A Hot Alternative to Cold Calling
Step away from the phone and go where your target market is, writes Shirley Anthony
The majority of us cringe at the thought of cold calling. We want ideally to be able to sell our wares in a situation where we have already established credibility with our prospect and some level of a relationship. And guess what? There is a way. Have you considered the concept of speaking to sell?
Speaking to an audience (no matter how small) immediately positions you as an expert on your topic. You have the opportunity to gain trust and promote likeability.
It’s a great way to make that emotional connection and to inspire. (That’s why orators like Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy and Nelson Mandela were so influential.)
And if you structure your talk correctly, you can include an offer for your product and convert 100% of the right people into clients on the spot.
Where to present
Seek out venues where you know your target market hang out and offer your services as a speaker for free. This could be at business chamber meetings, networking functions or any business get together.
Particularly when you are first starting out, don’t turn down an opportunity to speak just because an audience is a small one. It will give you the practice and also may result in a new customer.
Then there are the many opportunities that the online world affords. You can participate in webinars, teleseminars, video and podcast interviews. That’s really the way to spread your message wide and far and to obtain international business.
How to Structure Your Talk
Develop a talk that is related to your product offering and provides real benefit to your audience. This is putting into practice that concept of serving first before you sell. It’s literally giving value right up front – making that connection and laying a foundation for a business relationship.
Seek out audiences that are part of your target market so that your presentation is relevant. Include in your talk their challenges or so-called pain points and allude to the transformation that you can provide.
Mention at the beginning of your presentation, that you have a special offer for your audience. That way, when you make your offer, they’re expecting it and are more open to receiving it.
At the end of your talk, when you do provide details of your special, ensure that you put a limiter on the offer. For example, the first # people who register today will also receive my X bonus.
(This is putting the scarcity trigger into practice and I’ve seen it in action during a Skype call with an overseas audience. I offered a free download of my book, The NEW Entrepreneur: A Practical Marketing Guide For Growing Your Business Now and a gift for a certain number of people who immediately responded. It worked instantaneously.)
How to Prepare
- Put together both a 20 minute and a 45 minute talk on your topic, so that you’re prepared no matter the speaking requirement.
- Don’t wing your talk nor should you learn it off by heart. The optimum approach is a balance of these two approaches. That way your talk will come across as prepared but natural.
- Give your talk an out-of-the-box title.
- As is true of all new skills, the more you practise the art of speaking to an audience, the better you will get.
- Who knows – you may get so good at it that you can start charging professional speaker fees!
About the author: Shirley Anthony is an author, speaker and owner of Marketing Breakthroughs, a marketing consultancy operating for over twenty years. Having initially gained corporate experience in fast-moving consumer-goods branding, she has consulted in over twenty-five industries, including cellular, information technology, travel, engineering, food, cosmetics, architecture and banking.