How Closing Sales is Like Winning a Baseball Game

It’s the dead heat of the ninth inning. Your team is only up by one run…

The bases are loaded…

You are 3 outs away from winning the game.

“….wait, wait, B, what does this have to do with business?!?”

Would you trust me if I said that closing sales is like winning a baseball game?

Before I break this down for you, I want you to visualize each of the stages I lay out for you. I want you to picture the starting pitcher, the reliever, and the closer in your budding business.

That person is YOU. You play all three of those roles. I’ll explain why.


The Starting Pitcher

Baseball pitchers, man, they wear their arms out FAST. That’s why there are different types of pitchers for different stages of the game.

For the first 6-7 innings, you’ve got your main guy—the starting pitcher—on the mound. This guy’s not typically the hardest throwing dude around, but he has the endurance to pitch for a long time.

He’s also got the most tricks up his sleeve. You might see him throw pitches that curve, whirl, and swerve to Timbuktu.

This is similar to how you set up your sales, and this part takes the most groundwork.

You’re in the fitness industry, an evergreen industry. Fitness isn’t a fad. It’s not the dougie, the whip, the dab, or whatever the latest dance craze is…

Fitness will ALWAYS be in demand. That’s what makes your job so meaningful…

…and that’s why so many others want to do the same thing as you.

Dollarphotoclub_64393354-300x200-3DZfIb.jpgSo how do you separate yourself from the pack when it comes to setting up sales?

Just like a pitcher with a curveball, a slider, a fastball, and a change-up, you need to have multiple points of contact with your clients.

“Hold up, what are points of contact?”

These are simply ways you can love your clients up. I say “love up” because that’s the only way they’re gonna know what you stand for. If a prospect knows what you stand for, they’re gonna want to commit to your training.

Specifically, you’re going to create a system for gathering and loving up leads that DOESN’T require all of your mental energy, all the time.

I want you to take some time to sit down and write a few template emails, text messages, social media posts—anything that will allow you to stay in touch with your market. I want you to think about one thing only: how can you express your business’s mission in one message?

Everything you do—copywriting, marketing, coaching—should be an extension of the standards you set. If your big thing is accountability, I should see that in the way you text me, the way you market to me, and the way you coach me.

Now, just like the starting pitcher that needs to pace himself, you need a way to make each lead feel loved WITHOUT having to sit at your desk all day, typing away a hand-crafted message to each client.

Frankly, that’s unrealistic. That doesn’t mean you can’t still love them as clients.

Put your best template messages in an autoresponder—basically, that’s a program that will automatically text, email, FB message, and follow up with each of your leads.

By the way, I’ve designed a state-of-the-art automated email system called FitPro Newsletter that will allow you to completely automate your email marketing. The best part? It’s full of professionally written content for you to swipe and deploy. Check it out right here:

This selling phase lasts until a lead first works out with you. So not only do you have to have a monster lead-contact system in place, but you better have a PROVEN system for loving up those leads when they walk through the door.

Now pitchers practice their pitching motion until it becomes second nature…

You have to lock down your sales pitch until anyone on your team could do it (if they had to).

If you give tours of your gym, memorize every benefit, every perk, every advantage that clients get by training with you.

If you’re coaching a lead one-on-one, establish a step-by-step process  for that session. Did you call them by name multiple times? Did you give them a tough enough workout that they can feel the burn, but not so tough that it scares them away? Did you give them as much eye contact as you could?

These things add up, man!

Make your dedication to quality your calling card.


The Reliever

So, let’s say a pitcher goes 7 scoreless innings. Pretty solid, right?

Now the team has to adjust its strategy. The hitters are adapting to the starting pitcher’s throws. That’s when the reliever takes the mound.

This guy’s role is to keep the momentum going for one-to-two innings more…

His stuff is a little less janky, but boy does he get the job done—even when your team is in the hole.

What does that look like in the sales process?

This is the follow-up process, the phase where you’re basically telling your leads that you really REALLY want them in your gym…

See, the reality of marketing in any industry is that every client needs to hear or see your message at least 7 times before they take action on it. Even if you craft the most killer Facebook ad or blog post it won’t be enough to just run it once and hope for the best.

This is when you create omnipresence: you make sure your offer is visible wherever your prospect goes: Facebook, email, Google, your blog, even text messages on their phone.

“B, that seems like a ton of work for a short-term commitment. That’s not gonna make me any money!”

Hold on there, partner. You’re not seeing the big picture!

I hate to break it to you, but you’re not going to get most people to commit to long-term training in one session—unless you’re training is out-of-this-world amazing…

Low-barrier offers are the bridge between your introduction and your close. That’s KEY.

So whether you offer a 14-day weight loss challenge, a 21-day body burn—I could go on and on, you’ve gotta make the deal sweet. Love ‘em up!

Offer them some meal plans they could use during the LBO. Track their fitness progress, and give them specific feedback on how to adjust their workouts to meet their goals. Hey, as long as you’re making them feel special, as long as you express your mission through the quality of your service, then you’re going to see prospects fall in love with your culture before they even sign on for a 12-month membership.

[For more on culture, I wrote up a blog last week that’s gotten some killer feedback so far…check it out here.]

Make sure your autoresponders send out more messages to your leads, letting them know you’re invested in their fitness goals as much as they are.


The Closer

Let’s return to that very first scenario I mapped out at the beginning of this post…

It’s now the ninth inning of a nail-biting game. Your team hangs onto a slim lead…

The bases are loaded…

You need to get the final three outs. There’s NO margin for error.

It’s either do-or-die at this point…

This is when the closer comes in.

This is the mule of the order, the dude who throws the 100 mph fastball. He’s seasoned in getting the outs when you absolutely need them.

In the business world, closing is what separates the lions from the mere mortals. Anyone can be an order-taker and only sell to the people who were planning to buy already, but true salesmanship means closing at least 8 out of every 10 prospects you meet.

You’ve hooked a lead. You’ve made them feel welcomed at your facility. Now it’s time to seal the deal…

The closing pitcher doesn’t fool around with a bunch of cutesy pitches. He sticks to his bread-and-butter, the stuff he KNOWS will work.

You’ve gotta find the bread-and-butter of your closing process.

Take note of what words, what attire, what attitudes, what stances create better responses to your closing offers.

The reality is that not every client will be 100% sold by the time you’re about to close. Heck, they might not even be 60% sold (it happens, and it’s not necessarily your fault).

Does that mean you can’t close them? Of course not!

A closing pitcher wants to come into the game with the ideal conditions. If he’s a right-handed pitcher, for instance, he’s gonna want to face left-handed hitters, because it’s naturally tougher for lefties to hit off righties.

But unlike the closer on the mound, the cool thing about business is that you get to set your own ideal conditions.

This is why you want to hold your consultations in a nice, clean office. That office should be quiet, private, and full of picture testimonials from previous clients. You want to create a space where your prospect can trust you with their deepest hopes and fears…

…and you want to make a list of questions you’ve run into before. You also want to write out any excuses you think they might have for skipping out on training with you (not enough money, not enough time, etc.).

On the right side of each of those questions and excuses, you want to write out the perfect response to each scenario. Then I want you to rehearse those answers until they’re ingrained in your skull.

Test yourself. Always be proactive. If something isn’t working—maybe your tone sounds a bit too demanding or you’re jumping to the close too early—course correct, test, and course correct again!

That’s why it warms my heart when fitness pros like yourself check out these posts. Instead of having to suffer through a long period of trial-and-error to figure out what works, you can learn from how I messed up, how I got back on my feet, and how I eventually built a fitness empire from scratch.

It’s all possible when you narrow down every detail of your closing process—and once you convert that process into a step-by-step plan that any of your team members could follow with ease.  

Committed to your success,