If you’ve been following this series, then you’re getting great idea for generating more sales in your speaking business.
Where did these lessons come from?
They came from the money we lost along the way.
As professional speakers, we’re held to a higher standard than most when we take the stage. But being great on the stage is the price of entry. It’s getting to the stage – that’s where most speakers fail.
Speakers do a few things that lose them the sale before they ever open their mouths.
And again, we know this because we used to be those speakers.
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Not Talking To The Decision Maker
If you as a speaker have made the monumental step of picking up the dang phone to have actual conversation with people who can pay for your talk, the biggest mistake you can make is talking to the folks who pick up the phone.
“Wait, you don’t want me to talk to people on the phone?”
We learned to only talk to the right people.
Understand – not everyone in an organization can hire a speaker. Usually, the list is as small as a single person or a small committee. If you’re pursuing multiple events, you’ll have a lot of calls to make, letters to send, emails templates to customize, etc. You can’t afford to have 15 minute conversations with everyone who can fog a mirror.
Saying the right thing to the wrong person is just as ineffective as saying the wrong thing to the right person.
Talking About Us And Not Them
Speakers are in love with their expertise – unfortunately, no one else shares that love. If you do get a decision maker on the phone, the biggest mistake you can make next is dumping your experience and methodology and expect anyone to care.
What do these folks care about? Their event! Their members! Their employees! And the challenges that they’re hoping to address at their event. If you haven’t taken the time to ask what those challenges are, then you’re shooting in the dark as you come blazing out of the gate with, “I’m a global expert on licking cats.”
That’s lovely, but if your decision makers can’t connect the value of licking cats with their audience’s challenge, you’re not getting the gig.
Not Keeping Control Of The Next Step
How many times have you heard, “We’ll get back to you if we’re interested.” Or, “Thanks for your email, we’ll follow up when we’re looking at speakers.” Or the ubiquitous:
“We’re all set for speakers for that event.”
Each of those responses happens because a speaker has lost control of the sale. And that can only happen for one reason: The speaker hasn’t demonstrated they can solve the problems the event is addressing. If you’ve taken the time to ask about solutions, then it’s up to you to maintain the next step.
This could be as simple as “I’ll follow up on X date and check in, does that work for you?” to “Let’s get something firm on the calendar so we both have those 5 minutes to get caught up.”
Not Reviewing Calls
In the fog of a cold call, it’s tough to know if we sounded calm, asked the right questions and got the best result we could. The only way we’ve found to do that is by reviewing your calls.
If you can capture both you and the person you’re talking to, great. If it’s just your end, that’s great too. You’re listening for your adherence to your call script, whether you asked the right questions, and even if you identified a decision maker early on!
Do This Now:
Have a Script. This can be a series of bullets to remind you of the questions you need to ask, or can be as complicated as an automated decision tree. Here’s our own bulleted script to begin using today:
“Are you responsible for such and such event?”
“And are you going to be selecting the keynote speaker(s)?”
“What challenges are you addressing at that event/that you need your speakers to solve?”
“When will you be making a decision?”
“What’s your historical budget?”
(If they can’t buy now, say): Here’s when we’ll be back in touch, then
It’s that simple – but using a plan will ensure you don’t lose the speech before you open your mouth.
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