If you are an established business coach then you may already run seminars in order to attract new clients.  Most business coaching franchises include a couple of seminars that they have run for many years along the lines of “Six Ways to Improve Your Profits” and their coaches will run these on a regular basis – because seminars sell.

What is it about seminars that makes them such a powerful sales tool when done correctly?

Firstly, they qualify attendees – if you get the topic and pricing and promotion right.

Secondly, they increase the attendees’ dissatisfaction with the status quo – if you get the content right.

Thirdly, they convince attendees that you have the solution to their problem and motivate them to do something about it – if you get the content and delivery right.

The seminar topic must be designed to appeal specifically to your niche target market; that is, it must describe a very specific problem that they have that your product solves in a uniquely better way.  This problem must be important enough for them to have a burning desire to take action.

For example, running a seminar on “profit improvement”, say, has three major weaknesses:  Firstly, it is a generic topic and it is not clear who it is aimed at – all business owners want to improve profits but this topic is more likely to resonate with start-ups and micro-businesses (who have no money).  Secondly, it is undifferentiated.  Any business coach will promise to increase profits and it is difficult for prospects to see any difference between one coach and another; thirdly, you don’t really want to be selling to a roomful of people who are watching the pennies.

Having selected a topic, the promotion copy must repeat and reinforce your targeted message and make clear who the event is aimed at so that it resonates with your niche and puts off the rest.

Pricing must be calibrated to be a barrier to all but the people in your target market who are committed to do something about the problem you solve.  Pricing is not there to make money it is there to qualify attendees.

Objective One is to end up with a room full of people who are in your niche, suffer from the problem you cure and who have proven they are committed to change (by paying a non-trivial fee and devoting a chunk of their time).

Every slide and exercise presented in the seminar should have one or both of these aims:  To increase the attendees’ dissatisfaction with how they do things now or to increase their confidence that your solution is what they need.  None of this should be done overtly (there is no need for a hard-sell).  Attendees have paid to be educated so the material should be valuable to them in its own right, giving useful, actionable insight and techniques for addressing their problem (providing a workbook and getting them to do exercises on their own business ensures this is achieved).  However, most business owners will want and need help to put these things into action.

You do not need to be a grand orator or a stand-up comedian to run a good seminar.  You do need to care about your subject and your do need to make sure that attendees are engaged and involved – they will get more from it if they contribute to it.  They will get little from listening to you read out slides for two hours (and you will get no business).  Any topic is brought to life by examples and stories from your experience and by discussing the real-world challenges or experiences of the attendees.  The seminar materials should include presenter guidance notes and reminders to make sure this happens.

Objective Two is to end up with a roomful of people who believe that you are the solution to their problem.

At the end of the seminar you have completed most of the sale.  Have a brief conversation with as many of the attendees as possible and ask them for a follow-up meeting.  Most will agree to this and most of these will sign up as your client at the subsequent meeting.  If you miss any follow up quickly on the phone to get the meeting.

Objective Three is to get sales meetings booked with every attendee.

BusinessCoachKit seminars result in sales meetings with 2/3 of attendees and sales from 2/3 of sales meetings:

The topics are all different aspects of systemisation, which is relevant to growing businesses who have between 5 and 20 employees.  The promotion emails and social posts are all proven to get the owners of these growing businesses to seminars.

Running these seminars regularly will add significant revenue to your coaching business.