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At several points in this site, I’ve mentioned the “Heart Attack” Seminar Registration Curve. In this article, I’m going to focus exclusively on that issue and some techniques for avoiding it. You’ve heard some of these ideas before in different contexts, but they’re worth repeating and emphasizing. Trust me.

The “Heart Attack” Seminar Registration Curve

People who have never done seminars before often experience an incredible amount of anxiety and stress. The major stress relates to the rate at which the registrations come in. They come in slowly at first and then dramatically pick up within two weeks or less of the seminar date, depending on the length and location of the event.

I call it the “Heart Attack” curve because the novice seminar promoter often freaks out waiting for the registrations to come in. Sometimes you get as much as 50% or more in the last several days before the date of the seminar.

Events like bootcamps that require travel and hotel reservations generally fill up sooner than shorter events. I also like the idea of promoting to people in the last two weeks or so and sending them to a site called www.site59.com. This site allows people to make lastminute travel and hotel arrangements at discounted prices. Using this system may encourage some people to come at the last minute.

Using Bonuses to Seduce More Buyers

I also like to load a lot of bonuses into the seminar seduction routine. I will give people all kinds of bonuses for registering before a specific date. These would include things like consulting time with me over the phone, free special reports, an eBook or two and a discount coupon to attend other seminars and events.

I try to make these bonuses very appealing. I also try to make most of them digitally deliverable so I have virtually no cost but my time. Even when I offer people 30 minutes of my time over the phone as a bonus, only one in 20 will take me up on it. Sad, but true. Consulting time on the phone has a very high perception of value, but a very low use rate. What a great bonus.

Bonuses are something you must make sure you deliver on. I have never done a seminar where someone hasn’t mentioned something to me about the bonuses they receive for attending. Don’t forget to make good on your promises.

I sometime like to send them separately and a few days apart. This way people think they have gotten even more value than they really have. 

Offer One-on-One Consultations as a Premium

Another very effective way to get people to sign up for your events is to offer them consulting time before, during or after the event.

It makes for a long day, but it can dramatically increase enrollment. People get to sit at the feet of the master (you) one-on-one for 20-30 minutes to get their individual questions answered. I would only recommend you do this in conjunction with a high priced event or seminar. Why give away your time unless you have to? For many people this will be what gets them to register.

Try to get these consultations scheduled before the event. If you have more demand than you can accommodate on-site before the seminar, arrange to give them the same amount of time (or slightly more) over the phone in the days leading up to the event. 

Putting Customers on a Hot Seat They’ll Love!

Hot seats are a great concept that you should definitely use when appropriate. Here’s how they work. You set aside time, usually towards the end of the session (or day), to bring a certain number of people up in front of the group. I usually have each person come up for about 10 minutes.

You ask them to briefly introduce themselves. Then you ask them to share with the group their biggest problem that relates to the topic of the seminar. Hopefully they share a business and not a personal problem! You (along with the other “experts” if you’re doing a bootcamp) then give them your best suggestions. Allow other audience members, for a short time, to offer their suggestions. Jump in if they get too far off track.

This works extremely well because it allows you to answer specific questions from individual members of the group. It significantly increases the value of your event. It is as close as you can get to giving people individual assistance during the seminar itself.

The beauty of the hot seat concept is that it isn’t just the people on the hot seat who benefit. Many of the questions raised and answered will be helpful to other members of the group.

Whenever I do an event of two or more days, I always make the hot seats a bonus. I restrict the reservation of the hot seats to the first 20 people who would like to do them.

If I myself were attending an event where they had hot seats I would sign up immediately to make sure I got to be on the hot seat. Not everyone feels the same way. Many of your attendees are deathly afraid of getting up in front of the group and baring their souls.

There are, however, many people who feel like I do. For them, the opportunity to be on the hot seat will encourage them to register early. It always has that effect on me!

Offer the hot seats to the first X number of people who sign up and want them. When you run out, tell people that you’ll put them on a waiting list for a hot seat. Make sure they understand that you aren’t guaranteeing that they will get one. They only get their chance if someone doesn’t show up or a participant decides not to do theirs. 

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