How to Handle a “No” So You Sell More Seminar Seats

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Principle #7 of Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles” contains a particularly valuable lesson for speakers, consultants, coaches and other experts who promote seminars, workshops and other forms of training – Ask Repeatedly.

As Jack says, “One of the most important principles of success is persistence, not giving up. Whenever you’re asking others to participate in the fulfillment of your goals, some people are going to say no. They may have other priorities, commitments, and reasons not to participate. It’s not a reflection on you.”

This is a valuable reminder to protect yourself from the inevitable rejection that comes when trying to persuade someone to invest their time and money to attend your seminar. (Selling training can discouraging if you let low response rates get to you.)

But it’s also an important guideline to follow when creating your marketing schedule and deciding who should receive your promotions.

Things change. Just because an individual doesn’t want to attend your event today doesn’t mean he’ll say no next week, next month, or even next year. Keep asking, and you might get a yes when your prospects …

… aren’t so busy.

… don’t have a vacation planned the same weekend as your event.

… have more money to invest in training.

… feel like they know and trust you better.

… resonate more with your marketing copy.

… are more familiar with your expertise.

… have heard more positive reviews about your work.

… decide that the problem you’ll help them solve needs to fixed NOW, not someday.

If response rates aren’t where you want them to be, first stop and make sure you aren’t interpreting the “no’s” as rejection of you and your expertise.

Then look at ways you can help prospects turn their “no” into a “yes.” Perhaps you can arrange childcare, so attendees can bring their kids along. Perhaps you offer a payment plan to make the tuition easier to afford. Perhaps you shift the schedule and end early

on the last day, so attendees can fly home that night.

Above all, be persistent. Keep inviting prospects to attend your training. When someone’s “not right now” becomes “OK, I want to proceed,” you want to be there ready to take the registration.

Many marketers find that it is easiest to get new prospects to say yes to their offers. The reason is that when someone raises their hand to indicate interest in your expertise, they are often doing so because they are actively searching for a solution to a pressing problem.

You may find this to be true with your prospects, as well. You may want to invest more of your promotional dollars and time into marketing to these hot leads.

However, don’t make the mistake of completely dismissing people who haven’t attended your training or purchased a product. Stay in touch with them on a basic level, using low-cost marketing methods, such as a newsletter or e-zine, email promotions, and social media. By maintaining a presence in all of your prospects’ lives, you’ll find yourself in the right place, at the right time, with the right offer when your long-time prospects are finally ready to buy.


About the Author:

Jenny Hamby is a Certified Guerrilla Marketer and direct-response copywriter who helps speakers, trainers, coaches, consultants and other experts fill their live and virtual events.
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