As a tennis coach or professional you are bound to be faced with situations where you need to sell what you do to win new students, fill up a group session or grab yourself a great opportunity.
In our experience many coaches say that they aren’t good at selling and they don’t enjoy it. We’d like to change that because it’s vital for your business! Our tips are intended to help you to feel more at ease selling your skill, your coaching and your club.
Rules of selling
- Believe that what you are selling will honestly help your customer.
- Develop a transition sentence that will take you from talking to your customer about what they want to selling your solution. Questions are great transition sentences. For example; “Since Amy is enjoying her weekly class so much, wouldn’t it be great to work out how she can play more?”
- Practice your introduction and your transition sentence.
Selling is just having a good conversation. Never rush. It takes time to understand what the customer wants and offer the right solution.
STEP 1: Fact Find – Get to Know Your Customer
This step is about building rapport; you getting to know your customer and your customer getting to know you. Your aim is to build trust and liking.
- Be genuine and honest.
- Listen to what your customer is saying.
- Encourage your customer to talk to you.
You can start by practicing a couple of opening sentences; for example:
“You daughter, Amy, is picking things up so quickly! How proud are you of the effort she is putting in?”
“It is great the way Matt makes such a tremendous effort in all of the activities. How happy are you to see him put so much heart into his tennis?”
“What school does Matt go to?”
“Do you live close to the club?” “How convenient is it to get to the club?”
“How much tennis have you played before?”
“Why did you start playing tennis?”
These conversation starters should all be sentences that you would genuinely use in a conversation. Successful sales people do this naturally.
STEP 2: Needs Analysis – Learn What Your Customer Wants
The key to successful selling is to understand your customer’s needs and offer an appropriate solution. That’s why you’re in business – right? And you can’t offer a solution if you don’t know what your customer is trying to achieve. Your aim is to dig down to what has led the customer to call you, join the club, or sign up for a trial lesson?
The conversation you will have should talk about the customer’s motivation for playing tennis and how available they are for lessons. For example, you can ask:
“Are you looking to play just for fun or are you hoping to play for the county?”
“Are you looking for social interaction in a bigger group or do you prefer individual lessons?”
“What days and times are you free to play tennis?”
“What type of coach do they like? Stern and serious or fun?”
STEP 3: Offering the Solution (Selling)
The way to feel comfortable is to remember that you are offering a solution to what your customer wants. You should genuinely believe that want you are offering will help your customer.
The key points to remember are:
- Focus on helping – not selling.
- Think about the objections that customers are likely to have and how you can help them to overcome them.
- Be clear on both the features and the benefits of what you are selling. Many people mix up features and benefits – they are different.
- Features describe your product. Such as an hour long class in a group with 5 other children.
- Benefits are what those features do for your customer.
STEP 4: Close the Sale
This is the step that many people don’t do; the step that makes most people uncomfortable. The key to not being salesy or pushy is in being genuine and sensitive to your customer.
Just as you would in a normal conversation, watch your customer’s body language. If you see the signs of a definite NO – that what you are selling is not a good fit for your customer, then STOP. It might work for them another at another time and if you were pleasant and they liked you, then they will let you talk to them about it again.
The key points to remember:
- You might not close the sale on the day – so you must follow up. Make sure that you’ve got their contact details – and that they’ve got your details too.
- Assume that they WILL take up your offer. If you believe in your offer, then this should be easy. Talk in a positive sense about which class they would like to join. Make it a when, not an if.
- Don’t be pushy. Your customer has a right to say no. What you are offering might work for them at another time and if you were pleasant and they liked you, then they will let you talk to them about it again.