Monday, January 14, 2013

W03.01 The Hidden Power That Motivates Students to Stay With You For Life.

In marketing circles, it is a well known axiom that a person buys for two reasons: one reason they tell you, another reason they keep secret. The secret reason makes or breaks the sale, so you better know what that is.

Now you understand you are also in the marketing business, where better to confirm this marketing theory than by re-reading Part I of Alexander’s 2nd book Conscious Constructive Control of the Individual? In this section of his book, Alexander makes it evidently clear that most people are driven “subconsciously” by factors that they may not even admit to. Hmmm. Could this be the same phenomenon?

Social Science research of the last few decades confirm this fact - human beings make far fewer conscious decisions than they imagine they do. More often - as Alexander also asserted - we are “decided” by our unconscious, then rationalize our decisions after they are made. A must-read book for all Alexander Technique teachers - it is on BodyChance’s recommended reading list for students - is Robert B. Cialdini’s classic work, now in it’s 4th Edition: Influence: Science and Practice. It is literally teeming with reports of controlled studies at reputable universities that will raise the hair on your arms. It’s as scary as anything Alexander wrote on the subject.

So what does this have to do with building an Alexander Technique business? Everything! What reason do people give you now for wanting to come to lessons? “Please fix my back” or “I want to be calmer when speaking in front of people” or “I want to improve my [hobby/profession].” These are all “I can tell you” reasons, they are not secret reasons. While they may motivate a person to try a few lessons, for most people these reasons lack sufficient motivating power to convert them into the long term students that sustain your financial health. Only the “secret” reasons that drive unconscious behaviour posses this power.

Luckily, these drives are easy to fathom because we all have them!

One of the deepest drives common to most mammals is an intense desire to belong. At one time, not belonging literally meant death. If the tribe cast you out, you could not survive. You either found another tribe to belong to, or you starved to death or were killed by predators. Now this is not true in the same way, but as Alexander often pointed out, our biologically driven feeling systems have not caught up with the facts of our actual existence.

So the first thing to understand with your niche is that you are building a location for them to be. This is not a geographical location, it is an emotional one. You are literally inventing a new sub-niche within their own niche. They became the people in their niche who “know” about Alexander's discoveries: they feel privileged to be privy to an inside secret, excited they have an inside advantage; an advantage based on hard science and strong empirical/personal evidence.

Your community is built into one that already exists - that is why you must first start by defining your niche. Can you see that you don’t want to build your community from scratch? That is too hard - evidence, even in our Alexander Technique community, shows most people fail at it. Actually, I have done that with BodyChance and it took me 13 years, a lot of time and money, and many nights of sheer, bed-wetting terror.

I promise you - this is an easier way!

TOMORROW: Are You Fixing Something Or Building Something? How The Parts Work With The Whole.
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