I’m about to share with you one of THE BEST sales prospecting techniques, and 99% of the readers will not use it. Why? Fear. Most people are deathly afraid of public speaking, but those who can push through the discomfort will out-earn, out-perform, and work less than any of their competitors. Giving speeches as a tool to find well qualified prospects is so powerful that it can double your business more quickly than all other prospecting techniques combined.
Let me tell you the story of my client Brian, who sold kitchen cabinets. He had built a decent business but got stuck at around $250K per year before we met. Most of his clients came through networking and referrals. We developed a strategy to help him double sales in the following year. Among a few major changes, we created a speak-to-sell strategy. Here is what we did (think about how you can apply this to your business):
Identify Organizations that Want Your Expertise: We knew that Brian’s best clients were wealthy homeowners who cared deeply about what their homes looked like. Women were the primary champions in the household to update the kitchen. Therefore, after some research, we found that organizations such as garden clubs, rotaries, and even book clubs in affluent towns made for great groups to speak to.
Create a Program That They Want: Once we had identified the types of organizations to speak at, we needed to develop a speech that people would want to attend. A program title, “Why You Need Brian’s Kitchen Cabinets,” was not going to appeal to audience members. Remember: think from the prospect’s perspective. What does the prospect want? Titles such as, “5 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Unforgettable,” “Simple Changes That Will Transform Your Kitchen,” or “7 Tips to Completely Modernize Your Kitchen,” are much more attention grabbing and interesting to the prospect.
Use It to Identify Prospects: Once we had laid out a compelling program, we were sure that Brian would offer a free five-page report on “Simple Ways to Update Your Kitchen.” He would have audience members fill out a short form asking for name, email, and if they would like to invite Brian into their home for a free “Kitchen Update Inspection” of their home.
Immediately, Brian was able to book speeches, and best of all, he was able to book appointments following the speeches with ideal prospects. After about six months of this strategy, speaking-to-sell became his primary sales strategy.
Have you ever given a speech in order to make sales? How’d it work? Please share below in the comments section.
Marc Wayshak is author of the book Game Plan Selling and a sales conference speaker.