Yesterday, in our private Facebook Group, one of our Thrivers posted about how he was frustrated that he was only able to get 3 people to attend his first group program and felt drained and disappointed.
He mentioned that maybe he priced it too low ($500) and perhaps people didn’t value it.
Here was my response:
First, I want to acknowledge you for creating a group program, and doing your very best to fill it. I also appreciate your courage in sharing what you describe as draining and disappointing.
I'd like to speak to both the Outer Game and the Inner Game when it comes to filling programs:
My first question is less about the price of your program (although being aligned with your price is very important). I want to know how you went about filling the program. We've found that, by far, the easiest ways to fill your first few group programs is by delivering free consultations and/or speaking to groups.
When you master the art of delivering Free Consultations, you can expect about 50% of your people to say Yes. So if you want 10 people in your program, you need to do at least 20 free consults.
(Some of our clients consistently get 90% conversion, but 50% is pretty typical for having mastered free consultations.)
And when you become amaster at speaking to groups, if 25% of the people say YES to your program, you're doing amazing. So you would need to speak in front of 40 people to get 10 YES's.
(25% is pretty conservative... Sharla and I have been getting 40-45% conversion for our high end programs when we speak to groups live.)
If these numbers are not happening, there's nothing wrong with you... it just means you need to practice and get more mastery in delivering free consultations and speaking to groups.
And once you master filling programs through free consults and speaking to groups, you can start to look at other ways to fill your group programs, such as teleseminars, webinars, and/or videos, which is a more advanced skill we teach in our Get Leverage Program.
I believe that the biggest mistake most coaches and holistic practitioners make when they create their first group program is expecting to hit a home run on their first or second time at bat.
I've found that without exception, group programs take LOTS of energy to launch. Because you have to create the program AND fill the program. It's a little bit like birthing a baby... the baby doesn't always come out when you want it to come out, at the size you want, and with the disposition you were hoping for.
The people who get GREAT results the first time out, almost always put in a TON of energy into launching their program.
Not everyone has the time and energy to hit a home run on their first time at bat, and it's easy to make up that if your program doesn't effortlessly fill, that you're failing...
What you're really doing when you launch your first group program is gathering momentum.
For example, we put a TON of energy into our very first Client Attraction Summit more than a decade ago and had 88 people show up. 14 of these people signed up for our Client Attraction Mastery program which we offered for $1,000 at the time. We were pretty excited.
The second time we led the Client Attraction Mastery program, we didn't put in as much energy into filling it, and only 6 people signed up. We were disappointed and embarrassed. How could we teach client attraction when our attendance dropped by more than half???
But we didn't cancel the program and we didn't quit. We just kept building momentum.
It's now been more than 10 years and we've had well over 1,000 people go through our Client Attraction Mastery Program (the live event version). And with all of the energy we put into our recent launch, it feels like our momentum has greatly increased again.
I believe a good portion of our success is due to the fact that we have never cancelled a program, no matter how many people were enrolled in it (and we could have cancelled many programs over the years).
Now, I will say that every once in a great while, cancelling a program is the most compassionate thing you can do for yourself. For example, you may recognize that by running a program you might end up putting yourself in a dangerous health or financial position. Or you may just get a clear no to running the program, and realize that it was the wrong niche or needs to be majorly restructured before you introduce it again. In this case, do what you need to do to cancel the program with impeccable integrity.
But most of the time, I believe that cancelling your program for lack of attendance is an act of self-sabotage and three things happen:
1) You send a message to the Universe that you're not that serious about bringing this program out into the world.
2) You break the momentum of your program. There are people who need to hear about your program a few times... and might "coincidentally" hear about your program from people who have taken your program and loved it... You lose out on this momentum when you cancel the program and give in to defeat.
3) When you are willing to cancel a program because of lack of attendance, you are at best 99% committed to the program. And when you're 99% committed, your people will feel it, and will be more likely to waffle in their commitment to you.
So, I recommend you don't give yourself a back door by saying: "if I only get ____ people, I will cancel the program."
Instead, shut the back door and lock it by declaring: "I'm leading this program NO MATTER WHAT. So UNIVERSE, send me the CLIENTS who will most benefit from my work. I am willing to do the inner and outer work to get the clients... Show me the way."
If nobody signs up for your program, then lead the program to yourself. While you're leading it to yourself or 1 person or 2, or 5 or 10, ask yourself continually "how can I make this better?"
And visualize leading this program to dozens or hundreds or thousands of people. It's amazing how much momentum you will create through your unstoppable commitment.
In any case, I honor you for what you have done. You are on the right track and the Universe is on your side. I look forward to hearing about your soul-rejoicing success.