This Is Not What I Signed Up For

Here’s the usual drill …

1) I receive an invitation to a teleseminar.

2) The title of the event sounds like just the right kind of information or training I’m looking for.

3) The bullet points of what the event will cover map out a list of compelling topics.

4) The cost to attend is $0.

5) I’m pleased with all the details so I click the link to register (and now I’ve placed myself on someone’s mailing list).

The day of the event arrives …

1) I dial in or click over to the webcast (pen and paper handy).

2) The first ten to fifteen minutes consist of a long, drawn-out introduction of the host — fondly referred to as the “horn tooting segment” (complete with every achievment, accolade, and award in his or her portfolio and lots of other boring facts and figures).

3) Next comes an overview of what will be covered (along with a mention of plenty of time for a Q&A session at the end of the event).

4) The part I’ve been anxiously waiting for has finally arrived (the information promised in the invitation).

5) Big disappoinment (just another pitchfest and ploy to sell a pricey product, program, or service).

I should have seen it coming.

Have you ever had a similar experience where you were left saying, “This is not what I signed up for”?

Share your tale of woe in the comment box.

Would love to know I’m not the only stooge.

I must tell you, though, about thirty percent of the teleseminars and webinars I attend are absolutely sensational and worth every precious minute of my time.

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  • Melanie, since I’m hearing-impaired, I avoid these media. However, I will reserve a seat if the publisher promises to send a transcription, later πŸ™‚

    I used to try getting through these things when I was in Network Marketing.

    “Big Important Message from Our Silver Diamond Rockstar! You NEED to be on this call!!!”

    Bah. Most of the time, the message was to announce ANOTHER blasted event. Why couldn’t it have been shared in that urgent message?

    Oh well.

    Now, webinars… what’s your take on those? I like the ones at Mixergy.

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    • Mitch, what a treat to see you here!

      Had to laugh at the mention of “network marketing” calls. Been there. Done that. It was many years ago, but it still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. What a joke those calls were!

      And you’re right — the illustrious upline team leader always made it sound as though you were missing out on the next best thing since sliced bread if you were not on the call. Yeah, right. Network marketing is for the birds!

      I’m a big fan of webinars and by the way, I have a slight hearing loss, bilaterally. I’ve had the joy and the privilege of attending some of the most helpful and most interesting presentations via webinar and teleseminar, as well.

      The magic only happens, though, if you sign up for the RIGHT presentations. In my estimation, you have to spend time getting to know the presenters and familiarizing yourself with their content and what they have to offer.

      So it always goes around, full circle, to building those all-important relationships FIRST. Once that happens, it’s a slam dunk! You’ll know you won’t be wasting your precious time listening to yet another irritating pitchfest.

      Thanks for mentioning Mixergy. I took a peek at the site and it looks like a worthwhile paid membership site.

      • Melanie, those were the days. Once I got online, I did find a few gems. There was a group for Virtual Assistants that had weekly chat-like sessions. Those were fun and I made a few connections.

        I hadn’t been to Mixergy in a while, didn’t know they went Premium. I suppose they still have some free interviews.

        Cheers,

        Mitch

  • I have a problem in opening my e-mail id..i ve an id in ymail but not in yahoo and the mail received to me are not visible to me and how can i check the mails which i ve received.. ? plz giv me some solutions for it..Thanks

  • Hi Melanie,

    Agreed. I do still sign up for a few webinars and such now and again but hang up quickly often. What I really dislike is when they intrigue me so much and then require my phone number! Argh! Hitting my email inbox with messages every day (or more) isn’t enough? Now they want to start calling me? No way! I won’t go that far!

    • I’ll absolutely back you up 200% on your ‘phone number’ remark, Deb!

      That’s asking WAY too much and I think people have a lot of nerve and a lot of crust requiring a phone number when registering for a virtual event.

      This has only happened to me a few times along the way, but …

      I’ve actually been asked to provide my mailing address and/or zip code. Ain’t gonna happen, folks!

      You’re most likely at the same point as me right about now …

      I rarely sign up for a virtual event unless I know the host very well and we’ve had a longstanding relationship. Otherwise, I just can’t take the risk of signing up for, yet, another time waster that ends up being a pile of garbage.

      Thanks for coming by to share your thoughts – I love and appreciate YOU!
      Melanie

    • P.S. Deb, really great Tutorial Tuesday video! I learned a lot about the right way to set up a YouTube channel and you shared some really cool tips! You shine! πŸ™‚

  • I’m with you Melanie! I invested in Tele-leader training when I started doing calls for my business and I’m sometimes more sensitive to “pitch-fests” vs. content.

    So I can “see it coming.” And I don’t mind an offer being made, because we’re in business, but you’ve got to give me a reason to want to hear your offer and you do that by giving me value.

    Kudos to you for raising the flag on this one!

    • Hi Chris,

      It’s beautiful to see you here!

      You are the goose who’s laid the golden egg with these words …

      ” … you’ve got to give me a reason to want to hear your offer.”

      A “reason” — that’s the ticket — that’s the key — that’s the golden egg! πŸ™‚

      Love your addition to the conversation,
      Melanie

  • Melanie, this too has been my experience, at least in part. Pen and paper in hand, I curl up in my favorite chair, laptop set to go and find what you have found. However there have been some outstanding tele/web seminars.
    Thanks for bringing this forward.

    Phyllis

    • Hey Phyllis!

      You’ve made my day.

      I thought I was the only person left on earth who still uses “pen and paper”. πŸ™‚

      You’re welcome for bringing this issue to the forefront. As my friend, Karen Terry, says, some teleseminars and webinars are “gems” and some are “duds”. I think that pretty much sums it up!

      Appreciate the visit today! I hope you’ll come back again.
      Melanie

  • The key to success for seminar leaders, whether it be teleseminars, webinars, or live events is content, content, content, and then an offer. The offer time should be minimal compared to the content section.

    Unfortunately, many people only think of how fast they can make a buck rather than creating high value, trust, connection and credibility.

    On the flip side, those who register for the free events should not expect the expert to give away the farm. However, the expert should feel confident that whomever was in the audience did get incredibly high, high value for time invested.

    • Kathleen, you are the PERFECT professional to post some commentary here!

      I love that you added this …

      ” … many people only think of how fast they can make a buck rather than creating high value, trust, connection and credibility.”

      If any of my loyal readership has not crossed paths with you yet …

      They need to know you are held in the highest regard as a business coach who ONLY delivers the BEST during your events — whether they be live or virtual.

      Did you catch that all-important key to leading an event, everyone? “Content, content, content, and then an offer.”

      Following your expert advice will guarantee a well-received and successful event — no question about it.

      Thank You!
      Melanie

  • Melanie,

    I feel your pain because like yourself and many others I’ve been there too. And I think I understand the difference in what you’re not happy with. Most of us who attend Teleseminars, especially with ‘big names’ expect some type of promotion at the end.

    There are still a few marketers who deliver pure content, but it seems they are far and few between. The thing is I don’t mind the sales pitch, IF they have delivered information you can use. For example, I attended a webinar twice because the presenter delivered such great usable content even though she was offering a class I could not afford.

    What I detest is just what you described which is a grand waste of time. No, you are by no means a stooge. If you are, you have lots of company, including me.

    • You took the words right out of my mouth, Yvonne …

      “The thing is I don’t mind the sales pitch, IF they have delivered information you can use.”

      And that’s a might big IF !!

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with teleseminars. Sounds like you’ve had some awesome experiences and some really lousy ones, too. Welcome to my “stooge” club — looks like we’ve got a gigantic membership! πŸ™‚

      Melanie

  • Yes, Melanie, that has happened to me too. But after a few times, I know now what to expect. I still listen to teleseminars for the content and because I might be interested in the products offered by the speaker. But I won’t know for sure until I hear what they have to say.

    • Good point, Jeannette!

      When we sign up with someone new to hear their presentation, we won’t know what to expect until we attend and listen in.

      So it’s pretty much a crap shoot in those instances.

      From what I’m gathering, most people have had a real “mix” of virtual event experiences and I’m sure that carries over to live conferences, as well.

      Thanks for sharing!
      Melanie

  • Melanie,

    WOW…I’m not the only one! I’ve gotten to the point where certain ones I will not sign up for and requested myself to be removed from their mailing list. While a few I know will not do the above and I stay and register for the ones that I can.

    There a few good ones out there!

    • Leona! Great to see you back here again. πŸ™‚

      I hear ya loud and clear!

      The very best thing to do when you’re royally disappointed in teleseminars or webinars that are just teasers and pitchfests is to unsubscribe from that list. Also, I would like to suggest UN-following those folks on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else you’ve made a social media connection.

      And you’re right …
      There are some fabulous presenters out there who are true professionals and it’s always a joy and a treat to attend their events.

      What are they doing differently? Simple …

      They’re providing value-driven and results-driven content, as promised!

      Thanks for the visit,
      Melanie

  • Been there, done that…and worse ~ I actually PAID for a course that sounded much like your description. The outcome in these kinds of situations…I don’t go back again…ever. You’ve created a great how NOT to treat potential clients. As someone who has a reputation for delivering valuable content when I offer complimentary programs, the margin for error with me is about zero.

    • “… the margin for error with me is about zero.”

      I love that, Tambre, and I love you for saying it. πŸ™‚

      I’ve PAID for a few doozies and duds along the way and ended up feeling like a fool and an extremely unhappy camper, too.

      And just go ahead and try to get a refund when you’re sorely disappointed. I dare you. And good luck — you’re going to need it. It’s oftentimes like pulling teeth — on a Rottweiler! πŸ™

      I like your stance on this issue — you simply don’t go back ever again. And I imagine you can’t remove yourself from that particular email marketing list fast enough.

      Thanks for sharing your story!
      Melanie

  • Lovely article Melanie. Though I nearly didn’t visit it because there was no strap-line to tell me a little of what it was all about and so often I go to articles that like some teleseminars are a waste of my time.

    Couldn’t agree with you more about the majority of teleseminars. Most of them have information that could just as easily be presented in print and read at leisure rather than take up valuable listening time.

    By the way, coaching is a great profession for over-stressed moms looking for a career as, if done by phone or skype they can choose their hours, and don’t need to dress up to go to work.

    • It’s a pleasure to see you here, Wendy!

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this post over at LinkedIn, as well.

      You are SO right and I’ll back you up on this statement 100% …

      “Most of them have information that could just as easily be presented in print and read at leisure rather than take up valuable listening time.”

      Which brings up another point …

      An event that someone invites you to should have a certain level of “expectations” attached, don’t you think? Like maybe you’ll actually be hearing some NEW information instead of the same old stuff.

      Sounds like you help moms learn how to be coaches. That’s awesome! Business coaches or Life coaches or both?

      Best of success to you, Wendy, and thanks for the visit!
      Melanie

  • Melanie this started happening to me so often that I actually gave up on the whole seminar thing for a while. I do know of a handful of people who along with the pitch do give out some really good content; but it has taken kissing a lot of frogs to find the royalty hiding in there.

    Oops though! I think I am guilty of the whole introducing myself at the start! I think I’m going to go listen to a couple of my old mpgs and see how long I spent. I am fairly certain it wasn’t 15mins but now I need to check lol Perhaps I need to adjust myself! Thanks for pointing out the ‘horn tooting segment’.

    • I don’t think tooting your own horn is a bad thing. But if you think about it, 15 minutes is a long time to be talking about yourself when you just invited a whole bunch of people that are excited to hear what you are presenting.

      Including some info on you and your experience is something I think most people want to hear. But I know you can do it within a much shorter time period and get to the meat and potatoes of the webinar or seminar.

      So I bet Bonnie your audios or videos may be just fine.

      • Personally, Lynn, I feel intros should be under 5 minutes — and closer to 3 minutes would be even better. And that’ very do-able if you know what you’re doing. πŸ™‚

        Yes, attendees definitely need to know who they’re dealing with and exactly what your expertise is.

        But what I’ve experienced a number of times that’s a HUGE turnoff for me are those presenters who “boast” and “brag” for minutes on end about how wonderful they are, how much money they make every month, how they’re better than their competition, how they’re the best thing since sliced bread … blah, blah, blah, … YUCK. Give me a break. πŸ™

        Thanks for coming back over to add to the conversation!
        Melanie
        xoxo

    • Bonnie, it’s a joy to have you join in this conversation!

      Intros are obviously an essential component of any event you’re hosting.

      But when presenters ramble on and on and on and find it in their hearts to share their entire life story … it’s not well-received nor is it necessary IMHO. After all, it’s not supposed to be about “Us”, it’s all about “Them” — your target audience.

      You know me by now. As a general rule, I prefer to keep everything as concise as possible. But there’s a reason for that.

      Everyone is busy, right? Show me the online marketer and blogger who isn’t!

      So in planning, organizing, and presenting a teleseminar or webinar, I think it’s beneficial to the success of your event to focus on value-driven content and give folks what they came for.

      And let’s face it … they didn’t come to hear a gigantic pitchfest!

      If you feel you need to cut back on the length of your intros, go for it. You’ll probably make a whole lot of attendees love you a whole lot more. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the visit!
      Melanie

  • Melanie I believe you are right with your statistic. It is about every 3 webinars or seminars I have seen or attended that end up being just one big ‘pitchfest’.

    I believe you can have a wonderful balance and build a great connection with your audience if you remember they are important to you and your success. They take time out of their day excited to learn what you promised in the title of your event. So give them the value and the information and build those raving fans.

    Glad you brought up this topic and as always, I really enjoyed you thoughts!

    • Hello Lynn!

      That’s the thing … the ‘title” and “bullets” always rope me in.

      You’ve got to admit the copywriting for some event invitations looks pretty SWEET. So I’ll have to give lots of credit to whomever has managed to grab my attention via their writing skills.

      And some of these folks are experts at hitting the “emotional triggers” right on target!

      Unfortunately, lots of teleseminar and webinar presentations don’t hold a candle to the “hook” that convinced you to sign up.

      Glad you enjoyed this little piece!
      Melanie

  • Hey Mel!!!

    I haven’t been over in a while but I had to comment on this one!! YES, this happens to me all the time where sometimes I can just tell it’s going nowhere and hang up/log off before the pitch.

    We all know webinars/telesiminars are a great way to gather leads and introduce products and services but at least offer something during the free webinar, something that will make me want to buy your prods or services right?!

    I’m learning from every one I attend so that when I create my own I know what to do πŸ™‚

    Talk soon deary!

    ~Kesha

    • Kesha, my sweet Kesha!

      It’s okay you haven’t been by for a while. I think all of us who congregated in harmony in blogging challenges gone by are now busier than one-armed paper hangers! πŸ™‚

      My sentiments exactly …

      “I’m learning from every one I attend so that when I create my own I know what to do.”

      Uh, oh … I see you’re a “junkie” now. Is there anything I can do to help? I’m a long time medical professional, ya know. LOL!

      Tickled to see you here,
      Melanie

  • There are so many waste of times because their (hosts) are on money and them but there are a few that are genuine. And yes unsubscribing is a pain but…you only learn by experiencing things. I learned a long time ago that many people taught me what not to do.
    Now we need to create a web site called – these people rip you off with their webinars but leave them open to refute and learn from the feedback – maybe a facebook or twitter group???

    • Time wasters abound, Roberta!

      And, Lord knows, I’ve spent time wasting my time on plenty of them.

      Love this …

      “I learned a long time ago that many people taught me what not to do.” Great attitude! Learning what NOT to do is a really good lesson.

      Nice to know someone who can turn a negative into a positive. πŸ™‚

      melanie

  • Melanie:

    I so hear you on this! I am tired of hearing how so and so is a seven figure coach, and has this and that and only works 10 minutes a week and can show you how to do it too. These people need to be proud of themselves it is a big accomplishment but aren’t teleseminars supposed to be about the people listening and giving great content? Of course you have a program to offer, which is terrific that is how we earn the money we need to change the world, but please! When I started my business a year ago I listened to all these teleseminars and believed that I would be able to do the same and when I didn’t well I was heart broken.

    I love when a coach or a presenter shows their human side: and show that you can be imperfect, make mistakes and be successful!

    What I didn’t realize is that all of this takes time. You have to build relationships, people have to trust you first. I just assumed that since I was a person of integrity that everyone would know it.

    Sorry for the long response but your post really brought some emotions to the surface and thank you!

    Also, thank you for this important reminder for when I offer my next teleseminar.

    • Let the emotions rise to the surface, Maureen!

      I traveled down that same path of beating myself up, emotionally, after listening to teleseminar after teleseminar and wondering what the heck I was doing wrong.

      Turns out … I wasn’t doing anything wrong. All those so-called experts were, conveniently and cleverly, leaving out some very important pieces of the puzzle. They didn’t bother to divulge what it really takes to succeed. Kind of a “biggie” to leave out, don’t ya think?!

      You’ve zeroed in on a very crucial point …

      Any presentation you do should be focused on your target “audience” — not on you — up to and including blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos, press releases, freebie offers, internet radio shows, and so on.

      I’m with you …

      Show me the “human” side any day of the week!

      Thanks for your sincerity and candor,
      Melanie

  • I’ve had the misfortune of attending an “event” like the one you describe. I suspected early on I was wasting my time but I just couldn’t stop listening. I guess I wanted to see what all the hype was leading up to but, really, another reason I couldn’t hang up was because I couldn’t believe I was listening to this awful thing in the first place.
    It was to reserve a “store” marketing info products on a new site. For a thousand dollars or so, I could compete with free. Needless to say, I didn’t buy into this “opportunity.”
    I didn’t stick around long into the Q&A session, though. By that time, I guess my morbid curiosity had been satisfied.

    • Darn that curiosity, John!

      It killed the cat, you know. πŸ™‚

      But I hear ya — your signal is coming in loud and clear. I sometimes hang around out of sheer curiosity, too. Mainly, though, it’s to get a feel for presentation “strategies” , “format”, “engagement tactics” — things of that nature.

      So …

      If nothing else, I’ll come away with a lesson or two on the “mechanics” of conducting and navigating a teleseminar or webinar. Hope that makes sense.

      Thanks for your feedback!
      Melanie

  • Hi Melanie,
    No, you’re not the only one! I’ve certainly been there too. It happened so often for awhile I stopped listening/attending though recently I’ve started again. Sometimes I’ve bought products too only to be disappointed because there wasn’t new content (to me) in it.

    Of course, there’s a lot of really great content out there in free webinars, etc. but I’m far choosier about the ones I attend these days and I don’t hesitate to move on if I’m not thrilled.

    It’s the nature of the information age I guess. πŸ™‚ Jen Phillips April

    • Wonderful to meet you, Jen, and thanks for knocking on the door of Solo Mompreneur!

      Give some thought to collaborating with Diana. Did you catch her comment here? She has a brilliant idea to put up a webpage entirely devoted to giving either a thumbs up or a thumbs down to teleseminars/webinars. Wouldn’t that be a fabulous resource?

      Comforting knowing I’m not the only “puppet” on a string. πŸ™‚

      Melanie

  • Melanie:

    So happy that you posted this blog post. It’s really difficult these days when there are tons of teleseminars and webinars going on. Now, it is expected that there will be some product being sold or offering at the end of the presentation. The big question is how does one go about selecting which programs are content driven versus those that are just sales pitches.

    • Hey Jane — welcome to the conversation!

      I think Michelle touched on something here in regards to “how” you can tell if a teleseminar/webinar is worthwhile.

      The ability to distinguish between something valuable and a big fat pitchfest comes with time, knowledge, and experience.

      And I believe she’s right. After a while, it doesn’t take but 3 minutes to figure out what the real intention of a presentation is. Doesn’t help the newbies much, but it’s true.

      So happy to see you’re talking about customer service on your blog! It’s a trendy topic right now and definitely needs to be addressed.

      Thanks for being here today and sharing your thoughts!
      Melanie

  • So glad I’m not the only one who’s driven crazy by the ultra-long introductions. 90% of the time if I’m on a teleseminar I already know the host (or I wouldn’t have signed up). I’d love if hosts would limit it to a minute or two specifically tied to either their quickest “yay me” speech or the part of their bio specific to whatever they’re teaching.

    And yes, the pitch calls I usually just jump off. Doesn’t take long to recognize it when every 3 minutes they’re promoting the expensive paid program that will tell you everything the pitch for the teleseminar said it would share. Not a fan of that approach at all.

    But there are also some awesome teleseminars out there that deliver great content and still sell respectfully. One example that comes to mind is Nancy Marmolejo. She’s fabulous and worth the time, every time.

    • Howdy Michelle,

      Oh, my gosh … businesses are getting attacked by Zombies! I’ll be heading over to your blog to check out this phenomenon. Yikes!

      I love your take on ultra-long intros and here’s another idea …

      If I were conducting teleseminars or webinars (and I just might do that), I would simply let attendees know if they’d like to know more about me, they’re free to visit my “Meet Melanie” page. Of course, I would include the link for convenience sake. And then I would just dive right in to the meat and potatoes and give folks what they came for.

      No buttering up here … your presentations always exceed my expectations. Every one is a pleasant and valuable experience. And knowing you — you plan, prepare, and purposely set out to have people leave totally satisfied. If only we could clone you. πŸ™‚

      You’ve added another “good egg” to the mentions here — Nancy Marmolejo. Talk about a gal who gives a hoot and a true pro!

      So grateful you popped over!
      Melanie

  • Oh Mel I’m so sorry.
    And what courage to share it with us.

    I don’t think that I’ve ever been disappointed like that but I can see how easilly it can happen on the internet.

    Anyway, got to run I’m just about to sign up for a course that guarantees I’ll earn over $2,000 a day!
    And this is the icing on the cake… the course is only $200.

    I know a bargain when I see it. LOL

    • Keith, you’re a treasure! LOL!

      Since you’ll be raking in $2000 a day …

      Don’t forget to send that shipment of hand cream for those of us who have climbed up the learning curve with blistered and callused hands! πŸ™‚

      My world would be minus enjoyment without you,
      Mel

  • Hi Melanie,

    More fluff?? I have stopped attending teleseminars because I have found them to be a waste of my time. I only get so disappointed that it’s best I don’t attend any. Yes, a drastic decision because personally, I have found less than 10% to be absolutely sensational. It’s good you are at 30%!

    You know what we should do? Create a site where we list all teleseminars and get people to give a thumbs up or down. This way, we show who is giving solid teleseminars and whose should be avoided. The host of these teleseminars will be more accountable when they see only thumbs down hahaha.

    Just tired of all the fluff, give me juicy fruit!

    P.S. Guess what post is in my Friday Favs this week ?

    • Now you’re thinking, Diana!

      “Create a site where we list all teleseminars and get people to give a thumbs up or down.”

      Brilliant idea!

      Oooh … I’ll have to be sure to check your Friday Favs post. πŸ™‚

      It’s a sad shame you’ve decided to write off teleseminars entirely. But what’s that old adage?

      Oh, yeah … “Once bitten, twice shy”.

      Your voice has been heard!
      Melanie

  • I hate this too. The worst part is the spam. I did one teleseminar which I hung up on midway because he was/is the worst speaker EVER and then he ended up sending me at least THREE emails a day. Bleh!

    • “Bleh”, for sure, Gina!

      That’s one of the risks we take, isn’t it?

      Once we put ourselves on someone’s mailing list, we never know what to expect until our jammed up inbox starts to resemble sardines in a tin!

      Three emails a day is totally ridiculous and unacceptable. I trust you got off that guy’s list in a heartbeat.

      As far as someone being a good speaker …

      That factor definitely plays into the mix for me. I can’t tolerate dry, monotone voices for longer than five minutes. Or someone who giggles or is overly zealous throughout an entire presentation. Yuck. I’ll pass.

      Appreciate the visit today!
      Melanie

  • Thank you for sharing your experience, Melanie. I always try to research any invitation or advertisement that I receive.
    I know that a FREE seminar is hard to resist but it is very frustrating when the seminar is just one big sales pitch.
    I once heard of a person who got involved in an online “cash gifting” scheme. It was a ponzi scheme and the people on the top of the list received all the cash gifts and the others got nothing. People really need to be cautious.

    • Thanks for sharing that story, Janette!

      “Cautious” is the word of the day!

      And when it comes to the internet, it’s never possible to be too cautious. Lots and lots of people, unfortunately, have lost their life savings in schemes and scams such as the one you mentioned. And as Rob noted, rarely do people ever recoup their losses.

      You’re SO right — FREE is very hard to resist. But guess what? That’s the plan from the start — that’s the intention! To hook people in at no-cost. Don’t get me wrong, though. I’ve attended tons of complimentary presentations that have been absolutely stellar.

      We just have to be really discriminatory and discerning and make ourselves aware of WHO we’re dealing with.

      Thanks for your input!
      Melanie

  • Wow! You have a lot of great comments here and I especially agree with Elizabeth (Kathleen Gage and Denise Wakeman are wonderful). As you mentioned earlier Melanie, there are a list of people that I never miss their webinars because I know it’ll have good content (Jeff Herring just came to mind). If I see a free webinar available, signals go off in my head and I think “what are they trying to sell me?”. It’s an automatic reaction. If they’re not on my list, I look at their Twitter, Facebook, and website before attending the free webinar. I like Shannon Cherry’s approach: she has a series of free events (webinars, Q&A calls, etc.) before selling her product.

    I agree with another point Elizabeth made: this is what works with online marketing right now. What will be the new approach since we all know the formula?

    • You’re a rare bird, Kristen — and a beautiful species! πŸ™‚

      I’m proud to know you check out people’s social media profiles and their website or blog before proceeding to sign up for any of their offerings.

      Amen to that approach!

      Jeff and Shannon are good eggs, as I like to say. They are on the opposite end of the spectrum from charlatans and fast talkers.

      I agree with you … Elizabeth has brought up a very poignant thought. We’ll just have to sit back and see what glorious new tactics come rolling down the pike.

      You Shine!
      Melanie

  • Oh, Melanie, you’re singing my song…including the part about wondering if I’M the only stooge. I think it’s a reflection of what works in the online marketing arena, and the free webinar to sell paid programs model has been very successful recently. I’ll bet it will eventually be replaced by something else as more and moreo people get disillusioned too and the effectiveness wears off.

    And you and I can both name some online leaders who can always be relied on to provide great value (Kathleen Gage and Denise Wakeman come immediately to mind). I’m sure they can tell horror stories about people with whom they have joint-ventured to do a webinar who let them down in terms of quality offered or too much pitch-time.

    I remember a blog post Kathleen wrote a year or two ago about the almost irresistable allure of “shine things” (new programs, webinars, books, etc.) that seem to be the one more thing we’ll need to be successful but which, in actuality, distract us from doing things that move us towards our goals. I am so guilty of this.

    I don’t know the answer except to try to be more discriminating about what you sign up for, and that’s much easier said than done. So many times I’ve said to myself, “I won’t buy/listen/sign up for one more thing until I digest what I’ve already got on my plate. Then the next thing I know, there’s a report or webinar that’s either free or “just $17” that seems so important.

    Sigh… I feel your pain and would love to hear if others share it. I feel in many ways it’s my problem as much, or more, than those offering sub-standard content. Those people will always be with us, even as the medium changes.

    Elizabeth

    • Hooray for you, Elizabeth!

      You’ve stepped up to the plate and revealed to the world you’re a trusting “normal” human being. Welcome to our club … we have a HUGE membership.

      “… the almost irresistable allure of β€œshine things” (new programs, webinars, books, etc.) that seem to be the one more thing we’ll need to be successful but which, in actuality, distract us from doing things that move us towards our goals.”

      That, my friend, is a mouthful of the truth and the all-too-familiar scenario in online marketing! πŸ™

      “Shiny objects” are designed to distract us and they do a doggone good job of it!

      As I mentioned to Rob here, we need to become FAR MORE cognizant of the importance of doing our due diligence versus going into things in the blind. The responsibility really needs to be placed in our laps.

      No question about it … Denise and Kathleen are good eggs! πŸ™‚

      Thanks so much for being here and joining in the conversation — very much appreciated.

      Melanie

  • Yup. And, like SO many folks who claim to have a blog that is nothing like a blog- unless listening to Billy Mays reruns is considered to be literature!

    • Roy, you’re right on the money – as usual.

      ” … Billy Mays reruns is considered to be literature”

      Too funny!

      And, yes. I’ve seen those alleged blogs. Who are they kidding? Like we can’t recognize an e-commerce site?! An online storefront?! A sales brochure disguised as a blog?!

      We didn’t just get off the boat yesterday. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for swinging by,
      Melanie

  • I never go to teleseminars, ‘way too allergic to them.

    Anything I want to learn, I research it online and teach meself…I fear I have zero patience for pitchfests.

    Sorry it didn’t work out as you had hoped!

    • So sorry to hear you suffer from teleseminar allergies, Barbara …

      But I love your marvelous sense of humor!! πŸ™‚

      You’re actually a smart cookie to research information on your own. It’s well worth the time … if you’ve got the time.

      Thanks for knocking on my door today and I hope you’ll come by again!
      Melanie

  • Rob

    Hey Co-Pres,

    Such pain and agony. My wife and I attended some seminar years back and ended up leaving with a travel club membership:) When they didn’t deliver on their end, we fought hard. It was to no avail. We could pay them or have it on our credit. They folded a while later (ya’ think).
    Earlier this week we attended a marketing seminar that offered free this and that. We attended just to see if there was any real info. Very little but of course sales pitch after sales pitch. We didn’t buy anything but did enjoy the free dinner and mp3 players. So, not too bad.
    The best seminar I ever attended was a real estate seminar in Maryland run by a guy named Steve Cook. Everything was professional from top to bottom. And, this guy was accessible the entire time.
    I would advise before going to a seminar to visit the person’s site or forum. That’s how I found Steve and he was true to what his site offered.
    I agree with the 30% rule.
    One other thing I would mention is that if you absolutely do not plan on buying anything, leave the cards and cash in the car glove box when attending. Any of us can fall victim to a persistent hard-selling salesman.

    You’re in good company!

    • Howdy, Co-Pres!

      I’m feeling much relieved already. And I’m definitely in darn good company! Somehow it’s comforting knowing I’m not the only trusting soul whose been taken for a ride. πŸ™‚

      Sounds like you and your wife have had a real “mix” of experiences in this regard. Me, too.

      GREAT advice to do your due diligence FIRST. There’s always a payoff in knowing who you’re dealing with (and who’s about to drain your savings account!).

      Imagine that. The travel club “folded”. Why doesn’t that surprise me? I’m sorry to hear you fought such a hard battle to no avail. And I’m certain they weren’t exactly a pleasant group to communicate with. I have a feeling they had all their “forceful threats” ducks lined up in a row ahead of time.

      Another GREAT piece of advice — leave your credit cards and check book in the glove box. Better yet … leave them at home. πŸ™‚

      Is it any wonder we have such disdain for sales people?!! They know more tricks than Houdini! πŸ™‚

      Thanks for sharing your story, insights, and tips, Rob — much appreciated.

      Melanie

  • Melanie,

    I have really cut back on the Webinars I attend just for this reason. I do have my favorites though. I never miss a certain group of webinars. I know there will be a sales pitch at the end and whether I buy or not I have learned something I can put into action.

    The is the adage… teaching sells. That is one true datum I try to stick to.

    You are getting lots of comments at your Contest Post – Nice conversation.
    http://bit.ly/mD51Ag

    I hope you win. It is such a great post.

    • Oh, Sheila, you’re a literal godsend!!

      The support you’ve given me in this crazy guest posting contest has been nothing short of AMAZING. I can’t begin to thank you.

      And, yes, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the responses I’m getting and lots of people have joined in the conversation. Now I just need to round up a couple hundred more commenters and Re-Tweeters and I’ll stand a much better chance of winning. πŸ™‚ Right now I’m running a close 3rd in the competition.

      “Teaching sells” — boy, doesn’t THAT say it all?!

      I’m with you. I have a small group of people whose virtual events I never want to miss. They always “under promise” and “over deliver” — each and every time. And if they’re selling something, I can rest assured it’s a viable product that’s top notch and will bring desired results.

      YOU ROCK!
      Melanie
      xoxo

  • Juracy

    Oh yes…. many many times..then I get a lot of stuff in my email box that I did not sent for.
    They say to write your email and they will give you free e-books that honestly? have NO GOOD content…jsut the same things we all know: change the way you think, abundance, the law of attraction. Wish we had a pill to make us happy and not go through menopause ha ha ha

    • Yeah, I could have used that “menopause” pill a few years ago, Juracy! πŸ™‚

      You’ve brought up a REALLY good point …

      Whenever you give over your name and email address to receive a special offer from someone … it needs to be “special”… not some regurgitated information you could have researched and found on your own.

      But here’s the deal …

      People who send out weak (boring, overused, useless) content to their subscribers are running the risk of losing their credibility. So, really, they’re just hurting themselves.

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Melanie

  • Lots of time…no wonder I call myself the kvetcher. Not a webinar but yes a seminar, conference, workshops…I actually went to a photography workshop once where they just handed out pamphlets and a whole hour out of the total promised 5 hour workshop consisted of introducing us to the OH-SO-MIGHTY photographer and then another hour on the history of cameras… moral of the story: I still click awful, shaky photos and I want my money back!

    • Pamphlets?! And an hour-long history of the photographer, Hajra?!

      You got ripped off.

      My feeling is anytime you don’t get your money’s worth or something turns out to be different than promised, go right ahead and ask for a refund.

      Thanks for chiming in and sharing your story,

      Melanie

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