Selling with Seminars
By Kelli Calabrese MS
If I were to ask a room full of trainers why they got into the fitness profession, I would bet money that the overwhelming response would be to help people - which is wonderful and should always be in the forefront of your mind. But, in order to help people we need to get their attention and win them over.
Unless you make deliberate efforts, clients aren’t going to begin flying in your door with their checkbooks open.
Leading group seminars is one effective way to not only improve you public speaking abilities, but to give attendees life altering information and in the end sell your services and products.
If you are doing free consultations or orientations, here’s how you can reach more people by turning seminars into productive profit generators. Providing potential consumers with an informational and inspirational seminar will allow them to discover your credentials, build trust in you and ultimately come to depend on you.
What’s most important is that they leave your seminar knowing their best interests are the center of your services and that you have solutions to their troubles.
Planning the Seminar First, decide who you customers are i.e. baby boomers, seniors, athletes, brides, new moms, etc.
You don’t need to choose one, but the better you know your demographics, the better you will be able to target your marketing efforts. Knowing your audience allows you to answer what, when, where and how for your seminar.
A presentation given to teenagers would be planned differently than one given to upper management. If you want to attract local customers, promote your seminar through strategic partners and other complimentary services like weight loss centers, spas, health food stores, shopping centers, bulletin boards at the library and other visible places in community including county colleges, bridal shops and the like.
Include your website in all promotional materials and have detailed information about your seminar including a registration form and way to accept payments. Market to all prospects and expired members. Give current clients an invitation to give to a friend.
Ask your clients if you can send an invitation to any professional associations they belong to, clubs, groups or their neighbors. Include their testament to your services and products in the invitation. Have an early bird discounted registration fee, a regular fee that is somewhat higher and then a door fee that is even higher on event day. If you have a sales staff and strategic partners, give them incentives to sign people up for your seminars.
Another option to fill the seats is direct mail. When I owned my clubs, direct mail was one of the most successful ways to attract the highest quality prospects. You can order lists very specific to the demographics that you are looking to attract. You can also send a media release to local papers.
During the Seminar As attendees are signing in, have them fill out a fact sheet (including, goals to check off, exercises they might enjoy, times and days they would like to workout, expectations, radio and TV stations they listen to, etc.).
You can use this to hone your marketing for future seminars. Throughout the presentation let it show that you love what you do! Your enthusiasm and determination should exude throughout the seminar. This should not feel like work.
Thrill them by over delivering what you promised, to create a high level of satisfaction and ultimately gain customers.
Make every moment of your presentation valuable.
Start and finish on time and have your orientation jam packed with information. The more interactive you make it the better. Getting your audience involved physically (which should be easy for us to do) will get them feeling great physiologically and mentally moving them several steps closer to making a commitment.
Have special guest appearances by clients who have used your services and customers who have purchased your products. Their live testimonials are proof that you are professional, produce real results and you care.
Wow them at the end of the orientation with something they are not expecting like a $20.00 gift certificate towards personal training services or $30.00 off of enrollment fees if they join that day, or a 10 day money back guarantee (one of my favorites).
By this point, they should feel foolish for not wanting to better their lives.
Closing the sale becomes as simple as it’s ever going to get so be sure to ask for it! Tape the seminar so that those who could not attend can purchase the audio or video. After the Seminar Even the most well planned event and the most charismatic seasoned presenter should not expect to close every attendee.
Follow up with everyone who attended your orientation to determine their satisfaction and make them an offer with some urgency to buy in. This will create an even greater buzz about your seminars leading to word of mouth referrals for the next one.
Track where your customers came from so you know where to direct your efforts for your next orientation.
Continue to tweak your presentation until you find the most successful approach that works for a majority of your potential clients.
Financially, every participant who has attended has paid, which makes them more qualified and also makes the event profitable. A percentage of attendees from every seminar will convert to long term paying clients and customers. Attendees are likely to refer friends and you are increasing your database of consumers for future opportunities.
Professionally, your presence in the community as an expert will be escalated and you will fine tune your public speaking abilities. Personally you will achieve your original mission, which is to help people.
The bonus is that you can make a good living doing it.
Kelli Calabrese, MS, CSCS - 2004 Personal Trainer of the Year for Online Trainer. She is a 17 year fitness industry leader, author, trainer, and international presenter. Kelli is on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Personal Trainers, An Expert Fellow for the National Board of Fitness Examiners, and has attained over 20 fitness and nutrition certifications. Kelli is the co-author of Feminine, Firm and Fit and is available for fitness consulting. She can be reached at Kelli@KelliCalabrese.com. For more details go to www.KelliCalabrese.com