Do YOU understand the Difference between Value and Usefulness?
Our pricing policy for LIVE training is simple…
- Seminars (and webinars) are FREE.
- You pay to attend our Workshops and Master Classes.
- We separate the principles — the KNOWLEDGE (what and why) — from the practical implementations — the SKILLS (who, when, where and how).
- At our seminars we give away the knowledge FREE of charge — because it’s effectively useless without practical implementations.
- We sell our practical implementation workshops and Master Classes (advanced workshops), where the SKILLS are taught and STRATEGIES for implementation are developed, as well as value-added, optional professional services, systems and products to help our clients implement those strategies.
We’ve adopted the same formula for our on-line presence. Give away the knowledge and sell the practical implementations. We only discovered and articulated that knowledge. We didn’t create it. It already existed, one way or another. We can’t lay claim to natural principles and laws. (As Albert Einstein once said, “All truth is revealed.”)
We see it as a true test of our integrity. (Remember… integrity isn’t just a new way to play the game, in business or in life. It IS the game.)
But we did create those practical, useful implementation strategies, tools and methodologies and adapted others. They’re our intellectual property. We’re entitled to be compensated for developing and sharing them.
We give a written guarantee with our free seminars — you cannot pay for your own attendance, even though it costs money for us to present them. (Advertising, venues, equipment hire, catering, travel, accommodation and meals, workbooks and resource notes, administration, staffing, etc all have to be paid for.)
So how can we afford to just give it away?
The premise is simple. We can’t and we don’t. Someone else has already paid for you to attend.
If you attend, and gain a worthwhile benefit, then you’re welcome to pay for someone else, anonymously. But YOU decide if and when you’ll pay — and how much!
We’ve used this approach successfully since 1991. (It terrifies members of the National Speakers Association!)
Here’s an example…
In one recent program, we invited 30 people, all opinion leaders in their particular industry, to a 2.5-hour seminar and invited them to refer and pay for others if they found it of value. But they couldn’t choose the people for whom they paid. It had to be anonymous.
Only twelve of them actually attended, but at the next session 32 people attended (with no promotion by us), 186 booked for the third session, then nearly 400. Within five sessions we had booking requests from close to 8,000 people. About 20% paid enough to cover the cost of three-to-five more people to attend the next session. About 4%-5% paid enough to cover the cost of 10 to 50 more people to attend.
Different people get different things from any seminar. If 80% pay nothing, we assume that they didn’t receive enough benefits to feel prompted to share them. So why should they pay anything? (Okay, some may be cheapskates, but that attitude alone will tend to prevent them gaining any positive, lasting benefits. So the same question applies. Our only regret is that they may have prevented people from attending who would have gained real, lasting benefits.)
The seminars are part of a powerful marketing strategy that recovers more than it costs
But the practical implementations — our workshops, Master Classes, books, multi-media programs, consulting, coaching, etc — are where the real usefulness lies, and for which seminar attendees willingly pay if they want them. It’s always their choice.
Our knowledge give-away creates genuine excitement. People recognise the VALUE of the knowledge they gain. That, in turn, creates interest in, and desire for, the really USEFUL stuff — the practical implementations — because very few people can create their own.
Many are too strapped for time, and prefer to have someone else do it for them. But they still need to be educated to realise the true value of what’s being offered, and that’s where the freely-available knowledge comes into play. Knowledge really does want to be free… because it’s not really worth anything on its own!
People who refuse to give away information and knowledge because of fear of loss fail to understand the underlying principle that, in fact, they have nothing to lose. Knowledge is useless until it’s applied. Owning a book does not make you smarter. Reading it doesn’t, either. It just makes you more knowledgeable.
Applying what you’ve learned is what makes you smarter
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not suggesting that knowledge has no value. But value and usefulness are not the same thing. And most people, in business at least, prefer to pay for usefulness.
As I used to tell my students when I was an academic… “an education has value for its own sake. Just don’t expect to make a living from it. It’s what you DO with that education that will make you rich.”
Note: This page is based on an article written for I-Sales Digest in October 2001 by John Counsel. You can read the original, expanded article (which earned John an invitation from the legendary John Audette, founder of I-Sales Digest, the flagship of the Adventive fleet of high-end discussion lists, and owner of Adventive.com, to replace him as editor after his retirement) here.