This week, we’re focusing on an important part of the selling process, and it’s what happens after the sale is made. If you offered your client something in the sales process they said ‘no’ to, you are ethically obligated to give them another opportunity at it if you believe it can help them better achieve their desired outcome. There are a lot of ways to do this and it goes by many names, but around S3 we call it a ‘pre-event brief.’
In addition to giving you another chance to add value to the client, it’s also an opportunity for them to confirm all the details you need as a speaker to deliver an awesome event.
Brief? What’s That?
A pre-event brief is a process we use to ensure our clients see us as partners in helping them achieve an outcome at their event. It’s an opportunity for us to handle logistical details, learn more about the event itself and establish delivery and arrival timelines – but perhaps more importantly for a blog about sales, the pre-event brief is also an opportunity to add more value to an event and increase sales, after the initial sale for the talk has occurred.
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Why Isn’t Every Speaker Doing This?
The reason most speakers don’t take advantage of the pre-event brief system is that most speakers are woefully lacking systems of any kind (both before the sale and after). I’ve proved this with dozens of speakers when I ask them: “What are the 10 things you do after the sale and before every event?” Most speakers have to make their answers up or try and remember what worked last time for them.
Not speakers with systems, and after today, not you either.
Another reason speakers tell me they aren’t doing this is that they simply don’t have the time. To me, this is akin to saying, “I have time to cash a check but not deliver an exceptional service.” That’s a business model that’s destined for failure. I want to make sure every one of my events is better than the last, because that serves my clients and grows my expertise as a professional speaker. So how do I ensure the dozens of moving pieces are right where they should be to prepare for an exceptional event?
You guessed it – the pre-event brief.
OK, But What Does A Pre-Event Brief Accomplish?
First, it allows you the opportunity to establish yourself as a strategic partner in the event. A lot of speakers are never seen as more than vendors at an event (responsible for providing a service and leaving), and that’s not the fault of the client, but rather of the speaker.
Second, the brief allows us to confirm logistics. If you’ve ever gotten a frantic call from a client wondering where you were because you had the arrival date mixed up or saying your pre-event marketing material was overdue, you know the damage this can cause.
Third, it’s an opportunity to re-engage your client with the things they passed on in the initial proposal that you know will make a difference in achieving their strategic outcome. They may still pass because of a lack of budget, but it’s always worth recommending solutions that will allow your talk to make a bigger impact for your clients and of course, increase income for your speaking business.
To achieve all of this as efficiently as possible, we send along a pre-event briefing questionnaire to every client and ask that it be returned at least 24 hours prior to our briefing call.
Guide To Your Pre-Event Brief Doc
-Format all your questions into a word doc you can send over to your client prior to the briefing phone call. It will save you hours of back-and forth.
-Section for the client to fill out information for pre-event interviews so you can customize your content
-A clear objective for your talk so you and the client know if success has occurred (what does the audience need to do more/better/differently to know we’ve succeeded?)
-Arrival and departure times and if there are any social mixers the client would like you to attend
-Info about what’s going on in the industry that you should know before taking the stage
-Client logo/images you’ll need for your deck
-Video recording policy/AV requirements (type of mic, stage setup, etc.)
-Establish your after-action call date and time (the call you have after the event to ensure success was achieved/generate referrals from the client)
On The Call
-Once you have a fuller understanding of the strategic outcome you’ve been hired to help achieve, give your client another opportunity to engage in the value-added offerings you have. “What price would we have to get that down to for you to consider it?” is a great question to get them thinking about other budgets they can draw from to increase their event’s impact for their audience.
Of course, if any of these answers are not filled out prior to the call, review them on the call ad ensure you’re filling in the blank spaces.
Hopefully you’re as convinced as we are in the value of the pre-event brief call and how it serves both your client’s goals and yours.
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