Monday, 23 June 2014

Selling Health & Fitness - Why People Buy

Successful business are started with bringing in clients. By no means is this the only way to ensure success but without clients you can't build a business to then work on your retention, [personal training, gym challenges etc. Over the next few articles we will run through how you can improve your membership and club sales and start to take control of how you sell your club.

Why people choose to buy

The success of any fitness fitness business, in fact any business throughout the world is based on its ability to encourage customers to purchase their product or service.  This basic premise is standard throughout all industries, business types and scale of enterprise. Without customers making a conscious or even sometimes unconscious decision to purchase as business does not exist.

So in order to understand this it is important to first appreciate why a person may decide to buy your services or product.

Needs vs Wants:

Needs are those things that as living things we need to survive and to ensure we have a basic quality of life. These include such things as food and water, shelter, clothing.  We need to purchase these items to be able to survive the world and so are seen as essential purchase.
Health and fitness services do not not unfortunately fall into this category and so become a want, something that a client needs to desire, one which has an emotional rather than logical attachment and one which involves feelings and thoughts.

An example being:
Buying a new car. No one really needs a £50,000 Jaguar or Porche to get to work.  the basic need is a car that will allow them to get from a-b.  The reason why some people will spend huge sums of money though is linked to feelings and emotions.  These could be anything from wanting to show off their extravagence, it makes them feel successful, it might attract the fairer sex.  Who knows, what is important is that it is driven by an inner desire and not a basic need.

Brian Eisenberg identified 20 reasons why people buy:

Basic Needs – We buy things to fulfill what Maslow describes as the bottom of his hierarchy; things like food and shelter.
Convenience – You need something now and will take the easiest or fastest path to get it. Think about the last time you were running out of gas, or were thirsty and found the nearest beverage of choice. This could also be choosing the safe vendor (no one ever gets fired for hiring IBM), purchasing something to increase comfort or efficiency.
Replacement – Sometimes you buy because you need to replace old things you have (e.g., clothes that don’t fit or are out-of-date). This could be moving from a VCR to a DVD player.
Scarcity – This could be around collectibles or a perceived need that something may run out or have limited availability in the future. Additionally, there’s a hope to gain a return on investment, such as collectible or antiques; anything that accrues value over time.
Prestige or Aspirational purchase – Something is purchased for an esteem-related reason or for personal enrichment.
Emotional Vacuum – Sometimes you just buy to try to replace things you cannot have and never will.
Lower prices – Something you identified earlier as a want is now a lower price than before. Maybe you were browsing for a particular large screen TV and you saw a great summer special.
Great Value – When the perceived value substantially exceeds the price of a product or service. This is something you don’t particularly need, you just feel it’s too good a deal to pass up. (Like the stuff they place near the end caps or checkout counters of stores.)
Name Recognition – When purchasing a category you’re unfamiliar with, branding plays a big role. Maybe you had to buy diapers for a family member and you reach for Pampers because of you’re familiarity with the brand, even though you don’t have children yourself.
Fad or Innovation – Everybody wants the latest and greatest. (iPhone mania.) This could also be when someone mimics their favorite celebrity.
Compulsory Purchase – Some external force, like school books, uniforms, or something your boss asked you to do, makes it mandatory. This often happens in emergencies, such as when you need a plumber.
Ego Stroking – Sometimes you make a purchase to impress/attract the opposite sex; to have something bigger/better than others, friends, etc. To look like an expert/aficionado; to meet a standard of social status, often exceeding what’s realistically affordable to make it at least seem like you operate at a higher level.
Niche Identity – Something that helps bond you to a cultural, religious or community affiliation. Maybe you’re a Harvard alumni and Yankee fan who keeps kosher. (You can also find anti-niche identity by rebellion, assuming you’re pretty comfortable with irony.)
Peer Pressure – Something is purchased because your friends want you to. You may need to think back to your teen years to think of an example.
The “Girl Scout Cookie Effect” – People feel better about themselves by feeling as though they’re giving to others, almost especially when they’re promised something in return. Purchasing things they don’t need–or wouldn’t normally purchase–because it will help another person or make the world a better place incrementally is essential certain buying decision.
Reciprocity or Guilt – This happens when somebody–usually an acquaintance, or someone rarely gift-worthy–buys you a gift or does something exceptionally nice and/or unnecessary. Now it’s your turn to return the favor at the next opportunity. Examples:
  • Event – When the social decorum of an event (e.g., wedding, bar mitzvah, etc.) dictates buying something or another.
  • Holiday – ‘Nuff said.
Empathy – Sometimes people buy from other people because they listened and cared about them even if they had the lesser value alternative.
Addiction – This is outside the range of the normal human operating system, but it certainly exists and accounts for more sales than any of us can fathom.
Can you think back to the last time you bought something and fully explain the reason why?
Fear – From pink Taser™ stun guns to over-sized SUV’s to backyard bomb shelters–and even stuff so basic as a tire pressure gauge–are bought out of fear. So, before you go knocking “fear” as a motivator, ask yourself: Are you Y2K compliant?
Indulgence – Who doesn’t deserve a bit of luxury now and then? So long as you can afford it, sometimes there’s no better justification for that hour-long massage, that pint of Cherry Garcia ice cream, or that $75 bottle of 18-year single malt scotch other than “you’re worth it” (best when said to self in front of mirror with a wink and/or head tilt)
Now you may wonder why it is so important to identify peoples motivations to buy? The simple answer is so that you can adapt your sales technique to the individuals who walk through your door or view your products online.  A person entering your club/facility is not buying the pool or gym that he will no doubt use. They are the emotions and feelings that using these facilities will give them.
Your challenge is to determine what those emotions are.  What is the key driver that has brought them into your facility? How do they want to feel or not feel, which is often the over riding factor.

Next time we will review Communication styles and personality traits

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