Selling from the stage?

18 replies
I've been studying the likes of Lisa Sasevich, Ali Brown, and Kathleen Gage who talk about the art of selling from the stage.

Basically, you book live speaking gigs and give great content followed by a pitch for your info products and/or coaching/consulting services.

Does anyone have experience with this offline marketing technique? It seems very potentially lucrative IF you target the right audience.

Peace,
Stephanie
#selling #stage
  • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
    I have a little bit of experience in this, as I used to have to give seminars for a company I worked for back in the day. It can be quite lucrative if you can get your audience to pay attention and entice them with a compelling offer.

    I've found more than not that the success of the stage depends mostly on charisma and less on the offer. Granted, you still have to have a very compelling offer. But people will buy more of your stuff if they know, like and trust you.... where have I heard that before....
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      You can sell directly from the stage, but the greater value is in lead generation for followup at a later time. I have sales reps traveling all over the country giving speeches to chambers of commerce, Rotary, civic groups, etc. There is no direct sales pitch, except for a brief almost off-handed remark that "our company has the solution for this problem" and we have product info packages and demos in the back of the room.
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  • Profile picture of the author StephanieMojica
    I'm thinking of starting smaller to generate potential leads and build my speaking skills...I'm charismatic on the phone and with friends but am not sure how great I'd be on stage in front of a huge audience. Some of my mentors have recommended I join Toastmasters to get more comfortable with public speaking.

    Stephanie
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Toastmasters is excellent. While I have never done it myself, it definitely has helped my sales reps in their presentations. An effective way to generate leads from other professionals and business owners too, btw.
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  • Profile picture of the author cbest
    Paul,

    Are you advertising locally to get your sales reps?
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by cbest View Post

      Paul,

      Are you advertising locally to get your sales reps?
      No, I mostly advertise in USA Today, trade magazines, and in major metropolitan newspapers.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Callaghan
    Originally Posted by StephanieMojica View Post

    Does anyone have experience with this offline marketing technique? It seems very potentially lucrative IF you target the right audience.
    I love selling from the stage! When it's done right it can generate immediate sales of your information products plus leads for consulting/coaching work.

    Check out Fred Gleeck's info products. You can download his book "Selling from the Platform" at this link

    Information Marketing Business eBooks Worth Over $200 FREE | Information Marketing

    I used his strategies for a speech last year and the sales results were amazing.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      I've been studying the likes of Lisa Sasevich, Ali Brown, and Kathleen Gage who talk about the art of selling from the stage.

      Basically, you book live speaking gigs and give great content followed by a pitch for your info products and/or coaching/consulting services.
      There has to be a great match between you and the audience or you won't sell anything, regardless of your skills and training. This is a factor few people who talk about selling from the stage discuss.

      I have had relatively small audiences where I walked away with large sales because they were the sort of people who would be most likely to like and trust me, and also had relatively large audiences where people listened politely but bought nothing at all because there was little in common between me and them.

      Marcia Yudkin
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  • Profile picture of the author jackcanbera
    You said you learned Lisa Sasevich, Ali Brown, and Kathleen Gage.
    Which one did you find to give you the best value?
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  • Profile picture of the author Apollo-Articles
    This is a fantastic way to market locally, whatever your business.

    For example say you run an SEO business - book a local town/village hall and market the free event as 'Get your business selling online" in local press ect. Then on the day give away basic information (this is what your talk should revolve around not your business) and then make it clear that you offer services such as SEO ect, you'll be sure to get a few leads. You'll be selling to a direct audience.

    In my other business I go to quite a lot of networking meetings, and there's usually at least one web designer and SEO at these events. Often they have speakers who are charged up to £150 for a ten minute talk.

    Sam

    Apollo Articles
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Stephanie;

    I've sold from the stage for several years now. It's far far harder than it looks. Have you ever sold to groups before?

    Here are some of the things involved;
    Finding a group to present to
    Making sure that what you say is specific to that group
    Promoting yourself with at least one interview, a few written articles for their magazine, and at least one success story in their niche.
    Creating a product that has obvious value, specific to that niche.
    Now, create a sales presentation, from scratch, including answers to every possible objection (because you can't answer objectons from the audience, in the middle of a speech.)
    Watch at least a dozen successful platform sales presentations, and write them out by hand (or get them transcribed) and dissect them for the elements that sell.
    Create a Power point presentation that has all the elements of a great sales presentation.

    OK, now start calling groups and convince them that you are an authority in your field, and have an opening in your schedule where you can speak to their group. Explain to them how you are completely different from the last few speakers they have had. This is cold calling.

    Sell them on the idea that they should allow you to pitch from the front of the room.

    Be prepared to have an answer to any question that some drunk in the audience throws at you. Show you are an expert, with a sense of humor, without making the idiot in the audience look bad.

    Stephanie (I don't really mean this personally) most people who think about speaking to groups to sell think that this is the entire formula;

    Get invited (somehow)-just talk about what you do-get thunderous applause-get money.

    Ever watch a comedian in a comedy special? The comedian has rehearsed 1,000 times. Every word is scripted. Every mannerism. Every inflection.

    And it looks like they just got on stage and winged it.

    It sounds like I'm trying to talk you out of this, but I'm not. Just know that this is a complex way to make money, and requires a certain set of skills, that almost nobody has.

    Now, if you want to speak to your local Rotary club, and try to get a few leads that way, that's much easier.

    But actually make money from the stage? Harder.

    I gave a talk to a group of automotive mechanics a few months ago. This video is different from the one I posted a month ago. I took in about $13,000 from the group. My best day was $52,000 or so.

    Selling from the front of the room is surgery. Difficult to do. And a wrong reference, a bad joke, and unintentional insult...and you are dead.



    Now that I've given you a bit of what you really need to do, I'm happy to answer any questions about how to do it.

    Now, why do I sound completely different from any of your mentors? I'm not trying to sell you coaching. And you aren't my potential customer.
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    • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
      Stephanie,

      Claude gave you some great advice and information. My first professional presentation came as a young AF officer. I was appointed as a liaison officer to 3 specific large civilian organizations. I had to attend their meetings, interact with their brass and speak to the assembled masses.

      My superiors told me failure wasn't an option. I went from bumbly mouth to silver tongue by practice, practice and practice. When I was done practicing, I practiced some more. When I got on stage, I didn't recognize the new me. I could actually speak to 4000 eyeballs staring back at me and not get nervous or forget my rehearsed lines.

      I also joined two professional speaking groups to hone my skills. Today I can speak to an audience of one or a stadium of 100000 for any length of time. Not bragging in the least. It is all in how you craft your mindset.

      I have also made tons of money as my own seminar producer. Believe me once you do it, you'll get infected and won't want to stop.

      My message is simple - go for it.

      Good luck,

      Tom
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    • Profile picture of the author DreamTex
      Claude I just picked up the Selling Local Advertising book after following you with Deal Clincher Thank you so much for this information. I am in a border metropolis that is one or two generations behind on tech. But with your help I can lead the way into this century
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Roth
    Most important thing is to be in front of your target market who can appreciate what you have to offer and benefit them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Here is a huge mistake many (maybe most) new speakers make.

      They think that their story is fascinating, when it is not. They think people will pay to hear it, when they will not.

      And if you want to sell something from the stage, it better be about something you can monetize. Soft topics (topics that are not business related) are simply not as profitable.

      You need to think in terms of "dollars per head". How much money did each person in the audience bring to you? And not "later", Now. How much in credit card receipts did you take home with you? That's the question.

      Want to talk about how you beat cancer? Climbed to the top of a mountain? Started a religion? Kicked your cocaine habit?
      These subjects may get you in front of certain audiences, but it won't be very profitable. You may get a speaking fee, but the money is in product sales.

      Are you an expert in investments? Selling? Marketing? Hiring? Stopping employee theft? Buying real estate? Buying advertising for pennies on the dollar? Internet marketing?

      NOW, you have something that people will pay to learn. And they will buy your program, service, manuals, system..from you right then.

      If you talk to a group of 30 people, and they all buy your $15 book....
      maybe you will pay your travel expenses and make a decent working wage.

      If you have a $500 course, and 5 people buy it...now it is worth doing, for most people.

      Have a $4,000 service that 20% of the audience buys? Now you are making money.

      These are just examples. Everyone has a different comfort level.

      You would be amazed at how many people read a book, and want to become a speaker...just like the author. There are bootcamps on becoming a speaker, every week. Most people that attend never do the first step.

      Believe me, getting applause isn't enough. Standing ovations aren't enough after awhile. Hotel rooms all look the same.

      You are selling. And you need to get paid.

      Top platform salespeople get $300-$400 a head when they speak to an interested audience.
      ($320 is my yearly average)
      I watched, at a Dan Kennedy event, Dave Dee pull $300,000 from a room of about 150 people.
      I watched Joe Polish grab about $125,000 from one speech at the same event (250 people bought his $500 course).

      Some of these guys are Great. The know how to sell, and they know how to build demand for what they offer.

      And there are thousands that make a nice steady low six figure income talking from the stage, selling a course of some kind.

      Added later: About the Kennedy event. These were experienced expert speakers that know how to sell. And for anyone thinking they can jut go out and gather an audience like the one at this event...Kennedy spent a million dollars for putting the event on.

      Filling seats and selling tickets to events like this is the hardest part.
      Want to fill a room with business owners on your own? With room cost, direct mail, and other expenses, it may cost you $5,000-$8,000 to get 30-40 business owners in a room to hear you. You need to know what you are doing. Not for the faint of heart.
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  • Profile picture of the author ADukes81
    Thanks Claude for this. I wish Amazon had a MP3 download as I want to listen to this now.

    I'm very impatient
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  • Good stuff in this thread. One comment- the only way to get good as a speaker is to speak. A lot. More than you think. Coaches help. But you find your own style by speaking relentlessly. It makes your message, and your sales pitch, much easier to deliver. And more effective.
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