I believe that Boutique Fitness and Wellness is about allowing customers freedom of choice and variety : not tying them in to contracts to improve Sales, but creating the environment that they choose to keep coming back and buying more Credits!
A 6 Stage Approach - “The 6 I’s”
It comes down to 6 I’s and the role that you, your prospect, and their goals have in this.
Stage 1 - Introduce
This is the stage where you generate your enquiries and new leads.
It is crucial that you can communicate exactly who you are, and who you are for, you then must have no doubt in the next steps that you wish your new Prospect to take next.
I see so many providers in the boutique sector with no clear call-to-action for what their enquiry should do, or too many options at this early stage. You need to streamline this first step, and how you present yourself to your next Client or Member, otherwise you are missing out on a large number of potential customers, who get confused or frustrated or who simply fall through the net due to inefficiency of this first stage of the Sales process.
Stage 2 - Interest
This is the Stage where you handle the initial enquiry.
It is crucial that you find out exactly what your Prospect is interested in, so that you can go on later to illustrate to them that this is indeed the perfect place for them to be!
You have appeared as their Guide - you must keep in mind throughout that they are the Hero of the story, you are simply the Guide. You should make them feel that their enquiry is welcome and of value and begin to read their interaction preferences so that you can use appropriate pacing and tone in the Stages that follow.
Stage 3 - Invest
This is the Stage where you help your Prospect to identify the ‘why and when by’ of their initial Goal.
This is crucial because we need to pack enough supplies for the Quest that is to follow - we want to really establish the reasons behind the Goals here, to give enough reassurance to make it through the next Stages.
Most people would stop at the - what do you want to achieve - Stage but you absolutely have to drill down deeper to highlight the real-world relatable impact of achieving those Goals, on your Prospect especially - this is their Quest - people don’t buy ‘Goal acquisition’ they buy the feeling and impact of achieving those Goals - you establish that here!
Stage 4 - Invite
This is the Stage when you showcase what you do and ask for the business.
It is crucial here that you emphasise everything that you do well, in the context of helping your Prospect to fully transform into the Hero of the Story. If you only talk about what you do well…noone cares!
You must keep your Prospect engaged with the Sales process by relating it back to them, know all the great Features of your product or service, but take it on another step to include the ‘because’ the benefit to your Prospect, the Hero. You can sell anything if you understand that before talking about how great it is, you first find out what the person wants, then you illustrate how those great things will help that person.
Stage 5 - Intercept
This is the Stage where you have asked for the business but your Prospect has an objection.
Uhoh, a dragon has appeared, blocking the path to the Quest! “it’s too expensive”, “I need to check with my partner”, “I want to think about it”, “I don’t have time right now”,”I want to check out somewhere else first”.
What does an objection really mean? Chances are, it’s simply a preference for ‘Inaction’ rather than ‘Action’ - doing nothing and not making a change is always easier than taking that big step, your Prospect may simply be asking for some external validation in helping them to make that choice.
The first step to handle objections is to first empathise - if you don’t first show genuine understanding for the objection, you may as well just be a high-pressure salesperson. On the Quest, you don’t just stand where you are and shout - don’t worry about the Dragon, come here! - you would first catch up with your retreating Hero.
Once you have gone to them via empathy, next you want to give them back that bag of supplies that you helped them pack in Stage 3 (Invest) - you refresh the reasons why they enquired / visited in the first place, and finally you make use of one of those great Features you know so well, which will open up a new path to Action, going around the Dragon, giving you the opportunity to ask for the business again!
Stage 6 - Involve
This is the Stage where the initial sale is complete, but the Quest isn’t over!
Even if your focus is only in Sales, you still need to ensure that your new Client / Member continues to see this as the path to achieving their Goals, helping with retention, positive Word of Mouth and the all important referrals!
You may even utilise a 2-stage Sales process via an initial Trial Sale, either way, an understanding of how to keep your Clients and Members engaged is crucial to the ongoing success of the business, ensuring the Acquisition pipeline is efficient at both ends - more new customers coming in, fewer existing customers dropping out!