Thursday, October 21, 2010

Exclusivity for Better Seminar Turnout

Have you ever arrived ready to give a talk only to show up to a handful of attendees?  You rehearsed your speech until it was bulletproof, prepared for a packed house, and the big day arrived only to address a few attendees.

Seasoned presenters routinely triple the number of people they invite to an event.  And then they pray the offer isn’t so appealing that more than the anticipated one-third of RSVPs will show.

But don’t you wonder what happens to the other two-thirds who chose to be absent?  And wouldn’t you rather be able to increase your attendee ratio rather than invite three times the number you want? 

I’d like to share with you a simple little method to increase your attendance percentages.

Let’s look at a few truisms when you call someone to invite them to an event:

  • They’re already busy when you call so they’re preoccupied and distracted.  You must provoke their interest immediately
  • Their initial impulse is to refuse so they can return to what they were doing. 
  • Many people are naturally uncomfortable refusing a request; when faced with a decision, they will accept instead of refuse.  These people will be less truthful to a stranger
  • Afterwards they’ll hang up and forget about all you
The receiver’s desire to be courteous will jockey for position with their desire to get off the phone.  Two things in succession must happen to get them to accept: you must pique their curiosity to persuade them to focus on what you’re saying.  And then you must add value in their mind to persuade them to accept.

The more confident you appear on the phone the greater chance they’ll hear your message.  But you need to do more than just remind them afterwards.  You must help them recall the value they’ll receive by attending.

Your contact’s enthusiasm for your event will burn out unless their need to obtain what you’re offering is red-hot and stays that way.  Inertia is the organizer's downfall.

If you send a series of emails and a card (in a future article about Drip Marketing) you have a better chance of reminding them of the value they’ll receive by attending.

But is there a way to stoke the fire, keeping them enthused to ensure they attend your shindig?  Yes.  By finding out precisely what of the event they value and mentioning it each time you send a reminder card, email, phone call, or whatever.

What is the most universally coveted possession?  Exclusivity.  Being a valued member of the in-crowd.  And the best way to convey that is by inviting them to learn exclusive information.


The Inner Circle

We’re not talking just any kind of information.  The most prized is unusual secret information that one gets from being part of an inner circle.  It’s a deeply seated human need to belong.  You can tap into this need.


When you broach the subject to your prospect, mention you’re considering inviting them to join ‘the group.’  Use words to stimulate their need to belong.  If you have secured the acceptance of an admired attendee, use their star power to induce them to attend.  Act confident and aloof as if you have the power and their attendance will not make or break the event.  Then ask them whom they’d recommend and ask if you can use their name.

People Want What They Can’t Have

The “takeaway” is a powerful inducement.  Once you mention the event, suggest they might not qualify or be at the right level to benefit from the information presented.  Be subtle when using this technique; you want to attract them, not come off like a sleazy promoter.

The most important thing is to have fun.  Make sure you enjoy talking on the phone with your invitees.  Make sure you’re smiling when you’re talking with them on the phone.  You can bet they’ll hear it in your voice. 
At the event, ensure you speak with them and continue to build rapport. 

Next week I’ll discuss how you can distill your sales process into their component elements.  Look for it.  Until then,

profitable business All!

1 comment:

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