by Cindy Ashton
You are on stage. You open your heart and give it all you got. You move the audience deeply with your message. You make your offer. And… nothing. Not. One. Sale. What happened?
It is time to shed the truth on why the majority of speakers fall short when it comes to converting the audience into paying clients. As you are about to find out, the ‘speak to sell’ model (meaning you speak as a way to sell your products and services), often doesn’t work. Over my years of training speakers using my ‘value driven’ approach, I have seen many of my clients go on to build high impacting, sustainable and profitable businesses. How?
Well… let me share with you what I believe every speaker ought to know about how to make money selling from the stage:
1. Scripts don’t work, structures do
Forbes Magazine, 2012:
“For those who’ve been through speaker training… you leave feeling less authentic than ever.”
I have worked with tons of speakers who have invested $10,000, $20,000 and even $30 000 to learn how to write scripts to sell… and they’ve walked away broke and with almost no results.
First… you are NOT a robot. How can you truly connect with your audience (and build the relationship needed for them to say YES to working with you), when you are rattling off some canned script like a porcelain doll? And second… the majority of speakers (especially introverts) get really nervous having to deliver a script instead of coming from the heart. It causes them to muck it up or they feel like they’ve completely lost their integrity.
Instead, the key is to have a very strong speech structure that is focused on delivering value and building trust. You want a definite flow that tells a compelling story throughout… one that INSPIRES instead of manipulating people into wanting to work with you.
2. Content needs to be laser focused to build the desire for what you are selling
Many speakers are filled with great knowledge and a powerful message… but often, they fail to communicate effectively and in a way that captures the audience’s attention. Some speakers ramble with no direction… others give so much information that the audience is overwhelmed and tunes out… still others have no idea how to take their brilliance and shape it for maximum impact.
As a former educational consultant, my job was to teach teachers how to take content and deliver it in a way that can be heard and digested by all 9 types of learners in the classroom.
The same strategy applies to delivering from the stage. You want to make sure that every piece of content you share has an easy-to-understand concept delivered through an emotionally engaging, memorable story. Then you want to anchor it with a simple, actionable tool that makes your audience feel like YOU can deliver the results they are seeking.
3. Your story means nothing unless it is positioned properly
Your story is important… but one of the biggest mistakes I see from speakers is making the majority of the talk about their story, thinking that the audience will be so inspired that they will automatically buy.
The key is to know how to stay focused on the audience’s needs… and artfully weave your story throughout in a way that deeply touches them and gets them to believe that you understand exactly who they are. When that connection and bond is formed, your audience members develop trust… which makes it easy for them to buy from you.
4. Your promise is the key to inspiring action
I have shared stages with speakers who get on stage and either…
- deliver a whole pile of fluff that is watered down and generic. (It has already been done and no one is going to buy it!) or
- keep promising to show you the #1 strategy that will completely change your life but then never tell you what it is (much less how to use it in your own business).
Instead you have to buy their super-duper, amazing product for a whopping $3000 to access it.
You want to solve a specific problem that is deep (no fluff), promise to deliver the solution, and follow through step by step in an organized way that gives them an instant insight or shift.
Remember…. people buy from people they trust, and from whom they believe can deliver results.
To sum up…
The traditional model of ‘speak to sell’ is filled with scripts, causing the speaker to feel nervous and inauthentic. My ‘value driven’ model is all about inspiring people to want to work with you because you have delivered the goods in spades. It comes right from the heart and from your brilliance. You never, ever, ever have to manipulate people to buy from you.