How To Tell People About Your Yoga Studio
So They Say “I Want That!”

What people ask and what people really want to know are two different things. Just because you answer someone’s stated question does not mean that you’ve actually answered their real question. Understanding the underlying question gives you the opportunity to tell them what they really want to know. It gives you a greater opportunity to enrich someone’s life with the benefits that you and your yoga studio have to offer. So, how do you decipher general questions and talk about your studio in a way that builds interest?

Imagine you’re at the grocery store. You meet someone new in line and as you begin to chat, he asks “What do you do?” You explain that you own a yoga studio, talk about the various forms you offer, and go on to mention the intensive training you’ll be undergoing during the summer. It’s only been a minute and you notice he’s beginning to look for an out – shifting his attention from the sales clerk to his watch and back again. In less than a minute, you’ve lost him.

Perhaps you dismiss it as him being disinterested and in a hurry (you are in a grocery store after all). What if, later on, you run into him at the doctor’s office where he is being treated for chronic back pain? Why didn’t he mention it? Why wasn’t he interested in the benefits of yoga? After all, you teach a gentle yoga class for back pain relief.

This man was a potential student! Perhaps even an opportunity to gain an ongoing client for private sessions. In this situation, you lost potential business and missed a chance to ease someone’s pain. With the right answer, he would have been happy to try yoga, and if his back pain was alleviated he may have become one of your best sources of referrals. What could you have done to change his mind?

People are not used to being open when they first meet someone new. “Small talk” is a way to learn about someone without becoming too intrusive. Questions such as “What can you do for me?” or “Are you someone I can trust?” are typically not the best conversation starters. Instead, we ask indirect questions that we hope will produce the desired answer. Much of this is not something we are conscious of, but observe yourself the next time you meet someone new. What are you really asking? How long does it take for you to lose interest?

When someone asks “What do you do?” what do they really want to know? This is really a polite way of asking “What can you do for me?” For example, if a person responds with “I tow cars to service stations,” this person might come in handy the next time your car decides to die on the way to work.

I want you to never miss an opportunity to connect with a potential student or client again. When someone asks what you do, we’re going to come up with an answer that will leave them feeling like “I want that! Why didn’t I know about this sooner?” Sometimes, this is called a “tag line.” How do we create this intriguing and compelling tag line? First, a couple of guidelines:

You have 15 seconds to catch someone’s interest. We live in a fast paced society of information overload and our attention spans are a reflection of the times.

People like to talk. After saying your brief piece, listen! Don’t just listen; honor them and hear their story. Their story is as important to them as yours is to you.

The key is to identify yourself and then target your specific audience. Here are some examples.

1. “I’m a consultant. I work with startup firms that are struggling to make a profit.”

2. “I’m a computer technician. I fix computers and install programs to help them run faster.”

3. “I am yoga studio owner. I work with people who suffer from chronic physical pain to eliminate their pain, and help them resume their previous active lifestyle.”

These statements are much more compelling than something like, “I own a Yoga studio. We teach various styles of yoga. We also provide advanced classes and private sessions.”

Here’s the formula:

1. First, start with a short “I am ___________ .” statement (“I am a yoga studio owner.”)

2. “Next, “I [insert a positive adjective (help, fix, teach, work with, support, etc.)] followed by who you wish to target (“I work with people who suffer from chronic physical pain.”)

3. After that, give a small description of what you will do for the problem or challenge (“to eliminate their pain”).

4. Finally, you can optionally add a positive outcome (“and help them resume their previous active lifestyle.”)

Yes, I know that this process starts by focusing on a problem or trouble that people have instead of only highlighting the virtues of yoga. The reality is that most people will not take action just because something is good for them, but they will take action to eliminate a problem or to relieve pain. In other words, people will take action to remedy existing problems that they are aware of in their life. Remember that once they experience the freedom that yoga has to offer, they’ll be hooked. Your duty is to build their awareness so that they take action that will benefit both you and them.

Let’s try some more.

“I teach yoga. I help busy professionals reduce their stress so that they can feel refreshed and rejuvenated at the end of each day.”

“I am a yoga studio owner. I enable people who are searching for spiritual connection to find a higher connection through their physical self.”

“I own a yoga studio. We provide a place for women who feel isolated to discover a deep sense of connection and fellowship with other women who have faced similar challenges.”

You’ve probably noticed that we’re being very specific. You might be thinking, “But I work with all kinds of people.” Of course you do. But, people enjoy feeling specifically catered to. If you’re car’s transmission breaks, who would you rather have fix it: a general mechanic or a transmission specialist? Now, what does this mean for you?

You need to have multiple tag lines (at least three). This means you ask people what they do first (or another appropriate question) in order to determine which tag line to use. This is not “contrived” or “fake”. You are simply discovering how to best explain what you do in a context that is meaningful to them. (I never suggest trying to sell someone on something that you do not genuinely feel will be of value to them- please use your judgment here).

Success Tip! Practice your tag line on your friends first and then try it out for real.
(It will take you a few tries to do it smoothly, but it is well worth the effort).

Tag lines are not just for you either! Once you refine the concept on your own, share it with your teachers and staff. They can enhance your ability to help people (and gain students) by describing themselves in a compelling and intriguing way. It also creates greater awareness of the people you are actually serving.

Remember, most students/clients have chosen to devote a few hours per week to yoga whereas you have dedicated your life to it. Yoga may mean something entirely different to them than it does to you. Learn how their yoga practice fulfills your students’ lives and you will be able more people (and create better tag lines). Go out and give this a try. And make sure to have some fun with it. You may be amazed by the results you achieve!

Coach Al Lipper
Business Coach for Yoga Studios
Website: http://www.CenteredBusiness.com
Email: coach@centeredbusiness.com
Telephone: (805) 544-3938

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Business Coach Al Lipper of Centered Business helps Yoga studio business owners more smoothly operate and expand their yoga studio business. His web site provides information and services that help stressed and overwhelmed yoga studio owners increase profits and work less. Check it out at www.CenteredBusiness.com.

FREE INFO: Visit the website to get your free expert guide: "The Seven Biggest Mistakes Yoga Studios Make In Their Business - And What To Do About Them." Contact him today for more personalized guidance or to discuss your yoga studio challenges at (805) 544-3938 or coach@CenteredBusiness.com.

Author's Bio: 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Business Coach Al Lipper of Centered Business helps Yoga studio business owners more smoothly operate and expand their yoga studio business. His web site provides information and services that help stressed and overwhelmed yoga studio owners increase profits and work less. Check it out at www.CenteredBusiness.com.