March 13th, 2009 by Bob Bly
“Why don’t you sell products from the platform?” my fellow speakers ask me all the time. “You are leaving money on the table.”
My original answer — that I just don’t like it personally and find it unseemly — didn’t convince them.
“There is nothing wrong with selling from the platform,” these speakers responded.
They pointed out that many conferences don’t pay the speakers a fee or even cover their expenses.
So as a result, they, as speakers, have a “right” to pitch their products. “It’s how we make our money and get compensated for our time.”
“How could you object to selling?” they ask me. “You are a copywriter. It is your job to sell.”
But here’s the problem….
If I write a hard-sell e-mail, and you are not interested, you can delete it in less than a second with a mouse click.
If I write a hard-sell direct mail sales letter, you can tear it up and throw it in the trash — in less than 5 seconds.
But when a speaker sells products from the platform, I can’t escape! I am in the seminar room. If I got up and walked out, it would seem incredibly rude.
So I am forced to listen as the speaker drones on and on about his “big package” which is worth $68,458, normally sells for $14,997, but if I buy within the next hour is only $2,777.
As for the argument that the speaker is unpaid by the seminar promoter, how is that my problem or my concern?
I paid hundreds or thousands of dollars for my seat at that seminar. Shouldn’t the platform time be devoted 100% to educating me, not 80% to educating me and 20% to selling me more stuff?
I am least offended by the sales pitch when, proceeding it, the speaker has delivered genuine value and real content, without holding back.
I am most offended when the entire presentation is clearly crafted not to educate me, but to tease the audience and maximize orders for the big package the speaker is selling.
How about you? Are you offended or turned off when a speaker begins to transition into his sales pitch, which he delivers on your time?
Or do you cheerfully accept it as a standard operating procedure in the seminar business today?
This entry was posted on Friday, March 13th, 2009 at 2:05 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.