Sue Henry Shares The Secret To Transforming Speaking Gigs Into Profit

Lisa: Hi everyone, this is Lisa Saline and today I am happy to interview Sue Henry of Sue Henry  Sue is a speaker, writer, a mom, a grandma and a wife of an organic dairy farmer. But, as much as she loves that part of her life, her heart lies with business professionals who embrace their entrepreneurial spirit. Sue shares the exact strategy she uses to transform her speaking gigs into highly profitable opportunities. So if you are ready to speak and significantly increase your profits, get ready to speak your way to success.

Sue: Well thank you so much Lisa, I am really excited.

Lisa: What are your clients biggest or most common problems when it comes to speaking and presenting?

Sue: Most people I work with are already comfortable presenting or speaking. Their problem is that they haven’t figured out how to make any money from it.  After they speak, people come up to them and say, “That was wonderful, I am going to follow up with you,” but then they don’t. It’s nothing that the speaker did, and it’s not the fault of the person that left. The audience members have every intention of following up, but what happens is the minute you walk out that door,  life hits them.  They check their phone for messages, go to their office where there are fires to put out, and when they get home, they need to take Suzy to the dance and Johnny to basketball practice.

Life gets in the way. And as much as they had every intention of following up, your information ends up sitting on the side of their desk. A few days later it’s buried under other papers. Each time they uncover it, they tell themselves, “I am gonna call,” but they don’t. The initial energy and excitement they felt at the event disappears and the speaker’s stuff ends up in the trash.

The speaker is leaving their fate, and business, in the hands of their audience members because they don’t understand how to generate leads and convert those leads into income without being annoying, salesy, or pushy.

Lisa: Absolutely. It’s so frustrating when you get into the room they start right away with reading about what their product or service is. It’s easy to tell they are not focused on the audience – only about sales.

Sue, when people contact you for help what are some of the common questions they might ask you?

Sue: The people who contact me are generally business professionals who are speaking as a way to grow their business faster and easier.  They are selective about the target market they get in front of.  They come to me because of, as much as they love speaking, they are slowly going broke and they want to figure out how to generate income each time so that they are actually making money from these speaking gigs.

Usually the first question is, “What am I doing wrong?” The truth is they aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong – they are merely missing a few key pieces. Most people model what they see other speakers do without knowing whether or not that speaker is successfully generating sales, and profits, from the speaking gig.

The second question is, “What do I offer? How do I offer them something in exchange for  their contact information when I don’t know what to offer?” Some professionals are limited in what they can offer or what they can disclose based on industry regulations, but there are still opportunities within each industry.

I help them identify and develop a good offer filled with good content that they can give for free. Throughout their presentation, the speaker is demonstrating to his or her audience that they have knowledge and content that is of great value and will answer questions audience members may have in exchange for their contact information. This is often some type of white paper, checklist, or Top 10 List.

The third question is usually the common one: “Now that I have their contact information, what do I do with it?” A very small percentage of the people in the room are going to buy on the spot. The key is to create an email campaign that delivers more information relevant to the topic, stories and testimonials at strategic times, benefits and features, and of course, a call to action with each one. A call to action can be asking them to watch a video, post a comment, etc. The call to action doesn’t always have to be related to someone buying something right then.

It’s important for speakers to realize that in any given audience:

  • 3% of the people on average are interested in buying something right then and there or really quickly. This is the group that speakers focus on most, but they yield the least results.
  • 30% are never going to be interested so simply bless and release them.
  • 67% of that audience are interested in what you have to say and may buy at some point. But it’s up to the speaker to share content in a way that continues to build rapport, trust, and authority in a way that makes them feel as if you are meeting them where THEY are, linking arms, and walking with them through the journey. This is the piece that is missing for most speakers and that’s what I’m really good at  teaching.

Lisa: So what you are saying is the follow up process is essential to generating additional sales and this is the most common strategy speakers are missing?

Sue: Correct, they either don’t follow up at all, some may manually send out one or two emails, but they don’t have an automated process. They don’t know how to put one in place because they have no idea what it should look like. As a result, they don’t follow up either by email or phone because they are uncomfortable, embarrassed, and they don’t know what to say.  When someone gives you their contact information and asks you to follow up, that’s great customer service, not nagging or chasing.

Lisa: Should the follow up be a phone call or are there other options?

Sue: It depends on what you are offering, if you have a really high end offer, it’s going to be a little bit different and you’ll want to reach out with the phone. If it’s an offer for a free report or something that is delivered electronically, then an email sequence without a phone call is appropriate and effective.

I generally teach my client that they should have 3 different offers at the end and let people choose which they are most interested in. If they don’t choose any of them, that’s okay. But if you don’t ask, it’s always a “no”!

For instance, when I speak, the first offer is the free report “15 Tips To Speak Your Way To Success.” That’s a digital report – they put their email address they get added right away into my list. They start getting information that they requested that goes deeper into what I talked about at the event. The content has value and the campaign is seeded with calls to action.

The second offer is for a free 30-minute consultation. If they sign up for this, I believe it’s important to pick up the phone and give them a call.  Probably 99% of the time you are going get a voice mail. Be prepared and leave a message like, “Hey Lisa, Sue Henry here. I just wanted to follow up thank you again for signing up for the free 30 minute consultation. I am sorry I missed you. I’m send you an e-mail outlining the information so that we can get our time together scheduled. If you don’t see it in the next 24 hours please be sure to check your spam filter because maybe it ended up there.

This eliminates playing phone tag and they have been alerted that they can go back to their e-mail, take a look for that very specific message from me and then follow the instructions there. Obviously, there other times when I will do a follow up with postcards, letters, etc., it depends the offer they signed up for.

I think that one of the issues is that people are drowning in information but for they are starving for truth, for real solutions and for real results. There a lot of so-called experts out there pounding on their chest saying choose me, choose me, and they don’t have the track record to get results. They are spewing theory and what they “hope” will actually work.

I do have the track record of results. I share the secrets I’ve been using for amazing success so others can have those same, predictable results, too. I’m not promising that you’re going to get rich. I am sharing what I do to get the results I do from speaking: A $500 offer to a an audience of 40 people who are my target market will generate between $6,000 and $8,000 within 3 months of the speaking gig when I put all of these elements into play.

Lisa: And it doesn’t have to directly from the room, it can be ongoing.

Sue:  Absolutely, and that’s what most people forget. They are tripping over dollars to pick up pennies. They are so focused on selling just one item, like a book, that they lose sight of all the other ways they can offer solutions. That’s doing their audience and themselves a disservice.