If you read my previous post telling you how to deal with the most common objections in a sales meeting you might have noticed that the most common objection of all was missing. How many times have you heard:[arrow_list]
- Sounds great but how expensive is it?
- Wow, that’s a lot of bread?
- I’m not sure I can afford to train with you
- I think I’ll try it ON MY OWN
If you haven’t guessed the topic of this post yet I’ll spell it out for you:
The C-O-S-T objection!
Why Cost is not actually an objection
Cost is an obstacle that, if you manoeuvre properly you can avoid or manipulate. I mentioned in my earlier post that if value is understood cost is secondary. While I don’t argue that cost for some may truly stop a person from training the fact that you’re a little cheaper or more expensive shouldn’t have an effect.
If $80 is too expensive so is $70. Whereas if somebody sees more value because the $80/hr trainer has better sold their skills the extra $10/hr won’t make a difference. That’s what I mean about avoiding cost objections. Cost is a variable that can be manipulated. So how do you do it?
Manipulating the Cost Variable
Manipulating cost can take two different paths. The first is payment plans. I’m against negotiating the price of training. It’s important to valuate yourself at a level and stick to it to avoid upset customers later. Payment plans are one way to make your services more affordable and you may want to offer a price break as a ‘thank you’ for purchasing a bigger package.
What I view as manipulating cost is having a frank discussion as to what the client can afford and fitting your plan around that. Remember what the client’s goals are, just because they can only workout with you once a week doesn’t mean that your plan of 4 workouts/wk will change (or whatever you feel they need to do to achieve their goals). All it means is that you may have to be creative in how you organize those 4 workouts.
For example, instead of giving them a workout each time they come in, you may serve them better by giving them an hour lesson in the weight room. Come to think of it, it may not even be in the weight room. I’ve taken clients into our conference room having set up a lesson plan before. I’ve even gone so far as to use the chalkboard and lecture them on workout theory pertaining to their goals complete with homework.
Odds are that anybody who comes and speaks with you will be able to afford training in some capacity. Even if it’s once every two weeks it’s up to you to figure out the best way to help them. In order to figure out how we need to manipulate the cost variable we have to know where we stand. This is where sales meetings come in handy.
The Issue of Cost in a Sales Meeting
It’s important during these initial meetings to be quiet and let the client speak. Often all that I’ll do is ask leading questions and paraphrase their answers. Getting a client to say yes often during a selling meeting will get them thinking positively. Never be deceitful; your job is to educate the client on their goals so they can make an informed decision.
Can you remember a situation where a client decided to go with a trainer less qualified than you? I can! It’s because they sold their services better than me.
Price should be the last thing you speak about in a sales meeting. If you follow my steps above the client should have verbally bought into your training philosophy and plan. They should know how you’re specifically going to deal with any reservations that they had. That alone will have provided them with the value above and beyond anywhere else.
Once they are at this point it’s time to bring up price. Since they already know how often they need to be working out you can suggest whatever plan is their best option. If they have a specific date in mind then I try and suggest a package that will take them up to that date. Depending on their financial situation they may buy a big package or say that they can’t train as often as they would like. That’s fine; don’t budge on their workout plan. It’s what you’ve both decided they need to do in order for them to be successful and it will make you appear weak if you back off.
If they can’t work out with you as often as you’d like tell them what they’ll be responsible for on their own and get their buy in. Remember how to manipulate the cost variable. This may involve creatively on your part to make the sale but be careful not to prejudge a client and always start high. If the clients goals require them to work out 5x/week be honest and educate them why. I’m always surprised at how often a client will offer to train with me more frequently when I properly communicate to them what’s needed to get them to their goals.
If you have any questions or comments about the Cost Variable please put them below. As always, feel free to share this using the buttons below if you found it useful.