THE ART OF SELLING: 5 TIPS HOW NOT TO BE SALESY
By Susanne Rieker
Let’s face it, selling your services – be it a workshop, a yoga retreat or something else – can be awkward, especially for a yoga teacher or spiritual entrepreneur.
Maybe you feel shy or uneasy about discussing your classes, services, and products.
Maybe you associate any selling with grasping or greediness.
Or maybe you’re worried your students will think you’re a sell out, and that you’ve become part of the big yoga money machine.
I get it. Us spiritual entrepreneurs usually don’t want to be sales people or learn about sales. But the thing is, without sales, there is no business. Being able to effectively make sales is … well … kind of important!
There’s no way around it, doing a little self-promotion is necessary to get the word out, to get people on the mat, where the magic happens.
That’s why today I want to talk about how to become a master marketer without ever coming close to sleazy selling in any way, shape or form.
Here are five ways on how to make it easier to sell without being ‘salesy’!
1. Believe in what you’re selling
You need to be pee-your-pants excited about the stuff that you sell and believe in your what you’re offering 100 percent. Because if you don’t? Then you’re probably not going to feel very confident about it, and that lack of confidence will show through in everything you communicate.
For example, I know without a doubt that the online courses I’m selling are value-packed and I know in my heart of hearts that they’ll serve my audience.
If you don’t truly believe in whatever it is that you’re selling, you need to put in some changes. Do you feel your offering lacks value? Then work on that until it has more. Not sure if it will truly benefit your audience? Ask for feedback or offer a “beta” version for free to your most loyal students so that you can get their genuine feedback.
2. Know who you are selling to
You probably have a wide range of clients, but for this exercise I want you to imagine your ideal customer in as much detail as possible. Can you describe him or her as a person?
These questions can help you (for simplicity I’m going to assume it’s a women):
How old is she?
Where is she living?
Is she married, single or in a relationship?
Does she have children?
What is her job?
What are her favorite brands?
What are her interests?
What TV shows does she watch?
Make it into as real a person as possible. I want you to be able to imagine you’re having drinks with her, you know where you would meet and what you would be talking about.
Next ask yourself; “what does this person need or want?”
Think about their problems. What are they struggling with? What are their pain points? Maybe they don’t have enough time for themselves because of job and family obligations or they feel their yoga practice is stagnating and they don’t see any improvements. Again, be as detailed as possible.
Finally, define how you can help them.
This is the key. How will your services make their life easier? Or even transform it? The point is, it’s not about you or your product. It’s about them, and how you can help your customers. It’s a totally different mindset and it will transform the way you’re thinking about selling.
3. Focus on serving, not selling
You can’t go wrong when you’re genuinely focused on trying to be as helpful as possible.
Because when you’re focused on simply serving (not selling), by being as helpful and amazing as you can, when you DO have something to sell to your audience it will come much more naturally!
Plus, when you focus on supporting people by giving free value, then they will want to return the favor by supporting you, too!
For example, I’m posting free content consistently that focuses on serving my audience first, like free online courses, offering support in my free Facebook group and sharing tips and advice in my blog.
Make sure that you’re creating valuable, free content for your audience, answer questions, respond to comments and genuinely care about serving your audience first and foremost.
This emphasis on Seva is both yogic and good business, and it’s a great way to get comfortable sharing your services or products.
4. Make it a conversation
Instead of shouting your offers out there, encourage a back-and-forth conversation. To keep your audience interested, you only need to do two simple things:
Ask them questions throughout.
Be genuinely interested in the answers they give.
I like to include a little note in my newsletters that says something like, “Got a question about [name of topic]? Hit me up via email and I will reply ASAP.” It really doesn’t take me that much time to fire back with personalized answers for the people who email me. This will not only keep them engaged, you will also learn a lot about their needs and how you can best serve them.
When someone has a question, don’t gruffly tell them to “read the FAQs.” Be gracious and feed people the answers they are seeking, even if those answers are already featured on your website.
Respond to emails promptly. Hang out on social media and do some public Q&A if that’s your jam. Or, if you’re dealing with an influx of questions that’s too much for you to handle on your own, get a team in place and train them to answer all of the most common inquiries.
Bottom line: make yourself easily accessible so that your customers feel wanted, appreciated and beautifully cared for.
5. Be REAL and put yourself out there
Truth smack: People buy from people they like. If you’re hiding behind a yoga brand name, if you’re not sharing anything about you or your personality, you won’t be able to connect with your audience and it will affect your sales, big way.
You are not a big brand who has millions of dollars to spend on advertising to build the kind of trust needed so people will buy your products. Instead you have YOU.
Put yourself out there. Share your story, what brought you to where you are. Share what’s going on in your life. Use not only professional images but show the real you in live videos.
Whatever you do, you want to use your own words and also use language that will really resonate with your audience.
Don’t follow a script of what you think you should say if it doesn’t actually sound like you or it makes you feel uncomfortable and try to figure out the exact words and phrases that your audience actually uses so that you can sprinkle them into your copy.
If you follow those 5 tips, you’ll be able to promote your retreats or workshops easily without being “salesy”. You’ll communicate your services from a place close to your heart, with the best intention of helping and serving your potential customers. And you’ll talk to them like to a friend, someone they know and trust.