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Selling like you care
A guide for conscious marketing for language teachers
Something that I keep thinking about these days is the topic of sales strategy.
If you’re reading this, you’re part of the “Conscious Marketing Team”, meaning that you’d rather not sell anything than sell it without integrity.
That’s why the word in itself — “sales strategy” — doesn’t sound good to you.
Because you also care about languages, you know that words matter way beyond their apparent meaning.
They knock on a subconscious door of collective connotative memory, the hidden message of what it means about us if we’re being strategic, if we’re using sales tactics or marketing hacks.
The reason why it feels dirty is because in its origins, it was manipulative and therefore abusive.
And in many cases today, it still is.
We owe it partly to Edmund Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud, who first used his understanding of human psychology to shift the consumer’s mind from “I must buy what I need” to “I must buy what I desire.”
The insight that connecting to one’s irrational self, primal urges makes consumers far malleable, came not from marketing but psychology. It came from Edward Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud, who is fondly considered Father of Public Relations. Bernays /…/ rose to be one of the most influential characters in what some like to call turning citizens into consumers. With a background in psychology, Bernays was instrumental in bringing those ideas to field of business. This was around 1920s when American businesses realized that there is a chance that people have enough and they might not buy more. If they don’t buy more, businesses can’t grow. A report from Lehman Brothers around 1920s even went as far as mentioning, “…For America to grow, we should substitute needs with desires…Man’s want must overshadow his needs”. Bernays did just that.
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Marketing = tricking people?
How could you possibly feel comfortable doing marketing when you’ve associated it consciously and subconsciously with a method to trick people into buying stuff they don’t need?
I’ve always strongly believed that they were two types of marketing.
The marketing that manipulates, tricks, lies, presses on all your fears and shames to make you spend your hard earned euros.
The marketing that is centered around communicating your offers to the people who need it and want it, in an ethical and mindful way.
Doing conscious marketing means mindfully presenting your offers to your dream audience in a way that they would be able to recognize that your services and products are made for them.
It is facilitating it for them to discover what it is that you do, how to work with you, and whether or not it is what they need and want right now.
Ethical marketing provides the emotional and cognitive information that your ideal client needs to make an empowered decision to work with you today, to work with you later, or not to work with you at all.
Without harassing. Without pressurizing. Without manipulating.
There’s much more to say, to learn, to research on the topic of course. But this gives you a good enough understanding of what I mean when I say “sell something mindfully”.
It means selling it like you care
Like you care not only about how much money you need to make at the end of the month, but about how much your offer is going to be just the right thing that will help the human being client to whom you’re presenting it right now.
Like you care about the positive impact you’re making through your work.
Like you care about how the person that buys your products and offers is going to feel while they’re experiencing working without you.
When that is the case, I truly believe that selling is serving.
Talking about your offers and reaching a sales conclusion with your ideal client that really needed what you’re offering becomes a gift. You completed your mission of helping that specific person. Your client is happy, taken care of, satisfied. You’re happy and fulfilled. Your business is happy and fulfilled, knowing that it’s making money in a beautiful way, contributing to your and your clients’ wellness.
Reaching such a sales process requires thoughtful preparation and questioning.
It requires you to ponder what this all means for you.
It requires you to question what conditionings, fears, beliefs may steer you away from conscious sales.
It requires you to deconstruct it all, and rebuild your core beliefs so that they become aligned to your true values and to the vision of the world you want to help create.
Let me finish this short article by sharing some prompts to help you on the way:
Prompts for a heart-centered sales approach
How do I like to be considered as a buyer? What buying experience would I love to have? Can I offer that to my customers?
How well do I know my current & past customers? How well do I know my audience? What can I do to know them even better?
How do I know that when a client buys from me, they’re happy to pay me? How can I make sure that my messaging doesn’t sell in what I would consider an unethical way?
I don’t like marketing / selling tactics because … (complete the sentence intuitively).
How can I communicate about my offers making sure that what I mentioned in the previous question isn’t a part of the experience my buyers will make?
What made me choose the price of my offers? Was that choice based in fears or in love?
How can I follow up on an offer I made in a way that is supportive and guiding rather than harrassing / pressurizing?
How can I speak about my offers giving enough opportunities for my audience to hear my message, but without spamming them?
I would love to hear your thoughts!