Guest Post by
One of the hardest parts trainers have with selling personal training is dealing with objections, specifically the “spouse objection”. Sales is really you sharing how the benefits of your service can fulfill a need they have and helping them make a decision on which one of your services they should invest in…
…but then there are the objections.
My goal in this article is to help ease the pain and help you not feel like you are a deer caught in headlights without knowing what to do or say. Objections are not actually a bad thing; they are really just unanswered questions. So don’t fear them, embrace them as a chance to answer questions to help the prospect make a decision.
Let me explain… many times when someone “objects”, it actually means they have unanswered questions and they may not even be in touch with what that question is, so they just say they need to think about it or they need to talk to their spouse. Keep in mind though, the better you get at learning about sales and helping the prospect see that your program is the solution to solve their pain, you will get less objections and more yeses when you present your prices.
The most common objections:
1) I want to think about it
2) I can’t afford it
3) I need to talk to my spouse
Huh, so if those are the 3 most common “objections” trainer’s deal with in a consultation, we better figure out how to help the prospect become a client today by helping to answer those questions. Our goal as a trainer is to assist them in making a decision, as Bedros calls it you are the “Assistant Buyer”.
They have a need, you have a program that can fix their pain BUT you better figure out what the pain is. That my friend, is a completely different blog post but today I want to cover the most difficult objection that people face… “I have to talk to my spouse”. Since personal training is mostly female clients, I will address this like we are sitting down with the wife.
So what do you say to that one? There are many things to say and it’s really not that hard to overcome but can leave the novice crippled in not knowing what to do or say except, “Okay, I will talk to you later after you talk to him.” No, no, no, that is not the answer you are to give! Let me point out a few things from my experience in doing over 1000 of these consultations with women that are there without their husband and most of my clients are married and I close 80% of them, so trust me, I am very familiar with this one:
1) Many times, this can be a smoke screen. Sure they may like to talk to their spouse but many times they don’t really need to, they are just saying that. So you want to dig a little deeper and ask them, “May I ask you, what do you want to talk to your spouse about?” I want to know what they want to talk to their spouse about. We just went through 20 minutes of her sharing her feelings about the pain she is in, possibly crying because she is so frustrated, telling you how miserable she is and now she wants to talk to her spouse? Huh, I need more information because I might have missed the boat on that one!
Then, when she tells you what she wants to talk to him about, you can help answer those questions for her right there. Isn’t it better she talks it out with you, the expert, than with someone that doesn’t know anything about your program?
2) Tony Robbins says to feed the objection back to them. Meaning say back to them with a perplexed look on your face, “You need to talk to your spouse?” This creates a question in itself, asking for more information. By you just repeating that back to her, she will tell you more about that. If you are hearing anything but a yes, then enough value and belief was not built up for her to be convinced that she must do this program. If she was in the hospital and her child was dying and she had to make a decision right there to spend $2,000, she would probably not be calling her spouse, she would do it and talk to him later about it. It’s a sense of urgency and importance that can change those things.
3) One of the things I almost always say with a smile after I have done the first 2 things is, “You know your husband, what do you think he is going to say?” Or if they say it’s because of the money I will say very nicely, “Let me ask you, most people know a general idea of what their budget is, do you think he is going to be supportive of you doing this?” They will tell you flat out yes or no. And they will give you more information about their situation. Again, isn’t it better you two talk it out now, instead of her going home and doing it? Many times I hear them say, “Oh my husband lets me do what I want, I just like to talk to him.”
4) You also want to make this the “last objection” so I will say, “Let’s say your husband is totally supportive of you doing this, is there anything else that would stop you from getting started today?” What this does is helps you get anything else out on the table that maybe you haven’t dealt with or answered so a new objection does not surface later.
5) After I have spoken to her about all of these things, answered all of her questions, given direction of where I advise her to go, I will encourage her to make a decision to help insure that she doesn’t lose motivation and not accomplish her goals. Remember, one of the biggest things we deal with, with our clients, is lack of motivation and follow through, right? So don’t you want to help them avoid that from happening again?
I will tell her, “It is human nature that when we get excited about something like this, if you don’t do something when you are excited, that can wane down and then you just don’t do anything, so to prevent that from happening I encourage you to go ahead with ____(the program she said she is interested in), I can get you in the system, give you all of your materials and you can still go home and talk to your husband. But what that will do is help insure that you are not going to let yourself procrastinate anymore and you are going to insure that you take action this time. If for some reason he says, “No honey, you can’t get in the best shape of your life,” and he won’t let you do it, then you can let me know. But most women have found that their husband is happy for them that they have made a decision to get healthy. Sound good?” Many times she will say okay, but sometimes she doesn’t.
I will admit, there are just some women that no matter what you say and no matter what questions you answer, they will not make a decision without talking to their spouse. For these women, this really may be a family rule they have made with each other and to break that rule would be dissing their agreement with their spouse.
However, I have found this is NOT normally the case it is usually a way for them to get out of there without making a decision because they just don’t want to tell you no to your face. And for some, their spouse is also their best friend so they want to get his opinion too. In this case, you can also try the above tactic. That has worked many times for me as well, even if they said they had to talk to their spouse.
However, if you do have a prospect who is a dead set on speaking to her spouse and you have answered her questions, I advise you give her advice on how to talk to her husband about this program. I will give them some sales tips, trust me, they are not the expert, you are and she is not going to present it like you did. She may just go tell the price and he will say no.
You have to give her tips on how to get her husband emotionally involved just like you did with her in the consultation. Tell her to talk to him about all the frustration she has, why she is miserable, what annoys her about the weight, why she feels like she needs your help and why she know she can’t do it on her own. How much she really wants to do this and how she needs his support and then talk about how much the investment is.
I believe doing this has helped prospects get their husbands to see how much they need their support and has helped them come back to become a client, because I do see at least 30% of them return with a decision to do it (yes 30% is high because usually, as you probably know, if they aren’t making a decision with you right there, they are not coming back).
Don’t just send them out without ammunition. Remember, SOME of these women are married to men that are not supportive and he may be her biggest nay-sayer saying, “You are going to spend more money on weight loss? Haven’t you already done that?” Yes, I know you are not their counselor but you do need to give her tips on how to present it to him if you want to have a higher chance of her returning.
I hope to see you at Bedros’ Fitness Business Summit in California and I would like to meet you, so if you see me, say hello!As you can see by the length of this article, there are SO many things I can teach about overcoming this and I have only scratched the surface so let Bedros know in the comments below if you want to hear from me some more.
Here is a video of me answering the number #1 question when it comes to selling personal training.