Friday, October 19, 2012

The Selling of You I: Is It You That You Sell?


I had a long, passionate letter from a teacher in Europe last week, and I promised to comment on it in a blog post. (BTW - Please write and tell me your story - your concerns, needs & wonderings. I promise to answer you personally, as well offering further advice here. Take advantage - it’s all for free! You can message me in FaceBook).

My correspondent took time to establish credentials as a top tier salesperson, with years of experience in marketing and sales, handling multi-million dollar, international deals. So you would think this person a natural to move into being a professional teacher and utilize those skills marketing and selling Alexander Technique, right? No. That was the point of the letter. Although selling objects and “things” came easily, selling Alexander Technique seemed impossible. Why?

Fundamentally I think it is a misconception: you think you are selling your self. How do I know? Because for years I fell for just that. At first glance it seems obviously true: you have a set of skills, and depending on how well you use those skills will depend on how well the person learns. Sounds reasonable right? Only problem is - it simply isn’t true.

Your teacher places no limitation on your capacity to learn this work - that is just silly, I might even say arrogant. But innocently so. I’ve had teachers - and I am sure this is true for all my readers - who I “tolerated” and did gain stuff from, but I never considered them my guru, saviour, master etc. Some people fall for the guru trap - at BodyChance I deliberately and consciously set out to destroy this myth: we have multiple models and constant public disagreement and discussion about various teaching methodologies. To quote Joe: what a load of malarkey!

You are not selling you, but when you believe that is what you are doing, I can understand how hard that must be. Then the question is: what am I selling? There’s a lot more to say about this, but I think that is food enough for thought today.

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