“ Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.”

 ~ Aristotle

Let’s see, I’m guessing that you might be in some sort of a position to sign people up for one of your programs or persuade people to use your service.

You might be a dance leader or a coach or a consultant or a workshop organizer or a teacher trainer or who knows what. If you’re putting yourself out there with any kind of a service or offer, you’ve probably given some thought to just how in the heck do you get people to sign up.

In this woo-woo world of conscious dance or holistic health or mind-body fitness, the word ‘sales’ has a somewhat tarnished reputation. ‘Marketing’ is another term that is often misused or misunderstood.
One of these terms is about getting people curious enough to knock on your door and ask questions, the other is about persuading them to sign on the dotted line.

So it’s important to not get ‘building awareness’ mixed up with ‘converting leads into clients’. Today I want to talk more about the conversion side of things. I’m going to assume that you’ve already got someone who has agreed to have some sort of a ‘strategy session’ or ‘free consultation’, meaning that your curiosity-and-awareness-building efforts have already paid off and you’ve got a live lead ready to talk.

So where do you start? Put yourself in their shoes, what they don’t want to hear is “My stuff/service/offer is great and you need it so please buy it now.” The fact is, they probably have some sort of need or desire or problem that they would like to have solved. They’re skeptical that there’s a solution in the first place, and they’re cautiously optimistic that maybe you’ve got the secret sauce they’ve been looking for.

And the flipside of that is that you don’t want to work with just anyone, what you’re looking for is a good match. As anyone who’s done this for a long knows, there are few things worse than a problem client.

So let’s get metaphorical for a while. Your hopeful prospect has a problem, or some goal they’ve been having trouble achieving. It’s like they’re stuck on a dry, rocky shoreline, they’re alone, there’s no help, they’ve been there too long, they’re baking in the sun, there’s no shade, they’re out of water, they’re about to give up.

At the same time, just on the horizon, there you are with your island of paradise — The Land of Problem Solved. They’ve been stuck so long they finally searched through the wreckage and found a pair of binoculars (ie: stumbled across your marketing) and can see a glimmer of hope off in the distance.

The Land of Problem Solved, your island paradise has everything that their dry, rocky shoreline does not. There’s shade, there’s water, there’s yummy food and cool drinks, there’s a hammock hanging between two palm trees with a table placed within arms reach with their favorite novel all ready to read. In other words, in The Land of Problem Solved they can breathe easy, relax, and know that they’ve left Their Problem back on the dry, rocky shore.

The question is — How do they get there? Well, your job is to help them realize that you are the bridge. (or the ferry or helicopter pilot or submarine captain or whatever) You’re the one, (and ideally, the only one) who can safely help them make their way across the gap.

How do you help them understand that you’re the one who can do it? Well, first of all, DON’T start by talking about your methods, your strategies, or your game plan. Plenty of time for that later, ideally after they’ve signed up.

What you want to do first is let them talk. Ask questions about how it is for them now, how tired they are of being stuck on the dry shore of Problem Land, what have they tried (and failed with) already. When you open the floodgates so they can really express how bad it is for them and how much they wish it could change, you’re letting them reveal the stark black & white emotional outlines to the dry barren dirt of their Problem Land.

After they’ve sufficiently hit bottom there, give them the opportunity to dream in technicolor. Tempt them with a question like “If you could wave a magic wand and have everything dialed in just the way you would like it, what would that be like?”

You’ve just given them permission to climb out of the dark and dreary emotional ditch of ‘their current problem’ and soar like an eagle up into the blue skies and rainbows that just happen to be present over your island of paradise — The Land of Problem Solved. As they describe this future-perfect world that they hope is out there, notice the landscape and features they mention and make mental notes, these will miraculously match your island paradise when the time comes.

Also pay attention to the difference in their emotional state, if it’s a serious enough problem that it’s worth a substantial investment on their part to solve, then there will be a vast difference between the description of the Dry Shoreline of Their Current Problem and the cheerful climes of The Land of Problem Solved.

Once you’ve helped them grok the vibe of both poles, all that’s left is for you to make it clear that you are the one who can help them bridge the gap. The specifics around how you get them across is less important than the facts around the results you produce. If you can credibly point out similar results you’ve helped other people achieve, so much the better.

The point is to get out of the mindset of “I’ve got this thing/service/offer and I need people to pay for it” and get into the mindset of “Folks who are stuck in a certain way need my help bridging the gap to the solution and I’m willing to serve them and contribute to their happiness by helping them get results.”

Once it’s clear to both of you just what the problem is, what the solution looks like, and that you are the bridge to get there, it’s no longer a sales conversation, it’s just simply time to get to work because you’ve found a match.

I know you’re a great contributor with amazing ways to serve people under your belt. If this helps your thinking and approach in the least, I’m delighted I could be of service to you!

Much love till next Monday!


Mark Metz
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine