Starting out, most personal trainers are only able to close 2 or 3 out of every 10 prospects that sit in front of them for a consultation. Does that sound familiar? Are you maybe still in that zone?
What makes the difference between the beginner and the true closer?
Part of it is honing your sales process until it becomes a repeatable system. If you want to see how my own fitness sales system works, go check out Close Clients.
However, there’s another component that goes back to something I talked about last week when I was talking about personality types and leadership.
In that post, I briefly mentioned that there are 4 main personality types and that we naturally have an easier time interacting with people who share our type.
And this is why beginners can only close 2-3 of every 10 prospects – they’re only closing people who share their type!
The key to becoming a true closer is to learn how to sell to all 4 types, so let’s take a closer look at each one.
A Quick Overview
Like I mentioned last week, there are many different personality-sorting systems out there. The most popular are the Myers-Briggs, the DiSC test, and the behavior matrix. You may be familiar with another system, so I wanted to clear something up before we go further.
These systems may differ in their fine details, but they all have a ton of overlap. So I’m going to avoid getting caught up in the details and just focus on the really deep stuff.
You might be surprised to know that these systems all have some very old ancestors in the worlds of philosophy and science.
Medieval doctors, for example, believed that everyone’s personality was determined by the balance of four “humours” AKA different colored liquids in the body that each had different personality characteristics.
If someone’s personality seemed out of whack, doctors back then would literally pull out a bunch of knives and tubes and try to “balance” the humours…usually with mixed results.
And if you go back even further than that, many ancient cultures had philosophers talking about four natural elements (usually fire, air, earth, and water) that each had their own influence on a person’s personality.
The reason I bring this up is to point out that none of these systems are perfect, but they all tap into deep, ancient knowledge about the human psyche. The fact that the humours, the elements, and the modern personality types all match up so well just goes to show that these personalities have been around for a quite a long time.
And if you pay attention, you can still spot them to this day and use that knowledge to your advantage.
For this walkthrough of the four personality types, I’m going to use the names from the behavior matrix, but feel free to mentally translate them into one of the other systems if you want.
Let’s dive right into the deep end: the Controller is by far the toughest personality to sell to. Even if you yourself are a Controller, you might struggle to sell to other Controllers because they’re just so dang stubborn.
Controllers are dominant and formal people. That means they love being in charge and they love it when everyone follows the rules (especially if they came up with the rules!)
To make things even trickier, Controller’s are the toughest personality to spot because they can occasionally disguise themselves as another personality type (usually an Analyst or a Promoter, since they overlap with them).
So how the heck do you sell to them?
Well, the good news is that you might not have to.
Controllers are extremely decisive people. When they want something, it’s almost impossible to talk them out of it. They’ll probably research your business a ton before they even make the first call or email, and when they do show up they might even be a lay-down sale.
Still, there will be times when you need to close them yourself, and for those cases remember these tips:
Professionalism counts. Wear your best clothes, clean and pressed, and speak directly and honestly. This is a good idea anyway, but it’s an absolute requirement for Controllers. If they see you looking sloppy, you’ll lose their respect immediately.
Efficiency is key. Controllers are busy people. They have a deep, intuitive sense of how valuable their time truly is. So don’t waste their time. If a Controller starts looking impatient, don’t be afraid to cut short your presentation. If they’ve stuck around this long, they’re probably just itching to say “yes” and move on to their next task.
One last cool bonus about Controllers: they are extremely loyal. One you’ve proven yourself to a Controller, odds are they’ll stick around for a long time and, if you ask sparingly, even do you some pretty huge favors.
The Analyst is a funny case when it comes to selling, because they sort of turn traditional selling advice on its head.
Analysts are formal but non-dominant. They like rules and they LOVE information, but they aren’t very comfortable leading a conversation or making big decisions.
In fact, out of all the personalities, Analysts most desperately need to be sold. They have a hard time deciding on anything, let alone choosing to make a serious lifestyle change.
Now here’s what makes them a funny case: with Analysts, you actually DO want to give them a bunch of details in your presentation. Normally you want to focus on emotional arguments first, but an Analyst will get bored if you don’t give them some facts and figures to look at.
But don’t be fooled…Analysts are just as emotional as the rest of us, so don’t think of them as robots.
The key to selling an Analyst is to find their deepest emotional need (getting approval from friends, feeling attractive, avoiding health crises, etc.) and then use the facts and figures to show them the logical path to satisfying that need.
Professionalism still counts with Analysts, but it’s not a do-or-die thing.
The quickest way to win over an Analyst: nerd out in front of them. You only need to do it for one quick moment, but when an Analyst sees you nerd out about your favorite thing (whatever that is) they’ll appreciate you as a fellow nerd even if they don’t share that interest.
You might be noticing that a lot of this advice comes down to mimicking the personality in front of you. In fact, that’s exactly what you should do. Everyone naturally feels more comfortable talking to one of their own, so use that to your advantage.
A nice bonus with Analysts: they’ll never miss a payment. Analysts are very good at handling money.
HEY EVERYBODY LOOK OVER HERE! IT’S THE PROMOTER!
That’s pretty much how a Promoter enters a room. Promoters are dominant and informal, so they bring the party with them wherever they go.
Promoters tend to be the most outgoing and friendly, so it’s not tough to build rapport with them. Often, a Promoter will start building rapport with YOU first, since that’s their natural habit.
The one thing that will make or break your sale when you’re talking to a Promoter is FUN! If you bring the fun, promoters will follow, and they honestly won’t even care where you’re going as long as it stays fun.
Now, the tough thing about Promoters is that they have little to zero focus. They’re not especially tough to close up front, since they’re happy to try anything once, but you need a solid accountability system in place if you plan to keep them as long-term clients.
Promoters also come with an awesome bonus: they know everyone, and they have an instinctive gift for selling. That makes them perfect for generating referrals!
Pay extra close attention to this last group, because they make up a disproportionate chunk of the fat loss market (I’ll explain why in a moment).
Supporters are non-dominant and informal. They are naturally quiet and are far more focused on feelings than facts. Also, they love to nurture others.
Side note: in ancient times, Supporters were associated with the element of water, because water takes the shape of whatever container you put it in. That’s how Supporters are in social situations.
The thing about Supporters is that their greatest strength is also their greatest weakness: emotional sensitivity. The cool part is that they make amazing friends, partners, and parents – they can often pick up on your emotional state even before you do, and their nurturing instinct will tell them what you need in the moment to feel better.
However…the dark part about Supporters is that most of them start with extremely low self-esteem. They feel every emotion at 200%, even the negatives ones, and they tend to get bullied for that.
Also, they’re so busy looking out for others that they forget to look out for themselves.
In fact, Supporters are always unconsciously looking for support, no matter what they are shopping for.
They want to be a part of something. They want to be noticed. They want someone to acknowledge their feelings. If they can find that, the product or service itself almost becomes secondary.
AND because Supporters tend to bottle up their feelings and engage in emotional eating, they make up a huge chunk of the fat loss market.
Which leads into their bonus power…Supporters are a force multiplier. The more Supporters you bring into your tribe, the more you’ll have a supportive, community-driven environment which will bring in even more Supporters.
One Last Thing
There you go! There’s your strategy for selling to all four personality types.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all this info, don’t worry. My selling system, Close Clients, is designed to target all four types, so you can just plug right into that and be all set.
Committed to your success,