Sales is often considered a ‘dirty word’ for yoga studio owners. It has gotten a bad rap due to its portrayal that makes it seem that you need to be pushy, aggressive, or “salesy” to be good at it. This couldn’t be further from the truth, particularly when it comes to generating business for your yoga studio.

The truth is, as the owner of a studio, you are selling all the time. You are the de facto sales leader and every interaction you have with a member or prospective member is a sales pitch of sorts. You’re selling the experience of your studio, you’re selling your brand and you’re selling the benefits of engaging in consistent practice.

Knowing this, it can be helpful to hone your sales skills with intent. We’ve outlined below three considerations to help you be better at sales while being your true, authentic self.

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

As yoga practitioners this should come naturally to you. It’s like perfecting a new, challenging pose. If you try to force it, you won’t be successful and if you don’t try to push yourself, you won’t progress. Like everything else in life, it’s about striking the right balance. So, practice your “pitches.” Treat every interaction with members and prospects with intent, even if that intent isn’t to get them to sign up for a membership. Eventually, it will become second nature.

The Hard-Sell is Overrated

We’ve all had those typical sales experiences. And it can be easy to think that you need to pressure and push your way to a sale. But the reality is that it’s the opposite. No one likes to be sold. Pressuring someone into coming to a class is a surefire way to leave a not-so-great first impression. Even if they do come, and even if they enjoy it, that first interaction may leave a bad taste in their mouth, which may lead them to never return.

You Need to Understand Their Motivations

What benefit is your member or prospect is looking for out of a yoga class? Are they looking to become less stressed? To relieve pain? For a community of like-minded people? Find out what they are looking for and focus on providing that benefit for them. This will work 10x better than talking about the different disciplines your studio teaches or your own personal yoga philosophy. Your conversations should be centered around them and their needs not you and your offerings.

Sometimes, people’s goals will not align with what your studio offers, and that’s okay! Don’t be afraid to turn away bad fits. Help them find what they are looking for elsewhere and focus on helping students and prospects that are going to turn into long term members of your community.

Sales is all about mindset and perspective. If you approach it with a negative frame of mind, it’s going to be a negative experience. However, if you approach it with the intent of helping people achieve their goals, you can find it extremely rewarding.

Kinnick McDonald is the director of marketing for Zen Planner. She can be reached at kinnick@zenplanner.com or visit zenplanner.com to download the full Yoga Student Retention Guide