I think over the last ten years, I have probably done a few thousand sales courses but it doesn’t matter how many times I say it, the number one thing sales people fail at, is to be a Good Listener. The big problem with sales people is that they want to talk instead of listening.
Over the last few weeks I have been observing a number of Australian gyms selling their sites, putting off staff and generally going into a mass panic that their business is in trouble but do you know where most of their problems stem from…. and no its not from the economic climate.
Its quite simple, their sales staff don’t listen to what their customers are saying.
The key to selling to a customer is to understand their problem, once you know what their problem is, you can tailor a response that will meet their needs and win their business. However, if you don’t listen carefully to what the customers are saying you will miss key information they are sharing with you.
Let me give you an example in relation to the gyms. I have been going to a gym in Brisbane for over 12 months. My wife was a member so I joined and I wanted to undertake some Personal training sessions to get fit. Now here is the problem, the only way the gym would allow me to do any PT sessions with their staff, was by me buying ten to fifteen training sessions in a pack for between $450 and $700.
Like most people that is a massive investment and I wasn’t prepared to do that. They relented and said, “Well you can buy a 5 pack for $250.” I did that for a few times but as bills came in, I didn’t have the money to just go out and spend that amount money every week.
I tried to explain to the sales staff that if I could pay for my PT sessions each week I would be happy to do that, but they told me that wasn’t acceptable to them. I was even prepared to pay a little more for the privilege, “The response was a resounding NO!” The result was that i walked away from the gym but guess what, their sales staff have hounded me to come back and get back into my PT sessions but I would still have to buy a 5 session pt pack.
You can imagine how exacerbated I am at this point, after explaining how they can solve my problem and they don’t listen. I am now cancelling my membership and going elsewhere. Here is the thing, the gym involved is now struggling to keep their head above water, yet they are blaming everybody else, the economy etc when in fact, they have not listened to their clients.
How do I know…. I went and talk to others about how they feel about the situation and I listened to their responses.
Sometimes it is to easy for us to blame the economy, blame someone else when really its our own sales people who are letting us down, because we are not good listeners. It is really something we need to think about as business owners.
This gym, could have easily solved many of their problems by simply listening to their customers but their choice of not listening to what they were saying drove their customers away.
Are you listening to your customers?Chris Le Roy