What inspired this article series:
Leonie Dawson, a woman I’ve authentically admired for years, posted a fantastic and brutally honest blog about attending a 1-day Gary Vaynerchuk event that you can read here.
A friend of mine shared her blog on Faceboook and I commented:
It’s why I started teaching how to do events differently. This is not just Gary but I can name dozens of events I’ve been to like this. I started hosting my events with more of a sales focus as this was ALL I saw where people actually made money. But I changed things. You can make great money by hosting events and they don’t have to be a pitch fest!
And my hope is that consumers wake up and powerfully choose what’s aligned for them. No one forces anyone to use their credit card and it can feel that people have “no choice” and have buyer’s remorse. But we’ve got to speak up and choose what works for us!
It’s the second paragraph that I want to emphasize here.
Is anyone truly forced to buy something?
While it’s great to educate people that events like what Leonie describes actually happen, I feel that it’s important to empower people to exercise their intuition and to learn how to say no.
This goes far beyond being slimed or “forced” into buying something.
No one is forced. Convinced? Yes. Coerced? Yes. Shamed? Yes. Persuaded? Yes. But actually forced, as in someone MADE them pull out their credit card? No.
It can sure feel forced though, can’t it?
Am I preaching to the choir?
I think sharing experiences like Leonie did can be insightful and I’ve noticed that in many cases, it’s preaching to the choir.
How do we educate people about events like this? More importantly, how do we educate people (including ourselves) to stop buying crap to be polite or without getting caught up in the fear-based sales pitch?
The first time I got slimed
My first live event like what Leonie described was Millionaire Mind event produced by T. Harv Eker.
The sales pitches, plural, lasted for HOURS. Yes, hours as in more than one and sometimes 3-ish hours. This went on for three days. It was all fear-based and highly manipulative selling tactics.
I remember being glued to my seat and really thinking that if I didn’t stand up and run to the back of the room to buy the program then I wasn’t willing to change my life.
That was manipulation at its finest. Those old-school NLP tactics worked.
It’s nauseating to reflect back to that event and how close I was to hand over my credit card. I’m SO glad my husband guided me back to honoring what was true for me after being “swayed” that the only way to fix my money problems was to put thousands of dollars on a credit card for one of their programs.
I entered the coaching world in 2008 and I’ve attended dozens of 3-day events and hosted my own 3-day events.
I’d say about 15-20% of the events I’ve attended were great – the rest were glorified sales pitches and only a couple were as slimy as that first T. Harv Ecker event.
Of the events I hosted, my first THRIVE event was pretty much a sales pitch and it wasn’t anything compared to the sales pitches I attended, but still, it was more salesy than I was comfortable with. I’ll share more about that later.
Why am I writing about this?
- To share that yes, the shitty stuff you hear about events really happens and how to change it.
- To stop victimizing the attendees of the events who fall for the sales pitches.
I’m breaking this down into three sections: Speakers, Selling, and Hosting.