Philip Calvert in beBee in English, Accountants, Business Author and International Speaker on Sales & Marketing in the New Economy • Jun 20, 2017 · 3 min read · 1.6K

Dear local business professional - thanks for your invitation, but here are ten reasons why I won't be attending your seminar...

Dear Financial Planner, Accountant, Solicitor or other local professional service provider...

Thanks for the kind invitation to your seminar. I'm sure it'll be great, but here are just ten of the many reasons why I'm not coming.

1. You haven't promoted your event for anything like long enough. Every week I get invited to seminars which are either next week or next month. Unless your seminar is exactly the solution to my problems right now, then I'm just too busy to attend. I recommend that you give yourself five whole months to prepare and promote your event - that way you give me plenty of notice, and if I see your ads throughout that period I might just take a peek. Once you've done it a few times and have got a system then you can bring it down to three months.

2. The words and phrases you've used in your mailing are just plain dull. Take time to scrutinise every single word you use in your marketing materials so they get my attention. They need to be warm, exciting and motivating.

3. I can't really see exactly how I will benefit by attending. Yes - I can see a list of features that will be covered - but I can't see how I will be better, richer, more charismatic, happier etc as a direct result of attending your seminar. And your testimonials aren't up to much either. John from Hull said that 'he really enjoyed your last seminar and that he'd recommend it to anyone.' Great - but how specifically did John benefit by attending?

4. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about you - the seminar host. 'People buy people' first, so tell me something about yourself before you tell me too much about the seminar itself. What qualifies you to put on this seminar and how have you benefited from the material we will hear at the event. I also want to read about how you got to where you are now - I want to know what drives you and I want to hear your story. I also want to know a bit about where you like to travel, your favourite films - and yes maybe your favourite food. Who are you?

5. Actually - despite what I said earlier, the benefits of your event aren't enough on their own to get me off my backside. What other benefits of attending will there be? What's the venue like and could I visit somewhere else whilst I'm in the district? Are there any freebies - like books, White Papers, Special Reports, CDs, Podcasts, workbooks, follow-up advice etc? What about a video or even a prize draw? And lunch would be good...

6. Do I have to pay? Yes - good. Having to pay tells me that your event has value to it. The more it costs, the better I think it must be and that I'm not going to be 'sold to' too much at the event. When I pay, I'll be much more likely to turn up as well. I might even pay attention on the day.

7. Although I'm very happy to pay to attend your seminar, it would be great if I could get a discount! Will you knock off up to 50% if I pay early or bring a colleague? I'm also a member of our local networking group - do members get discounts? And what if I book online - is there a discount for that too?

8. Will your event be a great networking opportunity? I hope so - but from your marketing material I can't tell. As well as your seminar, I want to make the most of my time away from the office - so let me know if there will be other business people in attendance and I'll bring my business cards.

9. I didn't read your first mailing letter because it arrived on a day when there was lots of other junk (usually a Monday) - so I guess it got thrown away. When your follow-up letter arrived, it didn't get read because I couldn't see my name straight away. Unfortunately "Dear business owner" doesn't often get my attention and it's not very personal. And if you'd taken the trouble to add a handwritten element then I would certainly have taken notice. 

By the way, for future reference, I'm not a big fan of mailings - so even if I had responded to your letter I can't be bothered to go all the way to the post office to post your reply slip. Perhaps if you'd given me an email sign-up option, online, fax even, Twitter or an SMS option I'd have responded much faster. Just a thought...

10. Just in case your seminar really is as good as you tell me, I might want to follow you and your services a bit more closely in the future. Do you have your own personal finance club, social network, Twitter or Facebook account where I can keep tabs on you and interact with you later? After all I might have some questions which I only think to ask after the event. I'm always doing that!

It's just that I couldn't see mention of your online club or social network anywhere on your marketing materials - and if I knew that other people had already joined your club, it might give you a bit more credibility - and I will sign up like a shot.

Many thanks again for your invitation. I hope your seminar goes well (without me).


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Dear local business professional - thanks for your invitation, but here are ten reasons why I won't be attending your seminar...

Timothy welch Nov 14, 2018 · #6

Philip Calvert and all of his posts here on Bebee border on the snake oil approach. this is what televangelists do and gives the average person a bad name. His intentions might be well intentioned but this tactic is seen all over social media and business websites. My laptop was almost infected with malware du e t this bullshit. My advice to you Philip is to just leave Bebee. you will be reported.

Phil Friedman Nov 28, 2017 · #5

#4 Many people, @Charlene Norman, have yet to learn the art (and sheer work) of driving engagement on their posts. Their loss, however, because if you watch closely, where there is no response from an author to the comments on his or her post, there is a predictable drop in future attention. Even the people who shared will stop doing so. Not out of retaliation or pique. But out of a realization that the author wants to talk AT them and not with them. Cheers!

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Charlene Norman Nov 28, 2017 · #4

Really like this article. Very very nice. However, It was shared here on November 15th -- exactly 12 days ago. Perhaps Mr. Calvert has found himself travelling without a WiFi or perhaps he is working on his own seminar package to deliver to his own customers. Hope he pops up soon to acknowledge this hub @Phil Friedman

Sara Jacobovici Nov 15, 2017 · #3

Love your style @Philip Calvert. Thanks for the 10 points. You have given me a new template for promoting my seminars. Looking forward to sharing the results.

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Phil Friedman Nov 15, 2017 · #2

Nice, very nice, @Philip Calvert. Sharing this one to Business Hub.

Michele Williams Jun 20, 2017 · #1

Philip, great points so funny but so true. A good less on for new entrepreneurs as well--"People buy people' first, so tell me something about yourself before you tell me too much about [your product].

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