Let me start by saying I have a tremendous amount of respect for Tony Robbins and other Information Sellers. I believe that much of what they do can work, if it is applied correctly over a sustained period of time. In fact, I have purchased three Information Sellers products and seen value in them. So this article is intended to be a “Buyer be ware” and keep your emotions in check!
Information Seller: A professional who is selling you information, usually on how you can make more money in an easy way. Examples include: “Buy my program and you will sell even more houses”, “Invest in this three day course and you will change your life forever”, “My marketing program will teach you how to avoid the 10 biggest mistakes every consultant makes”, etc.
But here is the problem. Information Sellers get you into their program and then they want to keep you there so they can sell you even more.. Now, to be fair, this is every businesses model. Every single business who understands marketing rallies your emotions with a promise of some result (usually an emotion) to sell you even more things. This is good business, your best customers are repeat customers. Today; however, I am focussed on one particular type of business. Coaching. That’s right, my own industry! As I mentioned, I am doing this so that you can be aware of what is happening when you are in one of these situations and about to spend your money!
These Information Sellers initially get you rallied through infomercials, specially structured websites, or free speaking gigs. In these situations what they are doing is giving you just enough information to feel like you are learning something valuable and then they rally your emotions into the realm of endless possibility and promise. When your emotions are at their highest state they sell you something else.
I get it – It’s important to keep your customers buying in business! However, the customer doesn’t always know that they are being raised to their highest emotional state so that they can be sold something else. Quite frankly, in my opinion, it’s manipulative and disingenuous. Again, I am not saying that the things the Tony Robbins and other information sellers do don’t work. What I am saying is that the buyer doesn’t always know that they are being manipulated into spending more money.
Timothy Ferris is another example of an information seller. In fact, in his book he pretty much comes out and says it. He doesn’t give two cents if you are successful with his material or not (and it isn’t good material by the way) – what he cares about is that you purchased his book so he could make a lot of money. He named his book “The Four Hour Workweek” – Even in his own diary he worked more than four hours a week. He choose a title that would sell you a promise, and emotion. Doing what I do for a living I am exposed to people (friends, family, clients, etc.) who are trying to put his tactics into place. I can guarantee you NONE of the those who I have come across have been successful with his tactics. I am sure they work for some, but you and I both know… for the amount of books he sold, less than 1% of the folks who read it are making it work. The same goes for Tony Robbins.
Noah Kagan wrote about why he walked out on Tony Robbins. He said,
In the first few hours of the seminar, we danced (a lot), massaged our neighbors, fanned our neighbors, did aerobic exercises, pumped our fists, watched Tony run through the audience like some idol, and other ra-ra tactics.
Now, again, I want to be clear. I like Tony Robbins and personally use some of his tactics to improve my life. So I am not saying you shouldn’t go see him, purchase his products or try his strategies. I have been to a Tony Robbins event (I kept my wallet in my pocket). Simply be aware of what his primary intent is – to sell you something else.
Kagan goes on to say,
There was conflict of interest. There’s a day where we talk about health and nutrition… and then he sells supplements. Tony also mentions his other events, and encourages you to sign up for more seminars during the middle of Unleash the Power Within. He name-dropped and bragged constantly. Credibility markers are essential for a presenter to be taken seriously — especially with an audience of 10,000 people. And we all know Tony has done some amazing things. But the number of times he mentioned his relationships with presidents, celebrities, and business people was overkill. We get it — you have a private jet.
This is typical in the industry. In fact, it’s so typical that Noah Kagan is completely disingenuous himself. Check out his blog called Why I Walked Out on Tony Robbins BUT first keep your credit card in the other room because the second you get on Kagan’s site you will see that he is an Information Seller. His article was completely about getting you excited about his products and services and selling you information to lose weight and make more money! (Excuse me while I slam my head on the table!)
It’s incredulous and cynically hilarious!
Tony Robbins recently did a day in Calgary, but most of the day was not hosted by Tony Robbins. Instead, it was hosted by a series of “Guru’s”, who were all given 60 to 90 minute slots to teach you something and then sell you something. A number of our clients came back saying, “they day was okay, but I get more from coming here”. And yet, some of them still felt motivated enough to purchase the products being sold. Now, they are trying to get their money back!
Many of my clients have been to Tony Robbins. Here is some of the feedback I have heard:
The good stuff
- It was really good, I got really pumped up and felt very motivated
- I took some big actions and had some realizations that will change my life
- I loved meeting new people, breaking boundaries and finding a new way to think
The bad stuff
- It was just like his book, I didn’t need to go to the event
- I felt great for a few days but it wasn’t sustainable, nothing I did stuck
- I paid for the VIP with the promise that I would get to sit in the first two rows, but those seats were reserved for his Mastermind clients $75,ooo+ per year
- He mostly only called on people from his mastermind group
- I constantly felt sold too the entire time, we didn’t go deep enough on anything
- It was a bunch of hype but nothing tangible
I am not saying this is all true, and I am not saying these things are all bad. What I am saying is be wary of the marketing tactic and only purchase the additional items if you truly know, logically, that you need them, want them, can afford them, will use them, and can wait until tomorrow to buy them… when you aren’t so hyped up. Be skeptical… be discerning.
Christopher is the CEO and Founder of Change My Life Coaching — a fast growing whole-life coaching company, and the only one of it’s kind. He is also the author of “Go Beyond Passion: Discover Your Dream Job”. Christopher spent 15+ years working in the corporate world with a plethora of industries and companies. His focus was primarily in planning, strategy, and leadership of change management and communication. Christopher is a Certified Master Coach Practitioner (CMCP), trainer and facilitator, and a passionate public speaker who truly cares about the success of each and every single person he comes into contact with. You can reach him at Christopher@ChangeMyLifeCoaching.ca.