Saturday, April 13, 2013

Day 17 – WorkStep Eight – Getting Into The World Of Corporate Cash

BodyChance’s backend is clearly an Alexander Technique Teacher Education school. But these days I am smelling a back-end to dwarf the school concept, a back-end for which the school is a kind of front-end. Everyone talks about this, few people accomplish it.

Are you able to get into the world of corporate cash?

I made a serious run at corporate work in Sydney back in the days, and although I was moderately successful, I discovered then why most Alexander Technique teachers are all talk and no walk when it comes to making headway in this arena.

Three Essentials Before Entering the Corporate Market
First, do you have credibility? (in the form of references, work history, accomplishments, scientific backing). Second, do you have resources? (contacts, expert teachers, learning materials, economic staying power) Third, have you realized what you are selling?

If you answered: “I am selling Alexander Technique” you just flunked the first test. Corporate markets are all about office politics, it is all about who actually makes the decisions. You can waste a lot of time talking to people who think they are important, and act like that with you, but who have virtually no say in the final decision to spend money or not. I learnt this quickly – make sure you have the decision-maker on the other side of the phone or move on.

Being excited because someone is willing to talk with you may fuel your dreams, but it won’t pay the rent. Do some background, ask delicate questions like “Who decides on funding?”
What are you selling to Corporates?
That depends very much on the person, the company, their situation, your relationship – so many factors. I once approached a Health Fund organization in Australia. The woman I dealt with had been recently installed at head of Human Resources: she wanted something innovative, different, effective so she could surprise her bosses and enhance her authority in the department.

Was I selling Alexander Technique? No. I was selling novelty, originality, innovation. I had to sell her on this going down well with her bosses, her department. It was all about what she needed, not what they needed. Consider these personal politics.

BodyChance is challenged by corporate work. The market is totally different from the environment we are used to working in – the students are not paying, or often even choosing to come. When you get them in the room, you may as well think of it as sales event. Only when you enroll them legitimately, is there is a small chance you get asked back.

I know some of you are thinking of Corporate work as a juicy supplement to your private practice, and my experience suggests you take a long view. It is a niche too, and all the same rules apply except the “consumer” is a now a “representative” of a business – different things are at stake.

TOMORROW: WorkStep Eight – Building a BodyChance School in LA

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