Yeah, I did. I broke my own sales record at the recent WBENC National Conference I just came back from. It was fun and it was great but it wasn’t exactly a surprise. In fact, I shared most of my secrets with members of my community with a webinar called Conference Confidential, a month ago. Well, in case you missed that, here’s how I did it and how you can too at your next conference:
Got A Niche
This is the thing I teach. And yeah I needed my own coach to get focused on my own niche but there it is. I am niched in teaching small businesses how to figure out their messaging to get more sales. My vertical focus is an organization called WBENC. Certified women business owners. My keynote “Twinning Your Competition: Why 86% of Buyers Can’t Tell the Difference Between Suppliers” was a huge hit. This wasn’t an accident. It was because I’m so tightly niched that all my content-including everything I talked about at the conference was about this niche.
Got A Sponsor
I’d been trying to speak at the WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) National Conference for a whole year. Through contacts, I sent my pitch and topic over to the organizer and was promptly shut down. Then I started speaking at regional events and conferences for the same organization. My success there snowballed into meeting a sponsor, DuPont, at a buyer’s meet and greet. She was able to get me in with a single phone call, within 3 days. The topic was of such interest that the organizers had me speak over 2 different consecutive breakout sessions and named it Part1 and Part2. This was unprecedented air time, as far as I know. So the strategy of leveraging sponsors to speak at giant conferences, even for small businesses like mine definitely works.
Offered A Value-Add
In addition to the speaking opportunity, I offered to do free marketing coaching at the trade show. I had done this many times before at numerous conferences and it was a new value added offering to the organizers. They liked the idea and went forward with my suggestions. I became the first and only marketing coach at the entire event and had a paid for booth with large signage that had been produced for me by WBENC. Amazing! The key here is to offer something of value for free to attendees and organizers of events that you’ll be at. Think about your audience’s biggest pain (ex. small business owners and marketing!) and go from there.
Had a Selling System
So many businesses who keynote or speak at events never get clients from it. How did I break my own Sales Record by speaking? Simple. First, I was in front of the right audience. If I wasn’t speaking about the audience’s pain and giving them examples of how I’d helped others in the same pain, I wouldn’t have made a single sale. Next and most crucially, I had several Complimentary Strategy Session sign-up sheets that I passed around at the end of my talk with clearly marked times and dates for during and after the show. Lastly, I had a system for confirming and letting prospects know about where we’d be meeting.
There you have the blueprint to my record breaking conference and I’m still booked with weeks of sales calls to come. You can also achieve the same thing by using my suggestions. So go forth and conference!