Want to learn how to make huge sales and profits selling products and services at seminars? Well, attend seminars hosted by others and take careful notes on how they craft their pitch (and how many people are buying!)
Whenever I attend a seminar, I always watch the way it is run as well as listening to the content being presented. It is like getting a free bonus seminar. Today I came across some notes from a Photoshop seminar I attended a while back and, the system they used to promote sales was very effective. I’m sure they made a lot of money that day beyond the registration fees.
This seminar was a paid event – several hundred dollars for a single day with two learning tracts for beginning and advanced users. The focus was Photoshop skills and the audience was predominantly graphic designers and other heavy Photoshop users. Overall, the atmosphere was very professional and the actual content delivered (printed materials and the presentations themselves) were excellent. It helps to start with great material and deliver value.
When people checked in to the seminar, they were all given a packet of information that included a course book that contained all of the tutorials covered in the presentations plus the usual sales materials and evaluation forms. We all got our packets and found seats. They also had a table with a wide selection of Photoshop related books across from the sign-in table. This area was set up in a horseshoe shape with lots of open spaces for people to gather around and flip through the sample copies of the books they were selling.
The first session of the day was an overview of the days events and a detailed examination of the materials in the packet. The presenter was one of the Photoshop experts. When he went over the curriculum for the day, he presented it with the impression that you would be getting so much information that you wouldn’t be able to remember it all. (That was true, but he made sure to plant the idea in the audience’s mind right up front.)
From there he moved into a description of all of the materials for sale at the event. He drew our attention to the order form that was in the packet and gave endorsements for the quality of the materials listed and explained how they were all used to prepare the presentations we where about to see.
Then, they split the beginners from the advanced audience and moved them into a different room and the training sessions began.
As I mentioned before, the training was first rate. The teachers were extremely knowledgeable and had extensive experience in the field. They demonstrated a host of powerful techniques peppered with shortcuts and tool tips to improve work speed in addition to achieving the results being demonstrated. Very quickly, it became clear that we would have a hard time remembering everything we learned.
Throughout the presentations, the speaker mentioned that the exercises we were going over were drawn form the books for sale on the back tables. He dropped lots of little comments about the quality of the books in addition to the extra tips.
Just before the breaks, the presenter reminded the audience to fill out the forms and drop them off with the people working the product table. He did not mention anything about prices and spoke as though everyone had already decided to purchase products and just needed help filling the forms out properly. Then, he projected a PowerPoint slide that showed a copy of a properly filled out order form and ended the session leaving the image onscreen.
Unlike most “back-of-house” sales setups I’ve experienced, this seminar had buyers submit a copy of their order form to the people working the sales tables. Then, while the sessions were underway, they picked and packed the orders and had them waiting at the table. During later breaks, customers would pick-up their orders from the table.
Overall, I’m not sure whether this is more or less effective than other methods. I do know that I purchased about $100 worth of books that day and many others purchased more. Like me, I think most of the people attending were having their employers pay for the seminar fees and books (or they were writing off the purchase from their own businesses expenses.) The whole atmosphere was very smooth and professional feeling and fit right in with the tone of the room. I was impressed.
The best pitch I’ve ever heard was from information product creation guru Fred Gleeck. He has written a book on the subject and also gives a tremendous example of the process during a seminar he conducts called “The One-Day Info Product Seminar.”* Like a magician giving away the secret to his trick, Fred goes step-by-step through his sales pitch and explains every part. He tells you all of the different product packages he offers and why they are structured the way he has them. He explains the sequence in which he presents each offer and why he uses that sequence. He discusses the psychology of the customer and how he goes about establishing the value of his products in their mind. And finally, he actually sells you the stuff he’s talking about (and you find yourself wanting to buy something from him!) He claims that exposing his process like this makes no difference on his actual sales and I believe him after hearing the pitch. The whole thing is amazing.
Take a few notes from my examples above and boost your sales and profits at your next seminar event. Better yet, attend other people’s seminars and study their selling process – you can learn a lot!
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