Go Ahead, Open Your Mouth to Grow Your Business
Let me tell you a little story… you know how I like stories.
I was talking with a plumber who had his own business. He was a very good plumber and a really great guy. He wanted to grow his business, which is the reason we were meeting. He asked if he could “pick my brain” over a Diet Mt. Dew. Nothing I love better than Diet Mt. Dew and a chance to help a business owner make his business better.
He gave me the rundown of where he thought he stood. I recognized right away that this plumber stayed on top of the industry and was continually learning and growing his professional skill. He was truly a plumbing expert. So I asked him how he educated clients, specifically, did he share his expertise by speaking?
“Oh no, I don’t make speeches,” he said.
I asked, “Why not? You are really an expert.”
“It’s not my thing,” he said.
I explained how sharing his expertise through speaking could make a direct impact on his bottom line, he turned from an adamant, “no,” to a “tell me more.” A few weeks later I got a call from him. He had taken the bull by the horns and presented some information about water heaters, specifically tankless water heaters, to a civic organization in his community. He’d gotten two new clients and two others who were interested.
What does “speaking to sell” mean for business owners?
Taking opportunities to speak to groups means you can reach many potential customers at one time. It doesn’t matter if your business sells to other businesses or directly to consumers, speaking in front of a group of people at a local rotary meeting means you can introduce yourself, your business and some of the specific products or services you have to offer to several people at one time.
Doesn’t that beat cold-calling businesses one at a time? Of course it does.
There are two things to remember when speaking to groups.
- You don’t have to tell them everything about you and your business. But you do have to be clear about what you can do for them, the problems you solve and the value you bring.
- Don’t fill your talk with hard sells – buy this, buy that – but do make an offer. In fact, you make a specific offer.
Speaking to sell works and works big – if you know how to prepare and deliver. Just like other aspects of your business, you have to learn and develop the skills to make the most of the opportunity. It’s more than speaking skills, it’s how to prepare a talk, prepare a pitch and how to follow-up with the leads collected. Yes, another system. But a profitable one!
To Your Success,