eLearning: Can You Teach to Sell?

Estimated reading time: 05 minutes

There is a revolution going on. Never have you and I (and everyone else on the planet) had the opportunity to learn as much as we can learn right now.

Learning is at an unprecedented place in history.

Look at all the new mediums for delivering new ideas, concepts and lessons.

They’re in the workplace, the home and every place in between. They are with you on a jog in the morning and easily accessed when you walk your dog in the evening.

Years ago personal development gurus advocated turning your car into a rolling classroom by listening to audio cassette tapes of training or self improvement content on your commute to and from work.

Today with the advent of devices that allow us to access content from where ever we are via the world wide web, every moment of our lives can now be a virtual learning experience if that is what we want.

If you’re at a coffee shop, in the checkout line at the grocery or even sitting on the beach you can also be in a virtual classroom.

eLearning has indeed come into it’s own.

Just as important as the delivery mediums and content access is the other revolution going on at the same time.

The teaching revolution.

No longer do you have to have a degree or be firmly planted inside a school, institute or university environment to teach.

If you have something other people want to learn, you can launch and teach what you know with a few simple clicks.

Since everywhere is often considered as a default eLearning location, everyone can now become a teacher no matter where they are located.

Today, in business you can leverage the value of what you teach to help others invest in their own learning.

Which brings us to the billion dollar question; Can you teach to sell?

Of course you can. Why? Because others already are.

No, not in some sleazy “Buy my stuff NOW!” way, but in a gentle, no pressure “How might I serve you?” way.

Serving becomes selling when you focus on the consumer as a student who empowers themselves through choices. Not as someone who is just a “qualified buying unit” with an ability to pay.

One of the easiest ways for you to test the viability of a teaching to sell model for your business is to teach.

While that sounds like double speak or mumbo jumbo it is in fact the truth. Go and teach as a test. Teach as a market research tool.

But instead of finding a physical location for a classroom and getting enough people locally who will pay the price to fill your physical seats, you’re going to teach in a virtual tele-conference environment.

Instead of charging big bucks just to cover expenses (like on location overhead or travel), you’re going to charge each student a little bit or even teach them for free.

Remember. This is research to determine if what you have to teach has enough value for your audience that they are willing to pay to learn.

You can even call the experience group coaching instead of a class if you like. As long as you actually have solid basic coaching skills, you’ll be fine with this approach.

People are often more comfortable being coached than they are being taught. But if you’re not a coach this will still work for you.

All you are doing is gathering a few people together with a similar interest in something you each want to know more about.

You are doing nothing more than sharing some of what you know with people who want to learn more (and since it is your show, you get to be in charge).

As long as you know just one more thing about the topic than any of the other participants, you can teach. Really. Don’t make this any harder than that.

Plan on running your class, or group coaching session, for 60 – 75 minutes. Also do the class, or session, as a one time event first.

Later on, depending on what your research tells you, you may want to have a multiple session learning event offered as a series.

Lets not put the cart before the horse though. Do a single stand alone class first.

Yes, you will have to figure out what you want your students to be able to do as a result of your class.

Yes, you will create a basic lesson plan to move students toward the result you want them to have.

Yes, you will want to create enough good questions to ask as part of the class so a group dialog takes place during class (and hopefully after).

Your class is as much about research as it is about teaching. This is a test so the more information you can gather, the better.

You also have to create something to offer for sale to each of your students at the end of the class.

If students paid to attend or if they attend for free, you’re plan is to offer them something to buy at the end as part of your test.

If you consult, coach or provide similar services, you can offer your learners an exclusive one-on-one session, for a reasonable fee, to help take them further or implement what you taught them.

You can also offer your own digital product, or someone elses (as an affiliate) product for sale as continuing education. Offering your own work is always best if possible.

If people pay you to attend, that may be evidence that what you have to teach is of interest to your audience.

If people pay you to continue the conversation by buying what you offer at the end of your class, that may be even more of the evidence you are looking for.

If people don’t want to pay to attend or don’t buy what you offer afterward there are likely a lot of varibles that may be in play. This is market research.

Either way, after your class or group coaching session ends, you will now have a set of actual results to work with.

You will have also entered the world of eLearning as a teacher. One more important milestone will have been reached too regardless of your outcomes.

You will have served as a teacher while at the same time selling in the process of serving.

Yes. You can teach to sell.

Continuing our conversation about teaching to sell is easy. Most will start right here.