind of really advanced things with an advanced team, but that’s not the norm in our industry because the turnover rate’s fairly high. Typically what happens is these types of advance trainings usually happen in a setting outside of the facility where you’re sending your people to an advance training if they are able to handle that. But I’m not saying don’t ever do it. Certainly the great thing about being inside the club is that you can do a lot after the tour. I can actually ask the salesperson what words did they use? You know? You can tell by their eye or you’ve got a good ear. You can overhear some of these things with the prospect for your sales team and then you can kind of zero in afterwards and say, “Hmm, well what words were they using?” So you’re bringing up their antenna, right? You’re bringing up their awareness antenna over time.
Chantal : Now I interrupted you halfway through your answer to script suggestions, so I’ll let you get back to that now.
Casey : Yes, I was actually two-fifths, not really halfway.
Chantal : My mistake.
Casey : That’s for the auditory digital people in the group. They would’ve said that, but me, I’m a visual person. So yeah, about halfway. So the next question, number three is “How did you hear about our club?” Of course. Of course you’re asking this because we want to know from a marketing perspective what’s working, okay? But there’s another reason of course that I want to know this. There’s a huge difference between someone saying, “I saw a Facebook ad,” or “I drove by,” versus “A friend of mine’s a member here,” or “so-and-so told me about you.”
It’s very different if somebody drove by the club and walked in cold, no rapport, no other connections versus “my friend.” So I literally want to hear that. Now if they said to me, “Oh, I heard about you through Facebook,” I personally… and this is a Casey thing. It’s hard to train your sales people to do this. I say, “Any way else did you hear about us? Any way else?” So I’ll actually ask it a total of three times because it’s interesting. As we get into an age where it’s much more difficult to figure out how the heck do we spend our marketing dollars ’cause nothing seems to really be the home run or the triple that it used to be. I like to try to collect a little more data. Okay?
So if they heard about us through a friend, of course there’s follow-up questions that you want to ask. “Oh, who is that?” If you know them, then acknowledge that and align with that. “Oh great.” If you don’t know them, don’t bullshit and say, “Oh Jane, sure. Oh yeah,” and then you find out she’s at the other club down the street, you know? So don’t BS your way through that, but if they found out about a friend, whether you know them or don’t know them, you’re gonna ask another follow-up question and that is, “Great. Are you planning on working out with her or are you gonna be coming in at a different time?”
Now notice how fantastic that question is because if they give you a, “Oh, I’m gonna be coming in at the same time,” or “No, we work different schedules,” then you can get a sense the thermometer for where this person is. But if they look at you and they go, “Well, I don’t know whether I’m gonna join you or not,” then you’re like, “Erk, brakes on. I gotta go gain a little more rapport ’cause I just stepped over this guy’s line.”
I know. I know what you’re thinking and if you’re listening to this podcast, you’re thinking, “Holy guacamole! I gotta memorise is this and that, is this and that?” Yes! Do you think a surgeon memorised the steps to taking out your flippin’ appendix? Of course you gotta memorise it. I’m not asking you to memorise rocket science here. This is just good common sense that gets you another piece to put that canvas together, okay?
So step four ’cause I don’t know, I haven’t been looking at the clock. We might be running out of time. I gotta get this in. It’s have you been in the facility before? If they haven’t, then it’s easy. You go to the next question. But if they have of course, there is a subset of questions. “When was that? Do you remember who you worked with? Did you work out or just take a tour? I’m curious, did Bob have time to go over memberships with you?” If the answer’s yes, then, “Really? What prevented you from getting started that day?” It’s gonna depend, right? If they came in a year ago, well okay. If they came in two weeks ago, yeah, it’s a totally different situation. They came in two weeks ago. Maybe the salesperson’s still here. Shame on the salesperson if this person’s walking in the club without an appointment after being here two weeks ago, but that’s another conversation for another day.
This is the type of unfolding of questions that happens so that you can get that additional information and clarity on this person. It tells you a big story. If they came in two weeks ago and they’re back today, well ding ding ding ding. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out this person’s probably here to buy. If it was a year ago, hmm. There’s an objection lurking there that if I don’t uncover that and deal with it, and figure out well what was the emotional trigger that finally pulled them back? Then I’m gonna have a chance of this person walking again ’cause let’s face it, people don’t like to exercise. Right? They’ll find any excuse not to. We’re not selling ice cream here.
This is what I love about it, right? I know you’re laughing. I can hear your giggling in the background and that’s okay.
Chantal : Can you hear me smiling?
Casey : Yeah, but isn’t this the beauty? You see, this is what a lot of people that don’t stick around long enough to sell don’t realise. This is an art. This is a craft. This is fun. It’s like the ultimate game of, “Wow. I wonder if I can learn enough about this person psychologically quickly enough to get them to make the best decision of their life,” and that is to start regular exercise.
And the last question in case I’m down to the wire here so we can get it in and then you can ask more questions is, “Do you have time for a complete tour today? That would take around 10 or 15 minutes.” If they say no, then of course I’m gonna try to book them in for another appointment. If they say, “Yes, I do,” then you move into your first transition, which is giving them the brief overview. But we’re not gonna get into that today.
Chantal : Well Casey, you actually set me up for the perfect segue because in that fourth question, you mentioned the word objections. Of course, that’s exactly the topic that we’re gonna be focusing on next week. So before we finish off this week’s show, are there any actions that the listeners can take away that they should complete between week two and week three?
Casey : Of course! Of course, there’s always actions or else it’s just a casual listen. Right, so here’s the action. Number one, if I looked at you right now and asked you to rattle off the eight steps, could you do it? The answer for a lot of people is gonna be no, so get on it. Okay? But this week’s homework is I want you to go back and listen to this several times until you have perfectly scripted out the five questions and the sub questions. Memorise them so when someone comes in and says, “How did you hear about us?” And they say, “Oh, my friend.” Can you immediately say, “Oh great. Who is that? Oh I’m curious. Will you be coming in with them or will you be working out a different time?” Right? So each one… Most of them had sub questions. There’s slightly different variations. Get it scripted out. That’s the only way you’re gonna get to memorise it because if you think you’re just gonna wing it, forget it. That’s a prayer.
Chantal : That’s your action for the next week ahead and then Casey’s coming back to join us next week, where we’re gonna talk about handling objections. Thank you Casey.
Casey : Awesome. Have a great week.
Chantal : The Intensive series wouldn’t be possible without the support of our podcast partner, ABC Financial. ABC Financial leads the health and fitness industry in software and payment processing solutions. If you want your business to thrive with the most advanced club management software, comprehensive payment processing, and customer service that is second to none, then choose ABC Financial. You can request a demo at www.abcfinancial.com.
Also a reminder that thanks to our foundation partner Active Management, you can now download a transcription of each show in the Intensive series. Just go to fitnessbusinesspodcast.com, click on the tab at the top of the page called “Intensive series,” then scroll down and press the button that says, “Access the transcription of this interview.” It is that easy.
A reminder of this week’s actions from Casey is to re-listen to the show until you have scripted the pre-qualifying questions that Casey just went through. Once you’ve scripted them, then memorise them. Now of course you can also take the shortcut and download the transcription. Then whatever you do, practise, practise, practise. Thank you so much for joining us for episode two of the FBP Intensive series on sales. I’m your host Chantal, and I’ll see you next week.
Active Management Members receive monthly tools to make your life as a fitness business owner, manager or team members easier. Become a member today at www.ActiveMgmt.com.au/membershipoptions