Got way off track with this! Life brought me some problems last year, but problems can cause growth and Im feeling great now. The next section is about attitudes. Before pasting that in, I also want to say that the context here about sales is about talking with individuals. Marketing is about SEO, podcasts, and getting the word out to a large number of people. Sales is about bringing up conversations with individuals to see if EM is for them.
The starting point, and the most important attitude to adopt when striving to create conversations about EM is its immense value. EM students get this, but when sharing EM with others who don’t seem to care, we can quickly get discouraged and consequently forget just how powerful EM is. As an initial reflection on this value, I’ll borrow from a LASIK pitch: “there’s nothing as simple that you can do that will improve your minute to minute quality of life as much as being able to see clearly without glasses.”
Let’s expand on that. In addition to relief of pain and discomfort in our eyes, we gradually gain an inner confidence from the realization that our eyes aren’t broken. This leads to asking the question – “if I can fix my vision, which I previously believed couldn’t be fixed, what else can I fix that I currently believe I can’t?” We learn how to research other medical issues if we have them and gain the self-empowerment that accompanies that skill. As we change our habits and break our screen addiction, we discover new hobbies and things in life we would have never known. We learn, or maybe remember, that life isn’t on screens. Life is outside (@gemilymez -"outside is the fun place), it’s in the eyes of other human beings, and in the beauty of our own minds and hearts. Clear vision would be enough, but as we progress on the journey, we realize that EM positively impacts every area of our lives.
With that attitude, how could we NOT share it? Let this inner confidence quietly speak to those willing to hear it. In my sales training, we asked the question, “if you had a cure for cancer, wouldn’t you go out and tell other people?” Indeed, we do have an obligation to share EM with others, yet there’s at least two problems that show up as soon as we begin, which I will illustrate with two stories.
First, we’re telling people something that usually conflicts their belief patterns about vision. While I don’t know if there’s a cure for cancer, I do know the story of Ignaz Sammelweis, a Hungarian scientist and physicist, who was an early advocate of hand washing. In the 1840s, the incidence of fevers that led to death following childbirth could be drastically cut if the doctors washed their hands in chlorine solutions. At Sammelweis’ recommendation, his clinic adopted handwashing. It worked, and the and death rate for new mothers was dramatically reduced, but since his arguments conflicted with the then current medical beliefs, he was fired and ultimately committed to a mental institution. All this, even though he was right.
Comparing this to EM, we can see that, like Sammelwis, we’re right about the causes of myopia and the method for reversing it. Yet, we’re speaking in contradiction to what most people believe about vision, so many people simply won’t accept what we have to say. Don’t despair! We not taking on the optometry establishment, we’re talking with individuals and giving them the chance to opt out at every stage of the conversation. Later, we’ll examine the techniques for having these conversations. For now, it’s enough to remember our value while respecting people’s beliefs and starting points, and to acknowledge that we can sound a little crazy when challenging the mainstream beliefs.
The second problem in our discussion of attitudes required when trying to share EM with others is twofold: asking for too much commitment and failing to qualify (find out if the people we’re approaching will actually do the work needed to be successful with vision improvement). My sales training illustrated this point with the story of a young man who decides, one day, that he’s ready to get married. He has heard that Sally is a nice young lady, so he works up the courage to walk up to her house, knock and her day, and ask her, having never met her, to marry him. She, of course, politely says “no” and shuts the door. This young man, for a while, keeps asking strangers to marry him, who all reject his proposals. Eventually, he concludes that he’ll never get married and gives up asking.
Picking this apart, we can see three problems with the way that we ask people to become EM students. First, asking for the full commitment at first doesn’t make any sense. There’s lots that this young man would need to learn about Sally before he would know if she’s even looking to get married. So, too, are the things we need to know about people before it’s appropriate to ask them for the lifetime commitment of changing their visual habits. Second, he doesn’t know enough about Sally to know if she would be a good partner for him or if he would be good for her. In EM, we need to know that people are a good fit for it. Third, after a number of failed attempts, our young man has incorrectly concluded that he must not be good enough for marriage because of how he’s gone about asking. As a human being, the young man is not a failure. He has all the dignity and value of all other human beings. As a suitor, he’s terrible and has completely failed. Everything about how he asked is wrong. The young ladies weren’t rejecting him, they were rejecting the ridiculous way he approached them. Connection to EM? When everyone says “no,” it’s easy to conclude that we’re no good, question our self-worth or start to think we’re no good at talking about EM. These are both false.
As we near the end of our discussion on attitudes, here’s the lessons I’d like to highlight / summarize:
- Reflect on, and really absorb into yourself the value you have to bring
- Only ask people for small commitments that people can reasonably say “yes” to without overcommitting themselves.
- Before expecting that people will become EM students, learn enough about them to see if they will change their habits and lives in the ways needed to succeed
- Separate your self-worth and value as a human being from your skill as an EM advocate. People rejecting EM is not a rejection of you
At this point, if you can take these attitudes on, you’re ready to set out on your journey as an EM advocate. If you’re like me, you might still experience fear, which is normal and perfectly okay. Accept it, respect it, and do the work of sharing this wonderful knowledge with people whose lives may well be changed because you cared enough to take a chance and tell them.