Hopefully, as we enter the new year, you are evaluating new ways to find more speaking business. If you have been in the industry for awhile, working hard to close deals, you know that a spin-off piece of business is a real gift. Moreover, a multi-gig engagement, or repeat business from a client who books you year after year for multiple dates, is like winning the lottery!
Working to secure repeat business is one of the easiest ways to grow your business since you already have a relationship. Here are a few useful tips, and for some of you simple reminders, on how to book more repeat business.
4 Useful Tips to Secure Repeat Business
ASK BETTER QUESTIONS. When you speak to an audience who loves you, and you love them, don’t leave it at that! Do everything you can think of to turn that one engagement into more. If it is a state association, then check into all of the other states. If it is a corporate department, then investigate other departments. All of this comes as a result of asking your clients the right questions on the back end of an engagement to find out who else you might have an opportunity to speak for.
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GO ABOVE AND BEYOND. When you do get the chance to go into a company, know where you fit in the grand scheme of things and do your best to set your inner diva aside. Speakers Bureau owner Betty Garrett told me a great spin-off story about former Dallas Cowboy Drew Pearson. First, he did a terrific job on the platform for Allstate Insurance. Then he gave his time graciously to autograph his books and take photos with audience members until the last man (or woman) was standing. He was contracted for two hours but stayed for four instead!
TEE UP THE NEXT PIECE OF BUSINESS. When you are just starting with a new client, you should be thinking long term. Vince Poscente uses a technique he borrowed from Connie Podesta. Before, during and after a keynote he uses the phrase, “If you like part one, you’ll love part two.” The point is to plant seeds so they realize that you have more information they may like to experience.
LET YOUR AUDIENCE SPEAK FOR YOU. Michael Hoffman places possible topics in his evaluations and then gives the client the results in a follow-up email with some recommendations.
He also shares one more innovative approach: “Tell the audience to be vocal about their opinions. If you nailed it, you usually get a lot of love afterward from well-wishers and fans. Casually ask them to be vocal about their appreciation of the hard work the meeting planners have done on their behalf and especially the investment they’ve made “bringing me in.” Believe it or not, I’ve had repeat business opportunities open up on my follow-up calls because “I’ve been the most talked about Speaker they’ve every had!”
Great tip Michael!
One question you should be asking your client (I apologize I do not recall who first told me this) is “how long do you want this message to last”? That is an excellent conversation starter for building repeat business.