Recently I was asked, “How do you get your clients to open up and talk about their sexual challenges?” I’m going to let you in on my response. It’s something I believe can be translated to any business model to lead more consumers into your stores, both brick-and-mortar and online. Here it is:
I am the authority in my field. At each intake session, I begin by asking all my clients to tell me about the sexual challenges they have experienced or are currently experiencing. Most people are so eager to begin enjoying their sex life, they quickly open up and share their vulnerabilities. Why? Because they came to me specifically seeking my expertise. With many years of education and experience in the sexology field, I have become the authority figure they are looking for and can provide them with education and clinical techniques to help them live their best sex life.
It is not as easy as it sounds. Getting someone to open up about their sexual challenges can take just the right kind of language, but it also requires establishing an overall lifestyle brand. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work I have done to prepare before the vulnerable discussion with my client even takes place. These prior steps help the client feel comfortable and take full advantage of their clinical treatment. In the end, it is all about confidently letting clients know that I have solutions and know how to provide them with value. Again, the major reason clients feel comfortable and confident in disclosing such vulnerable experiences and challenges is that I am viewed by many as an authority figure in the sexual health field. I provide an added layer of confidence to my clients because I have the education, experience and ability to help them live their best sex life.
This level of authority is reinforced by my brand content. Throughout my website, social media channels, YouTube videos and the like, I am constantly breaking through taboos and providing the answers to many questions people are asking or secretly experiencing. Ultimately, I am opening the door for my clients to feel comfortable in sharing because I have already discussed so many challenges publicly, normalized them, and delivered the message that they can trust in me to help them. Overall, this creates trust in my brand and the level of authority to set societal norms that encourage people to make the call and start therapy with me.
There are many ways your brand can become an authority for consumers. Engaging your consumers is a great way to directly impact your audience and show them your value. Top brands that have already established themselves as authoritative have identified their value. Consumers know what they are going to gain from following them on social media, purchasing their products, and being a part of the brand community. Identify ways you can engage your consumers to create brand awareness and elevate your store’s credibility in your field. When consumers have questions about how adult products can benefit their lives and pleasure, you want them to turn to you for the answers! In addition, another great way to establish yourself as an authority figure in the pleasure products industry is through partnerships. The impact of the pandemic has made virtual events and meetings a new norm. One way to build value in your consumers’ eyes, ultimately leading to your becoming an authority figure, is to provide exciting new opportunities and experiences for your consumers.
In 2022, I partnered with an adult toy shop in Houston. This brick-and-mortar created a fun event around “Ask a Sex Therapist.” The event drew in consumers from distant towns as well as their regular customers. Once the consumers were in the store, I was answering questions all night about how they can live their best sex life. This event led to the products selling themselves. People came for the experience! The event made this store so much more than just an adult sex store; it created a sexual oasis and a lifestyle brand.
With societal mindsets shifting from solely in-person events to a mix between virtual and in-person meetings, don’t limit yourself to in-store events only. Online or in person, consumers want to gain something from attending your events, following your social media channels, or buying your products. Connect with authority figures in adjacent fields with whom you can partner to provide your clients with an enjoyable experience and a reinforced sense of value.
Many consumers today are looking to lifestyle brands to provide them with amazing products, education, tips and an overall feel-good culture. By establishing yourself as an authority figure, you are creating brand awareness, starting new trends, and ultimately providing an immense amount of value in your customers’ lives.