Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Beware of the "Free" Sales Seminar

It’s that time of year again when home builders and real estate sales people get their invitations to join a motivational speaker or real estate hotshot tell them how to be successful in 2014. It could come in the way of a free webinar, a local seminar or at big meetings such as IBS in Vegas.

Beware the "Free" Seminar

Like the old saying goes, “Something for free costs the most.” Every one of these people wants to help you. Every one of them has a good plan that should work if you follow it and every one of them believes you can meet or exceed your goals if you just let them help you by buying their book, DVD set, weekly or monthly consulting or invite them to talk to your sales team.

The real problem is that only a very, very small percentage of the people that “buy” their spiel after the Free stuff is used up actually gains a penny’s worth of help.

It’s not because of the motivational or sales consultants not doing what they say they will. It’s because we are inherently loath to change our ways or expand any effort without seeing immediate results.

I blame this on McDonald’s. If you give the counter person a $1, they give you a sandwich. You eat and you’re satisfied. But if they told you that you had to change into one of their uniforms, cook the sandwich yourself and take it to the counter before you ate it, there would be no $1 sandwiches sold by any fast food store. That dollar just became something too expense to waste time or money on.

That’s the way people look at motivational speakers. If they could get the speaker to show them how to get more sales without actually changing into a new uniform and putting a little effort into it, every sales rep would be selling their ass off. That never happens.

Here are the 5 steps you’ll probably follow when we listen to a motivational speaker:

1. Anticipation: You learn that a speaker is going to tell you how to make a lot of money with minimal effort. You can’t wait until you can sit down with our spiral notebook or iPad and jot down all the things coming from the sales guru.

2. The Ultimate High: Now you’re at the seminar or listening to it on a webinar with hundreds of other people and the words of wisdom come out so fast and with such enthusiasm that you’re writing and listening and planning how to implement all things you’re hearing. At the zenith of the seminar the speaker tells you that you can get a copy of his/her program for only $169 if you purchase today. You can also sign up for personal coaching at only $200 a month which gets you a full hour of the speaker’s personal help. My God, sign me up!

3. Realization: Now you’ve done it. You spent the $169 for the 8 part program and start reading through it only to discover that there are no definitive answers to your personal sales slump just exercises and suggestions on self improvement. There are strategies that might help but most of them seem like a lot of work and a couple even cost some money. This isn’t what you wanted. You wanted to know what to do right now to improve your sales. It seems that the only person that sold something was the motivational speaker that made $169 and he/she never has to see you again unless you want to use their coaching services at $200 a hour.

4. Flatline: After several days or maybe just one day, the $169 program is placed on the shelf and you sit at your desk wondering how to improve your sales. That motivational speaker really didn’t address your unique situation, did he/she? Well, actually they did but you are only human; reluctant and skeptical of change. But wait, you just heard about a guy that promises fast results and he’s offering a "free ebook." That must mean he really just wants to help me and he’s willing to do it for free…sign me up!

5. The Easy Way: There must be an easier way. Maybe there's an App for that.


Anonymous said...

Too True. As a former Sales Trainer and Sales Manager for reconstruction firms many times it was evident that people want easy solutions and won't invest in their self improvement or training. Those that refused to adapt were encouraged to out source their talents elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.” - Zig Ziglar