Stop talking about yourself, ask about them

Stop talking about yourself! Learn about prospects by asking questions.

You may be an expert in martial arts, but you’re not an expert in what a prospect wants. Too often this is the pitch, “Here we do xxx under yyy’s lineage” and then an implied question is left hanging that I guess is, “(please) would you like to sign up?”

Or picking up the pace of jamming information down their throats after their eyes have glazed over, “here let me show you the lockers, right next to the mook yan jong (whatever the heck that is)…”

Train with me!

Rather than force them to connect the dots of all this information, why not connect the dots for them by asking who they are, what they want, and how to get them to their goals?

In martial arts in particular, that touts discipline in all things, I never ceased to be amazed at the lack of discipline in selling, or just basic inquisitiveness required to be a normal person.

So I run a fair amount of media, and it’s pretty easy to find out what I do. Real messages I’ve received:

  • Have you ever thought of kickboxing for fitness?
  • We practice Jeet Kune Do, which is (3 boring paragraphs here)
  • Do you know any Muay Thai?
muay thai

…do you do Muay Thai?

Jeet Kune Do

We do JKD. What you mean like the guy on my shirt?

So, unless these are passive aggressive or foot-in-the-mouth shots at my level (wouldn’t put it past martial artists) all it shows is they haven’t done the most basic level of research.

Business are always clamoring for more information on their customers and prospects. With the amount available on social media (which is how they find me), these mistakes should not be happening.

The fact that they do highlights one important truth: they’re more interested in themselves than me. What customer wants that?

Stop talking about yourself. Stop thinking about all the dollars the body in front of you represents, and start interacting with a person.

Even if you build a diagnostic questioning script that leads to good sales, don’t ask questions like a task to be checked off. Listen to the answers. Then go where the conversation naturally leads. If the script takes you there, great. But if it doesn’t, it’s immediately obvious where you’re forcing the conversation, and it just leaves a bad taste in a prospect’s mouth.

You can be focused, not waste time, and still have a real conversation. But that’s not talking over a client. Most people respect your time, and it will come through. Aggressive sales, while sometimes effective, not only lead to churn, but are slowly becoming a thing of the past as well-informed people need to tolerate it less and less, particularly in industries such as fitness with so much choice.

Yes you’re in the fitness industry. You may think all you like about how unique and great your offering is. Without a dynamic, two-way conversation, it’s just karate to everyone else.

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