How to Get the Right People to Hit the Yes Button for Your Retreat – Part 1


How to Get the Right People to Hit the Yes Button for Your Retreat – Part 1

Does your retreat offer a return on investment?

So many people I know are running business retreats. There are Retreats to unwind or to speed up. Retreats to connect with a group or to disconnect with the world. Retreats to write a book or create a blog. Podcasting Retreats, create-a-course Retreats, website Retreats, and train the trainer Retreats.

There are also Retreats to plan your life, and other Retreats to chuck your life plan away. And our very own Mayor of Smallville runs, amongst his many offerings, a Retreat to learn how to run the best Retreats.  

Any one of these Retreats might be the one I need. They’re certainly all tempting. Yet I haven’t signed up for a business Retreat for a while, and I’ve been asking myself why. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Retreat, and I’ve run my fair share over the years.

Recently, though, I’ve run more ‘Retreats for One’ than group retreats to make sure I am answering the needs of that person in that moment.

The question is, how we can run group retreats that feel as if they are so bespoke and useful that they answer the needs of each person as if they are a ‘Retreat for One’? 

The answer is engagement before, during and after the Retreat, and an honest matching of needs to your offering. 

If you run retreats, check that your Retreat will answer each person’s needs. You want the right people to make the right group. A touch of curation of your group can go a very long way. 

The main reasons I don’t sign up might be the very clues to filling your retreats with the right people.  

There are just four main reasons I don’t usually sign up. 

1. I think I don’t need it. 

2. If I think I need it, I believe I don’t have the money. 

3. If I think I need it and can find the money, I believe I don’t have the time. 

4. I am not convinced of the return on investment. 

(There are a few other reasons. I’ll cover them in part two of this article)

So, convince me. This is how. 

1. Ask me what wakes me up at night. Then solve my problems with your Retreat. 

Really, the first step is to check what I’m having difficulty with and show me how your retreat will solve those problems. You can do that in a webinar, a survey or a chat. Chats are best.

Once you’ve asked, be sure the solutions to my problems will be found at the Retreat. If they won’t be, encourage me not to go. It will be better for everyone.  

2. Convince me it’s worth the financial outlay. 

Everyone judges how worthwhile it will be based on their own money mindset. Find out what mine is and help me to understand how the spend will pay itself off in clarity, confidence and commitment. Show me the savings that will result from the spending. 

3. Convince me it’s worth my time.

Show me how my time will be well spent. Explain how it will save time in the long run and that instead of running around in circles doing things that are not really worthwhile on my own, you, as the Retreat leader, will make every minute I spend a contribution worthwhile. You will create a triple win – for me, for those in the Retreat group, and for the outcomes. 

4. Show me the return on investment.  

I need to know there will be a mix of learning from the experts, amplifying my own skills, and sharing of group experience. I want to know before I get there that it will be engaging and productive.

Mostly I’d like to know I will be taking away a ‘thing’: I will have completed some of my workload or be ready to do it and be supported on my return. I’d love a book outline, a plan for my podcast series, a speaker kit, my next retreat planned and ready, or a set of facilitation tools that I can apply the very next time I face a group. But only if I was planning to do that thing anyway.  

Once you’ve helped me work out if it is right for me, you’ll want me there, I’ll want to be there, and the group will benefit from me being part of the cohort.  If I have the need and you have the solution, yours will be the next Retreat I sign up for.

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  • Kate Lemerle

    Rosemary I found this a most valuable article – I offer both bespoke small-group and individual retreats at Norfolk island (South Pacific) and finding the right marketing edge to make the investment irresistible is a perpetual challenge. I can’t wait for Part 2.

  • Rosemary

    Kate, this is wonderful to read. Norfolk Island is a place of particular interest to me at the moment as I follow the work of Kerry Grace and her colleagues at Regional Development Australia, mid-north coast. What kind of bespoke retreats do you offer? I’d love to know more. I’d also love to know what your challenges are in finding the right marketing edge

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