"Get Business Opportunities From Speaking"
From Career Tips, 2006 Volume 7, July 2006
Now we get to the conclusion to my SPEAK approach to making sure that speaking generates business opportunities on a regular basis:
- Setting the Stage
- Kick Off
You need to be very intentional about creating a Call To Action in your presentation.
Without this, whether or not speaking generates business opportunities is left to chance, and a greatly diminished chance at that. This is also one of the most commonly overlooked steps.
Here are some of the ways you can create a call to action:
- Offer a special deal, a way to take what the audience learned to next level. If you have a product or service you can offer on the spot, offer a special price or additional bonuses for signing up right away.
- Invite audience members to sign up for a free consultation.
- Offer to provide additional information on the topic.
- Provide a special report, the results of a survey, a newsletter or report, or even to send a copy of the complete set of slides.
- Raffle off a copy of a product, recording, report or other item of value.
When you are offering something tangible such as a report, it is particularly powerful to hold a copy up and show it to the audience, describing key deliverables they will get from it. But resist having copies there to hand out. Instead, offer to send it to anyone who hands you their business card or fills out an evaluation form (with their contact information). This ensures that you get their contact information, and provides a convenient excuse for your post- presentation follow up.
One more point:
To help you market your next event, why not ask the audience to fill out your own evaluation or testimonial form?
This can provide you valuable testimonial clips to use in your next marketing letter, or to provide event organizers to show them what great value you bring to your audiences. And then the special offer you are going to make can be positioned as a thank you for their feedback, an exchange of value for value.
What is this last step I call the Kick Off?
This is perhaps the most critical step, where you now build on the rapport you hopefully created during the presentation. This is where the 'sale' really gets started. In effect, all of the prior steps in the process were just to set this up, the true kick off of the relationship with the members of your target audience.
Follow up with everyone who came to the seminar, even if it's just to thank them for coming! Add them to your ongoing keep-in-touch strategy: emails, newsletter, mailing lists, etc. It is critical that you take immediate action to continue the relationship building; making your first contact a week or two later will greatly diminish its impact.
For example, if you offered a free report, follow up by email with each person who requested it within 24 hours of the presentation. Then put them in your tickler list to follow up again a week later, to make sure they received it and either see if they have any questions, or set up a phone appointment to answer any questions they may have. And if you have a broader list of people who came to the presentation, email everyone who didn't request the report to offer to send it to them as well.
If you follow these simple steps, I guarantee your speaking engagements will generate many more business opportunities!