Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Selling of You V: Why Won’t You Buy Me?

In yesterday’s blog I posed a cliff hanger question: what jeopardizes my ability to sell Alexander Technique? This “something” demotivates your ability to advocate the work in the presence of a reluctant buyer. What is this “something”? Let’s consider it…

My reluctant buyer is usually a “Yes, but…” person. Something like: “Yes Alexander Technique is great but I am not sure if I can…” or “Yes, it did help my back pain but I don’t have enough money for lessons.” Our reluctant buyer is going towards and going away at the same time. Towards you (the work and what they actually came wanting) AND going away from you (by their fear of losing money, time, safety). This “yes/no” mind is conflicted - it is uncomfortable and tense. No-one seeks out this state.

This moment calls for your decisive advocacy of “yes” to what they came seeking. Instead, as I have often witnessed in my Self, I begin bowing to the person’s “no.” … An empathetic nod accompanied with “Oh, I see, money is difficult is it? Hmmm. What to do?”

And at that moment, you lose the sale. At that moment (and this is worth recalling) you lose the opportunity to contribute significantly to that person’s life.  So why do you fold so quickly? Why do you give up without being an advocate? It gets uncomfortable, right? You start feeling “Oh, this person will think I am pushy.” You worry what they think about you. It strikes deep into a primal human fear: to be cast out, to be rejected, to be left on your own.

Our desperation for approval and love is secretly at work here, disguised under “being reasonable” and “listening.” So you get to be a good person, while they lose an opportunity because you are not willing to question their confused thinking.

“But I can’t push people - that isn’t Alexander Technique” is another disguise that hides the real reason you don’t ask what feels difficult for you. The selling becomes all about you (love me, approve of me) instead of about them. You put your own reputation above their need - but I bet you don’t see it that way at the time!

So what can you do?

1. Prepare some answers.
Objections from reluctant buyers are pretty universal: “I have to talk to my spouse” or “I am not sure about my finances.” or “Do I have enough time right now?” Have you listed all the “reasons” you have heard over from your reluctant buyers? List them, then think through creative questions that support them untangling their doubts…

2. Be honest  with them.
No need to pretend - tell them what your job is. “I want to help you get clear.” Let them know you are on the side of their good experience, of their original want in coming here. Let them know that this is the moment for them to decide. You can advocate for no too - it is not about getting the response you want to hear, it is about getting them to be clear about the decision they are making.

3.  Reignite their “yes”.
When the “no” takes over in their mind, your job is to invite the “yes” back. Ask questions, make observations, connect them back to their wish. Ask: Isn’t what you came here to find? When is the right time to decide?

4. Create a compelling reason to decide.
Reluctant buyers will be manifesting images and reasons for their no, so give yes an equal opportunity: create a time limited offer that rewards decisive action. It needs to be genuine - something that you feel is truly a gift. (This goes to crafting your offer, which is a subject for another blog.)

However, none of these can function with integrity in the absence of you loving you. That may sound weird to some, but until you are OK being you - and don’t seek the approval and love of others - you will keep losing the sale. Why?

You are secretly trying to sell you.

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