My last Trip to a Pitch Fest. And the Valuable Insights into a Market
Although there is a bit of lag between when you read this and my trip to the Richard Branson/21st Century Education Multi-speaker, multi-day endurance contest, I did learn a valuable lesson on how to get real value out of those events.
So for those of you who don’t know the game, there is a couple of draw card speakers, (in this case Sir Dick Branson and Tim Ferriss - the 4 hour work week guy) used as bait to fill the room/stadium. Then the attendees endure multiple sales presentations over the remainder of the time the event is on. Each speaker guarantees to make you rich, successful and occasionally happy as long as you give them your credit card details.
I finally figured out how to get some real value out of those things as an attendee. Mystery Shopping. Here is how I did it and didn’t lose my mind.
- Take a friend who you can talk to about the mechanics of selling. It keeps you analytical.
- Get yourself a spot up the back where you can see the tables where the purchases are made
- Take copious notes about how each speaker:
- Makes a big promise (and what it is)
- Makes their promise unique
- Proves they are legit
- Creates a need for their course/home study kit or whatever it is they are selling
- Proves their case
- Closes the deal
- Makes a case for immediate action
- Watch the response rates – count the number of people who rush to order.
- Calculate, who has the highest gross sales. And who has the best closing percentage.
Buying the event recording will not get you an indication of the response rates – the really important bit. You need number of sales and dollar volumes of sales, otherwise it is only your opinion about the effectiveness of the sales presentation. Going to multiple presentations for the same product and taking notes gives you a library over time of how different speakers are tweaking (testing) their presentations in order to improve response rates and how those tweaks went. These are all things for you to test as well.
It will give you plenty of insight on how the man on the street is responding right now to various forms and formats of how you can present benefits, ideas and position your products and services in the minds of your customers.
The best marketers borrow, twist and reinvent things from other industries to create breakthroughs in their own. The marketing tactic, ‘Gift with Purchase’ came from cosmetics. The drive through at McDonalds was adapted from drive through A.T.M.’s. So even if you aren’t selling anything that is relevant to these industries, you probably have some of the market in common - the attendees. So pay attention to what people are responding to favourably and model it in your business.