Event Attendees: Are You Getting Value or Getting Pitched?

Are you getting value or getting pitched?When I told my colleague Scott Palat (who I had attended a 3-day marketing/networking event with) that I may be speaking at a similar event in the future, he emailed me saying, “Hopefully you can teach the people something valuable and make a simple offer that sells. Some of those speakers were way too crazy with their “Not $5,000, Not $4,000″ etc. pitches. One guy (who will remain nameless) really bothered me by not teaching, but instead doing a 90 pitch for his service.”

“Maybe it’s just me?” he asked.

I don’t think he’s alone in his thinking. And, when I read his message I thought that perhaps this was the first event like this that he attended. However, it was not. And, when he sent the following reply, I asked for his permission to post it here as I thought he expressed his sentiments beautifully.

So, thanks to guest blogger, Scott Palat. Here is the rest of his email. . .

Let me clarify where I am coming from and tell me if I am making sense. First of all, for any coach who goes into an event looking at numbers and putting pressure on themselves to speak and “sell”, that’s a tough situation to be in.

If I were going to speak and try to sell at an event, I would go into it just being grateful that I get to know more stand-up people and I would certainly teach my ass off while clearly thinking of how my teaching will benefit the crowd.

My goal would be to “WOW” the crowd with real information they can truly benefit from. Then, I would have a unique soft offer that would not include the entire discount formula that sounds so cheesey in my opinion. I would simply offer an “event special” and feel good no matter what.

I would be proud that I did my best to help others in the room and I would be grateful to hang out with other stand up coaches for three days. That alone is worth the money. On top of this, I would know that good things would come to me whether I sold a single package or not. I wouldn’t get stressed out if no one bought, because I know it all comes back.

That said, if you had met me two years ago, things might have been different. Back then, I wasn’t that in tune with knowing good things happen no matter what. I had to evolve to have this new state of mind and for anyone over-selling and under-teaching, they too need to evolve. That’s all I am really saying.

I actually had to forgive one of the experts who spoke at a conference I attended in 2006 that was a straight up pitch fest!

During this particular event, I was hanging out with one of my consultants who was also speaking (he was 1 of 2 people that actually taught and gave value. The other 10 just sold). This particular expert had completed their “pitch”and came to the back of the room to speak with my consultant. I was still standing there and I have to say, this guy came across so rude and uncaring about the people in the room that it disgusted me. It was evident that he only cared about money.

Fast forward to last month when I saw him again, I was still sort of mad at him, but decided to forgive him and have a conversation to see if he changed. He sure did change! He evolved just like I did. In fact, I love the guy now.

I think that more of the speakers associated with events such as these need to evolve in that manner.

Good things come to those who sincerely go out of their way to help others…without keeping score. You just gotta believe it and feel good about serving others & putting their needs before your own.

What do you think? I value your feedback so please share your comments below. Feel free to share what else you’d like to see me talk about here. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks!

About guest blogger Scott Palat: Scott is CEO of Healthy Revelations Inc & TutorFi LTD. He is on the verge of releasing his new Evolutionary Training & Coaching Software (ETC Software) that is destined to change the coaching and training world. You can view a demo at http://www.TutorFi.com/software-demo.htm


  1. I really appreciated this article. I love attending live events for the education and networking aspects, however, I dread the sales pitches, especially from those that only have money on the mind. I think if you are authentic and truly want to serve your fellow man, the right clients will identify themselves and you will work with the people that will value your products and/or services.

  2. Hi Scott,

    That’s so interesting how your relationship evolved with the expert. I’m inspired to know that people change – and it’s up to us to give them the space and grace to change at their own pace!

    I think we all need help with our sales pitches. I heard a wonderful TED talk about how to approach people with your business. I can’t remember who the speaker was, but it was so interesting to hear him talk about the bottom line of a good business. He said if we start from a “why” (why do you do what you do? Why are you in the business you’re in?), then you can better express your business to your clients, which will improve sales.

    I don’t know if this makes sense – I just wrote a 1,700 blog post and I’m a bit bleary-eyed and bleary-brained! 🙂

    Stay true to you,
    Laurie – the Adventurous Writer recently posted…How Will You Pay for College? 10 Ways to Cut College CostsMy Profile

  3. Good post, thanks for sharing! I really believe that if you have a desire to serve others and that comes across in your sales pitch then the rest will fall into place!
    Vanessa Terrell recently posted…Christmas Message Stylish StripesMy Profile

    • When you serve others, there is no sales “pitch.” You share valuable tips, pointers, strategies, etc. that they can implement in their lives (personal or professional) as they see fit. I think once they know, like & trust you Vanessa, then you’ll probably be the first person they think of when they need assistance.

  4. Thanks for sharing. This is how I teach as well, value first. Great article. anita
    Anita recently posted…Cashing In On CraigslistMy Profile

  5. I’ll never for get the first event I went to. There was a lot of great information. There were tables outside the room to purchase from other vendors but the speaker was so smooth in making her offer that it made you “want” to buy it! That being said I’ve been at events where it is a pitch fest and I was sorry I attended. There was no value and a waste of time. I wouldn’t want anyone to ever think that of me and my presentations. I want them to walk away thinking I really added value and actionable steps.
    Toni Nelson recently posted…Twitter InfographicMy Profile

  6. I wanted to thank everyone for their comments.

    It’s funny and cool that my email ended up on Debra’s blog. My intent of that original email to her was to coach her up on not doing the same thing most of the speakers did at the event we attended together.

    I wasn’t sure if that was the norm or not.

    I feel good that others like you all have had a chance to read my rant. I do consider my email a rant, because I wrote it when I was kind of angry and really in the mood to get it off my chest.

    Debra stepped right into that one as she told me about a future event she might be speaking at.

    There is just no bigger turn off from a guru/expert than being sold to and I am grateful that Debra put this on her blog for others to read.

    I also hope some guru/experts read this post and consider changing their ways when it comes to selling on stage and not teaching.

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