Do you want to be known for something so special that potential customers won’t walk away searching for a better price elsewhere? In his book Just Say Yes!, Philip Nulman offers a nine-point solution to capture customer loyalty without using price. This model will help you establish the groundwork for creating excellence that will set your fitness center apart from the competition.
1. Create excitement
To create excitement about your facility, sell the experience beyond your services. A membership to your facility may be more exciting if you are able to use anecdotes about how your fitness assessments have changed lives. Perhaps these assessments have brought conditions like high blood pressure or high cholesterol to the attention of members. Excitement is not always positive – it moves people to action.
2. Break down the buy/sell barrier
Sell a concept, not a service. Become a teacher instead of a salesperson. Instead of selling a membership, sell the enormous benefits of being active. Then, encourage customers to consider their options before settling on your fitness center. When this is done with honesty and integrity, it breaks down the buyer/seller agenda.
3. Create true interactive dialogue
Real dialogue rarely has a sales tone; its’ informal conversation. Engage the customer in real conversation about your facility. This removes you as the “seller” and into the role of “human being.” Even talking a customer out of a higher-priced membership package can create loyalty that will increase its worth to you over time.
4. ‘Touch’ the customer
Touch your customer emotionally by using body language and eye contact, and with your expressions. The goal is for them to understand your sincerity. Touching customers puts value on the relationship that supersedes other issues, like price, but it is only effective when done with passion on your part.
5. Sell service before product
Selling service first sells the product more easily. When selling personal training, discuss motivation and personal attention, before mentioning the physical benefits. Often, potential members are shopping for information they can use to make comparisons between fitness centers. If you communicate great customer service, you are more likely to get the sale.
6. Include the customer in the buying decision
Create loyalty and the desire to do business with you as often as possible. Most members will tell you what they want or need. Create a sales experience that delivers all three. If you can’t give customers what they desire, get creative. If they want a better deal on their membership price, give them more free guest passes, or a few free personal training sessions.
8. Create intimacy
Become a partner with your members by listening, responding, acknowledging and respecting. Members understand that your business needs to make money, but they don’t necessarily sympathize with businesses. It’s important to break down these barriers, and to relate to the customer as a peer.
9. Communicate as a real person
Don’t sound like a salesperson; sound like a person. You can still tell about guarantees, integrity, comparable value or trial membership. Just do it as a real person.
People want value, but value doesn’t only relate to price. Value is the quality of the total experience. If you think of encounters with members in terms of building a relationship that can enhance your facility, you will have success at building customer loyalty.