It’s a well-documented fact – statistically, people are more scared of public speaking than actual death by several nasty causes and, given the radical differences between a well-polished speech by a professional and the ad-hoc ones we might have slapped together, it’s easy to understand why.
We feel, basically, like amateurs when we are, of course, professionals and have been treated as such for many years.
On the other hand, for those owners looking to grow their businesses, public speaking can be extremely lucrative. Why wouldn’t you try it – and try to get better at it?
Before we get into how to sell from the front of the room during a speaking event, let’s look at your business. If there were ever a time to have the systems in place to allow you to undertake a potentially massive influx of new clients, this is the place, so looking inwardly has to be part of this strategy.
How many new clients can you potentially onboard?
Tony Robbins has the systems in place to sell hundreds or thousands in one weekend, you, most likely, don’t –even if all you sell is something fairly mundane – you must be able to deliver on the sale.
Imagine, then, being a web designer who is a “solopreneur” and, as the result of a well-received speech to a local Chamber group, suddenly has 15 new clients?
The result would be a month of lost sales while they scurry to deliver on the products they sold, potentially unhappy clients as a result of not having their website built “fast enough” and, at the end of the day, when all the websites were built and delivered, no new sales in the pipeline or the sales funnel.
On the other hand, let’s take that same web designer, give her a small team that can handle the content and the programming and allow her to be the “rainmaker” since she really has a knack for sales and is fun to listen to on stage and that same entrepreneur (she’s not alone now!) can give her speech to the Chamber, sell her 15 sites, and continue to build and sell – and increase the sales and the size of her company.
Systems and team are the foundations of success as a speaker.
You cannot effectively sell from the stage or from the front of the room if you cannot handle a purchase from every person in that room.
Why? When you set foot on the stage or the host introduced you, you suddenly had status as an expert in your field. As a result, the audience suspended a degree of belief about you and allowed you to lead them to a place – a place where, you hope, they bought one of your products or services.
If you can’t deliver on that in a timely manner, two things happen in your clients’ brains: One, they dislike the fact that you can’t deliver and two, they feel you directly lied to them about your knowledge, skills, and abilities.
As you can imagine, this can be hard to overcome.
Build your fulfillment systems robustly, ensure you can deliver products and services in a timely manner, and then, it will be time to take…
The Next Steps…
Now that you have to have robust systems that can allow you to deliver on the promise you are making to that audience – “Every one of you need what I have to sell, and I can take care of each of you with my expertise and team.” If you are the rainmaker, then you need to have the team and the systems to allow you to keep making it rain, not to get stuck programming, or building, or delivering, or engineering.
Your job, if you are selling and presenting, is just that: selling and presenting.
So how do you do it?
There are plenty of formulas, and some work for everyone and some work best only for specialists or those with a certain degree of reputation in their field. The important thing to remember is this – the big speakers aren’t pitching your products or services and you aren’t’ pitching theirs.
Here are some hints on how to expertly craft the one you need, now. Certainly, PowerPoint can be effective and is practically expected these days, but it isn’t a crutch – it’s an added point to help you reinforce.
Start off by acknowledging the person and/or company that is introducing you, especially if you are presenting during one of their events. Remember, it’s their audience and you have to build rapport.
Next, acknowledge the audience and ask them, collectively, one or two questions that they would find pertinent in their business. Are you speaking about social media? Ask them, by show of hands, how many times they’ve checked their accounts that day, then tie that back to a bigger statistic… “Yep, you and two billion other people checked in today, too. Every person you ever need to know to expand your business is on Facebook right now.”
As you close down the introduction phase of your presentation, tell your audience what it is you’re going to teach them and then, hint at the offer you are going to be making. In our social media example, that could look something like this, “I’m going to share three critical parts of the Facebook marketing puzzle today – things that you can start using as soon as you leave here today, and then, I’m also going to share an even easier way for you to do that to save you 5-8 hours per week. Sound good?”
Your presentation – the body of your speech – then dives into those three points. At the same time, using real examples – people, companies, testimonials, etc… is important. You have to illustrate a “before and after” state for your audience AND humanize the business. Give your audience real value!
As you start to wrap up, you’re going to restate those points, and then discuss the actual offer you are going to make. Use the same tone that you’ve been using this whole time and make sure that you have the time left to be able to discuss it! “By now, you’ve seen how effective…” and then, “As I said earlier, the easiest way to deploy all these strategies is to use XYZ Corporation and our Facebook Ad Power Program.”
The pitch, though, has to come from a place – and be reinforced by – the benefits of the offer, not the features. Tie back to your examples, with real people or companies and case studies or testimonials from clients.
Lastly, you want to make it easy for your audience to buy – AND – to find out more information. Close your time out by thanking them and assuring them that you are going to the back of the room and will be available to not only get them signed up, but to answer any questions they have about the program or product and – if necessary – reinforce any prices or discounts they get as a result of the seminar they are attending or the memberships they hold.
One presentation, many sales
While a lot of entrepreneurs may only see value in the sales they close at such an event, dollars never tell the whole story for the value of a presentation at a seminar.
Let’s look at two critical parts of the transaction – or lack thereof – after you have made an offer and presentation. First, is the actual closing of the sale to attendees.
In short, you have to be prepared. Contracts, products, order forms, and even members of your team might all need to be there to handle questions, merchandise, and even sit in with prospects for strategies your team can assist them with.
Remember, though, the fortune is in the follow up! As a presenter, you should always be able to collect the names of the attendees. The best way is to use a software package to collect their names, emails, and phone numbers, and you can do this by offering an ebook, the PowerPoint you presented, or some other free gift that is pertinent. Think of this as a way to add value AND grow your own database.
The goal is to start up a conversation with all the attendees, and of course, that is best handled through your CRM and email automation, not a “newsletter” giveaway.
As for the attendees that bought your product, in order to not lose the sale as a result of buyer’s remorse or second thoughts, communication is critical, too. A personal call to all your new clients not only makes them feel special, it can also open up lines of communication – especially in high-ticket sales and mentoring/coaching products – that can alleviate any issues down the road.
Here’s the thing to remember: everything I’ve described in these pages and the previous articles is built and designed in a system – in this case, a system for onboarding new clients in a seminar or live event. The end result, of course, is to convert every attendee into, at the very least, a prospect in your database.
As the weeks pass, though, you want to have the structure to continue to nurture those prospects into your sales funnel and to convert them from prospects to buyers – no matter how big the ticket.
Get over yourself and embrace the opportunities that speaking can open up for your business and your bank account. The formulas are simple and the successes revolutionize your business model.
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