Saturday, October 06, 2012

Alexander Technique Principles in Selling 1. Unity


Marie Françoise Le Foll, a wonderfully eccentric teacher in Paris, once remarked in a class at BodyChance: “Unity is what we have. Separation is what we add.” I loved this comment, and it has stuck with me over the years.

So when it comes to marketing and selling your services as a teacher of Alexander Technique – where are you adding separation? And one answer is obvious: you separate marketing and selling from teaching practice.

Just as a person can separate mind from body, so you can separate teaching from selling. There are distinctions – I am not denying that – but do you truly see that teaching and selling are interdependent?

When is a teacher not a teacher? When there is no student. And how does a teacher get a student? You must sell the idea of a lesson!

So without this moment of selling, there is no moment of teaching. The two are interdependent, two sides of one coin. How much attention, research and study do you give to selling as compared to teaching? Very little is my guess. And why is that?

Separation is what you add, so let’s find out what you are “adding” to the concept of selling? Get out a sheet of paper, and without pausing too much to reflect, write down all your reactions to the idea of “sales person.”

Now look at the list you created: Is this you? I bet not, but if you you assume that you must become this kind of person in order to sell, is it any wonder you are not interested in studying selling as an art?

Your first job, as an Alexander Technique teacher who wants to expand your practise, is to investigate what you are adding to the concept of selling? Question it, and ultimately discard the superfluous and delusional ideas that do not serve your aim of increasing your reach and contact with students.

Unity will come as you discard what separates.

3 comments:

  1. One of the best books for those who must get used to the idea of being a sales person was written by a mentor of mine, Chuck Lewis. It's an old "sleeper" book called: "You're Gonna Love It!" that was published by Ten Speed Press. My review of it on Amazon gives you an idea about how I applied it to Alexander Technique.

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  2. Absolutely correct. No sell, no student. No student means no need for a teacher.

    Selling AT as a service doesn't need to be inherently bad as long as it is done with all the "means whereby" of the Alexander Technique (did I really say it?...).

    Keep the unity and integration while selling as a Alexander Technique teacher. Don't sell your soul (and compromise the AT principles) just to gain more students.

    I believe we (AT teachers) should come out with some new ways of promoting / selling the knowledge we have. It is quite revolutionary thoughts that FM Alexander came out with and I reckon it is difficult to sell them the "habitual" way people sell everything else in the world. Lots of the traditional selling / promoting trick are based on the very behaviour that AT aspires to change.

    AT is different and unique to everything else I have ever came accross with. Sell it and promote it as it is different.

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  3. Thanks for the reference Franis. And Martin - I am not sure about changing the "habitual" way people sell. In the way I understand it, selling hasn't much changed, ever. Humans and humans, and certain pitches will move them, others won't. Technology may change, but the essentials of selling reflect universal qualities of humaness.

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