Back of the Room Sales

June 24, 2013 by  
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For those speakers and authors who haven’t developed a product yet, the easiest way to start is to record every talk, every article you write and even interviews can be a product.

When it comes to gaining experience in selling back of the room products, belonging to organizations such as the National Speakers Association is seeing how others do it and what styles suit your personality the best. The education of being a member of these types of organizations is priceless.

A couple of my favorite speakers who is was able to pick up great tips are Brian Tracy and Harv Ecker. Brian has the best techniques of referring to his material. He’ll pick up his book, open it to a specific page and refer to a very important point. Then mention that if only that one detail was to be applied, imagine what impact that would have on their income. Harv is a master of delivering educational tidbits and then involving his audience in the next step: buy product or sign up for a program!

Often event planners won’t allow you to sell your materials, but another national speaker that has a great technique is Tom Antion. He was told that he wouldn’t be able to sell his books to an audience of 400 people. So he placed a book on every chair and told the event planner that he needed to refer to his book throughout his presentation. After he was done more than half of the audience insisted on purchasing his book, what was he to do? The event planner relinquished and he nearly doubled his fee for the day!

When you want to create multiple products you can start with an audio program. It could be an interview from a peer, reading your material using your computer’s media equipment or a recording of a speaking presentation. Then after several presentations and personal stories from speaking engagements there is more than enough material to create to a book. Interviewing other professionals is a great way to create multiple CD’s. Depending on the industry someone is in, there are probably 10-15 specific experts that could be selected to participate. That would make a great package for anyone interested in that industry.

We know that books are the best selling item at speaking engagements, but if you don’t have your own book you can start small. Think in terms of a booklet then expand it as you go along. After speaking for 6 months to a year, it is easy to generate more than enough material for a book. The stories speakers develop from being out in the field make for great reading material.
It only takes 4 to 6 weeks to write a book if you take one hour a day to write it. It takes about 2 ½ hours to write each chapter. I think the editing should initially be done by friends, family and anyone who is willing to read the book. Then when the book flows well, have a professional editor go over it.

There are other methods I have found to encourage people to come back and purchase additional products. Some of the major speakers refer to their material every 30 minutes.
I’m not sure that the audience doesn’t begin to take offense to be sold to. I prefer to make my presentations strong enough that the value of my books are obvious. The most effective method I have found is using the example of reading specific areas of the book which prove the value.

You also want to make sure to collect email addresses at your speaking events. Every speaker knows that their email database controls their income to a great extent. When speaking in a specific city, advance notice and special offers can be sent to the database members in that area.

One of the concepts you want to become good at is Podcasts. They are extremely popular because people can download them to their iPods and listen when it’s convenient. Many speakers generate a rapport through their blogs and ezines and both are great ways to generate more interest in their perspectives.

Membership sites are more and more popular and the larger your database, the more income you speaker can count on. The general rule of thump is that every name in your database is worth $1 a month (10% will spend $10/month).

The easiest method of gathering the emails is to offer a door prize of their choice. I’ll usually pick up business cards from at least 80% of the audience. Then the first email I send to them is to offer them something of value for free and ask that they sign up on my website capture box to receive information in the future.

No matter how good the speaker is or how great their information, not everyone is great at selling their products. Remember why you are speaking and what you initially wanted to accomplish with your material and be authentic. Your audience will feel it from you.

The best technique I have seen however was the speaker asked every to stand up if they would be willing to pay $20 for his CD. Then he asked those who would pay $40 to remain standing and so on until one person was left who agreed she would pay $1,000. Then the speaker said he had a very limited number of CD’s, but for the first few who went to the back of the room, he’d sell the $79 CD for $20. At least half of the 500 member audience rushed back to get their copy!

Effective Methods of Social Media

June 17, 2013 by  
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I know it can be overwhelming at times. We have our business to run, our family to interact with and friends to connect with in reality and yet we know we need to virtually connect with as many people as we can around the world. In fact, without social media the way it is today, my business would be half of what it is.

Yet how can anyone keep up with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, GooglePlus, Pinterest, Klout and the hundreds of other websites where we’re all told we “must” keep an active account? How much time should we spend on social media before it becomes a hindrance rather than a benefit? How often should we be actively posting, pinning, connecting and tweeting?

There is no right answer, it varies by what you are trying to accomplish. First, if you want to get your name out into the world as an expert in your field, it requires a great deal of exposure. If your goal is to be a local expert, it will take a lot less of your time and focus. The minimum rule of thumb is one post a day in each of the top sites mentioned above. Some very active social media experts post three to five times a day, but in my opinion, I don’t need to hear from someone that often and it becomes more irritating than engaging.

One of the helpful tools I found is Hootsuite. You can add up to five social media accounts at no charge, post a single message and it will show up on every one of those sites. It is a major time saver and what I like about it the most is I can write out my posts for the week and not think about it for another week because of their delay scheduling option next to the message box.

There are virtual assistants who can manage your social media presence for under a hundred dollars a month. They are adept at going through your website to know how to write messages that sound like you. They will work two to four hours a week to give you a broad exposure through the entire social media arena.

I use social media primarily to meet joint venture partners. I have been able to conduct no less than 100 experts I have interviewed. I use the interviews to build my collateral material on two of my websites. Interviews consist of the interviewee providing me with questions pertaining to their expertise. They are educational, informative and interesting. Some of the interviews I have done have been from India, Australia, England, Canada, Spain and Mexico. There are no limits when you can connect with those who share your interests.

Quite of few of my interviewees are for my radio show for authors educational purposes. Those interviews will also become a part of my new membership site. But what is amazing is a number of the people I interview ask to interview me so I get cross exposure to their database too. I’ve been able to produce teleseminars and webinars jointly with some of them and have even been booked for major speaking engagements through those connections.

It’s not enough to be active in social media; you must have a plan and stick to it. Model your activity after successful people in your field. They will probably have a team of social media experts doing the work for them, but you can see what frequency they post, what they are talking about on their profile, group and fan pages. Join the groups they belong to and watch how actively they leave their input.

And track what you are doing. That way, if it’s not working you can change what you are doing. I take at least one teleseminar or webinar pertaining to social media every week and am constantly learning from the experts. If I pick up one bit of wisdom or a new technique from the event, I feel it’s worth my time.

Don’t let social media overwhelm you, but be sure to establish your presence and keep up a consistent presence. It will pay off for you in time!

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