Just as writing does more than produce words and sentences, speaking, or at least organizing and then verbalizing your point in an effort to persuade, is at its core what the fine art of selling has always represented.
Back before radio, TV and certainly before all these online platforms, the best orator won the argument, the election and the sale.
While you may never grow to consider yourself an orator of any stripe, there’s a good chance you use your spoken word to convince and convert.
So, what I’m suggesting is that you proactively take this up a notch and add public speaking to the mix as a way to build authority, demonstrate expertise AND increase your sales efficiency.
Okay, authority and expertise maybe you buy, but efficiency?
When you’re asked to present your ideas one client or prospect at a time you can get in front of, say, ten a day at break neck speed. One well thought out presentation might put you in front of several hundred qualified leads who now know who you are, like what you have to say and trust that you know a thing or two about your business because they just heard you deliver some very valuable information over the course of forty-five minutes or so.
Don’t think of this idea as public speaking, think of it as “speaking for leads,” building trust hundreds of people at a time or a group sales education opportunity.
Here are some tips to keep in mind to make your speaking pay off big.
Get referred – You can create your own workshop events, but one of my favorite strategies is to approach two potential groups and offer to present great information to their clients and networks. The key here is that you have a topic that is very hot and seen as very valuable. This is not a sales presentation, it’s an education and value add tool.
Approach your two partners with the idea that you’ll present a great topic, they offer it to their customers, and they get to cross promote to each others attendees as part of the deal. You simply get referred in as the expert. (Every time you do this you will get asked to speak at an event one of the attendees is involved with as well.)
Make a deal with the sponsor – Remember, you have valuable information to present and should take the mindset that you are willing to waive charging a fee only if they permit your to elegantly reveal that there is a way for attendees to acquire your products and services and that you will also be offering some free stuff in exchange for contact information of those interested in the free stuff. Make it known that you have no intention of selling, merely informing. This approach raises the value of your presentation and gets you what you need as a lead generation opportunity. This can be a deal breaker for you or the sponsor. If you over promote, don’t expect to get asked back, if they won’t allow you to acquire leads, don’t bother.
Educate like crazy – Don’t be afraid to give away all of your secrets. Some folks suggest you should just tell them what they need, but not how to get it done. I don’t agree. If you tell them how, some may think they can do it themselves, but those who really want what you have will realize through your specific details, how tos, and examples that you do indeed possess the knowledge and tools to help them get what they want. Educate and you won’t have to sell!
Collect those addresses – In some cases people will come up to you after a thought provoking presentation and ask how they can buy, but, in case they don’t, make sure you give all attendees a valuable reason to share their contact information for the purpose of follow-up. You can offer them the slides to your presentation, a free resource guide related to your topic, or a more detailed report based on the topic, in exchange for business cards. If you don’t have this preplanned you’ll find you won’t get a second chance to wow these folks. Of course, I hope it goes without saying that you should also have a follow-up process. Write a hand-written note, add them into a pre-written drip email campaign on the topic, or call them up after the event to measure their engagement.
Yep, public speaking, it doesn’t get more efficient than that!