So how did I fill these workshops?
- I had standing workshops three times per week for about three hours each, mainly in the evenings. In doing this I created lots of optional dates for people to choose from.
- I did a lot of networking. I went to other people’s workshops with my business cards and flyers. I went to networking events and tradeshows and delivered my very short pitch to generate highly qualified leads.
- As individuals took one workshop I gave them a special deal in taking three other workshops for the price of 2.
- I set up a referral system. Initially it was bring three and get in for free. Later I had better results – bring two paying attendees and you get in for free.
- I also asked people for referrals.
- I kept a detailed list of all prospects, their interests, their hot buttons and when they would like to take the next program. My assumption is with everyone – it is never a ‘no’, it is only ‘when’. So I was signing up about 70% of my qualified prospects.
So what were the tools that I used in my networking?
- I always had three pet questions that I would ask. These would reveal their level of interest in growth, change, empowerment and getting rid of their biggest challenge.
- Contrary to what most sales trainers teach, I tried to get a ‘no’ as quickly as possible so that I knew I could efficiently move on to the next prospect.
- I would leave them with my business card and a flyer and asked them if it was okay that I call them or email them the next day. I do not leave it up to them to call me.
- I practiced my 1 minute elevator speech that contained a few qualifying questions, three large claims [benefits], a few features and exactly how it could benefit them.
- I created a master spreadsheet list of who I contacted, their phone number, their hot buttons, extra points that I would remember them by, the last time I contacted them and the programs they had taken, if any.
- I would spend about an hour each day following up my leads and getting commitments for the workshops.
And how did I set up my living room/classroom?
- Chairs and the couch were comfortable and in a circle and I was basically just part of the circle.
- I had a flipchart with two pages, one for ongoing presentation material and the other for notes, comments and exercises.
- I had a remote control for my reflective music that I would play while they were doing their own exercises.
- I had a self registration table, with receipts and a place for them to put their check or cash.
- I had hot water, tea bags and cookies for people that came early and for a half-time break.
- I had evaluation sheets and descriptions of the next programs available.
- I had a sample name tag so they knew how to fill out name tags, so I can read them easily.
- I had 15 clipboards each containing the workbook and resource materials for that workshop.
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