The BOLD Show | Episode 07 | Reinvent Your Sales Process
Your sales process is a key part of your success as a business, but what if your prospective clients sold themselves to you instead? In this episode of the MINDBODY BOLD show, host Mike Arce speaks with Ian Hart who shares his insight on creating a sales strategy that inspires and attracts new customers.
(Mike) In this episode, I’m here with Ian Hart, the creator of EarthFIT Training Systems and co-creator of MyBackPainCoach.com and BackPainRelief4Life.com. EarthFIT has three locations and over $4.4 million in sales with less than six employees. Ian has been featured as an expert in Men’s Health Magazine, Self Magazine, Fox News, New York One News, and many other media and publications. Today, we are going to talk about how to get your prospects to sell themselves to make your life easier.
Growing a small business isn’t easy, and to be successful we know three things for sure: You have to work hard. You have to be bold. And you must constantly learn. We’re gathering some of the best minds in the business world to share their ideas and strategies with you, so you can grow your business easier, be more profitable, and have a lot more fun being a business owner. We are on a mission to connect the world of wellness and this is The MINDBODY BOLD Show.
Ian, are you ready to be Bold?!
(Ian) I’m ready! Thanks for having me.
(Mike) Ian, when you say “get your prospects to sell themselves,” how do you even get people to start doing that? Because usually, that means eliminating all of the sales stuff.
(Ian) Right. So there is a simple system that you can use. There are templates I have. But before we even get into the templates, which is the simple part, the hard work has to be done. And the hard work is having a business or product, or service that is amazing, that is awesome. So, the first step is actually to survey your clients to find out how awesome your service or product is. There is a book called The Ultimate Question. And I advise almost every business person to use this Ultimate Question because it gives you an idea of where you stand. And basically the question is, and they’ve studied that this question gives it all to you. And the question is: How likely are you to refer your product or service to your friends and family?
(Mike) Like the Net Promoter Score.
(Ian) Exactly. That’s exactly what it is. So it’s the Net Promoter. So, you have 0 to 10, and with 10 being the most likely, and 0 being the least likely. If they are a 9 or 10, they are your promoters.
Zero to six are detractors. In between, they are passive. You have to make sure that you are in the 9-10. That’s going to make everybody’s life easier. Because if it’s not, then your life is a revolving door, and life sucks.
(Mike) And there is an actual software out there now for the Net Promoter Score, where you can use companies like Survey Monkey and some other companies, where you can send all of your customers at once this one email that has one question in it that asks that, right. And depending on what they click, it’ll take them to a different thing.
(Ian) Right, a follow-up question.
(Mike) A follow-up question. So, if it’s zero through six, what could we have done to make it better? If it’s 9 or 10, maybe it will take them to a site where they can review you or be something that they can set up a call to thank you. Whatever you want the next thing to be, that can change. That’s pretty cool. So, let’s talk about selling in the first place. Is selling a bad idea in the first place, to begin with?
(Ian) Yes, because people hate to be sold. This has been my experience. I started out in New York City. I worked for large corporate gyms. I had the marketing machine behind me. We had members, so it was easy to sell to people. We’d just ask them to do an assessment, a free assessment.
When I started my own business, people would walk through the door and they would ask these questions. How much is your service? What’s different about your service? They are putting you in a trap. Because guess what, they don’t want to hear your answer. As soon as you start selling them, that’s it, they shut down. It becomes a threat. Alarm bells go off.
So, I would say something like, we have the best this or that, and then they would shut down.
But, we flip it on them. We ask them questions that automatically make them assume that we have the solution, just by asking them questions. So, if you want, I can break them down for you real simple.
(Mike) I would absolutely love that.
(Ian) So, simple questions—and you can adapt this to pretty much any business, except maybe the retail business. What’s your main goal? And what are you looking to achieve? My business, for example, would be: I’m looking to lose 50 pounds. OK, what’s the biggest challenge with losing 50 pounds on your own? So now, psychologically, they are answering why they need me. And the need is—well, I don’t have time, I don’t have the energy, I don’t have the money, I don’t have the know-how. OK, great. Say we are able to get you to lose 50 pounds.
Before that, actually, there’s a better question. Say you were training with me for six months to a year. What would you like to see happen? Now, they have to create a vision. Before anything happens in reality, now they have to create a vision. And now emotions start to build up. They start to get inspired. I want to get into a two-piece bikini. I want to look lean, toned, attractive. They start to visualize the answer to the question.
And then from there, say we were able to get you to lose 50 pounds. You had more energy. You felt stronger. How would that change things for you? How would that make you feel? Now, that question is actually the real reason they come to your business. And that being, they want to be happier, more confident, have more self-esteem, and really, that’s the main thing people are looking to achieve.
But, here’s the thing. We ask those questions to screen them. Because every business should have a niche—a target that they are looking for. And so, we know who we are looking for. And we know the answers we are looking for. And if they are a good fit, the first question is, we have—the first thing I should say, I should back it up. The first thing we should say is if someone comes in the door, the first thing we say to them is: “We’d like to ask a few questions to make sure you’re a good fit for the program. Do you have a few minutes now?” And then we ask them those questions so that we are phrasing it in the right mindset. And then, once they answer the questions, based on the information, I think you’re a good fit for the program. Or, maybe this program is not good for you. You might be better with a gym membership. We do personal training. Just the gym membership would be ideal for you because you are not a good fit.
So, now we know, if we have someone who is in alignment with our mission, and they are on the first step for being a promoter. So then, we can fill in and align them with their goals throughout our funnel.
(Mike) One thing I like that you said, and for those of you watching and listening, make sure you pay attention to this, too. What Ian’s done really well is ask questions that trigger emotion. And emotions sell. The gut makes the buying decision. I’ve been a student of sales for a really long time. It’s my favorite thing to study. I think a lot of mistakes people make are that people start rationalizing, and they start selling to the mind. So, a trainer or a fitness professional may say to you, “OK, we are going to create workout plans for you and meal plans. We are going to do measurements. Do this, do that.” And all that on paper makes sense. But how many times have you been in a position where everything on paper makes sense, but it doesn’t feel right? So you don’t do it. Or, vice versa, how many times have things on paper not really made that much sense, but because you felt like you should do it, you went ahead and do it anyway? So, if you can sell to the gut, and do what Ian’s talking about, driving emotion, painting a picture as to where they want to be, after they’ve already painted the picture as to why they can’t do it themselves—now it’s a lot easier to get the prospect to start selling themselves.
(Ian) One other question that we make that is optional, is: What would happen if you didn’t take action right now? So now they have to think about six months, where do they want to be? And, what would happen if they didn’t actually take action?
(Mike) Like the alternate universe. Kind of like The Christmas Carol. It could be one of these three things.
(Mike) So, you like to paint the picture of where they are going to be with you, and also where they are going to be without you.
(Ian) And just the questions add value to their life. Because they are coaching questions. And sometimes they don’t even know why they are in the door. And so, once you start asking these questions, they think, Oh, that’s a good question. Now, they have reflection.
(Mike) So, let’s do this. Can we give them a sales pitch right now? Can you sell me?
(Mike) Alright. Let’s do that. I’ll be whoever I am. So, I’m a guy that’s say, 40 pounds overweight. I want to lose it. It’s been bothering me for a while. I’m in here. How do most people find you anyways? How are you generating most of your leads?
(Ian) Most of our leads are through word of mouth.
(Mike) Word of mouth.
(Ian) Because we have done that process I talked about, the promoters.
(Mike) You do the Net Promoter. So, your 9s and 10s, you call them, you ask them for testimonials and for referrals.
(Mike) Perfect. So, do you do any advertising as well?
(Ian) We’ve done very minimal. But yeah, we’ve done some Facebook.
(Mike) Facebook ads. OK, let’s say you found me. I want to use Facebook because referrals are generally easier to close. Right, you get that. So, what I want to do is give you a little bit of a challenge. I’m not going to make it too tough, because I’m not going to be the hardest guy. There is no reason in that. Let’s practice the average guy. Let’s go with the average guy in your industry.
OK, so I have 40 pounds to lose. It’s been bothering me for a while. I found you on Facebook. Now I scheduled a consult with you to come in, or something like that.
(Ian) Basically, people call us, email us, or walk in. And it’s all the same system.
(Mike) So, I called you. Do you ask all those questions on the phone, or do you get me to come in?
(Ian) We ask those questions on the phone.
(Mike) Guys, I’m on the phone right now with Ian. I found out about him on Facebook. I’m stressed out about this 40 pounds. Something tells me he may have something here. So, I call. You answer. How do you answer? And let’s go from there.
(Ian) Hey, thank you for calling EarthFIT. This is Ian.
(Mike) Hey Ian. This is Mike. I saw you on Facebook. I guess I just want to see if you can help me lose some of this weight.
(Ian) Sure, we are a personal training facility. Is that what you are interested in?
(Mike) Uh, I think so. All I know is that I need to lose this weight. Is that what you guys specialize in?
(Ian) Yeah, we are a personal training facility. So if you are interested in personal training we can move forward.
(Mike) Yeah, can I ask a couple of questions first?
(Ian) Well, the first thing we do is ask you a few questions to make sure you’d be a good fit for the program. Do you have a few minutes right now?
(Mike) Yeah, that sounds perfect.
(Ian) OK great. So what was your name again?
(Ian) Mike, what’s your main goal? What are you looking to achieve?
(Mike) So, I used to be 160 pounds, and I felt good there. I’m at 200 pounds now and feel like shit here. So, I want to feel good and not like I feel today.
(Ian) So, what has been the biggest challenge with trying to lose the weight on your own and feel good on your own?
(Mike) I do a great job at starting a new fitness program and starting to eat healthy. But somewhere along the line, I drift away. I just keep drifting back, and I’m just not getting it done.
(Ian) And has this caused any health issues and problems in your life?
(Mike) Not like medical problems, or I guess not yet. My knees are a little sore now when I play basketball. I can tell that’s a problem I need to fix. And I get winded very easily. So, when I want to be active, I’m limited.
(Ian) OK, so if you didn’t take action right now if you didn’t join a training program or something like that, what do you think your life would look like in six months?
(Mike) I’d like to tell you I’d figure it out, but based on what I’ve seen, I’d probably be around the same, or maybe around 210 pounds.
(Ian) OK, so you would slide down.
(Mike) There is a real good chance of that, Ian.
(Ian) So, say you were training with us for six months to a year. What’s your ideal scenario? What do you want to see happen?
(Mike) So, here’s the thing. I don’t know much about what’s possible. I see people on The Biggest Loser losing, like, 60 pounds in a month or something. I don’t know what’s supposed to happen. So, if it is six months to a year, I just want to be healthy, whatever that means. If it means being down to 160, great. I just want to be healthy.
(Ian) OK, so say we were able to get you healthy. You’ve lost 40-50 pounds. You felt better. How would that ultimately change things for you? How would that change your life?
(Mike) Yeah, being able to play basketball. And not having to buy so many new clothes. Those are the two things I’m stressed out about.
(Ian) Alright, great. Based on the information you gave me, the next step would be to set up an assessment. Now, in our assessment, we go through everything: health history, fitness history, nutrition history. I have an advanced technological machine, which is going to graph out your lean muscle mass, body composition, basal metabolic rates—so, how many calories you burn. We do an FMS, which is the Functional Movement Screening. It’s a series of movements that give me an understanding if you are promoting injury if you have any asymmetrical or inefficient movement. We do a strength and endurance test, like a one-on-one training session. And then, a flexibility/mobility test.
(Mike) Oh man, I’m not flexible. I will tell you that right now. I’m not flexible. We are going to have problems there.
(Ian) We will see. Some people think that. And then at the end, I’ll have a full picture of where you are at and where you are looking to go. Then I’ll recommend what programs are best for you. The assessment itself is about $85. What times are good for you?
(Mike) So, it’s $85, just for the assessment?
(Mike) OK, and how long is the assessment?
(Ian) About an hour.
(Mike) About an hour long. Am I obligated to sign up with you after that?
(Ian) No. It’s just one assessment. After that, you are good to go. During the assessment, we will go through all the stuff I just explained. You will take away from it a sheet of paper that gives you all your basics—metabolic rate, all the basic metrics.
(Mike) OK, now I’m going to give you a tough question, Ian. This is a question most people hate getting. Are you ready? So, let’s say I want to move forward with you. How much is all this going to cost me afterward?
(Ian) Well, it’s all based on the assessment. So, during the assessment, I will analyze you. We have group training. We have one-on-one. We have long-term programs. We have short-term programs.
(Mike) What is the high-low, I guess?
(Ian) Basically, it could be anywhere from $20-$70 per session.
(Mike) Per session, so $20-$70 per session. OK. Are there a certain number of sessions I need to have?
(Ian) Yes, we do a minimum of two times a week.
(Mike) OK, so that’s not that bad. Cool. So maybe $85 and there we go.
Great, awesome. I liked that you asked all those questions. You know what I also liked, is that you asked those questions on a call. Sometimes people want to jump really quick to get you in the book, and doing that in the actual meeting. But a lot of people get no-shows. And they get the no-shows because they weren’t able to drill. The first sale is sell the meeting. The next sale is make the sales. But the first sales is sell the meeting, and that’s what you did.
(Ian) Exactly. So we do that with that purpose in mind, just like you were speaking about.
(Mike) Perfect. So, you’ve obviously studied sales. What are some sales books that you’ve read, or influencers that you follow, or videos, or podcasts? Where do you learn? For anybody that is listening or watching, and is going, where can I pick up on some of this stuff?
(Ian) That’s the thing. People hate to be sold, but they love to buy. That specific phrase I found in The Little Red Book, when I was, maybe 15 years ago. I’ve read Chuck Holmes, the Ultimate Sales Machine. I’ve learned from Badros Cullinan, Frank Kern. A lot of the copywriters I’ve learned from. And just a ton of information from going to seminars. Ebbing Pagan. Actually, some of those questions I learned from watching an Ebbing Pagan seminar. Some guy got up and was saying, these are good questions to ask prospects to get information from.
(Mike) Very cool. And so, for everyone that is listening and watching, sales is the most important thing in your business. As far as a skill set to master, it’s a unique thing. It’s not like there is college on it. There is no major at a university for sales. It’s experience and it’s really becoming a student of sales. The thing is, if you learn how to sell well, your whole business is better. Because you are not just selling to your prospects, you are also selling to your existing customers to upsell, stay with you, leave testimonials. You are selling to your employees the vision for your company, to constantly stay with it, and to focus. Your vendors to work deals, and maybe do co-op stuff with you on content. The ability to present an opportunity in the way where the walls are down and everyone sees the win-win, which should exist or you shouldn’t sell it, right. The skill set to do that helps your business in more ways than just getting the lead to close.
(Ian) This is what I teach to trainers, too. Every single session, every single interaction, they are selling. Every time we speak to anyone, we are selling. We all need to learn.
(Mike) Right. You are selling yourself. You’re selling the business. And you are even selling the client on themselves and their ability to stay with the program.
So, guys, we talked a lot about sales today. I hope you picked up some of the sales books that we’ve read. Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at A Seminar is a great one. Grant Cardone has a bunch of really great books as well. I would say there are a million sales books they could pick up, but start with the ones we brought up, because we’ve actually read them, used them, and executed on the strategies in them.
Ian, thanks for coming on the show. I learned a ton. For those of you who weren’t able to make his talk, we wanted to bring his talk to you. For those of you who are watching and listening, thanks for tuning in and we will see you next week.
Thank you so much for joining us today. If you like this episode, then subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher, and to our YouTube channel to never miss an episode. You can get all the links by going to BOLDshow.com. Thanks, and see you next time.
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