Contributed by guest blogger, Sales Guru Jane Garee
Speaking gigs and presentations are a great way to get exposure and business but often you’re not allowed to sell from the stage (either a literal or a virtual one). Although speaking is a labor of love for many business owners, you still have to be strategic about leveraging your time and talents. Loving what you do is one thing. Loving it so much you don’t make enough money to live is another. That’s called a hobby, not a business.
So if you’re called upon to speak and then told you’re not allowed to sell, what do you do? Here are three simple things that will stay within the integrity of not selling, while still positioning yourself for additional and future business.
Offer something free – this is one of the most effective ways to get people to “buy” from you when you’re not allowed to sell. Essentially a verbal opt-in, make the offer irresistible, valuable and useful. Come up with something specifically for your presentation and the people who attend (this can be done from the stage or any virtual speaking gig). This is the time to give away your good stuff so don’t hold back! If you’re doing this live, have them write, “YES” on their business card and place it in the basket that’s being passed around (make sure this happens). If you’re speaking virtually, have them send you an email with a particular word in the subject line. To avoid any problems with spam, let them know they will start receiving your emails AND they can easily unsubscribe at any time. This takes the pressure of the “dreaded on-going email I’m now going to get” away so your prospects are encouraged to take advantage of the offer.
Seed strategically – listen to any good speaker, and you’ll notice they do this frequently, and it’s such a part of their presentation it never feels likes selling. Seeding simply means you’re layering in testimonials and real examples of people who have worked with you and the results they’ve gotten. It also lets people know the ways in which they can work with you. Examples usually sound like; “One of my VIP clients saw her revenue increase by 35%” or “My workshop students tell me that the biggest result they see from working with me is their increased confidence”. This seeding technique does two things. First, it lets people know how they can work with you (VIP or workshop). Secondly, it shows them what possible results can happen when working with you. When you seed properly, you paint a clear picture of how something is possible and what that possibility looks like.
Create the beginnings of a love affair – People will naturally want to work with you if they fall in love with you, so make your presentation the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Who you are naturally should be dialed up just a bit in a presentation because it’s that little bit of “over the top” that spurs people to action. Whether you’re funny, lyrically poetic, bouncy, soulful or edgy, make sure that comes through in a powerful way. Your ideal clients will gravitate toward you; in fact, they’ll almost feel magnetically pulled, while your non-ideal clients will become very clear you’re not for them. That’s exactly what you want. You’ll get farther, faster, not by pre-qualifying but by dis-qualifying. The less time you have to take for people who are unsure about working with you, the more time you’ll have for people who know you’re the one. See? It’s the beginning of a love affair.
Ultimately, you’re selling yourself all day, every day and that’s the very definition of having to sell when you’re not allowed to sell. Whether you’re doing a presentation or not, the rules are pretty much the same. Provide something of real value, paint a picture of what’s possible when working with you and always, always be yourself. If you do this, your tribe will not only find you, they will buy from you, love you and celebrate you. That’s the genius of selling without selling.