Promoting Sales (and yourself) with Seminar Selling
Are you using (free) seminars to sell?
Picture this: You invite prospects and customers to a seminar/party. You present the same information you use in a sales presentation to a group of qualified, interested people. After the short talk, guests are fed well, and because they’re in a quasiparty atmosphere, they all buy. Sound too good to be true? That’s because you never tried it.
The financial services industry has mastered the concept of seminar (promotion) selling, and has turned it into an opportunity to gain credibility and acceptance as well as clients. They started with the (correct) premise everyone hates insurance, everyone needs insurance, most people don’t know about insurance, and no one wants to spend an evening with an insurance salesman (except maybe his wife and kids).
Jeff Slutsky and Michael Aun have just written a book called, “The Toastmasters International Guide to Successful Speaking.” In it they present (and dissect) all the opportunities that public speaking offers to sell better and promote beyond belief. They dedicate a chapter to seminar selling.
“This approach to selling is such a soft sell, that it’s often used by people who usually aren’t considered salespeople, yet may have to market (sell) to build their business,” exclaims Jeff Slutsky. “It’s the perfect way to make sales for the professional person who dislikes sales but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
Seminar Selling Can Cure Anemic Sales Fast
You can start a seminar series tomorrow.
You can sell sponsorships and partner with other (noncompeting) vendors, (lawyers, accountants and stock brokers with insurance financial planners.
You can partner with your vendors (paper companies with printers).
“You can use this approach to sell any product or service,” explains Michael Aun, “For example, Dr. Gary Berebitsky was just starting his pediatrics practice, and he used free seminars to help his practice through its infancy
(no pun intended). His hospital sponsored prenatal care seminars for expectant mothers, and he taught those seminars free. It was a great public service for both the hospital and Dr. Berebitsky, and both gained new patients.”
Here’s the main concept: Take the information that your potential customers (or clients, patients, members, etc.) would find valuable, and present it via seminar. Here’s the formula…
Slutsky and Aun offer the seven ingredients you need for successful seminars:
1. Your seminar must appeal to a specialized market or niche.
2. You must identify and invite good prospects from your market.
3. Your subject must be something that your potential attendees or sponsors want, need and have interest in.
4. You must be recognized as an authority (or get an authority) on your subject.
5, The seminar room must be first class to reflect your image.
6. You must serve great food.
7. You must have good sales skills and use them if you want to close the sale after the seminar.
OK, OK you got your act together and want to pull off your first seminar “What are the benefits? What’s in it for me? Show me the orders!”
Benefits are bountiful, Bubba. Seminar selling provides many advantages over other forms of more aggressive tactics like telemarketing, advertising, and direct mail campaigns.
Slutsky and Aun list eight of the most obvious benefits of this power approach:
1. You make new contacts, and network with existing customers.
2. You provide networking opportunities for those in attendance. Get people talking to one another.
3. The atmosphere is relaxed and open. A buying atmosphere not a selling one.
4. You educate others about your product, service, or point of view without them feeling like it’s a sales pitch.
5. You strengthen your company’s image.
6. You build credibility by positioning yourself as “the expert” in your niche.
7. You motivate others to action. The more they learn about your expertise the more they are willing to consider it.
8. You make sales. At the moment your seminar is finished, close at the end the prospect will never be hotter ask for the business when the prospect is most likely to buy. If you ask for the sale, you’ll turn “contacts” into “contracts”.
Last note: Have a walk away WOW give each person in attendance something to take home that they will show others and tell about their positive experience with you.
Sell by seminar. Your competition will if you won’t.
AUTHORS NOTE: Are you a member of TOASTMASTERS? Why not? It’s inexpensive and guaranteed to enhance your presentation skills. My advice: Go buy the book “The Toastmasters International Guide to Successful Speaking” by Jeff Slutsky and Michael Aun and go join TOASTMASTERS as soon as you can.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to email@example.com
1999 All Rights Reserved Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written
permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/3331112