Martial Arts - it should never need to be a hard sell!!!

annoying-salesman-large No hard selling required

Why you must adopt a consultative sales approach to selling martial arts memberships in the 21st Century!

By Christopher Allen, Kickfit Consulting Ltd.

Back in the early 1990’s I underwent a sales training concept called SPIN. It was all the rage at the time, and Channel 4 whom I worked for at the time insisted we use it with every person we were selling their educational VHS tapes to.  SPIN stood for:

  1. Situational Questions
  2. Problem Questions
  3. Implied Need Questions
  4. Need Pay Off Questions

For instance,

Situational “How difficult is it to train all your staff on the latest health & safety laws?”

Problem “So if you can’t train everyone at the same time, you could breach H&S Laws?”

Implied Need “So that could mean a fine or a prosecution?  That could cost a lot?”

Need Pay Off “So a simple set of VHS tapes would save you money, time and the threat of legal action?”

Then I would list the benefits of the VHS Tape series, and any objections brought up by the client would be dealt with by Spinning back to the Implied Need Question and answer and the process would begin again until you had worn down your prospect and the would agree to the sale to just get you off their back!

Now back to the 21st Century

Nowadays, SPIN training has really taken a back seat to a more consultative approach, but the concept that underpinned the programme is still there.  The need to understand the prospects needs and to fulfil them through a personalised membership.  So let me give you a great example of this and it’s nothing to do with Martial Arts.

Chain Saw

Recently I went to a high street shop looking for a Chain Saw.  We had a few trees in the back of our garden that looked ready to come down in a storm so I thought I would don my Checked Shirt and be really manly and cut them down myself. 

Unfortunately, I knew nothing about Chain Saws but I knew that Stihl was a good brand and we are lucky to have 2 Stihl dealerships near where I live.  I went the first one and the person on the counter took me to the most expensive one, told me about how it was a 9000 RPM 50cc Engine and that the bar was 18” long. 

Well I had no idea whether or not this was good but the price of £399 made me think again, so I left and went to the other dealership in the next town.

This time, the salesman took some time to understand what I was looking to do with the chainsaw.  After answering some very simple and straight forward questions he said, “This chainsaw is the best one for what you want to do.  It’s really easy to start, has great safety features and it’s easy to clean afterwards” Let me show you how, he started it there in front of me and then asked me to have a go to make sure I could do it.

One salesman tried to impress me with specifications and features and in the process made me feel stupid.  The other worked to understand my needs and solve the problem, then he took the time to show me how to start the chainsaw.  Which one did I think was the Expert?

I bet you can guess where I bought the Chain saw? I also ended up buying a pair of chainsaw boots, trousers, gloves and a Helmet.  Why? Because I trusted that he genuinely had my best interest at heart, and whilst I bought a mid range Chain Saw for £178, I spent a further £150 on accessories.

Customers only care about specifications and features in relation to how those qualities meet their needs.

Therefore on your next enquiry call, start the conversation with the simple question, “What are you looking to achieve through training?” 

You might find that the call takes a different route than normal. Once we know what they want, we can talk about those areas and start to profile ourselves as experts.

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