How to be an effective Sales Speaker from the front of a room.
If you need to 'sell' your products or services in a sales seminar format this part of the site will help you. It is full of detailed presentation tips designed to take your sales speaking to a level that most never reach.
We'll look at everything from how to set the room up, how to conduct the seminar, right through to how to get people to take the action you want. We'll also touch on how to fill the room in the first place because there's not much use putting on a brilliant seminar to an empty room.
This information is valuable because it contains sales tips based on hard won experience from hundreds of successful seminars in several countries.
There are a bunch of questions you need to answer before you start spending time and money. Each has a short answer on this page and a more detailed answer when you click on the heading.
1. Why Are You Doing This?
The first thing you need to get clear on is ... why be a sales speaker at all? "To sell 12 people into a 1 day Workshop at $495 each" is a great reason. As is "To sell 35 copies of my new book at $39.95 each." Please don't get sucked into any wishy-washy objective like "To get my name out there." or "To make a difference in people's lives." I'm not saying that you won't do both those things. I'm saying they are useless when it comes to planning your seminar.
If you are selling here is your job description ... "To Sell". (which by the way originally meant "to serve")
Work out your numbers right up front working backwards from your sales goal. Number of sales. Number of actual attendees. Number of confirmed attendees. Number invited.
2. Who Are Your Best Audience?
Not just who can you get into the room, but who are your 'best' audience? It takes a lot of time, cash and energy to sell through a seminar, so why do it in front of any old audience? Why not people who need, want and are in a position to buy your stuff ... right now?
3. Where Can You Find Them?
Where do these people hang out? Whose databases are they on? What other organisations have a good relationship with them already?
4. Why Would They Bother Coming To Your Seminar?
... as opposed to all the others they could go to? ... that they get invited to? What's so special about what you have to offer them? Again be specific and very compelling.
5. How Can You Best Invite Enough Of Them To Come?
What method of communication will you use? Please don't even bother ansering this question until you've answered all the preceding ones.
6. What Venue Will You Use?
You know your nett profit goal and your audience, so what type of venue is approporiate?
7. How Will You Set The Room Up?
Theatre style is normally best for sales seminars. A central screen showing powerpoint, with a flipchart on either side of the stage works well. A product table at the back of the room (manned with people ready to take payments of course).
A blue feedback form and a yellow product/price list on each seat.
Keep the audience outside until 5 minutes before start if possible to build anticipation. Play upbeat music as people enter the room, at a volume loud enough so they must raise their voices to talk above it. (this raises the energy in the room). Usher people to the front rows.
Room temperature, humidity, lighting and seat comfort as close to perfect as possible.
e-mail or fax a copy of the room layout to the venue and make sure they can get it 'exactly' as you require before you confirm the booking. Ideally get a written agreement to that effect so you can get a refund if they let they you down.
Walk round and correct every last minute detail well before the audience arrives. Show them the respect they deserve long before they show up.
Check your microphones of course and any other electronics. Have spare batteries etc. Have a contingency plan if the powerpoint gives up the ghost and make sure the venue's technical people are at your disposal.
8. How Long?
Between 60 and 90 minutes without a break. I've seen very successful seminars at 3 hours but they had a 15 minute break at half time, during which the sales speaker went to the back of the room and signed and sold heaps of books.
9. What About The Content?
A good sales speaker will normally deliver at least 95% great information and only 5% selling. No more selling than that.
10. How Do You Follow Up?
One of the keys to successful seminar selling. Get the feedback forms filled out and collected in before the audience departs. Have an excellent follow-up system in place within 24-48 hours where appropriate.
Being a Sales Speaker can be one of the most enjoyable and profitable things you'll ever do in business. That's probably because most people are scared to death of doing it.
It's not scary at all as long as you have a brilliant system that you and your team adhere to strictly. Most importantly your system needs to cover Marketing, Logistics and of course Sales.
Keep an eye on the profit at all times and Good luck in your career as a sales speaker who can get the job done well
Here are some more sales speaker articles.
Sales Negotiation Training
This article looks at why people don't negotiate well in sales situations. It also tells you what to do about it.
Business Presentation Skills
This article goes through the absolutely critical skills you need to develop to be a no fear business presenter. It also suggests a 'secret weapon' you can use to be even more effective.
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