I am probably the world’s worst salesperson. I swear. My sister? She could have sold ice to an Inuit. My dad is a world class businessman who networks like nobody’s business, to the point where we can be on vacation and he will make a potential professional acquaintance. My mom is great at customer service. She is so genuinely helpful and considerate. Not that I don’t think I possess any of these traits to some small degree, but I definitely was not cut out to be a salesperson.
My lack of networking and self-promotion was never more clear than when I presented EarthFit for the first time at the International Congress of Zookeepers. Literally ONE person showed up. I just didn’t think I would have to sell myself to people who I assumed were just like me. However, I did not let the lack of attendance dissuade me from giving my presentation as though I had a room full of enthusiasts. I have a great program, and now that I’m getting the foundations down, I need to learn to sell that program and generate enthusiasm. I need to learn to network and promote myself.
I had a great opportunity to introduce myself to the Whidbey Island Writers Association this week. I attended a workshop on Social Media for Writers presented by the very eloquently spoken Tim Trimbath. The focus on the workshop was blogging, and I’m grateful that I’ve already established this website for writing about my project of EarthFit. I just need better practice of selling the idea and generating more foot traffic for the website.
Here’s an example of one of my weakness in networking and promoting myself. We are working out at the park this afternoon. It was super busy there, which isn’t surprising since it was one of the first sunny and tolerable weekends in a long time. But despite the side-long looks from children and even dogs while we did dips, lunges, mountain climbers, and sit-ups, we were approached by a group of younger girls, who asked us if we could tell them a little more about what we were doing. They were incredibly polite and interested, not snobbish and judging. And I choked. Fortunately, my husband, who is not a social butterfly either, but obviously better qualified at handling the sales pitch, gave them great information about me coming up with workouts and even gave them my website to visit. It just didn’t dawn on me that these girls were potential workout partners or that they could benefit from what I have to say. Even though that’s the whole reason I’m working on this program and writing my books!
I have another shot at presenting to a zookeeper community. In September, I’ll be attending the American Association of Zookeepers’ national conference in Memphis and presenting a 2 hour workshop on my Zookeeper Fitness program. I have nearly six months to update and tweak my presentation, but more importantly, I have six months to promote my workshop to those who may be going to the conference, and generate some buzz.
I’ve started by changing my promotional sales pitch. I’ll put this up on my Facebook page, and other sites, promoting my blog and later my books. But it helps envelop the idea of EarthFit more than previous pitches.
“What if I told you that by eating healthy foods, you could help save orangutan and elephants? Or that by working out, you could save polar bears? What if by applying the same principles that zookeepers use working with animals, you could change your physical appearance and whole outlook on life? Or that if by taking care of yourself, you could help take care of the earth? What if I told you all these ideals and possibilities were feasible in a comprehensive program designed to help you change your lifestyle to support conservation?
Welcome to EarthFit, connecting to the earth in a healthy way. I can’t wait for you to join me.”
I appreciate the lecture Tim led more than you could know. I hope it won’t be long before I can attend more of the classes on a regular basis, but that’s a whole other can of worms. Right now, I need to focus on the here and now, and learn to blossom and showcase the beauty of EarthFit to the world.