Would you spend $997 for an unexplained product?

You may have noticed that the more I get my dander up, the more sarcastic I get, and nothing does it as well as a Communication Pet Peeve! Here's what happened.

My husband gets a bunch of emails from various Marketing Gurus each day.  Every so often they invite him to a free seminar where they give away a small amount of free information about marketing your business and then ask you to spend anywhere from $374 to $1997 for their eBook, software product, or consulting services.

We've been to so many of these the formula is obvious. It begins with 15 minutes of the host telling you why the Speaker Guru is so great followed by 15 minutes of the Speaker Guru telling you how amazing his life now as compared when he was a homeless, wifeless convenience store operator.  The next 15 minutes is where you pay attention because this is where the Speaker Guru tells you about his eBook, software or consulting services designed to make you drool.  The final 15 minutes is devoted to the "pitch." 

The pitch is where they tell you the product is really worth $900 bagillion, but today ONLY, you can get it for a pittance ($374-$1997), but you have to act now because they will only sell (insert smallish number here) total at that incredibly low price! By the way, the entire seminar is done in slides consist of a white screen and the EXACT words being spoken by the Guru.  Sometimes you're in for a treat as they do show you the product or pictures of insanely happy people who are now so rich they could buy Brazil with their pocket change. 

Normally, the Guru does an atrocious job of speaking, stammers over his words and can't spell the words on his slide show. So last week we settled in for what we thought would be a predictable pitch as we awaited any tidbits of info that might be helpful and to determine if his product might be something worth our time only to find a goldmine of humor! 

The seminar began exactly on the hour with the host telling us that the guest speaker (Guru) was so incredibly busy he had a last minute consulting call he had to attend. The host proceeded to take this opportunity to tell us how wonderful the Speaker Guru is.  The host "let it slip" that there were 1000 people on the call and over 6000 waiting for one of us to get disconnected, so we better close down all other computer programs in order to avoid that terrible tragedy.

At exactly 15 minutes in, the Guru suddenly got free and began to tell us how benevolent he is to be sharing this info with us and how far he'd come in life due to this incredible system.  At exactly 30 minutes past the hour, the Guru asked for a "volunteer" from the audience that wouldn't mind making a bunch of money for nothing tonight.   

The slideshow screen finally changed from the title that had been displayed for 15 minutes to a "live picture of his brand new ClickBank account" showing that he had made $647.16 in that time!  Amazing, huh?

At exactly 45 minutes into the seminar we had learned how much he wanted for the software, that he could only sell it this cheaply to the first 20 people, and that 18 people had already ordered it, but what we didn't know is this:

1. What exactly did his software DO?
2. What did the "volunteer" from the studio audience sell to make $647.16 in 15 minutes?
3. Why would selling this software to more than 20 people dilute the system for everyone?
4. Were there really 18 people who purchased this software before the seminar ended?

Needless to say, we didn't fork over $997 for something we didn't understand.  Would you?  But it did spark a new passion inside me to provide even more in-depth information to my customers during my seminars. You should for yours as well. It would certainly be a refreshing approach. 

Have you ever been to one of these marketing guru seminars?  What was your experience?


  • Art of Eloquence

    I wouldn’t spend $5 unless I knew what the product would do, let alone that much.

  • Carla

    Oh, I’ve listened to tons of them, too. Some give you actual info. . . a little smidgen to whet your appetite. Most give you next to nothing except a sales pitch. I usually hang up about half-way through (or sooner) if it sounds like it’s just hoopla and you’re not even going to get a nugget of usable info. For $997, though, I’d want something that does the dishes and polishes the glasses!!!!! And it sounds like by the end of the hour, nobody knew what they’d be purchasing except it was hot! (yeah, right. . . UGH)

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