Monday, March 19, 2007

The 6 Stage Sales Cycle For Fitness Professionals

Stage 1- Identifying your ideal target market. Decide exactly who you are trying to reach with your marketing message. Most fitness professionals are to broad when they are trying to identify their market and in turn their message is not specific enough to have great impact.

Stage 2 - Lead generation—finding prospects in your target market.
There are several kinds of marketing activities you can do to assist in this process including:

Direct mailings
Presenting to area associations in your target market
Public relations
Joint Ventures

Stage 3 - Prospect qualification—examining each of the potential prospects and qualifying them according to set criteria. One of the marketing efforts you can use at this stage is to make them fill something out—whether that’s an information request form, intake form, or requesting a free report.

Stage 4 - Individual consultation or assessment - where they have proven at some level they are a qualified prospect and they get to meet with you and have an individual consult or assessment—which is usually a soft sales presentation to determine if there is a good fit. Finding the prospect’s pain through questioning, identifying needs through an assessment, building value through a trial session and providing credibility with marketing materials like articles about you in the press or testimonials can develop value in your services and increase the level of confidence your prospect has in doing business with you.

Stage 5 - Sales Close – Offering your services to the client and asking them to take action. Steering clients to one or two options, assuming the sale and employing a ‘takeaway approach’ by telling the prospect that your service is not for everyone and might not be right for them unless they are genuinely serious are all effective ways to close more prospective clients.

Stage 6 - Providing the service. Once you land a client that’s just the beginning of the relationship, not the end. You always want to have an upsell, a next step. Use your ongoing marketing efforts to tell them about how you have helped other clients with different kinds of offerings. Keep them informed about your successes and media attention. Ask them for referrals on a regular basis. Don’t ever stop marketing to them.

The most expensive thing you can have is a short term client because it takes 6 times as much to find a new client than to service an existing one.