You already know that follow-up after a speech is critical. Your odds of winning a consulting gig from an attendee increase by an order of magnitude if you connect shortly after the speech. But, if you’re like most consultants, you may not know exactly what to say to generate business. We’re going to solve that right now.
The six step approach detailed below works for any speech in front of a normal-sized audience. It doesn’t apply if you address roaring crowds packed into Candlestick Park. (If you have 50,000 screaming fans, I’m pretty sure you’ll do fine. Assuming they’re not screaming in horror.)
The Proven, 6 Step Path from Speech to Consulting Projects
Have an assistant call every attendee within 2-3 days. Whether they reach an attendee in person or get voicemail, the message sounds like this:
“Hello, Mr. Deelnemer. I’m calling on behalf of Sally Struthers. She spoke at the Kiln Firing conference you attended earlier this week. Sally likes to follow up with attendees because she knows that sometimes questions come up afterwards. Can we schedule a 15-minute conversation?”
About 80% of the people your assistant reaches will schedule a conversation and about 30% of the people who receive a voicemail will call back. Everyone else will still be impressed that the big cheese who was on stage reached out to little ol’ them.
If your speech was attended by 50 or fewer people, you can make the follow-up call yourself then skip to Step 5. The script in that case is:
“Hi Jim, this is Sally Struthers from Kicker Consulting. You attended my P-spot presentation on Monday. I like to follow up with everyone who’s attended one of my sessions because I know that sometimes questions come up a day or two later. So I wanted to make myself available in case you had questions. And, of course, to get any feedback.”
Your assistant will schedule a time to talk roughly 7-20 days after the speech. Do not let more than three weeks elapse. This time between your assistant’s call and your scheduled conversation is what I call the “connection gap,” and you’re going to pour value into it.
The day after your assistant schedules the discussion send an email:
“My assistant, Bob, told me we’re going to be talking next Tuesday. That’s terrific. I’m looking forward to it. In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy this .” <The blank space is a description of a valuable piece of information (e.g., a relevant whitepaper, graphic, or article) you attach to the email.
Midway between your first email and the scheduled conversation, you send a second email:
“I’m looking forward to our call in a couple of days. This article came across my desk and I thought you would find it interesting.” <Again, you include a relevant, interesting piece of information.>
On the scheduled date, you engage in a carefully crafted, three-part conversation:
Part 1: Listen, answer questions, and accept all feedback graciously.
Part 2: Ask more about them and their situation. Show you’re genuinely interested (i.e., a Right Side Up conversation.)
Part 3: Ask for permission for another follow-up conversation during which you’ll discuss ways to potentially work together. This request is called The Turn, and I describe it in detail in this post.
In the subsequent follow-up conversation you discuss opportunities that lead to a project.
Following this 6-step path will lead to at least one client after every single speech. Assuming, of course, you are speaking to audiences that contain at least a few buyers. It may not work well in front of your daughter’s 3rd grade class.
Have you found speaking to be a consistently good way to attract clients?
Text and images are © 2021 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.