By Alan Forrest Smith
I’ve just spoken at another zzzzzzzzeminar. There’s been a massive shift in the attendees, or so I think. Now before I say too much, don’t take any offense if you create and promote seminars or you attend them. I am simply sharing my observations here.
So… I am just back from speaking at a seminar. And I noticed there is a definite pattern unfolding in the seminar world. I call it Zeminar Zombies! The seminar works like this: The room has been hired, the speakers have been arranged, the audience have been informed and romo gets filled. On the day, each speaker in turn gives his/her presentation, proves his or herself an expert and at the end of the presentation makes some kind of offer to the crowd so they can work alongside the expert or go away with a new product designed to help them make money.
THE EXPERT: Some of these guys (just some) are incredible, they have lightning-fast-speed access to success that makes the new Star Trek warp speed look slow. I have had the honor of working alongside some genius experts that I love to bits. But how can you as the attendee tell they are the real thing? Experts; They are usually humble and don’t spout or boast about every last cent they make. Also… you know a real expert when you see one, you just know. Here’s a tip; If you have to think about “are they a real expert” they usually won’t be! You will know deep inside who the real deal are. The real-deal are the guys that over-deliver time and time again. They provide the product, the service, the back-up, the support. On stage they give everything they can, the sale is secondary! Online look at what Armand Morin does; his products, his passion, his AM2 concept are all pretty incredible. I can’t think of many that come even close to him (not saying this because he is a pal of mine, I am saying this after the mass of crap I have also seen on stage from so-called experts). And although it can appear some of the experts can charge huge amounts, it really is a tiny investment compared to the potential return you personally can have. And the fake expert: these are the guys that see the massive potential of making a killing in a day from a room full of people and they will promise almost everything to get the sale. Most have no experience, they are simply copying what they also have seen for a fast buck, have never done what they say they are doing, sell fresh air and are full of sales hype. Have you met them? Strangely these are also the guys that get refund after refund yet they still get asked to do speaking gigs. They are so good at their salesmanship even promoters are persuaded by them so don’t feel bad if you have fallen for them. I won’t name any names but you might have seen these guys on stage. Full of crap, great at pitching, have a rush to the back of the room with attendees looking to hear more or sign up fast. They rarely deliver. You can rarely get hold of them after the pitch! The product if it arrives is re-hash of someone else idea. And lets be frank here; can these kinds of experts deliver? NO and I’ll tell you why. When you base sales solely on “making-money” and getting a sale sadly that obsession to make money will overrule the morality to look after the buyer!
These are the stage salesmen that create a product when they arrive at the venue, pitch it on stage and make promise of “if you don’t make 50k within the next 12 weeks… I will not only refund you but double your money back!” A hard to refuse offer when you are sat in a crowd, broke and looking for salvation. Even harder to get your cash back because getting in touch with them is like having a direct skype to Mr. Obama! H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E!
So lets be honest; there’s no such things as press a button and money pours in? I work with experts that make massive amounts of cash. They all work long hours over short periods, none see it as a chore, none see it as work, they are serial entrepreneurs that work hard, play hard. Should experts sell from stage? YES …it’s this simple; an expert that has invested literally hundreds of thousands of time and risk into their expertise must be paid if you want a slice of it … you should pay for it. Should seminar promoters keep doing seminars? Yes, these guys expose you to new thoughts by bringing in experts at the leading edge of business.
So why am I talking about Zeminar Zombies then? Did you realize on a silent invisible, cellular level that was measured using something called kinesiology in the 70s, your body, your muscle is aware of lies, half truths and when something isn’t quite right? Yet despite we know and we have questions, we still buy. The strength of you body weakens when exposed to lies. When aware, you will feel it happen. In other words we ignore our body when it is telling us ‘don’t do it’. Why is that? The reason is most of us are now operating at a fear based level. This means simply we are injected with so much fear on a weekly, daily, hourly basis at a media (mostly) level that we are held in a constant state of fear. Because we are in fear, scientific evidence suggests that we are naturally drawn to a leader that will promise to remove the fear for us. In other words …. Go to a seminar, speaker promise to remove your pain and fear. You have a gut feeling it isn’t right, but you need to be led so you take a chance, you spend and 6 months later you feel like you have been robbed. Now of course that doesn’t mean the product is wrong or faulty, it can always mean that YOU never took any action beyond paying for the product but the point I really wanted to get to with my observations is that this constant process experienced at seminars has almost run it’s course … for now. Because … Attendees are now aware of the sell-a-thon process, so they go, sometimes sit like zombies (not all of course), no longer buy because of previous experiences and go away with tiny bits of usable information from the free presentation. It’s never enough to make things happen for them, they are caught in a cycle that creates a Zeminar Zombie. Promoters (most) are still doing what they did in the start and it’s no longer working.
New promoters are jumping on the bandwagon and even newer ones appear almost weekly. They see lots of people in a room, pull out a calculator, do the math and realize they could be making (they hope) huge amounts copying the last promoter. Long term this creates a dilution in what is really a cutting-edge market place but has began a long path of self destruction for both attendee and promoter. So what’s the answer? Attendees have had enough of being treated like a commodity that can be persuaded to maxx out a credit card. Yet the attendee has to realize they are in control of themselves despite being fear driven. Promoters need to think in a new way, re-group, re-organize and create events with integrity, trust and honesty. And by the way, some of my best pals are seminar creators and they do a fantastic job of it. But … If we don’t want to see the death of the modern seminar we have to think about these Zeminar Zombies that are left behind, hurt, broke and asking what went wrong … again? For both attendees and promoters I know this communication will be provocative. I don’t care.
I really hopes this helps you! The world is changing, we must change also. I’d love to know what you think about this post if you have been an attendee or a promoter… tell me what you think, good and bad. And remember leave your url on the post, I get stacks of traffic into my blog, leave your URL and I ‘ll send some your way.
Your iconoclastic communicator
Alan Forrest Smith