The Exact Strategy That “Mr. X” Uses To Turn a $97 Live Event Ticket Into a $24,000 Upsell

This "old school" strategy completely shocked a savvy online marketer when he saw it...

I had a call recently with a very successful young info marketer. He told me about an online training he sells that’s getting phenomenal results for clients. His client success percentage is staggeringly high for an online course; almost all of his students succeed, thanks in part to a great coaching team. He sells the program for about $1,000, with a $1,500 upsell, and he's doing great business with it.

Then I told him about someone I know well who's operating in the same niche, but approaching it in a totally different way. Because I’m going to talk about figures, I’ll just call him “Mr X” to protect his privacy.

Instead of selling his program online, Mr X sells tickets to a 3 day live workshop for $97. He runs this event 3 times a year and, because he’s semi-retired now, he’s happy with the 100-200 attendees that he gets to each event.

At the workshop he spends the first 2.5 days teaching the attendees how-to, helping them get stuff done right there in the room and building their confidence in the process. In fact all of the first 2.5 days, and most of the final afternoon, is spent teaching and delivering massive value.

The attendees walk away from the event having learned a lot about the topic and acquired some new skills that they’ve already put to the test. No one could say they didn’t get far, far more value than the $97 they spent on their ticket.

Going into lunch on the 3rd day, Mr X makes a sales offer for his done-for-you package of services, priced at $24,000. He consistently converts 40% to 45% of the attendees.

After taking off the 10% GST, he’s *consistently* doing $8,700 to $9,800 per attendee in sales at his events. A 3 day event with 100 attendees = $870,000+ in revenue.If we allow for a show rate (tickets purchased to attendees at the events) of about 80% worst case, that means at least 32% of people who buy a ticket to his event end up buying the package.

$97 to $24,000 is a hell of an upsell, isn’t it?

I’d suggest that would be *very* hard to achieve online or over the phone - the live event is what makes this work.

[At this point, you might be calling “bulldust” on that 40% to 45% sales conversion rate. I don’t blame you at all. I certainly didn’t buy it until I went to his event and literally counted the people signing up with my own eyes. When the event was over I debriefed with him and his wife; he quoted figures which matched my count and had the stack of forms to back it up. He’d been telling me what he was doing for a couple of years before I finally went to see for myself.]

Yes, at that price the majority of clients go on a payment plan. Yes, he has some cancellations and attrition, but that just trims a little off the top. The net result is still huge.

I’ll admit Mr X is an outlier in terms of results. He’s a masterful presenter, he’s been doing this for years, his entire 3 day workshop is scripted and has been tested & optimised to reach this level of results.

However, it is always the case that clients will spend more at a live event than they will online. It is *much* easier to make a big ticket sale at a live event than online or on the phone, and there are 2 main reasons for this:

  1. You build trust with your clients faster & more deeply when you’re in the same room and can engage all of their senses. You immediately change from being a somewhat abstract concept in their mind, to a real flesh-and-blood person who can shake their hand.
  2. Events are an ideal situation to invoke Cialdini’s Principles of Influence, for example:
  • Authority: because you’re the person up on stage, who this roomful of people have come to see, you have authority in spades.
  • Reciprocation: you can hold your attendees’ attention for an extended period, and minimise distractions, much more effectively at a live event. You’ll use that attention to teach them a large chunk of useful information. Because of the live format, they’ll assign a greater value to your efforts than if they’d watched a video of you.
  • Social proof: once you get the first buyer or two to “pop”, everyone else in the room will seem them buying and immediately be more confident about buying themselves. Once you’ve got a handful of attendees to buy, it takes on its own momentum.
  • Scarcity: you will make a sales offer that is an absolute killer deal, but is ONLY available there at the event. When you’re firm about the fact that the deal goes away when the event ends, you’ll turn a lot of fence-sitters into buyers in the final hours of the event. Plus the careful use of “table rush bonuses” can help get your first couple of buyers over the line and ensure that social proof works in your favour rather than against you.

I hope you can see that If you don’t have a live event somewhere in your customer ascension path, then you’re leaving a LOT of money on the table. There is a huge windfall waiting for you to meet people face-to-face and sell from the stage at your own live events.

So, your job is to get your clients out from behind their computer and into your seminar room, then put your big-ticket upsell offer in front of them. You’ll pull through a lot of extra revenue that you’re missing out on today.

About the Author Ken Wood

Ken is a typical short-attention-span entrepreneur, who managed to stay unusually focussed on the live events business for over a decade. Ken and his wife Karen grew their seminar promotions company to 26 employees, 140+ live events per year in 4 countries and $94 million in total sales. After a LOT of travel, too many hotel rooms and 1,208 workshops & seminars, they decided to mark the end of 2014 by getting out of live events for good. Today Ken teaches other entrepreneurs how to add live events to their businesses as a high-profit additional sales channel.

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