As a thought-leading executive, entrepreneur, consultant, or speaker – you need to know exactly what your ideal clients and audiences wants to learn, do, or become…
Let’s talk about how you can get started using interviews to land clients.
If you’re evaluating several different potential niche markets or vertical industries, spend some time researching each one.
Live in their world, think about their problems, and think about their clients and prospects. What’s the first step? Data gathering. Preparation. Homework. Industry, regional, business, and company news is now at everyone’s fingertips on the Internet. Look for articles, blogs, verbatim quotes from executives and industry analysts, video clips, audio interviews and capture as much as you can.
Then go directly to the source – real live customers and prospects. If you’re not intelligently researching your prospects’ issues, challenges, and pressures, how can you possibly come in with credible high-perceived-value solutions? One of the best ways to approach prospects is with:
- Data gathering
It positions you as an expert resource and it gives you valuable data you should be getting anyway.
Here is a simple, repeatable process
for researching what types of speaking services and programs your target market will pay for – use this strategy to start prospecting tomorrow.
Here it is…
You’re a writer, a researcher, a journalist. Find the top trade association magazines or highly targeted industry publications that your target executives read, recognize and respect. And prepare to write an article for them. Why? Because thought leaders do original research…
- You access high-level Buyers it would take you months to reach (if ever!)
- You immediately establish yourself as an expert and a peer
- You have a good reason for a series of follow-up relationship-building opportunities
The title of your article must contain an embedded compliment.
Example: How Smart Leaders at Top Companies Profit from Breakthrough Ideas (for an innovation consultant)
Example: How Top Producers at Leading Firms Create Referrals for Life (for a sales consultant focused on financial services firms)
Ask 3-5 questions to get them to share their successes, lessons learned, and challenges yet to be solved
- What’s been the biggest factor in your success?
- What obstacles and challenges are you still working on?
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard on this topic?
- In your opinion, what’s the secret sauce that many miss?
- What’s the key practice or tactic you keep coming back to?
- Crystal ball: What does YOUR next level of success look like in this arena?
Do these by phone or email – whichever they prefer
(naturally, doing them live by phone is MUCH better for rapport and relationship building and should be what you strongly encourage every time if at all possible.)
Map out your approach and all follow-up touch points over the next 90 days. This is where the magic happens!
Example: Interview – thank you email – thank you card – send finished piece – post on your blog – send link to blog – if you have a book and they happen to be local, offer to stop by and drop off signed copy of your book – send a directly relevant article – invite them to seminar – send note “another idea for you” – send link or video or resource directly connected to a challenge they mentioned – send something relevant/valuable every 7-10 days
Finally, call or email around touch point 7 or 8 or 9 and say, “I was thinking more about your challenge with X or your problem with Y or your big goals around Z. There may be some ways I can be more formally helpful to you. Would that be worth a short conversation?”
BAM! You’ve just earned yourself a sales conversation with a high-level decision-maker who likes, trusts, and respects you already.
Do 3 of these per week = you’ll get 12 per month. In 90 days, you’d have 36 hand-selected, top executive prospects who know your name, will take your call and who might even look forward to hearing from you!!
Example: One speaker who wanted to get a lot more work with associations did a series of interviews with association executive directors, meeting planners, and conference producers under the banner of “The Association Speaker of Tomorrow” – guess what happened? He used that information to BECOME the association speaker they wanted to hire!
THAT is how to crack the speaker code – and get booked, rebooked, and referred like crazy.
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Looking forward to strategizing with you about how you can get boost your influence, impact, and income as an expert who speaks professionally.