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Saturday, January 1, 2011

"Your Camp Sounds Great But it Costs Too Much" and other Customer Fallacies

If you asked me what's the best thing you could do to increase your enrollment, I'd say adopt a "salesperson first" attitude. Your mindset should be salesperson first, camp director next.

When you adopt a salesman (or saleswomen) stance, you market your camp from a position of strength. You may have lost potential customers in the past because you didn't know how to deal with various objections or reasons why they didn't want to sign up for your camp. But if you understand one simple sales technique, you can turn most of those people who'd otherwise get away into paying customers.

What kind of "sales technique" are we talking about? Storytelling marketing.

Last January, we discussed how to market your camp with stories. Storytelling marketing is a wonderful sales technique for a number of reasons, not the least of which is it helps customers understand what you're offering from another customer's point of view. This helps address people's concerns better and leads to higher enrollment.

Let me explain with a story myself.

One of the most common objections we get from prospects at Aloha is price. But when people say it costs too much, I use storytelling marketing to deal with their objections.

Let's say someone tells me, "Your camp sounds great, but it's too expensive." In that case, I don't get defensive or argue with them or try to explain our price rationale.

Instead I demonstrate, through stories, how other people with their same concerns actually benefited by attending Aloha Beach Camp.

When I get that dreaded price objection, I say, "Well, you know what? You might think that's the case, except many families who've been with us the longest, like the Smith's and the Jones', were concerned about price, too. But that was before their kids tried camp. Today they'll tell you they'd gladly pay double what we charge. That's because their kids love camp so much, they say the value they're getting is worth twice as much as the price."

Can you see how effective this is? Instead of sounding desperate with reasons why we charge what we charge, I let the Jones and Smith families correct the erroneous perception camp costs too much. Most of the time people have no idea I'm actually using a sales technique, and it moves them from being concerned about price to, "I guess it's easily worth the price after all."

Maybe you get price objections at your camp or other reasons why people don't sign up right away or they "need to think about it" and they'll "call you back later." You can deal with this better if you adopt a salesperson mindset from a storytelling marketing prospective. You'll also have a huge leg up on all the other camp directors who don't know how to sell or don't care to learn, and your enrollment will thank you for it.

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