Developing a Winning Sales Tactic for your Class Business
November 05, 2014
Sometimes the hardest part about owning a class based business is convincing customers they should spend the time and money on professional training. This can be particularly difficult if your customer base is largely school aged children, when many parents believe students should be largely focused on school and school related activities.
Have you ever heard one of these excuses parents give about not enrolling their children?
My son/daughter needs to keep a high GPA so he/she can get scholarships for college.
My son/daughter needs to focus on building skills for a realistic long-term career.
The kinds of skills my son/daughter will receive here won’t translate to real life situations.
I don’t want my child to become obsessed with competition and lose focus on the important things.
I’m guessing you said yes to at least one of these. And you’ve probably heard many more. Of course, as an employee of the business, each of us has our own way of dealing with these excuses. But does your business effectively incorporate those responses in your sales communications?
Steering the Sale in a Different Direction
If your staff is hearing a lot of excuses from potential customers, you probably need to work on your sales strategy. In the class based business, you aren’t selling a product. You are selling a service- an education or experience of some sort- and all great service based marketing is benefit driven. So your sales and advertising should point out WHY your customer should sign up!
EXAMPLE: If your business name is Superstars Gymnastics and Cheer, it’s abundantly clear what you have to offer—lessons in gymnastics and cheer. Maybe you even offer a fitness class to compliment your regular classes and fill in gaps on the schedule. But is the spot in the class really what you’re offering that customer? No! Of course not. You're selling the feeling of accomplishment when that fitness student reaches their fitness goal. You're selling the knowledge that they can be healthy and fit and have fun. But sales pitches that say “Take gymnastics here!” leave the conversation open to all kinds of excuses.
No customer can honestly say that they don't want to accomplish their goals or that they don't want to be healthy and to have fun. These are things almost everyone wants, whether or not they choose to take action. That's your winning sales tactic. So try approaching the sale from a different point of view.
“Our classes are a fun way to encourage a healthy active lifestyle, build self-confidence and develop teamwork skills!”
"The skill sets students learn at our facility can help them get scholarships, perform better on the job and give them the essential tools to build interpersonal relationships."
In these examples you have pretty much removed the room for excuses, which makes it makes it pretty hard for the customer to say no.
Finding the Perfect Presentation
“But Brittany, I already have one of those statements in our Purpose or Mission statement!”
That’s great! Now make sure it’s blended in everywhere else too! Is it on the front page of your website in big, bold letters? Do you include it in advertisements? You can even add these phrases to your class description/details to help reinforce that buying decision right up to the last minute.
EXAMPLE: This introduction course for ages 2-4 taught by Coach Smith is an excellent way for your little tyke to have fun and explore while actively burning off his/her energy in a safe and healthy environment! Coach Smith is CPR certified. Potty trained tots only please!
So the next time you're making a sale and you start to hear excuses, focus on the benefits. And if you have a particularly difficult customer, try backing it up with proof like this article from FastCompany on how 20 minutes of exercise every day can improve brain health.