Old sales joke: A guy shows up for his first day on the job as a life insurance agent and brags that he’s the best salesman in the world and will quickly put all the others to shame. Wanting to knock him down a peg, one of the senior sales reps tell him that the guy in the office across the street, Mr. Brown, is an eager, ready-to-buy prospect who is looking to buy a policy, even though they know he’s an avid nonbuyer and a nasty, mean old man who chased out the last sales guy who darkened his doorstep.
So the young pup enthusiastically grabs some brochures and a contract and heads over to claim his first client. About an hour later, he comes back grinning with a signed policy in hand for $50,000! The senior rep is in disbelief! Trying to think of a way to send him back to get his head handed to him, he asks, “Did you get a urine sample?” to which the new guy says, “What’s that?” The senior rep says, “Anytime you sell a policy over $20,000, you need to get a urine sample. Take the two bottles and go back to get the samples.”
About three hours later the new guy returns with two five-gallon buckets, one in each hand. He sets the buckets down in front of the senior rep, reaches into his shirt pocket, and produces the two vials of urine and says, “Here is Mr. Brown’s sample.” The senior rep says, “That’s good, but what’s with the two buckets?” The new rep replies, “Since I was going over there anyway, I decided to sell them a group policy.”
Yeah, it’s a groaner. But it’s also a good jumping-off point for the concept I want to give you for getting new clients to a point where you sell to them en masse.
Early in my business, when time and funds were limited, I made a point of mastering the art of selling from the “stage.” Back then, it was teleseminars, then group presentations at events. Today, it’s webinars and virtual conferences. While the tech has improved and changed, the one thing that remains constant is the power and efficiency of group-selling to an audience of prospects (or clients). Today, I can use the same presentation I delivered 15 years ago and STILL get people to rush to a webpage to either buy a product or book an appointment where a product and service will be sold.
Without a doubt, it’s the fastest, easiest, and most efficient way to get more new clients and generate sales because you’re delivering a “one-to-many” presentation that will move people to buy or book an appointment (depending on what you’re attempting to do with the presentation).
What is required for a group sales presentation? First and foremost, the “audacity” and confidence to actually attempt to “pitch” from the stage. If you’re a newbie, I would recommend you pitch an appointment or consultation that is free. Once you’ve mastered that, move to getting someone to fill out a form and pay you money. One of my clients, Charles Henson, CEO of Nashville Computer, started a group presentation where he would “sell” a free IT assessment or dark web scan. Once he got comfortable presenting and improved his presentation, he started selling Cybersecurity Risk Assessments for $1,000–$2,000 and getting people to run to the back of the room (physically in person and virtually on webinars) to give him money.
Second, if you’re a newbie to stage selling, I would also recommend you start with webinars to your list of unconverted leads and even clients, where the audience is “warm” and cannot see how many people are in the “room” and how many are buying. That way, if it’s a total flop, nobody but you will know.
Once you have a presentation that “sells,” take it to live audiences. All things being equal, you’ll get 10–20 times the buyers and response from an in-person seminar than you will on a webinar. Why? People are more engaged. However, if you pitch from the stage and no one buys, it’s as obvious as a wart on the end of your nose. So again, make sure you develop and practice a session that sells, starting with giving something away for free, then building to actually pitching a product or service.
But what about seminar hosts who don’t want you to pitch from the stage? For starters, you can still “pitch” or sell a free consult, free information (a book, e-book, report, etc.), or a free dark web scan. Doing so will help you lead generate, and you can position the offer as a “free” gift exclusively for those in the audience. Most event promoters and hosts won’t mind that.
Further, if your marketing is done right and you’ve accurately positioned yourself as the go-to expert on a subject, the promoter will allow it if you set it up from the beginning as a condition for you to speak. In the past, I would simply have in it my speaker agreement that I could take the last 5–10 minutes of the presentation to make “appropriate educational materials available” to the audience. As long as your presentation is solid material and you don’t abuse the privilege and take 30-plus minutes to deliver your pitch, the promoter won’t mind. I always offer a deep discount and tell the audience that it is being “sponsored” by the event host to give some love back to them.
One final tip: If you get a presentation that truly works, consider making it an evergreen webinar that you promote via social media ads and through retargeting to generate appointments and sales on autopilot. If you want to learn more on this subject, go online for one of our evergreen webinars and see how this is done: MSPsuccessMagazine.com/evergreen.