Persuade for more Profits
Guest post by AJ Mihrzad
Hope you’re kicking ass and taking names. Just like you I’m focused on taking my business to the next level. I’m always searching for new methods so I can have the “edge”, and I love to read everything I can get my hands on in the genres of sales, marketing, and psychology. I am so fascinated by the human mind and why people make decisions. I’ll tell you what; I can never learn enough of this stuff.
I’ve actually taken a lot of the books that I’ve read and created notes out of them. When I review the notes, I create an action plan. What better way to learn from a book than to ACT on the content. I want to share the notes from a phenomenal book called: YES!: 50 Different Ways to be Scientifically Persuasive (Goldstein, Martin and Cialdini).
I’ve taken the best golden nuggets from this wonderful piece of literature and made a fitness action plan for you to use to take your business to the next level. You can also use these tips to help your clients get better results in the process.
Well let’s start, shall we…
Warning: These tactics are very powerful, be sure to only use them in ethical ways =)
First of all let’s go over the 6 factors of influence as a framework.
1. Reciprocity: We feel obligated to return favors performed for us.
2. Authority: We look to experts to show us the way.
3. Commitment and consistency: We want to act consistently with our commitments and values.
4. Scarcity: The less available the resource, the more we want it.
5. Liking: The more we like people, the more we want to say yes to them.
6. Social proof: We look to others to guide our behavior.
Tip #1. Read this line carefully:
“Operators are waiting, please call now. If operators are busy, please call again.”
This line is used in every infomercial and as you can see they are giving you a specific action: “call now”. This line also exhibits high value by the concept of predisposition, by making you assume that all of the phone lines are busy and that you may have to call again, believe me those lines aren’t busy, you and I both know that. This however creates a higher perceived value and a powerful sense of social proof prior to the call. When people are uncertain about a course of action, they tend to look outside of themselves and other people around them to guide their decisions and actions.
Use this line on your website or modify the key points in your voicemail message to increase your response rate:
“Please call now to set up your trial workout. If the line is busy please call again, our trainers may be busy training other clients”
Tip # 2. To improve your client retention highlight those who don’t attend your workout sessions that are in the minority by pointing out the large number of people who do actually turn up.
To single out the slackers, think of this line when addressing your clients about missing workouts:
“Don’t be that guy.”
Those are powerful words to persuade others against following the wrong activity. Nobody wants to be “that guy”. We are wired to be social and to abide by group dynamics; we feel shame when we are the odd one out of a group. So if you want your clients to consistently attend their sessions, make an example out of someone and let them know if they start missing session they will become “that guy” and will be singled out.
Also research shows that those who follow a specific action should be praised for their behavior, and it should be made clear to them so that the behavior becomes reinforced. I know this sound like common sense, but make sure you are doing it consistently.
Generally speaking, to prevent a good apple from getting spoiled by a bunch of bad ones, remember to show your appreciation for their good behavior.
Tip # 3. Never give anything away for FREE, without showing its true value.
Bad example “Call us to schedule a free body assessment”
Good example “Call us to schedule a $147 body assessment at no cost to you.”
Nowadays people are inundated with “free everything”, most people know it’s a catch and the word FREE has very low value. Avoid using free and simply change your wording to increase the value of your free offer.
Tip #4. Handwriting a message on a direct action makes people recognize the extra effort and personal touch that it requires, so they feel the need to do the action. An ounce of personalized extra effort is worth a pound of persuasion.
The more personalized you make a request; the more likely you will be able to get someone to agree to that request.
Instead of sending your client a boring old email for their bday, give them a hand written card that highlights the progress that they made training with you. Similar to referrals, the hand written note always trumps the cookie cutter email.
Tip # 5 Pave the way for a full line distribution by starting with a small order. When a person has signed an order for your service, even though the profit is small and hardly compensates for the time and effort of making the call, he or she is no longer a prospect; he or she is a customer.
This is another reason why low barrier offers work like gangbusters. Some fitness business refuse offer a lower introductory price because they don’t want to “devalue “their services.
Rather think of that initial “discount” as a marketing expense to get them through the door. When they become a client, over deliver and slowly ascend them to a higher price point that better reflects your normal pricing.
Tip # 6 Arguing against your self-interest, which can include mentioning a drawback of service, creates the perception that you and your organization are honest and trustworthy. This puts you in a position to be more persuasive when promoting your genuine strengths.
When a prospective client comes for a free assessment or consultation, volunteering negative information about your business, especially information that the prospect would be unlikely to discover on his own, will do wonders for their trust in you. Be sure to follow your discussion of a drawback with a positive aspect that is related and neutralizes a drawback.
Example: “Hey thanks for coming to “ABC Bootcamp”, I will have to admit our facility is pretty darn small…Yeah the corporate gym down the street is way bigger and spacious, but our small facility enables us to be more personal. We feel that this intimate attention will help us cater to your individual goals. The big gym down the street is all about volume and they’ll treat you like a number and won’t care as much as we do, hence why our smaller space is better for you” =)
Tip # 7 People show a greater desire for an object, when they learn that it’s unique, available in limited qualities, or obtainable for a limited time.
If you run a business, you’d be well-advised to provide information to your customers about what is rare, unique about your products and services. Pointing out to them the features your product has that a competitor doesn’t can be a powerful route to getting them to say yes to your offering and not to your competition.
Unique Selling Proposition is key. What makes your bootcamp different than the one a corporate gym is offering for FREE to their members? You must position yourself as the only choice for fat loss in your area, along with highlighting every aspect of your business that is different than the competition. Differentiate by; constantly exhibiting what makes you and your businesses special and exclusive. If you don’t you’ll just be another commodity and you will be valued on price alone. Differentiate or die, got it?
AJ Mihrzad is the owner of Life Fuel Fitness based in Great Neck, Long Island. AJ is a Transformation Fitness Expert. He also has his own supplement called LifeFuel. AJ has been featured in Men’s Fitness and on Bodybuilding.com. AJ has a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science and nutrition as well as a Masters in psychology.
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