Are You Unknowingly Being “Salesy”?

If you don't want to be a pushy salesperson, don't do what this guy does

In a desperate attempt NOT to be this guy, a lot of practitioners do exactly what he would do…

As a Feldenkrais® practice business mentor, I know there’s a lot of resistance among practitioners to anything that looks like selling.

That’s why it’s so ironic that so many blog posts, newsletters, Facebook posts, and other social media messages from Feldies are sales-oriented!

I’m sure you’ve seen emails like this:

Hi! 
It’s Spring! Time for ATM!
Take classes or my workshop!
Or you could give me a call once in a while
for a private lesson… if you think it could help… 
Gosh, this has been fun!
Thanks soooo much for reading this!
See you next time.

Salesy emails like this often result from an attempt to communicate without bothering people. To the practitioner, the important thing is the new class and workshop schedule, so that gets spit out quickly and then we cut to the sign-off.

It’s understandable, but mistaken.

I’ve come to the conclusion that what a newsletter, blog post, or social media business page is supposed to be doing for a Feldenkrais® practice has never been made clear… and even less clear is how to achieve that purpose without feeling like you’ve left your body!

Why Communicate?

It’s true that many people get much too much email, waste time on social media and in general, are not paying as much attention to online communications as we used to. Today, my spam folder had close to 50 messages! Who has time to deal with all the stuff that comes online? Why are we doing all this online talking, anyway? How is it helping to build our practices?

Well, now that just about everyone has too much electronic communication, there’s really only one reason that blogging, newsletters, social media business pages, etc. make any sense at all: to relate to the people on your list in a way that they have more opportunities to know who you are, understand that you do something that can help them and come to like and trust you enough to give you a call when they need you.

What do people want to know about you?

Interestingly enough, the last thing they want to know is how you are just like everyone else! That’s right! What people want to know is — how are you different from everyone else?

Have you thought about that? Do you know what makes you different? It’s really why people want to be YOUR client instead of someone else’s, and that makes it really important to find out!

I recently gave some of my mentoring clients the task of finding out what their clients have to say about their individuality… how they’re unique. One of them wrote to me, saying that someone told her:

In my opinion, there’s little that’s not unique in what you are doing. If Feldenkrais is a Shakespeare script, your utilization of it is as a master actor to everyone else’s being a high-school read-through. It’s your life, your wisdom, your sufferings, your pilgrimage that infuses all you do for your students.

What’s amazing about this is what this client doesn’t talk about — for instance, she doesn’t say anything about how the practitioner took advantage of her neuromuscular plasticity. She doesn’t mention that her reticular formation underwent a transformation and is now regulating her sleep-wake cycle more efficiently. It doesn’t occur to her that the synovial fluid is now lubricating her knees, or that her facet joints have been revitalized. She doesn’t even say she notices “smother movement” as a result of working with this practitioner.

What this client does know is that “her” practitioner allows who she is to pervade her practice. “She” is unique. Her clients don’t want to work with anyone else, because they are drawn to her by the very sufferings that most of us are trying to hide!

To me, the really wonderful thing about this is that this practitioner doesn’t have 20 years of experience… in fact, she has less than 2 years of experience! Everyone graduates from their  practitioner training able to help people.

Everyone.

The key is to find out how you’re different, and claim it.

Claiming your difference sets you apart from everyone else and allows you to be known for what makes you YOU…the best possible practitioner for your best clients!

Action Steps

1. Ask 5 of your favorite clients what are the most important reasons they work with you. Ask them to tell you at least one thing related to your work, and at least one thing that’s only about you. Prepare to be surprised at what they tell you!
2. Click here to “Like” my Facebook page, so that you don’t miss the daily business tips I post!

 

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4 Responses to Are You Unknowingly Being “Salesy”?

  1. Dirk says:

    Thanks, Allison, for pointing this out!
    I’m getting more and more convinced: it’s really not the “method” into which people are interested in the first place, but what helps them in their personal needs.

    • Allison says:

      Dirk, you’re right. Eventually people may look for us the way they look for yoga or meditation, but I think we need to work on it before that happens. In the meantime, practitioners need to EAT, or there won’t be any Feldenkrais Method® out there to look for! And that means they need to find out what their clients want to know because that’s the only way to engage them!

  2. Hi Allison,
    I know you’re right. Since you helped me with my website, it now speaks to what a person is looking for in a therapist (I’m not a Feldy, BTW). I remember one person calling and saying that when she found my website, it was like finding the right card for someone. At that point, I knew I was speaking with the potential client, not trying to get a client.
    Thanks for all your help.

    • Allison says:

      Jozeffa, your story is spot on! When it feels ‘right,’ your clients don’t have any trouble at all realizing that you’re ‘THE ONE!’ …and when it doesn’t feel right, no amount of explanation will help them get it. Our job as holistic practitioners is to help people get the information they need to make that distinction.
      I’m so glad your website is working to bring ‘your clients’ to your door!

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