How to Book More Business

February 3, 2016 | Leave a Comment

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Lois Creamer was featured in the January/February 2016 Speaker Magazine

Coming March 11! Join Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE and me in a free webinar “How to Make 2016 Your Best Year!” Details to follow!

In the last six months I’ve been published in Forbes, Wall Street Journal and Speaker Magazine.

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How To Sell Your Speech

July 24, 2015 | 2 Comments

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This post is all about selling! Key to getting engagements on the calendar will be your ability to connect with those who actually book speakers. You can find them on the phone by calling, but social media is a great way to seek out executives in companies. Perhaps send an email to connect to discuss how you might help them in their next meeting. My favorite for this type of detective work is LinkedIn. Twitter is my second favorite.

Read my earlier post about creating a positioning statement. It’s important that you have one before you do the things I’m going to suggest in this post. A great positioning statement is the opener for any conversation about your business. (You can see mine at the bottom of this post).

Key to being successful when selling is knowing who you are, what you do, how do it and to whom you are a good fit. (See my previous post on target marketing). You want to be able to create a list of those who want to approach about getting speaking gigs. (See my last post on find target markets for your programs.)

There are two worlds you will be operating in when speaking. Corporate and association. They are as different as night and day to market to. Associations typically have one opportunity a year with a possibility for spin-¬≠off business, while corporations may have several opportunities a year. Let’s start with selling to corporations.

When approaching corporate you need to ask for the VP of sales. 80% of the time he/she is the decision maker, so start there. If it is not this person, they will tell us who we should talk to. Another likely “suspect” may be the VP of marketing. Never, never go to HR! HR is the department that is used to hiring less expensive training programs from training companies.

When calling, one of three things will happen. One – you’ll get the VP on the phone, two – you’ll get the assistant or three – you’ll get voicemail. Following is what to do in each situation.

If you get the VP great! Give your positioning statement, then say “I’m calling to see if one of my programs may be a good fit for an upcoming meeting?” If yes, continue. In order to qualify a prospect I suggest you use my “Ten Questions to Book More Business“. You can also find them as an MP3 file or CD on the product page. I urge you to review them. These are the questions that will help us to qualify and quantify a prospects interest in us. If they say they never use professional speakers thank him for his time and end the call quickly. The likelihood of you being the first speaker they ever pay for is low. Don”t waste your time. Move on to more fertile fields!

If you get the VP’s assistant, treat him/her exactly liked you treated the VP! Remember, these people are very powerful and can many times make decisions. Certainly they are the ones who will decide whether you get a call back or not, so sell to them! Make them part of the process.

Third situation would require leaving a voice mail. If you have a great positioning statement (see earlier blog) you will know how to begin each voice mail message. Recipe for your voice mail is: name – positioning statement – why you’re calling (to see if my program may be a fit for an upcoming meeting) – invitation to call back – I have something I’d like to send that will illustrate what my speech can do but only want to send it if it is welcome. Please call me back and let me know if I can do this!

Lets now talk about the association market. It is many times like flying a kite in the wind because you will usually not have an opportunity to speak to anyone who makes a decision. Therefore, the person you ask for is the “meeting planner”. He/she is the information gatherer. The decision is typically made by a volunteer committee made up of association members. The planner will file your materials and submit them to the committee when they meet. Occasionally a committee member will come in with a name for the group to consider. This is why we always need to ask our corporate client if they are a member of an association or trade group. They may be helpful in getting us considered for the association meeting!

When selling to the association you will tell them your topics and see if they would like you to submit your information, and how they would like you to submit the information. Your material should carry the day! Yes, they will check out film on YouTube if you suggest, but be aware the first thing they see is what you send. You will hear if you get it, you’ll hear nothing if you don’t. And, if you want to be considered for the following year’s convention you have to do this exercise all over again. They get rid of information at the end of the planning process.

A word about meeting planners. We always hear at NSA about meeting planners. I’ve worked with clients who have spent thousands doing special mailings/marketing pieces to planners. Many join MPI (Meeting Planners International) and get their list of members and contact them.

They wait for something to happen, and nothing does! Why? Simply because it’s a rarity that a planner actually decides on speakers. They usually have to make decisions about venue, rooms, set up, logistics and many, many other things. I have one client who spent $5000 on printing and mailing a great piece to all planners. I asked what it generated. Zero. I wasn’t surprised, he was.

Many times our first contact with people is to merely find out when they will be in a planning mode and wanting to fill slots with speakers. After you get this information, electronically tickle it in whatever contact management system you may use. I use ACT, as do many in this industry. Getting many meeting planning dates is how we keep our sales funnel full.

In another post I will go into my qualifying system so you can quantify just how interested your prospects are working with you now, or ever! It is the key to being productive in selling.

Stay tuned!

Copyright 2012 Lois Creamer. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and avoid costly mistakes! She can be reached in the following ways:

Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Phone: 314.822.8225
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BookMoreBusiness
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/loiscreamer
For more information on Lois’ business check out http://www.bookmorebusiness.com as well as http://www.bookmorebusiness.tv!
Sign up so you don’t miss a blog post at http://www.BookMoreBusiness.com/blog

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The Follow Up Thank You Call!

May 7, 2015 | 6 Comments

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Within 48 hours of giving your speech call the person who made the economic decision to bring you in. Timing is important! You want the great job you did to be fresh in mind. When you connect, here are some things to cover. Here’s the script:

  • I wanted to call and say thanks again for bringing me in. It was a privilege to work with such great people!
  • I also wanted to make sure the feedback you heard was as positive as what I heard before I left.
  • If you could put some of that feedback in the form of a testimonial I would appreciate it! I’ll send you my LinkedIn address so you can write it in that platform.
  • I consider referrals to be the highest compliment. If you can think of anyone who could use my work, let me know.
  • Are you a member of an association or trade group? My message would be a good fit there. Can you help get me considered for a program at that meeting?
  • Do you think it would make sense (my phrase that pays!) to take a “next step” with me? To insure that the information, tactics and techniques I talked about are actually implemented? If you do, I’d love to discuss what that might look like. My clients tell me they feel this adds an element of accountability.

If you get voice mail let your contact know that you’ll be sending an email to ask for feedback on the event. Put the questions in an email and offer two times you are available to talk.

By “taking the next step” I mean this:

  • Perhaps you can do a webinar it series of webinars, a Skype or Google Hangout with key leaders or sales managers that could be recorded and shared if some can’t make the meeting.
  • Buy books or recordings or other products you may have that support your message.
  • Write a series of customized blog posts.
  • Record a series of videos.
  • One on one consulting with key leaders.

I’m a big believer in leveraging each and every successful speech into discovering additional opportunities to work with the client. To go deeper than you ever could in a speech!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Copyright 2015. Lois Creamer. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and avoid costly mistakes! She can be reached in the following ways:

Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Phone: 314.822.8225
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BookMoreBusiness
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/loiscreamer
For more information on Lois’ business check out http://www.bookmorebusiness.com as well as http://www.bookmorebusiness.tv!
Sign up so you don’t miss a blog post at http://www.BookMoreBusiness.com/blog

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Get Back to Basics with Press Releases!

October 27, 2014 | 8 Comments

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Many people I talk to think press releases are “old fashioned” and not used anymore. To the contrary! They are indeed used. The problem is, the web is inundated with them and most don’t get the kind of attention we seek. So, what’s the answer?

I suggest to my clients that they continue to put out press releases on anything that is worthwhile. By that I mean any of the following:

– Receiving an award
– Article you wrote printed in a prestigious publication
– Article written about you and your business
– Release of a new book
– Release of a new product
– Big event where you just presented
– Anything that you feel would bring positive attention to your business

By the way, if you don’t know how to write a press release I suggest you do what I did to learn. Google “Write a press release”! Yes! True! That’s how I taught myself how to write a release. One main point I would make here. A press release is not long. It is short, to the point. Read examples and you’ll see what I mean.

OK, since I’ve already said that the web is inundated with them, where to post your press releases? I suggest posting them on your website under a page marked “News” or “Press Room”. That is where they will get read and seen by prospects that are checking you out! Further, there may be other things you want to include with press releases on this page. Highlight events you’ve participated in, anything you think would be promotional.

I suggest you do this now. Go back and review events and things that you have done that you could write a press release on and do it. Post date the release and put it up!

There are services that will host your press releases. I’m not convinced they are getting the kind of attention that is worth their fee. Using my process costs you nothing.

Try it and let me know what you think! I love hearing your success stories!

Copyright 2014. Lois Creamer. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and avoid costly mistakes! She can be reached in the following ways:

Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Phone: 314.822.8225
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BookMoreBusiness
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/loiscreamer
For more information on Lois’ business check out http://www.bookmorebusiness.com as well as http://www.bookmorebusiness.tv!
Sign up so you don’t miss a blog post at http://www.BookMoreBusiness.com/blog

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Celebrate Your Shrinking Market

July 30, 2014 | 3 Comments

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Have I lost my mind? Celebrate? Yes! What I really mean is, let’s celebrate that the world is getting smaller and smaller due to technology. Are you with me now?

We now have all sorts of tools available to us to either give value to clients via webinars or give added value of all kinds after the speech. That’s what I want you to consider with this post.

I was approached several years ago to do a sales program for a corporate sales force. It would be a great job. They said they didn’t have my fee. What shall we do, I asked myself? The answer was to add value after. It worked! Add value, don’t lower fee!

I asked what the plans were after my program to insure that new ideas and strategies were applied and were actually working. Chirp, chirp .. You get it, nothing, nada, no plans at all. So I asked, What if we had a sales meeting by phone? What if I send you a number to dial in and everyone who was at the meeting can let me know what’s working, what’s not and why?

Notice, this wasn’t even a Skype deal! It was the good old phone! They took me up on it! We talked for an hour. That is ten percent of took advantage of it did. I got a lot out of it. I heard those who were in on the call did too.

I called the person who hired me originally with a report on the call. I told him that it went well, those who participated were chatty, happy and I was able to answer some questions. However… he had a new problem. An ENGAGEMENT problem. Only ten percent took advantage of this. I heard later he had another person come in and talk engagement! Go figure!

So, what can you do that is much more sophisticated than what I did? Or, should I say, just as sophisticated as what I did! My added value took up an hour. I got my entire fee and an invitation back. Would it work for you?

So, celebrate! Our market is shrinking! The world is getting smaller and smaller. And, opportunities are getting more and more prolific!

Copyright 2013. Lois Creamer. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and avoid costly mistakes! She can be reached in the following ways:

Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Phone: 314.822.8225
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BookMoreBusiness
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/loiscreamer
For more information on Lois’ business check out http://www.bookmorebusiness.com as well as http://www.bookmorebusiness.tv
Sign up so you don’t miss a blog post at http://www.BookMoreBusiness.com/blog

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