Some time ago, I sent this article to some of our consultants. I got some feedback from a few of them. Several consultants started using these ideas as a result, and I thought you might like to see what we talked about.
A professional speaker friend of mine, John Avianantos, has a unique way of getting in front of prospective clients for his speaking engagements. On his website, he has a link in his Menu titled, “$15,000 a Month Giveaway!”
Basically, what John does, is do a two-hour speaking engagement for free. His normal speaking fee is $10,000 for a half day. So he will give away two two-hour presentations a month to companies that are randomly drawn and who have filled out the registration form on his website.
This month’s winners include: Ziglar Speakers Bureau and Alltell… both of whom have the potential of putting John in front of hundreds of speaking opportunities. Not only that, but John picks up contact information from interested companies that go into his database or contact management program for follow up.
Now what about you? How would you like to position yourself in front of businesses that could use your services? How about contacting local businesses in your town (via postcard, letter, email, telephone, teleseminar, personal contact, radio, etc.), and let them register for a drawing. Give them a 30 to 90 minute presentation about what you do (or using some of the seminar materials in your TopLine materials), and if they like it, they may higher you for a consulting opportunity or sign up for one of your profit-generating classes. You might also consider giving them a private one-on-one consultation using some of the scripts in your materials, or even complimentary Competitive Intelligence Report that shows what their market is looking for, and how they compare with their competition relative to serving that market.
You might also consider inviting them to a 3-hour workshop conducted one day a week for 4 weeks with a number of other like-minded companies. Use the Xtreme program or some of the other done-for-you seminar presentation materials for your course material, and walk them through it step by step. If you put 10 businesses into a room and charged them say, $3,000 for the 4 weeks… you’d end up with a $30,000 paycheck. Do that 3 times a year, and you’re hitting close to $100K… and you did it with only 12 days of presentation!
At the end of those 4 weeks, a certain number of those business owners will see value in what you presented and will want more… and that’s where your personal consulting or your continuity programs come in. They just paid you $3,000 for the 4-week program, so you give them that back as the first month’s retainer payment. They have nothing to lose, and you just picked up a consulting client.t
Or if you prefer a continuity model, charge them $100 per month for the next 12 months, and each week give them more valuable information, i.e., Week 1 = Printed newsletter, Week 2 = Group Teleconference, Week 3 = Ezine newsletter, Week 4 = Q&A Call. Ten people in a group times $100 = $1,000, times 12 months = $12,000. If you have 3 groups a year, that’s $36,000. Add that to the $90,000 for the workshops, and you’re at $126,000. Not bad for 12 days of presentation and an hour a week putting together a newsletter or conducting a group phone call. The numbers I used are simply illustrations. You can play with them to see what would happen with a lesser workshop charge and more sessions, or more than $100 per month for the continuity program.
When you see ideas like this, look closely, think about how YOU can use them in your own business. This drawing idea that John is using can be a real prospect generator!
A consultant responded:
The idea of putting on a 4-week training program is very much what I’m interested in. That’s working one day a week at a the same location and making $7,500 a month (10 people at $3,000 x 3 sessions per year = $90,000 divided by 12 months = $7,500 per month). If I added the $100 per month continuity to it, that would be an additional $36,000 per year. Divide that by 12 months, and it comes to $3,000 per month. Now I’m up to $10,500 per month! And I’ve only worked one 3-hour day per week (and a little prep time). The other 4 days of the week I can be setting up similar programs elsewhere (or more in the same area) and working with the most profitable clients one-on-one… or spending more time with my growing family!
This concept really aligns with my activities in workshops for the Chamber of Commerce and other presentations to groups instead of individuals. Now’s the perfect time to promote this, too. Here’s why –
Businesses often need tax deductions at the end of each year. For example, my brother-in-law’s accountant told him to buy a pick-up truck for the write-off. Being a physical therapist, he doesn’t really need a truck, and the truck is not going to help him generate much in the form of additional revenue.
The better choice is to invest that money in a direct response marketing program BEFORE the end of the year – either my consulting services or the training program. That way they can get the write-off this year, and be getting the return on the investment next year, plus the know-how to do it themselves to some degree.
Also they’ve saved money by at least educating themselves on the strategies and concepts I use and don’t have to pay me more than the training fee to educate them individually.
It’s a much better investment and one I’m going to promote to CPAs and Accountants in my area. If I tie my promo headlines and message into this theme I could very well get more sign-ups for the 4-week course.
This can be promoted to individual business owners and to CPAs/Accountants – but it needs to go out soon so they can tell their clients. That’s because at the end of the year, nothing you say will interest 99% of the accounts out there who are focusing on tax returns. They’ll have tunnel vision until after tax day. I’ve wasted a lot of stamps learning this.
My response to Vince:
Great idea, Vince. You’re absolutely right on in suggesting that your clients invest in a training program now, get the write-off this year and then reap the benefits next year. Many non-retail businesses are slow during the holidays, and can use this “down time” to restructure, plan, develop systems, and get ready for their pick-up times right after the first of the year.
The Xtreme program lends itself very well to the type of program you’ve mentioned. There are 7 sections in the program, and with an introductory session and combining two sections per session, it can easily be turned into a 4-week program. Alternatively, you can begin session one with section one in the program, and have session eight be a wrap-up, evaluation, Q&A, “here’s-what-I’m-going-to-do” session. It’s also a chance to talk about your ongoing consulting program for those business owners who see the value in what you’re providing them, but are too busy working in their businesses to implement the systems, and want an outsider to do it for them.
There are other materials in the TopLine system that you can use and that are perfectly tailored for this kind of program. Of course, throughout the entire 4-week program, you’ll be talking about some of your consulting clients and giving examples of how you’re helping them, and planting seeds about your consulting program. That way, at the end of four weeks, you won’t be hitting them with something new, and it won’t be perceived as a “sales” meeting. In effect, though, the entire 8-week program IS an 8-week sales meeting.
Another comment from a consultant:
Great ideas on the workshops. I will be doing workshops in my area and these ideas have been very helpful. One thing that I would like to address is a Guarantee. In promoting the workshops, I think it would be very powerful to be able to offer a guarantee something like:
“If we are not able to show you at least $10,000 in newfound revenue by the end of the first day, we’ll refund your entire investment in our system and we’ll part as friends. The pre-workshop business guides and special reports are yours to keep.”
If we send out the “pre-workshop” material to attendees well before the workshop – which is really just the qualifying questionnaire and the information sheets we always request before a normal presentation meeting, along with a couple of selected special reports that act as “primers” to prepare them for what we will be teaching – having this information, we should be able to have their own information available to walk them through an “introduction” on the first day where we do a version of the PowerPoint presentation and walk them through the paper based calculator.
Is it reasonable that we could do that effectively with a group of 10 different businesses with the intent of being able to use the calculator to see the opportunity in their business, be really excited about the remainder of the workshop, and fulfilling what they probably think is a pretty big guarantee?
What about the amount of the guarantee? I was thinking either $10,000 or “at least DOUBLE the amount you have invested”
Some other thoughts. By getting the pre-workshop information well before the workshop we will be able to know which of the attendees would be the best potential clients and we would be able to pay special attention to problem areas of the businesses.
I’m going to keep it simple for now, but other areas I would like to see discussed are:
– the use of joint ventures with media or publications for a % in exchange for promotion.
– the use of a charity that would benefit from the donation of a “seat” or the sale of registrations, and the inclusion of a struggling or disadvantaged business through the local Business Alliance or non-profit organization who helps businesses. If the numbers and details worked out, this time of year would be ideal for something like this. It would be very newsworthy for a press release, and you would be borrowing the credibility of the charity and/or the non-profit organization.
– the use of other local businesses to showcase an appropriate product or service at the workshop. Having a caterer sponsor some refreshments in exchange for a nice introduction of their business to the attendees, how they can benefit from using their services, and why they should. Not just a sign, or mention, but an introduction. This could also be used very nicely as an example during the workshop when we talk about that very subject.
That’s all for now, but I look forward to seeing some discussion on some of these areas.
Well, the discussion went on for some time, with a ton of great information being tossed back and forth. I hope this has given you a few ideas of what you can do to make some darned good money by not having to work very hard in this business. If you have any comments or thoughts, I’d really like to hear them. As always, it’s my goal to help you in any way I can to make your business as successful as possible so you can enjoy the great things this business and life has to offer!
Martin Howey, CEO
TopLine Business Solutions
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