One common tactic of many Singapore trainers is to offer free preview seminars. The trainers do this in the belief that if they were to charge, no one will turn-up for their previews.
I am totally against this tactic for two reasons ...
Firstly, if you truly have something of value to offer, why should you be afraid of asking potential clients to pay? In the same light, if the potential client values you as trainer and thinks you have something of value to offer, paying a token sum to attend a seminar should not deter him. In fact, giving your knowledge away for free actually undermines your value with the potential client.
For me, I do not do previews. What I do do is conduct mini-workshops where I charge potential clients a token sum to attend. Hence, for the potential client that does attend my workshops, he or she can be assured of learning something useful. In addition, as they have paid, they will be less concerned about having to sit through a selling presentation.
Secondly, charging a token sum for my workshop allows me to qualify my clients and to weed out the freeloaders. There are many workshop junkies out there and they feed off free previews. The worse scenario is a competitor coming to one of your previews to "steal" information for their own programs. While you cannot stop them from coming, as long as they pay for the information, I can live with that.
My own statistics prove that while I may have slightly fewer participants (20% on average)at my mini-workshops, those that are present already value me and my services and are therefore more likely to sign-up for my full-workshop (approximately 30%). Thus, while on the surface, having a free preview sounds attractive, I believe that the negative effects far out-weigh the positives.
If you don't value your own time and knowledge, your potential client won't either.