How to Handle Objections When Your Fitness Leads Say No
By Sean Greeley
“I need to think it over.”
“I need to ask my spouse.”
“I can’t really afford that price.”
How many times have you heard one of those?
Too many fitness professionals waste their valuable time thinking the key to filling their schedule with great clients is to be able to answer those objections.
“If someone meets me in the studio and we go through a workout together, they’ll see how great it is and be ready to commit and pay my price … and they’ll sign up.”
What happens is you go through the workout with the prospective client, make your “pitch,” and then at the end of investing all this time, you hear one of those entirely predictable objections.
The person walks out the door and you’ve all wasted your time.
It’s really frustrating for fitness professionals. They think that’s just the way it is, or that they need to be more convincing, or they even get desperate.
They cut their prices because they lack confidence that anyone would pay to train with them. So they don’t have enough money to pay their own bills and maybe work side jobs to keep up.
They have empty spots in their day where they don’t work, and schedule appointments at early in the morning or late at night. They can’t have the home life they want.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
There’s a way to fix all this. The key is heading off these objections and only spending time with “qualified” prospective clients:
- Understand why you need to get the answers to predictable objections.
- Know how to ask the questions that get these answers.
Remember, you are not in the business of convincing people. You are in the business of serving people.
The process of asking the right questions at the right time in the right way, so you won’t waste anyone’s time, is called pre-qualification.
You ask the hard questions upfront and MOVE ON if you don’t get the right answers. That way, you save your time and you save their time.
Yes, it takes steely nerves, particularly at first, because you have to let go of the hope that you can convince people or that “maybe this will be a new client.”
You’re going to find out right up front three key things:
- Are they willing to buy?
- Can they make the decision or does someone else need to be involved?
- Can they afford your price?
Now, before we get to how to do this, let me stress one thing:
You need to do the pre-qualification conversation on the phone or in person. If you do it by email or social media, it will be too impersonal.
You’re a coach. You are who they want to work with. You need to be prepared to make a good impression and seem in control.
You can argue that there’s been a time or two that you’ve had someone email you who eventually became a client without you ever talking to them on the phone. But I can tell you from years of experience in the fitness business, that doing sales through email is not a viable system for long-term growth and stability.
Most individuals who are inquiring by email are price shoppers. They’ve sent the same email to several of your competitors and will choose the one with the lowest price point. Which means they don’t have any idea of the value you offer versus your competitors.
You don’t know what their needs are, nor are you able to effectively overcome any objections, because there is no need identified for you to establish your value.
Secondly, replying to every email that comes in asking about your services and how much they cost creates a lot of work for you that doesn’t pay off in the long run. After all, you are chasing someone that will rarely convert to a long-term paying client.
Lastly, you’re doing personalized fitness coaching! Your sales process should be “personal.”
You’re not selling information, and you’re not an info-marketer. You’re selling YOU … your unique approach and process for getting people the results they desire.
You need to get the prospect on the phone, learn about his/her goals, and explain how you work with clients, which establishes your professionalism and value.
It’s not likely that your ability with the written word is going to be compelling enough to sway someone into purchasing training with you, simply by responding to their email.
So how should you pre-qualify for steady business growth?
With a complete sales system like AUTO-CLOSER® that pre-qualifies your prospects using a proven and effective phone script to make sure you’ve established the way you do business and that you have a “buyer” who will be sitting in front of you during your consultation.
Again, in this business (or any business for that matter) time is money.
If you sit down with anyone who is interested in your services without knowing if they can buy because you didn’t pre-qualify them correctly, you’re spending valuable time in a consultation that won’t necessarily result in a new client (or money in your bank account).
Not only that, but how do you think the unqualified prospect feels when they see your packages and they know it is out of their ballpark? Probably embarrassed and disappointed.
You need to:
- get the prospect on the phone
- ask them what their goals are
- give them a price range of your services
- ask them if it fits in their budget.
- make sure they are willing to make a decision about committing to their goal, and
- get all decision makers (spouse, significant other, partner) at the consult.
This conversation is short … it’s a 5- to 10-minute call upfront that gives you the answers you need. Don’t hedge …. Only move forward to a consultation with the individual if you have the right answers to these questions.
That way, you spend your time ONLY with people who have all the decision-makers present, who know your price and have agreed it’s in their budget, and that they are ready to make a decision, yes or no, before the meeting.
Following the pre-qualification process will make a huge difference in your career (and life) as a fitness professional.