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How to sell service over price

Looking to differentiate your sports centre or gym? We show you how to develop a value proposition focused on selling service and not price.

In today’s globalised world, it is essential to differentiate yourself from the competition. No matter how good your product is, if you don’t have something that differentiates you, you will go unnoticed by customers.

Having said that, we must also be realistic and it is not an easy process. Going from selling a price to selling a service is a huge change of mentality and one that is not achieved overnight.

We’re not going to lie to you, we don’t have the absolute answer to how you should sell or the magic steps that will change your company’s mindset in two days, because we are still in the process every day. But what we can do is tell you what small steps will help you find your way to change.

The list of recommendations could be endless if we let ourselves be guided by everything that St. Google says, but the reality is that no, not everything is really useful and we are not here to waste time. We want to manage our sports centre in the best possible way, don’t we?

Differences between selling a price and selling a service in a gym

First of all, we need to know what the difference is between selling a service and selling a price:

Selling a price

This is the most commonly used sales technique. Sell your price because it is cheaper, you offer more resources, you offer more services. …. Whatever differentiates your gym, but always have the price as your selling message.

Selling a service

In this sales technique, what we do is sell the benefits it provides, and not so much the price. This includes all the things that you know your ideal public needs and wants from a sport centre; personalised attention, fun, community… There are many possibilities, but they must always be in line with your centre and what you want to offer.

The main difference between the two is that selling at a price is influenced by the subjective view of each customer. What may seem cheap to some may seem expensive to others. Therefore, this vision does not depend on you, but on the end user. Moreover, it is a technique with which you enter the price war. What if the gym next to yours lowers its prices? Maybe if you only sell price, your users will leave.

However, if you are selling a service, what you are selling to your end customer is what makes you different. What makes your centre the best option, and not just the price. It is selling identification.

For example, if you know that your ideal clients are looking for personalised treatment, and your gym offers it, you should attack that benefit in the sale of your gym. So, when your client reads that you are a gym specialising in personalised service, they will say “That’s what I want” and the price will take second place, even if it is still relevant.

Both ways of selling are perfectly valid and can go hand in hand. Sometimes you can sell the price, and sometimes you can sell the service. However, the technique of selling a service is not usually exploited because it is more complicated than the other.

But don’t worry. From Resasports we bring you the 5 steps you should take to determine the service you offer, and to be able to sell it.

1- Focus on your target

It seems obvious, but being clear and focused is the key to a company’s success.

Knowing who your ideal customer is, what they like the most or what their needs are is the first step you should take. You should even be able to convert their desire or emotions into a need.

The fundamental rule of your centre should always be to focus on the user. We know that defining a target can sometimes be a bit difficult, so let’s put it into practice. For this exercise, you have to answer five questions. Wait! Before you jump straight into answering them, think about it. Get your team together and do this exercise separately first and then share your answers. The questions are as follows:

  • Who is your product or service aimed at?
  • Who could become your potential customer?
  • How old is he/she?
  • What interests him/her? What tastes does he/she have?
  • What social networks does he/she have?

Once you have defined and answered these questions, you will have a profile of your buyer or buyer persona. If it helps, you can give it a name and a physical appearance. From there, create personalised messages to reach the audience you have in mind.

Resasports tip: there doesn’t have to be just one buyer persona. There can be as many buyer personas as you consider, as long as you are clear about the difference and the details of each one.

If you want to know more about how to get to know your target audience, read this article: What do gym customers value most?

2- Add additonal value

It is something simple and at the same time very complex, you have to make training in your sport centre an experience. Any gymcan be used for training, what makes yours different?

This is the key to everything. In the previous point we have defined our buyer persona, but, quite possibly, it coincides with the target of many other gyms. Therefore, it is very important that going to train at your centre is something more.

How can you do that? The truth is that there are many options. So let’s go with the questions, since, at the end of the day, that’s what materialises the ideas:

  • If you were to become a member of a sport centre, what would you like it to have? Any special service? A specific machine?
  • What do you want the users of your centre to achieve and do they have everything they need to go down that path?
  • Do you have any dead space and do you think it could be reused for something else?
  • Are there any training disciplines you can include that will get the attention of your potential users?
  • Have you considered setting up a chill out area where your users can enjoy the post-workout while commenting on how it went with their friends?

3- Specialise, offer a solution to a problem

After the above questions, you will have an overview of where you want to go and who you want to call. Now you need to differentiate yourself from others. And that is where you are going to sell a service, not a price.

It is clear that, in principle, with our centre we would like to cover all the needs of our users. But this is not possible and, as they say, if you can’t get enough, you can’t get enough.

A good way to differentiate yourself while solving a problem can be specialisation. Nowadays users can choose from a huge number of disciplines to train in. However, the reality is that not everyone dares to try something new due to lack of knowledge.

If you are a gym, the discipline is clear, but what is going to differentiate you from the rest of the centres around you? That’s where the service you sell comes in. What are you going to sell that no one else offers? Personalised attention? A reference coach? A service specialised in a certain age range? There are many possibilities.

4- Listen to your users

Even though you are the manager of the sport centre and you have total power to decide, when it comes down to it, the customers are the ones who make your sports centre work. They are also the most direct source of information about what they are looking for in your centre, and how you are providing solutions.

We use the Design Thinking methodology to find out what process we need to follow to find a solution to a user’s request.

4.1 – Design Thinking methodology

Design Thinking is a methodology for developing people-centred innovation, offering a process through which challenges can be observed, needs identified and, ultimately, solved. The goal: to meet people’s needs in a way that is feasible and viable.

We use the Design Thinking methodology to find out what process we need to follow to find a solution to a user’s request.

Let’s take a look at its phases:

sell based on gym value
  1. Research your users’ needs: this is about understanding the problem you are trying to solve. Therefore, this phase usually starts with user research.
  2. Identify your users’ needs and problems: it is time to put the information gathered during the first phase on the table. All the observations are analysed and synthesised to define the core problems that the team has identified.
  3. Ideate: this involves thinking of innovative solutions or alternatives that solve the problem and at the same time can be used as a differentiating element.
  4. Develop: this consists of drawing up an outline for implementing the proposed solution that has been decided upon.
  5. Test: this is basically putting the solution into operation in our centre.
  6. Analyse: this phase is not specific to this method, but we have added it because we believe it is vitally important to know if the users are really satisfied, if the process for choosing the solution has been the right one or if, on the contrary, we should think about something else.

5- Create a supportive community

If you want users to discover your product, you must first invest time in getting to know them. In the age of social media there is no excuse, you must research what she or he does, what she or he likes or what is important to her or him.

You may be asking yourself, is social media necessary for my gym? Yes, yes and yes. Before anyone makes a decision about which gym to join, they are going to look for references on the internet. And that’s where your online community should speak for you, the opinions and reviews of other users are much more credible than anything you can say about your sport centre.

Social media is a valuable tool for influencing consumers when marketing and promoting your club and its success often depends on the brand image we have built.

Let’s take a brief look at how the power of social media can support your core business strategy and help promote your brand:

  • Branding: platforms like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter make it possible to reach thousands of people in a much closer way than any advertisement you can place. *Resasports tip: Nowadays, people avoid phone calls at all costs. Offer your potential users an additional way to interact with you and have all their questions answered.
  • Community engagement: Harness the power of social media marketing by striving to create a community of people who participate in your club on a regular basis. Share valuable content, build relationships, reinforce brand recognition and create a virtual family that everyone will want to be a part of.
  • Promoting your programme of activities: Social media can generate interest in your centre’s programming. Members share information about activities, videos, pictures and stories about their own experiences. Any content can be used to raise awareness of the sport centre.

Extra tip: WhatsApp as a key differentiation tool

It’s time to tell a universal truth: no one likes to talk on the phone, especially not to strangers.

That is why offering your potential users a dynamic and real-time way of interacting with your centre and resolving queries can be the tool that makes the difference and positions you as the first choice.

As you can see, getting users to see you as a different gym that goes beyond price is a slow process in which you have to make an effort every day, both in the centre itself and in every action you take.

These 5 points are not the answer to everything, but we hope that they have helped you to get a better idea of where you want your sport centre to go and what you want to achieve.

Ps pssss…. It is not because it is our sector, but, having the help of a software for the management of your centre is another positive point to offer an experience to the users of your sport centre. 😊

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