May 5, 2020 Shawn

The Secret To Efficient Outreach For Speaker Sales

If you are a professional speaker who understands that in order for your business to be in your hands, then you’re a speaker who’s conducting outreach. Whether that looks like phone calls, emails, social media messages and even old-school cards and letters to the folks you want to connect with, being top-of-mind to the people who can bring you on their stages requires us to reach out.

For solopreneurs (which is the business model most professional speakers fall into), this outreach has to be accomplished in addition to content generation; blogs, videos, and refining the talks we give. That means we have to schedule all the outreach points across all our prospects alongside everything else – and finding time to make calls, customize email templates, type up social media messaging and hand-write cards and letters. Even with a small amount of prospects to target, this type of omni-channel outreach can quickly take up most of a day. Speakers who are running scalable businesses have discovered ways to make the process of outreach more efficient, even across hundreds of prospects and we’ll be diving into those methods today.

But first, why is this even a needed topic for speakers building sales activity into their businesses? Why is outreach efficiency something most speakers never hear about?

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Narcissism At Its Finest
A fair majority of professional speakers are deeply in love – but not with their physical appearance. Instead, they’re in love with their expertise and their methodologies. They believe that their special stories or way of solving the problem they solve is so special, that any rational person who has a need will seek that speaker out just so they’ll have access to their brilliance. This results in the often-reviewed ‘feast and famine’ revenue cycle we’ve talked about in past blogs, but perhaps more detrimentally to their businesses, it also means they never make the attempt to build a prospect list, schedule outreach or conduct it.

For these speakers, being efficient at something they don’t think they need is a waste of time. At least, it was in the days when anyone with an internet connection didn’t have access to the whole of human knowledge at their fingertips, and simply waiting for the phone to ring was a viable model for many speakers until the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the events industry.

If a speaker wants their business to survive these days, it means taking the initiative to reach out, cut through the noise most decision makers deal with, and get these folks into a value-added conversation.

But For Those Who Aren’t Willing To Wait For The Phone To Ring, How To Find The Time?
If you’re dedicated to making the time to reach out and interested in how to do it more efficiently and effectively (and that’s probably why you’re still reading), then let’s dive into the best ways to scale the type of omni-channel outreach e advocate over hundreds of prospects, through many communications channels, and get it all done without driving ourselves crazy.

The challenge for many speakers (and salespeople in general) is that when we switch in between different types of tasks, very rarely are we achieving the best results. This is why ‘batching’ has become a favored technique of people wearing multiple hats in their professional lives. So instead of looking at all the outreach tasks we have in a given day, we can instead change the way we see (and execute) on those tasks. Of course, when we change the way we see things, the things we see tend to change.

Before we dive into the batching process we use to conduct these different types of outreach into a smooth workflow, it’s valuable to reiterate the system that triggers these tasks in the first place. Unless you’re a certified excel wizard, you will drive yourself crazy trying to mentally keep track of what step comes next with any prospect. Instead of having to remember if I need to send a card or a LinkedIn message, I simply let the campaign flow within my CRM tell me what the next task is.

Now that you have the reasoning behind this in place, let’s dive into the three steps we train speakers (and our own salespeople) to do when batching sales outreach:

Step 1: Define Types Of Tasks
In the world of speaker sales, we batch by ‘types’ of outreach tasks. These include (but are not limited to) call research, making calls, customizing/sending email templates, sending social media messages, filling out and sending cards/letters, and administrative tasks for account maintenance. Once we understand what the types of tasks we’ll be dealing with are, we can then ‘batch’ by executing all of the tasks by ‘type’ rather than how they appear in our CRM or inbox that day.

Step 2: Do The Hardest Tasks First
Instead of waiting until the end of the day to engage in the most emotionally-draining outreach activities, we frontload those into our day. For most people, the most emotionally-draining activity in sales is 1:1 calls, because we have to engage both our minds, voices and bodies to do it well. If you’re not sure what the hardest type of task you have in front of you in a given day, it is most likely the one you tend to procrastinate the most. Barring that, choose the task that has the strongest chance of getting you the result you want in the shortest amount of time. In the world of speaker sales, all emails, social media messages, cards and letter are designed to get someone in a conversation on the phone about their event. If everything drives forward to an eventual phone call, make the calls first and you might save yourself a bunch of outreach work in the future!

To immediately batch calls, pull up the browser tab for each person you want to call that day and prepare needed material on each account so you can easily pick up where you left off with the last conversation – you never know when a decision maker could pick up the phone and boom – you’re in a sales call!

Step 3: Execute
Once you have completed all of the hardest type of outreach task you have for the day, you can then open up all the emails you have it on your schedule to send and work through them one by one. Then, go through social message tasks until they’re done. Then cards/letters. Then … anything else.

By batching your tasks, you’ll free up more emotional and mental energy for your prospects that will make all your calls and sales outreach more lively and more effective.  

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