Spotlight On Speaking: Relationship Management

Speaker Fulfillment Services was built entirely from meeting people at live events and the subsequent word-of-mouth advertising. Pay per click advertising was in its infancy and no other paid advertising was done to build what would become a multi-million-dollar company.


Relationships are, without a doubt, your single most important business asset. Not your website, your office, your logo, or anything else. It is those people you have developed a relationship with who will be your biggest supporters and who, in turn, you should be the biggest supporters of.

To believe that you can sit behind your computer all day and build a profitable speaking business is, in my opinion, foolhardy. You’ve got to get out there and meet people and get to know them and have them get to know you. Virtual meetings can be great and have become an important part of business today. But there is no substitute for meeting a person face to face and sharing a drink or a meal with them.

You must approach it with a “What can I do for you attitude” as opposed to always looking at what can they do for you. And you must sincerely mean it.

Mistakes Authors MakeA few years back, a book I’d co-written titled “Mistakes Authors Make” became an Amazon #1 Bestseller solely because of the relationships I’d established in the speaking industry over the previous 15 years. When help was needed to promote a launch date for the book my friends and colleagues were happy to help because of the relationship that I had with them.

I’m also a big believer in the power of the handwritten thank you note. Services such as Send Out Cards are great, but they’re just not the same as receiving a clearly personally written note (in blue ink). Simply have your logo printed up on the front of some blank note cards. Be sure to include some contact information on the back of your card. After all, it is a marketing piece.

Almost every person I meet at an event will receive a note from me. Every new client that comes on board will receive a note. And they express their gratitude almost one hundred percent of the time. It’s remembered.

So, as a speaker, who should you think about building relationships with?

  • Event Promoters—Who’s going to put you on the platforms? That’s right, the event promoters. So, get to know as many of them as you possibly
  • Fellow Speakers–Some of your best referral partners for speaking engagements can be other When a promoter is looking for one more speaker, they’ll often ask their existing speakers who he or she might recommend. Or, if a speaker isn’t available for a specific engagement themselves, maybe they’ll suggest the promoter contact you.
  • Audio & Video Crew–Maybe you’re wanting to host your own events in the Wouldn’t it be better to know some folks in the industry who already know you that you could possibly use for the audio and video needs of your event?
  • Hotel Contacts–Another thing to think about if you are considering doing your own Having already built a rapport with a Catering Manager or the person in charge of room setup can serve you well.

On another note, remember that your presentation begins as soon as you set foot on site at the event venue. If you’re rude to a hotel bellman and the event promoter or a fellow speaker or attendee notices your bad behavior, you’ll have created a hurdle you must overcome to establishing a relationship with that person.


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Bret Ridgway

Find out more about Bret Ridgway and the services Speaker Fulfillment Services can provide you at

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