Fairly shortly (if it hasn’t started already), your inboxes and social feeds are going to be saturated with free webinars, launch series, teasers, and affiliate links. Even online, you can recognize the elbowing to the front, jostling for position, sneaky manipulative behaviour : this isn’t Grade 5 or a federal election; it’s Launch Season.
Launch season is the time when entrepreneurs work to meet their revenue targets, leveraging the opportunity that comes with Black Friday/SBSaturday/CyberMonday, and using the energy boost that comes with the season change.
I’m not immune either. A couple of years ago, I was in a mastermind with someone who was hosting a large online event as part of their launch strategy. I have to hand it to them: the positioning of this event was incredible. When they invited me to attend, I was more than happy to say yes. #alwayslearning
Now here come the Red Flags.
A week or so later, I received a massive box in the mail with all sorts of event swag.
This was a free event and that was a huge box of goodies. This sort of disconnect is what’s called “reciprocal marketing”. They’ve given you time, attention, and stuff; now you feel obliged to do the same…with your money.
On the day of the event, I showed up to the first workshop and felt immediately uncomfortable. The workshops weren’t informational or transformational, they were poorly disguised sales pitches.
This “bait & switch” is very common. We experience it often in webinars for high ticket programs. Essentially, they aren’t giving you what they said they were going to give you.
When attendees had questions, they were sent to a sales team instead of the program host addressing those questions live.
These people are called “closers” and they’re specifically trained to address objections in order to sell more seats.
The next day the persistent emails and the phone calls started. Short personalized emails that asked me to hop on a call then phone calls with voicemails even though I didn’t respond to the emails.
Consent, people. If someone hasn’t agreed to getting on a call, calling anyway is pestering and pestering is manipulative. I have strong objections to phone numbers on online event registration forms for this exact reason.
Days later, out of curiosity and frustration, I hopped on a call with one of the team members with zero intention of buying in. They were kind, seemingly interested in me and my business, and they verbally related to me throughout the call. They also pushed me toward the program offering bonuses but only if I signed up then and there.
A clear yes is a clear yes and a great time to ask your client to sign up. BUT if someone says you don’t need to speak to your partner or think about it, run fast. Impulse buying is a real thing and that’s what they’re hoping for. Also a real thing? Purchase regret.
Fast forward to post-launch and the program host boasted their launch figures inside our mastermind as a “multi-6 figure launch”.
Beware of numbers that don’t tell you anything. That multi-6 figure launch is before they calculate the swag boxes, affiliate fees, live band (I know), sales team commissions, and all the other expenses associated with the event.
As a client, each one of these red flags pushes me further away from trusting that service provider. As a service provider, each one of these red flags is an opportunity to do things differently.
As we move through launch season, here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re tempted to buy into a new program (mine included btw).
Are they using manipulative tactics to sell me into their program?
Can I take some time to think about the purchase?
Can I ask questions?
How customizable is this program to my situation?
Will this work for my growth phase?
Is this investment good for my business or is it fomo?
Discernment is everything. Your business is not the same as any other. No other business owner is juggling the same things you are. As you grow and scale, your challenges may change…but the one thing that stays the same is that need for discernment.
One promise I’ll make to you. If you aren’t sure whether one of my programs is the right fit for you, you can always ask. No closers. Just honest feedback based on you and your business.