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Personal Development and Success Marketing

I have a question. I would like to get some insight from people here who market training and training tools, as well as personal development venues. Everything from fitness to selling skills to personal motivation, etc. I would also be interested in replies from potential buyers or subscribers for such intangibles--I think that means all of us.

My question is this: In the areas described above, are people looking for solutions "in a box"? I'll assume most of you know what that figure of speech means--but if not--I'll elaborate on it down the road.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. - by Gary Boye
My question is this: In the areas described above, are people looking for solutions "in a box"?
As a potential buyer my guess is that the answer would be, "Yes." - by Gilbert
I'm not sure I know what you mean by "solutions in a box" but if was wanting sales training, for example, and signed up for a seminar on sales training then I would expect at the end of that seminar to have a working model to sell from. Is that what you meant? - by Mikey
I'm not sure I know what you mean by "solutions in a box" but if was wanting sales training, for example, and signed up for a seminar on sales training then I would expect at the end of that seminar to have a working model to sell from. Is that what you meant?
I guess the expression usually is a methaphor for something that is perceived as self contained, simple, yet comprehensive. It certainly doesn't have to be a tangible. For instance, Weight Watchers could be in that category.


"Hey--you look good! Lost a few pounds?"


"Yep. I joined Weight Watchers



Self contained, simple, comprehensive. At least as perceived and/or marketed.



But you mentioned a sales training seminar. Not so simple. There are more than 400 members here and several who actively post daily. A very small percentage are trainers themselves. Much of the discussion is about learning and training. Yet--I only recall three posts that revealed that anybody had ever signed up for formal training. One was my own. One was Jeff's--recalling attending an Anthony Robbins seminar years ago. And--I think somebody once mentioned they took a Dale Carnegie course.

So maybe sales training seminars are not solutions in a box--so to speak.

That's just an observation--I'm in no way being judgmental. And--we have no proof that the members here are a reliable measure for the selling culture at large. Maybe. Maybe not.

Thanks for your input, Mikey. But back to the original question. I'm hoping I'll get more replies. - by Gary Boye
So maybe sales training seminars are not solutions in a box--so to speak.
I haven't heard of any sales training seminars that were solutions in a box.

Usually, I hear just the opposite. Actually, I'm really surprised at how often I hear different trainers programs being cut down. - by Houston
I haven't heard of any sales training seminars that were solutions in a box.

Usually, I hear just the opposite. Actually, I'm really surprised at how often I hear different trainers programs being cut down.
Houston, thanks. I'm not sure I get the meaning of "cut down". Do you mean shortened in content--or--criticized as noneffective?

Is it possible, do you think, that sales training is less marketable (a relative term I realize) because it lacks the mental association we're calling "in a box"? In other words--something a person can just go out and grab, plunk down some money, and say..."I'm all set!"? - by Gary Boye
Houston, thanks. I'm not sure I get the meaning of "cut down". Do you mean shortened in content--or--criticized as noneffective?

Is it possible, do you think, that sales training is less marketable (a relative term I realize) because it lacks the mental association we're calling "in a box"? In other words--something a person can just go out and grab, plunk down some money, and say..."I'm all set!"?
I was referring to sales training program being criticized as non-effective. This criticism typically starts off with something like this, "Traditional Sales Techniques Don't Work..." - by Houston
I was referring to sales training program being criticized as non-effective. This criticism typically starts off with something like this, "Traditional Sales Techniques Don't Work..."
Yes, I hear that from some people in sales, and from people who teach less conventional methods. In a certain context, I often say something similar myself. Do you have an opinion? And in terms of this thread's query, would an unconventional method or model be more likely to be perceived as "a solution in a box"?

I appreciate your input. I'm trying to work something out in my own mind. - by Gary Boye
Yes, I hear that from some people in sales, and from people who teach less conventional methods. In a certain context, I often say something similar myself. Do you have an opinion? And in terms of this thread's query, would an unconventional method or model be more likely to be perceived as "a solution in a box"?

I appreciate your input. I'm trying to work something out in my own mind.
My opinion is that some sales training helps some people but doesn't help others.

As for models, I would think a conventional model would be more likely to be perceived as "a solution in a box". - by Houston
Coming at this from a different angle--anyone who purchases training, isn't really purchasing training. They are purchasing the result that they get for that training...say, the ability to close sales in 50% less time.

So when you market training, to me "putting it in a box" means packaging it as a specific result in a specific period of time: "Learn how to close sales 50% faster in 30 days!"

Terri Z - by Terri Zwierzynski
So when you market training, to me "putting it in a box" means packaging it as a specific result in a specific period of time: "Learn how to close sales 50% faster in 30 days!"
Terri Z
Terri, is it also possible that the "result" --at least the anticipated result that the buyer envisions is more immediate. Plunking down x amount of dollars to reinvent themselves? An emotionally gratifying purchase.

Does anybody remember Charles Atlas and the ads that ran for years targeting the "97 pound weakling"? That was probably the most successful marketing campaign about personal development in history. - by Gary Boye
I've been to Tom Hopkins boot camp, seminars, Rick Grosso traing camp, Brian Tracy seminar and a few lesser known sales trainer seminars and I'm a sales trainer myself. Any sales training is only good if the person recieving the training is willing to utilize it. In the box, outta the box, no where near the box, it does'nt matter it's always up to the individual to use what they are trained. - by klozerking
I've been to Tom Hopkins boot camp, seminars, Rick Grosso traing camp, Brian Tracy seminar and a few lesser known sales trainer seminars and I'm a sales trainer myself. Any sales training is only good if the person recieving the training is willing to utilize it. In the box, outta the box, no where near the box, it does'nt matter it's always up to the individual to use what they are trained.
The topic was on the marketing of personal development programs--not the value or varying results. The latter has been discussed on other threads. - by Gary Boye
Yes, I hear that from some people in sales, and from people who teach less conventional methods. In a certain context, I often say something similar myself. Do you have an opinion? And in terms of this thread's query, would an unconventional method or model be more likely to be perceived as "a solution in a box"?

I appreciate your input. I'm trying to work something out in my own mind.
I have re-read this thread a few times and am still not clear on what you are looking for, but as a consumer, when I see an "unconventional" method, I tend to look at that as marketing--or "slant." They are trying to somehow distinguish themselves from the crowd (understandably). However, I personally tend to be suspicious of some of these approaches because they often make claims that seem to defy logic--of course that is their hook--purposefully designed to get your attention and somehow promise you success without effort.

Also, in response to your "in a box" question, I think it would make a difference if this product were marketed to brand new salesmen who would want to walk away from your program with all the tools needed to embark on a successful career in sales or if you were marketing to existing sales people with a method to improve their performance by targeting one specific skill, such as prospecting. In this case, the result would be more narrow.

I'm assuming you are asking because you are considering the marketing feasibility of a sales program of some type. I have benefitted tremdously from many of your posts, but I will tell you that the very best advice I ever received from you came from your post on my thread "approaching the big boys" where you told me how to stop intellecutalizing my approach and become a human being soliciting assistance. I don't know why, but that really set off a light bulb for me and has affected the nature of my contact with people at every level from the point forward.

It you can teach people how to stop using a sales formula and re-introduce the human factor into their sales equation, I think you would will develop a quickly growing body of loyal followers who will get life- and career-changing results from your program. - by RainMaker
Like reading this thread, I like lots of context from lots of perspectives BUT I think we all have a tendency to look for something in a box that is efficient, effective, and a magical tool to make us immediately successful. Of course there is nothing that concise to be found upon request.

I'll admit that I look for magic formulas and quick answers for immediate gratification and instant success YET I know this is a game I play knowing better - that everything is contextual and relational.

I found a book a few years ago and began a study of it looking for help, looking for something that would help me fix myself up and "sell" better - looking for a quick fix-up. Today, a few years later still in study, the thesis of this book having to do with re-inventing the selling process is becoming how I do business and it has rather than box me in open me up.

At the same time I continue to look at other perspectives and training materials because it's my nature to be curious and interested - there's always something to be learned.

I don't know if this answer will be helpful to anyone or not, but it's as close as I can come in a quick posting with no thought other than what's just come out describing how I look at this topic. - by MitchM
It you can teach people how to stop using a sales formula and re-introduce the human factor into their sales equation, I think you would will develop a quickly growing body of loyal followers who will get life- and career-changing results from your program.
Please elaborate. Even better, perhaps you can start a new thread on this. - by SalesGuy
It you can teach people how to stop using a sales formula and re-introduce the human factor into their sales equation, I think you would will develop a quickly growing body of loyal followers who will get life- and career-changing results from your program.

Please elaborate. Even better, perhaps you can start a new thread on this.
I LOVE what RainMaker posted. The "human factor", in my opinion, has to do with genuinely caring about the person you are selling to. Do you care about what they need? Do you listen? If you are selling something that will improve their life in some way, do you convey that to them in a way that they understand it?

If you aren't doing those things, all the tactics in the world won't work (they might work on a limited number of people, but you ain't gonna get no repeat sales!)

IMHO. RainMaker, not to put words in your mouth -- if you meant something different, please share! - by Terri Zwierzynski
I LOVE what RainMaker posted. The "human factor", in my opinion, has to do with genuinely caring about the person you are selling to. Do you care about what they need? Do you listen? If you are selling something that will improve their life in some way, do you convey that to them in a way that they understand it?

If you aren't doing those things, all the tactics in the world won't work (they might work on a limited number of people, but you ain't gonna get no repeat sales!)

IMHO. RainMaker, not to put words in your mouth -- if you meant something different, please share!
Bravo! :cool: - by SalesGuy
IMHO. RainMaker, not to put words in your mouth -- if you meant something different, please share!
No, Terriz. That is EXACTLY what I mean. Thanks:) - by RainMaker
Gary, I'm sorry. I just realized that we digressed on YOUR thread instead of MINE. I think I will start a new thread on this topic.

Again, Sorry, Gary. - by RainMaker
Neat discussion on some music I love. I collect blues and some jazz. I was lucky enough to hear in person a few of the greats before they passed. Big Joe Turner when he was in his eighties could still shout the blues Kansas City style.

You guys might appreciate this. Remember John Sebastian? Lead singer with the Lovin' Spoonfull. Did his thing at Woodstock. A lot of people don't realize --but-- way back when--the group was second only to The Beatles in sales of records. Well--anyway--about four years ago I'm in a Borders book store and John's there on a book signing. He writes children's books. And he had his guitar with him and decided to perform a little twenty minute set of jug band music which happened to be his real passion. He talked about the music--about Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Sleepy John Estes--and it meant so much to him. Here was this guy who was part of a superstar group just rapping to about ten of us. Then he talked about Lightnin Hopkins and he played a little of his work--and he came to the line "...keeps rollin' cross my mind.." and everybody just broke out clapping and John had this big smile. He had revealed the source of his inspiration for "Younger Girl".....keeps rollin' cross my mind. - by Gary Boye
Ok, many of these are unknown to me, but I can join you for a resounding chorus of: "The Piano Has Been Drinking" by Tom Waites--which is about the most obsure song I know and was surprised to see him on your list. I have some familiarity with Lou Reed from a long time ago. I LOVE Nora Jones (her music is fun to sing too). Bonnie Raitt is great, too. Well, Ok come to think of I have a couple Tracey Chapman CDs. (I recall the year she took every award at the music awards and then the Christian singer who won the award for the Contemporary Christian category started out by thanking Tracy Chapman for not putting out any music in his category!) Of course I know the bigger ones, but I will take a listen to a sampling of those from your list whom I am not familiar with.

I have this strange compulsion: When I am an someone's house whom I am just getting acquainted with, I always browse their music collection if it is in plain sight off in a corner of the living room somewhere. There is no deep meaning or judgment on my part in the type of music they enjoy, but for some reason that is a way I connect with people. :rolleyes:

A 2-hour walk to start each day?? Wow, that would be my dream come true! Emjoy it.
I have a book complusion - I get into a home where there's bookshelves full of books and I'm in them invited or not - but I always ask and am told "by all means" -- I have a friend with a Classical collection and World Music collection that is way beyond my musical experiences - so much music in the world and so little time to take it all in. - by MitchM
I have a book complusion .... so much music in the world and so little time to take it all in.
Uh-oh. I do that TOO! Your last statement is an understatement! (and can be applied to so many things...wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to waste so much time sleeping?") - by RainMaker
Joanne, thank you so much for your input.

Specifically, when you mention "groups", are you referring to categories, like demographics or psychographics? Or are you referring to insitutionalized groups--for example, trade organizations for specific industries that might sponsor training venues? Or something else?
Trade organizations, yes. Altho, my main thoughts were about groups of independent sales pracititioners (demo and psychographics)...or any group of independents..as opposed to organized business institutions. Easier to deal with people who are more creative, less rigid, and not in fear for their jobs.

Later,

Joanne - by Joanne Victoria
Neat discussion on some music I love. I collect blues and some jazz. I was lucky enough to hear in person a few of the greats before they passed. Big Joe Turner when he was in his eighties could still shout the blues Kansas City style.

You guys might appreciate this. Remember John Sebastian? Lead singer with the Lovin' Spoonfull. Did his thing at Woodstock. A lot of people don't realize --but-- way back when--the group was second only to The Beatles in sales of records. Well--anyway--about four years ago I'm in a Borders book store and John's there on a book signing. He writes children's books. And he had his guitar with him and decided to perform a little twenty minute set of jug band music which happened to be his real passion. He talked about the music--about Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Sleepy John Estes--and it meant so much to him. Here was this guy who was part of a superstar group just rapping to about ten of us. Then he talked about Lightnin Hopkins and he played a little of his work--and he came to the line "...keeps rollin' cross my mind.." and everybody just broke out clapping and John had this big smile. He had revealed the source of his inspiration for "Younger Girl".....keeps rollin' cross my mind.
Wow--I must confess, I did not recognize a name or a song :o but you made that sound so wonderful, I wish I could have been there nonetheless! - by RainMaker
Trade organizations, yes. Altho, my main thoughts were about groups of independent sales pracititioners (demo and psychographics)...or any group of independents..as opposed to organized business institutions. Easier to deal with people who are more creative, less rigid, and not in fear for their jobs.
I agree--and that last comment has a lot of relevancy. Thank you for your insight, Joanne. - by Gary Boye
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