Does your studio have a sales process? Perhaps your process has been crossing your fingers that your teachers or desk staff said the right things, to the right clients and that they come back. Or maybe your process consists of you talking to every single student and making recommendations. Recently, I heard a studio owner say that they couldn’t think of one teacher or staff member they would trust to effectively sell a membership to a client. The owner could only rely on herself to communicate the price options. She said “the staff is really there to handle the check in and be a buffer between me and the clients when I cant deal with customer service.” When working with a studio, I often notice that the owner really only trusts him/herself to get the job done, especially when it comes to sales. Many small business owners struggle with the same thing, and most end up burning out as a result. So, how do you break the cycle and take the weight off your shoulders while still maintaining an effective sales strategy? Let’s look at the steps to success….
- Hire the RIGHT people, not the EASIEST people. We’ve all done it. We are desperate and need someone, anyone. Even though our gut doesn’t feel right about the candidate, we hire them because they can start immediately and fit the job well enough. But, then you pay. The candidate isn’t the right fit, makes too many mistakes, shows up late, etc. You get the point. We end up wasting time and energy training the wrong person, and our sales suffer as a result. Take the time to find the right candidate. If time is an issue, hold group interviews and the standouts will inevitably show themselves. Once you do find the right candidate, train them well. Invest the time to make sure they understand how to make your clients feel welcome and comfortable so they can make the appropriate buying decision. Ensure that they know the products and believe in them. The right hire will make your sales process a breeze.
- Have an attractive, commitment focused intro offer. I see it time and time again: 1st Class Free! The number of clients that actually come back after a free class is dismal at best. An intro offer that allows multiple visits over a period of time gives the client a chance to really get to know your studio and integrate into the community. Once it becomes a habit, they are more likely to become a member!
- Develop a weekly and monthly call list. Run the first visit report and assign one or two staff members a group of clients to follow up with weekly for the first month. Phone calls are OK! Email is a great compliment, but talking to clients will help you stand out. Make it a priority to stay in touch with anyone that walks in the door. It is way easier to keep a current client than it is to acquire a new one. Make them feel special!
- Document progress. Use Contact Logs in MBO to document each touch point so any staff member can see when/how you’ve communicated with the client. You can see which staff members are having success and who might need some coaching. It will make life easy for your staff members when making the calls, especially if you have multiple people calling clients.
Once you decide to commit to a sales process, the possibilities are endless! Resources are available to train your staff well, and to grow revenue at your studio. If you are interested in how to develop a successful sales process for your studio, contact me to set up your free consult or schedule your sales training today!