If you have opted to be a “free” speaker which uses the product sales model, then that means your income will be directly related to your effectiveness in selling from the platform.
I have seen speakers deliver great content and then freeze up when it came to the sales close portion of their presentation, and I have seen speakers deliver poor content and then do great when they got to their close.
Your objective is to obviously be able to do both—deliver great content and then do a great sales job from the platform. Remember, your first responsibility is to your audience and your obligation is to deliver them great content. In a typical presentation at least 80% of your time should be spent on content and only 20% on your close.
That means in a 90-minute presentation, roughly the first 75 minutes should be spent teaching and only in the last 15 will you be doing any selling. Of course, you are “selling” yourself throughout the course of your presentation by sharing your expertise in a way that makes them want to learn more from you. The reaction you are looking for is something like “Man, if what he’s teaching us here for free is this good, his other stuff must really be great!”
The transition from the content portion of your presentation to the sales portion of your presentation should be seamless. I’ve heard too many speakers change their tone or pace when they got to their close and not even recognize that they were doing it. And, believe me, the audience hears it too and you can just feel the barriers immediately go up from the crowd when they now feel they are being sold to.
Believe me, the entire dynamics of a presentation change when you are selling at the end of your presentation rather than delivering content only. Some speakers can get on stage all day long and share content but ask them to sell something at the end, and it makes them squeamish.
It does take time and practice to make that smooth transition from content to close. But there a lot of other things going on that you will want to pay close attention to. As you watch other speakers selling from the platform, take notice of what they are doing. Here are just some of the things you should be watching carefully:
- How do they handle their transition?
- What do they include in their offer?
- Is their offer simple or complex?
- Are they offering multiple options?
- Do they pass out order forms or direct people to the sales table?
- Do they utilize a single or two-step closing process?
- Are they selling digital or physical goods or some combination of both?
- Are they delivering product right at the event?
- What is the price point of their offer?
- Are they offering payment plans?
Let’s dive into each of these questions in a bit more detail. We have already talked about the transition, so let’s move on to the offer related questions.
First, you will need to decide what it is you are going to sell from the platform. Will you sell one-on-one coaching with you, group coaching, a physical product, a webinar or
teleseminar series, or some combination of these things? There is no wrong or right answer. I’ve seen all variations sold very effectively from the platform.
You certainly want to create a compelling offer. But, from my experience, it is much more about the quality of the content you deliver and the rapport you establish with your audience that leads to back of the room success than anything else.
You can pretty much bundle anything together and have a “winner” if you are a great speaker and can effectively manage your close.
Some speakers adhere to the “more is better” philosophy and stack on item after item into their offer. They present a total value of some gigantic amount and then they do price drop after price drop until they reach their actual selling price. So, it seems to them like it should be a no-brainer to take their offer because they are giving you so much for relatively so little.
I have seen this approach work great, and I have seen it fail miserably. If the value to price proposition seems to be out of whack, it may seem unbelievable to the audience and you can come across as the stereotypical used car salesman.
And if you are speaking at a multi-speaker event and if some of the speakers that preceded you during the event used a similar closing technique as you, then your “But wait, there’s more” may could come across as copy-catish and as a bit of a joke.
One thing most speakers don’t do well that could significantly improve their performance is find out what all the other speakers sharing that stage will be speaking about and what they will be offering. Then, try to be different. I’m not saying don’t be authentic and continue to deliver great content. I’m saying that if they sell a price “x” then you may want to sell at price “y”. If they are going to offer A, B, and C in their offer you may want to offer X, Y and Z. If they are offering only a digital product then you offer a physical product.
I have been at events where the promoter had three different people speak about copywriting. So, if you were the third speaker in that group in the event what would you do to differentiate yourself ? If you are the third one offering a
$2,000 package of copywriting training and resources then the attractiveness of your offer will be much lower because the audience has already “been there, done that” in their mind.
Only over time, by testing different offers, will you get a true feel of what works best for you. Do you do better at a $497 price point, a $997 price point or a $1997 price point? Or more? Do you sell better if you offer a physical product they can take right with them from the event or with a digital only delivery through a membership site? Do you do better if you offer payment plans or not?
Do you sell better offering a single package or with good, better and best options? Believe me, there is a continuing hot debate on this question. Some say, “A confused mind never buys” and others say the more options you give them the better are your chances of getting them to buy something. Only through testing will you find out what works best for you.
Do you sell better if you pass out order forms to the audience near the end of your presentation or if you just direct them to the sales table to get an order form? If you are selling a high- ticket coaching program do you do better with a single or a two-step sales process?
You can see all the variables involved in the sales process. You need to continually test and tweak your closes to figure out which combination of options pulls the best for you over time. Keep honing and improving and watch your sales success grow!