14 Surefire Ways to Build your Back of the Room Sales

One of the things I love about speaking is the ability to create other income streams. In fact, I bet your life would be a whole lot less stressful if you could have multiple streams of income coming in simultaneously. Well, getting paid to speak by an association or company (and then selling from the platform), or at the back of the room is the perfect combination to do just that.

Here are fourteen ways to help you make the transition from speaking to selling…

1. Make your intentions clear.

Ever heard of the term “leaving money on the table!”? Well, a lot of speakers do that. That’s a problem. A HUGE problem, mainly because you have bills to pay, right? Unfortunately, some speakers actually get so caught up in delivering their message they forget to sell their products at all. The secret to effective public speaking is to always make sure you multitask when planning your presentation. Remember: you are running a business. Always create events, or get hired by an event planner where you can both give a great speech (and get the fee you want) PLUS sell lots of products in the back of the room!

2. Put your ego on standby.

Yes, I love the sound of applause, but believe it or not, getting a standing ovation can sometimes interfere with your selling process. Set your ego aside while speaking so that you can sell. Doing so will encourage the audience to appreciate you with their money after the speech.

3. Don’t be embarrassed.

Never be embarrassed about selling your products. If they’re excellent and deliver value to your audience, then you are doing a service by selling to your adoring fans and spreading your name, knowledge, and ideas. Oh, here’s something to think about: if you’re giving a FREE speech then you absolutely sell products from the back of the room. And the person who hired you will have no problem in allowing that.

4. Create credibility.

Build credibility by sending good pre-program materials, providing a great written introduction, and knowing what you’re talking about. Trading mentions with other speakers can be helpful, too.

5. Create strong opinions.

Being super likable and being a jerk both create sales. Either get to know your audience or be a total jerk, and the strong opinions you will create will help generate more sales.

6. Speak to your audience quickly.

You need to move slowly enough that people understand your basic ideas but quickly enough that they need to review them again later.

7. Learn and know your audience.

Your speech should be just a level above your audience so they have to think hard to follow you. This will make them want to buy your materials to grasp your ideas further.

8. Give the audience a need.

Use phrases throughout your speech that makes your audience feel that they need your products. Do this well before closing your speech, and you’ll get more and better sales.

9. Weave in testimonials and success stories.

Audience members want to know they’re making the right decision when they are buying from you. A good technique to take away buyer’s resistance and to prove the value of your products is to project testimonials on a screen or read them aloud for great effect.

10. Weave your products into a speech or session.

Another effective technique to use when wanting to sell from the platform is to use your projects or mention them during your presentation. Doing this gets your audience wanting them before they even know they’re for sale. In addition, you can also sell items if you aren’t allowed to technically sell them because audience members can come asking about them.

11. Use a raffle or drawing.

Another Guerilla Speaking technique is to hold a raffle from the platform. While you are doing it, you’re actually describing and soft selling your product while announcing the winner. You can also build online databases this way if you get permission to email your audience members.

12. Don’t make too many offers.

Less is more when it comes to selling from the platform. But of course, there are exceptions. The more you tell… the more you sell. Now, if you have a short speech — only deliver one offer. But in a longer presentation, and if the product has a higher price point, then I usually make one offer and one upsell.

13. Package your products.

Here’s a cool marketing secret. Bundle smaller products together as your speeches bring bigger ticket prices. That way, you know your audience has the money to pay for more and bigger products. Selling in systems or kits can help, and getting your products on the market makes you more likely to make money from consulting, mentoring, and the like.

14. Put a guarantee on it.

Make dealing with your risk stress-free. People are more likely to buy your products if they know they have a money-back guarantee. Some give a 30-day guarantee. Others give a 90-day guarantee. The longer you go out with your guarantee the more sales you will have and the more product(s) you will sell.

The above tips are proven strategies that have worked for me and other speakers. I know ’selling’ can be a dirty word to some people. But in one way or another we are all in sales, aren’t we? When you persuade someone to see your side of an argument, guess what? You are selling. When you persuade someone to marry you, that’s the ultimate selling presentation. The world goes round and round with selling… and you can do it in a way that works with your values!

About the author: Peter “The Reinvention Guy” Fogel is a humorist, speaker, seminar leader, and proud member of the National Speakers Association who has appeared on over 22 television shows. He delivers presentations on humor, reinvention, copywriting, and marketing to corporations and associations across America and parts of Jersey. As an information marketer, he is also the creator of Peter Fogel’s Guide to Effective Public Speaking.

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