Tag Archives: marketing

Your Worst Employee is Your Website’s Contact Form- Fire It!

When was the last time you left a voice mail message for a company you were considering doing business with? For example, if you had a leaky faucet and called a plumber, but got their voicemail, would you leave a message? For the vast majority of us, the answer is “No.” We just move on and contact the next vendor on the list. The bigger question is “Why don’t we — or won’t we- leave a message?”

The Three Reasons are:
1. We simply don’t want to wait. We have become accustomed to getting the answers we want when we want them. Whether it is being able to order items online 24-7, or simply asking Alexa or Google Home for the answer to a question. Today we don’t wait for a response. The information is at our fingertips and purchases are available with just one click.

2. There is an almost endless selection of other options available to us. Virtually everyone is good these days because if they weren’t, the marketplace would “out” them in short order. Face it, quality choices abound.

3. We don’t know when, or if, someone will get back to us. The same dynamic exists with your website contact form. The “contact form” is the answering machine of the internet. Nobody wants to fill it out. They want direct contact information to a real person. Get rid of it!

Here is the uncomfortable truth: If the only way for your customers (or prospective customers) to reach a real person at your business is through your website’s contact form, then you need to know that your form is driving away more prospects than your worst employee. It’s costing you a fortune in lost business.

To be clear, I understand why you have a contact form. You want to funnel all your messages to one person or department. You want to capture their contact information. You want to get a sense of what the question or problem is before you return their call. You want to avoid scaring people away with your unpublished price so you have them fill out the form so you can ascertain their needs and have a sales rep call them back to have a real conversation and tailor your solutions to their individual needs. Blah, blah blah.  The reasons go on and on.

The problem is that they are YOUR reasons. News Flash: Your customers don’t care about your reasons and they certainly don’t want to contact you the way you want them to. Your customers want to contact you the way THEY want to. And if you restrict their access or their communication options, you are driving them away — in droves.

The solution: Give them options! Sure, you can have a contact form, but also post a key staff directory with contact options. Give them phone numbers, email addresses and after hours options. I know you are reluctant, but your customers don’t care! Your customers want to connect with a real person. If you won’t let them, then they will contact your competitors. Trust me, it happens millions of times every day. Look! There goes another one!

David Avrin, CSP is a sought-after international speaker on Customer Experience and Marketing. He is the author of the best-selling book: Why Customers Leave (and How to Win Them Back) named by Forbes as:
“One of the 7 Business Books Entrepreneurs Need to Read!” Book David Today:
https://bit.ly/2m1WutK

The Get PR Famous Formula!

If you’re looking to get more exposure for your product, service or brand and/or wanting to be “famous” in your industry and stand out as THE expert, it’s time to incorporate the Get PR Famous Formula into your regular marketing plan. By adding visibility into your day-to-day plan, you WILL be exposed to more potential customers and you will grow your business.

The Get PR Famous Formula is what you use to attract and pitch the media. Getting local media coverage makes you a star in your community. Getting national media coverage gives you tremendous credibility with potential clients and customers. The proven system is simple. You want to be newsworthy, you want to create great hooks, and you want to find the right journalist.

Last year alone, the people who followed this system were exposed to almost one billion
people and generated over eight figures in sales from free publicity.

Step 1Be Newsworthy
Being newsworthy is as simple as using outside of the box thinking to come up with creative story ideas:

1) Take a national trend or study and show how it relates to the local market.

2) Niche what you do and pitch around that. Think of a target. What do you do that is in the
small red circle that makes you unique in your industry?

3) Sign up for Help a Reporter Out/HARO, www.HelpaReporter.com. This is a free media query service where media outlets are looking for sources and quotes for national magazine articles, television shows, newspapers, and blogs. This is THE fastest and easiest way to get national media coverage. Want some tips on how to respond to HARO queries, get the free guide at www.FreeGiftFromChristina.com .

Step 2Create Great Hooks
The hook is your subject line. It’s how you get the journalist to read your email pitch. A hook is as simple as what you see on a magazine cover. People are paid a lot of money to get you to make a $5.00 impulse purchase in the grocery store check-out line based on the “hooks” you see on the magazine cover. My favorite is AARP Magazine. Just Google, “AARP magazine covers” and see what’s there. Do the same for industry related magazines or magazines you know your customers are reading and see what they are using for hooks. Then, just plug and play your newsworthy story idea into an existing hook and you’re one step closer to success!

Step 3Find the Right Journalist
This step is vital because you don’t want to send, for example, your business-related story to the book editor. People are always amazed at how frequently I get on television and in
magazines and newspapers. It’s all about finding the right person to pitch. I’m always asked how I do it. Here is my top-secret resource for finding journalists…. It’s Google. Google is a question search engine, “Who writes about real estate for [name of publication].” Locally, you’ll usually get their name, email, and phone number all in one search. Nationally can sometimes take a page or two of digging but they will be there. A resource I just discovered to find email addresses is, https://hunter.io. Give Hunter a try if you can’t find them on Google.

By putting these three steps in place when pitching the media, you will be light years ahead of  your competition and you will stand out to journalists. The more you pitch, the more you are seen as a valuable resource and it won’t be long before the media is reaching out to you for quotes about your expertise.

Christina Daves is a High-energy Speaker, Serial Entrepreneur, Award-winning Inventor, Publicity Expert, Best-Selling Author of: “PR for Anyone” and TV Media Personality.  With a “girl-next-door” appeal, audiences are captivated by her authenticity, sincerity and her struggle for, then capture of, success. Christina offers real stories on how to reach your goals using simple, yet proven, tactics that have catapulted her businesses, and helped a host of other entrepreneurs achieve success. Christina’s energy is infectious and her passion and perseverance ignite the audience with actionable lessons they can incorporate into their businesses the very next day. Her “never give up attitude” and “find a way to make it work” mantra, are inspiring to her audiences. To have Christina at your next event contact 888-766-3155 or click here: Hire Christina Daves

Don’t Leave Your BIG Goals to Chance! Reliably Achieve BIG Goals Faster

Don’t Leave Your BIG Goals to Chance! Reliably Achieve BIG Goals Faster

By Carl Loop

Do you hear people state a BIG goal that makes you inwardly (or outwardly) just shake your head in disbelief? As in, you have about as much chance of accomplishing that as a New Years resolution (which has about 8% chance of being accomplished on average).
And yet, people do accomplish goals, they even accomplish BIG goals that they (and often everyone else) once thought were impossible!
• 7 and 8 Figure Business Growth at Record Speed
• Owning 200 Investment Property Homes
• 1st Female NFL Coach and Hall of Fame
• Feeding 10’s of Thousands of People
• Winning the Nobel Prize
• Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with No Arms and No Legs (Kyle Maynard)

Leaving your BIG Goals to Chance risks having them downsized or discarded! Reliably Achieve BIG Goals Faster from these 5 Steps!
5 Steps to Reliably Achieve BIG Goals Faster!

The Power of Vision.

“Without Vision the Past Predicts the Future.”
The future is predictable without a Vision. A Vision uses your Belief System to creates new access to something greater. A Vision is your “come from” place and communicates your BOLD Stand. It’s the secret weapon that pulls you through tough times and boosts you to a higher place.
Having only a resource and task focus develops survival/safety concerns which bring survival results and create interactions of force, competition, self-interest and disconnection. Vision focus develops aliveness, power, collaboration, community and connection, all of which reliably drive you higher.

Don’t Go it Alone.

Individually, we are self-limiting, less accountable and less reliable. One of my BIG successful clients says: “we have that little voice in our head that doesn’t want us to be anything.”  When we are aware of others knowing and supporting what we are up to, or being aware that others expect our greatness, it pulls us higher and more reliably forward. The best version of ourselves comes when we contribute to others and others contribute to us.

Performance on Purpose.

“If you’re just performing to lifeless goals, you’ll be lifeless about achieving them.”
The greatest version of you, the version that has and can achieve the impossible, comes from connecting to a purpose (rooted in your Vision) that moves you. Performance on Purpose comes from seeing your life as a movie where you are the hero having victory over undesirable forces, and where you are helping to free others from those undesirable forces.
A goal driven by purpose has a much higher reliability to be achieved.
Also, we must continuously renew ourselves with our purpose so we can maintain performance at our extraordinary personal best.

Planning.

“Businesses that Plan Together Pull Together.”
Create a unified Roadmap of Prioritized Goals, Plan, Action. Clarity catapults results.
It’s only a lofty dream until you know the steps for achieving it.
Often, in the patterns and chaos of daily doing, we miss the BIG pieces unless we have the Vision, Goals, Plan, Action roadmap.

Set “Control Points” So You Maintain Progress.

Communicate frequently at specific, committed times. Committed communication greatly increases Reliably Achieving BIG Goals Faster.
Develop and Commit to an Escalation process when things go off track. Have a “By When” date on when you will complete something.
Define and Accept an accountability process and have discipline to hold yourself -and accept having others- hold you to it.

Don’t leave your BIG Goals to chance.  Schedule a 15 minutes conversation today!

Carl Loop says the most amazing thing about what he does is to help people “See the Unseen” to LEAP opportunities.  His various award-winning corporate, entrepreneurial, creative, technical and leadership background and experiences enable him to bring a new perspective so you see the unseen to “Achieve The LEAP.”

Carl is passionate about helping people “Achieve The LEAP.”  To date, he has helped businesses profit by 10’s of Millions of dollars…and counting!  When Carl was very young, he could jump really far, and became a bit of a celebrity in schoolyard competitions. People started calling Carl “Leaping Loop” and it has stuck ever since! Call 888-766-3155 to book Carl for your next event!

Event Planning And The Scourge Of Round Banquet Tables

Event Planning And The Scourge Of Round Banquet Tables

By David Deeble

Let’s be serious for a moment: audiences should be seated facing the speaker.

Imagine a photographer going from round banquet table to round banquet table taking pictures of people without asking anyone to turn around and face the camera. To do so would be absurd. But it’s no more absurd than introducing a speaker or entertainer when much of the audience – by virtue of the fact that they’re sitting at round banquet tables – still have their backs squarely facing the podium or stage.

Before introducing an entertainer or speaker to the stage, take a page from the photographer playbook and request that those whose backs are to the stage to at least offer the presenter their profile.

This and a few other simple changes very often make the difference between an audience which is engaged and one that is not.

Return to daviDDeeble.com or learn how a head injury forced me to reinvent myself from a conventional to a comedic juggler.

David Deeble’s career in comedy began at the age of 8 when he joined the Long Beach Mystics, a now-legendary magic club in Long Beach, California. There, he was schooled relentless
ly in the importance of being a polished entertainer – not just a magic act. After opening for such comedians as Ray Romano and Kevin James, David made his debut as the variety star in “Bare Essence” at Harrah’s, Lake Tahoe. From there, he began making numerous appearances on American television including “America’s Got Talent,” “Last Comic Standing,” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on which he performed his trademark grocery-sack juggling routine. To Hire David as your next Entertainer, click here or call 888-766-3155 to book him!

The Strategic Fit – Building Relationships with Speakers’ Bureaus

The Strategic Fit – Building Relationships with Speakers’ Bureaus

By Christy Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM

This is the final piece in a three-part series recapping a conversation I had with Sue Falcone, Founder and CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau on how planners can strategically build relationships with speaker’s bureaus. The Strategic Fit - Building Relationships with Speakers' Bureaus

This is the final piece in a three-part series recapping a conversation I had with Sue Falcone, Founder and CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau on how planners can strategically build relationships with speaker’s bureaus. Part one introduces the value of the speakers’ bureau, and part two talks about event speaker trends.

Christy: What do you do about speakers who speak from scripts and are reluctant or unwilling to adapt the message to an audience?

Sue: It’s essential to make sure every client gets a unique and custom experience. Audiences will not accept “canned” presentations, although once that was the norm.  Every speaker search I do starts with a thorough questionnaire for the speaker and the planner so that I know exactly what is expected from and needed from both sides.  It doesn’t matter how many times I have worked with a client; every piece of business must be earned.  Fresh, relevant material is a must and that means adapting to the audience.

Christy: What do you say to those who think they can’t afford to hire a speaker or to those who would prefer to simply book directly?

Sue: I focus on creating an experience from the initial contact, so fees are not the first thing we discuss. I want to know what the client is looking for and what the goal is for bringing in the speaker. From there, it’s my job to find solutions and secure a speaker they like and need.

As for being able to afford my services, there are a few key points to keep in mind. Always ask if the bureau’s fees are paid for by the client or the speaker as it varies by organization. At Remarkable Speakers! the speaker pays for the booking, so there is no cost to the client for utilizing my services. It is also important to know that the speaker fees we quote are not marked up to cover the fees the speaker pays us.

The additional thing to keep in mind is the expertise offered by the bureau. After listening to what the client wants, I make initial recommendations, factoring in not just the speaker’s content but their style. It has to be a good fit at every level. No one has time to waste, so working with a pro means only seeing speakers who meet your needs, style and budget. Watching clips on You Tube and searching the net for speakers can take hours and may not lead you anywhere.

Christy:  Planners are so often in ‘go’ mode that they forget to stop and consult the experts. It’s a good reminder that help is available and that the service providers will likely do a better job than we could. Thanks for that quick reality check!

Sue: I think we can all fall into that trap sometimes! To continue: as for budget: I never apologize or shy away from the cost to book a speaker. Some of the best advice ever given to me that I live by was: “when quoting fees you should be able to do it without blinking an eye. Do it with confidence, facts, and commitments.”

That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for negotiation.  Both sides need to walk away feeling good about the partnership. I can work with both parties to create mutually agreeable terms.  I love the “thrill of the hunt” and closing deals. After booking thousands of speakers I have tons of creative ways clients and speakers can find middle ground.

Christy: My friend is a speaker. Why do I need one of yours?

Sue:  Now, more than ever, everyone thinks they are a speaker, or knows someone who is! I always thank my clients for the opportunity to “earn their business.” Often, when looking for a speaker, initially, people do not know what they want. Even if they have a friend or colleague in mind, it’s a good possibility they still are looking for suggestions. I find that many times after a few questions, the client is not quite as sold on their friend as it might have first appeared.

Knowing the speaker has advantages but does not guarantee it’s the right fit. I ask questions about what they are looking for in their speaker, and does their friend have all need to have a successful event. I share key things to look at; great video clips, an active and engaged social media presence where you can see reviews and testimonials, and what their marketing materials look like to see how fresh, current, and relevant their speaker is. I make sure they think through the ‘why’ around choosing their friend as the speaker.  It’s important to remember that the impact of choosing the best speaker reflects on them.  I want my clients and potential clients to be seen as “rock stars” for choosing the perfect speaker and having a successful event. Sometimes their friend may be their speaker of choice.

To me it’s about helping people make good decisions so even if we don’t book a speaker, I am still thankful for creating a relationship that can be developed for future business. The other opportunity is for me to add a new speaker to my roster as we are always looking for Remarkable Speakers!

A huge thanks to Sue for her time, expertise, buoyant personality and wisdom. I speak to many people each day and few have Sue’s remarkable spirit, candor and enthusiasm. I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I had speaking to her. To continue the conversation, leave a note in the comments section below, find me on Twitter: @SMEChristy or email me: Christy.lamagna@strategic.events.

CEO, Sue Falcone, recognized the need for a speakers bureau that would represent professional speakers, and provide the perfect speaker for clients who sought the best for their events with a personal “hands on” custom touch.

From a former corporate executive, to becoming a professional speaker and author being hired, and creating a distinctive and unique speakers bureau representing speakers for hire, she gained the experience and expertise needed to give a full service experience.

 

5 Words to Avoid in Your Social Media Posts!

Here are 5 types of words that I want you to think twice before using in your social media.

Why so important in social media? Because you have a much shorter time to make an impression so you want to make a good and intriguing impression, fast.

CLICK TO TWEET

 1. Avoid words that focus on the negative.

Words like:

  • Can’t
  • Do not
  • Unfortunately
  • Impossible
  • Mistake
  • Problem

That doesn’t mean your prospect client doesn’t have a problem you want to (and can) solve. It means you need to word it differently.

Instead use words like:

  • Your benefit
  • It’s best to
  • Success
  • Value

Show you understand where your reader is coming from and how your service benefits them to keep reading, to sign up, to click, or to buy.

2. Avoid using the words THING or STUFF or IT.
I actually wrote this sentence in this post and had to go back and change one above because I realized I used it when I could have been more specific. Always, always, always be specific. Be clear, tell your followers what you want them to focus on so they have clear takeaways.

What was the sentence above I had to change?

Tell me what you think of the difference when I followed my own advice…

Before: Show your reader how it benefits them to keep reading, to sign up, to click, or to buy.

After: Show your reader how your service (or product) benefits them to keep reading, to sign up, to click, or to buy.

Small difference but a big one nonetheless. Don’t you think?

3. Avoid the word REALLY.
This word is a descriptive crutch. Just like a lot, and very. If you are describing something that you want to emphasize and you can’t think of a good adjective then grab your thesaurus or go to thesaurus.com (my personal fav) to get inspiration. Or just delete the word altogether and your sentence should be strong enough to stand on its own.

Example: You really need to buy my service if you are suffering from a lot of fear that posting on social media is difficult and are very nervous about spending money on ads.

Change to: Buy my service if you suffer from fear that posting on social media is difficult and you are nervous about spending money on ads.

Just removing those words made your statement much more clear and powerful!

4. Strike out “I believe” “I think” and “I feel” , from your posts.
People assume the words they read are the author’s opinion, unless you are quoting a fact. Using these “I” statements sounds wishy washy, reduces the power of what you are saying, and leads to a decrease in your perceived expert status. So don’t do this, instead just take those words out of the equation and let your sentence stand on its own.

Example: I believe you should revamp, revitalize and renew your LinkedIn profile so you look professional and polished.

Now take out the “I believe” and notice how the focus stays on the reader and you sound much more persuasive!

What do you think?

5. Never use the word JUST.
I read a fascinating article recently. The author talked about some personal research she did on the word just. She found that a much higher proportion of women used this word in communication.

  • “I just wanted to check in on …”
  • “Just wondering if you’d decided between …”
  • “If you can just give me an answer, then …”
  • “I’m just following up on …”

The author (Ellen Leanse, Business Insider) makes a fantastic point about the word just and why women seem to use it more. This word is a way of asking permission, showing deference to who you are talking to (whether they deserve it or not), and most often dramatically reduces the power of the communicator who uses it.

Striking this one word from the sentence strengthened the sender’s message and clarified it too. Isn’t that something we always look for in communication? I know I do.

So I challenge you to take a look at your communications you send today and see how many justs find their way into your emails, and then delete them!

I bet you will feel a little more powerful and confident in your request, and just might (will!) get a faster, clearer response.

Want another word list to keep handy? Here is a great one: 297 words and phrases that rob your writing of power. Check it out!

Have you found a great resource of words to use or words to avoid? Share with us in my LinkedIn group! I bet you will learn another smart business tidbit or two to use in your social media marketing plan. Join us!

Social Media Brand Strategist Speaker, Karen Yankovich is the CEO of Uplevel Media, LLC.  Having “been there and done that” in the arena of losing (and then re-finding) a focused approach to business and life; Social Media and LinkedIn Evangelist, Karen guides entrepreneurs to creating wealth by combining smart business practices with simple proven systems that develop and maintain strong customer relationships. She offers results oriented and expert Conversational Marketing strategies that position her clients to bring in instant results. Karen’s background includes over twenty years in the fields of information technology, marketing, and customer relationships, making social media her ideal niche. “I highly recommend Karen Yankovich as a speaker. She recently presented to our Texas Women in Business group and had our audience fully engaged with her incredible presentation on Profitable Social Media.”  ~ Megan Tull, Leadership Training Expert   To book Karen for your next event contact Sue Falcone at 888-766-3155 or click here:   Book Karen Today

6 Elements to a “Killer” Speaking Business! by Felicia Slattery

Public speaking is a dream for many people. If that’s YOU this is written to help you avoid the costly mistakes so many beleaguered, ragged, worn-out speakers make; thinking the ONLY way to make money is when they are on stage alone.

If you were alive and in the business world in the 1980s-1990s, you may remember the “Success Seminars” that traveled to major cities across the country. They would feature local and national sports heroes, past politicians, best-selling authors, and icons in business. One of those people was Zig Ziglar.

I started my first business (direct sales) at age 22 and Zig Ziglar was one of the people often quoted at the local meetings. He was so inspirational.

Having been a speaker for most of my life and newly out of college I always wondered what it would be like to be on stage at any of those big events, sharing the stage with awesome people.

And then it happened. I got to share the stage (that means speak at the same event) with Zig Ziglar himself!

How?  Fast forward to THIS century when I started speaking for a living in my own business, and by 2008, I had been on a number of big stages and had met some really amazing successful people. One of those people was planning his own event and wondered if I would be interested in speaking on the same stage as one of my long-time heroes, Zig Ziglar.

Um, yes, please! And so it was.

Along the way, I realized the “real secret” to build true wealth like Zig and others have done is: to take a look at their entire BUSINESS.

You see, a PROFITABLE speaking business is a comprehensive enterprise that involves far more than simply getting paid to speak!  It’s also getting paid for work you do off stage and seeing that money roll in when you’re not working at all.

You’ve seen the photos of colleagues, friends, and other speakers on stages and now you’ve decided THIS is your year to make it as a speaker. Are people telling you all the time they love your work, what you stand for, and you should be a speaker?  Do you have a burning desire in your soul to serve the world from the stage?

I can help! Here’s what it takes – all 6 elements – to have a successful speaking business that is comprehensive, and maximizes your income to the highest levels.

Element 1: Your “Killer” Keynote Speech

Now, I’m not one to use the negative-sounding words, but “killer keynote” is industry lingo for a really fabulous presentation you get paid to deliver. This is the speech you will develop, practice, and get paid to deliver over and over again with variations of  your custom designed content for your audiences. This speech is your “product” and will be what your audiences and meeting planners fall in love with.

Element 2: Your On-Stage Delivery

When you get paid to show up, you’ve got to bring the goods. Being on stage is your magic moment and it will either make you or break you. You’ve got to give your audience an EXPERIENCE to remember. Yes, the content matters, but how you deliver it matters even more!

Element 3: Getting Booked to Speak

To make the money, you’ve got to get on stages. Meeting planners have certain ways they find speakers and once they do you need to know how to handle that conversation. Where to price yourself, how to sell yourself, and knowing what to say to a meeting planner when you are on the phone with them are the keys to getting your “killer” keynote in front of audiences and getting paid for it!

Element 4: Your Best-Selling Book

Speakers are EXPECTED to be authors. But not any book will do. You’ve got to have a memorable title, content that people want to read, and information that is unlike other books in the market. Of course it helps if your book is a best-seller on Amazon or other lists.

Element 5: Your Sexy Back End

Speaking is only the BEGINNING of the relationship. When audiences see you on stage and then read your book, they are going to want MORE of you. Here is where you can multiply your profits exponentially and impact people long after they see you on stage.

Element 6: Branding and Positioning

Most people mistakenly believe your speaking fee is earned on stage. It’s not. Your fee is actually determined long before you hit the stage with your marketing, your message, and how you communicate who you are and the value you bring. Remember: when you are on social media, you are marketing yourself as a speaker – in fact that’s one of the ways meeting planners find their speakers, so show up as a professional (with a life). Your website, your marketing materials, your videos, your blog and more will be how a meeting planner determines if you’re good or if they should pass you by -even before they ever reach out to you. Position yourself to be a rock star and you will be!

So there you have it! The entire list of exactly what it takes to build a “Killer” successful business as a professional speaker.

Felicia J. Slattery, Internationally- acclaimed, award-winning Speaker, and Best-selling Author, is on a mission to motivate, inspire, coach, and train thought leaders, entrepreneurs, C-suite executives, and celebrities to create meaningful connections through effective communication and professional speaking. If you’d like to get started on the marketing materials for your business, you may love her Speaker Marketing Checklist Bundle, which is more like training in the form of checklists to keep everything from feeling overwhelming. Simply choose what marketing material you want to start with and move down the list checking items off as you go. Super easy. Very powerful.

 

Time to Join a Speakers Bureau?

Recently I was asked by a well known marketing person, “when should a speaker think about joining a Speakers Bureau?”

I didn’t hesitate or blink an eye and said: “when they are already booking themselves consistently for paid events!”

That led to the next question: “what does a Speakers Bureau really do for a Speaker?”

With over 250 different speakers bureaus currently listed in the United States,  most are thought of only as a listing service rather than as an extension of a speakers’ marketing plan. The major benefit is that the bureau handles the billing and contract negotiation with the event planner.

This is why it is so important for a speaker to know how a bureau operates before they sign on and enable someone other than themselves to find and book speaking engagements for them.

Our interview continued with the question: “what should a speaker ask and have in place before they actually reach out to a speakers bureau?”

I agreed to share what we feel is key to a speakers’ success in choosing a speakers bureau.

  • Realize a speakers bureau does not take start up speakers, they have to be consistently booking themselves for paid speaking events.
  • Check with their speaker friends to see which ones they are listed with.
  • Ask them if they are happy with their bureau.
  • Determine how the speakers bureau will handle the billing and event contracts for them.
  • Understand there is no better booking agent than themselves, however a speakers bureau can give them more traffic and increased bookings.
  • Have a business plan where they see a speakers bureau is not a replacement for their marketing plan, it is only an extension of it.
  • Be very cautious about signing with a speakers bureau that wants a speaker  to be exclusive with them.
  • Determine how they are going to do business with a speakers bureau.  A lot of bureaus now do not have a signed agreement in place with the speakers they represent; but look at it this way, shouldn’t a speaker want one? As a speaker they have one with their clients, so why shouldn’t they have one with someone who is representing them to a client?
  • Make sure they have a total package to offer a speakers bureau, which they should already have in place, and includes:
    –   Being a paid professional speaker for at least two years
    –   Fee structure range
    –   Evidence of consistent bookings
    –   Social Media strategy in place
    –   Marketing materials- one sheet, professional photos, professional video clip,
    recommendations from clients,  list of paid clients, updated website, anything that would help a speakers bureau market them to event planners.
  • There is no guarantee a speakers bureau can get them bookings right away- timing is everything.
  • Know event planners seldom look to a speakers bureau for just one speaker, they usually want 3-5 speakers to look at before making a decision.
  • Choose a speakers bureau that has their best interests at heart, and wants to develop an open relationship of mutual cooperation.

This was a valuable interview experience for both of us.  We came away knowing most professional speakers and event planners still see the value of a speakers bureau, and want to work with those they “know, like, and trust.”   It is a great way to add increased bookings and marketing to a speakers’ business model.

Sue Falcone is the CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau. She has come full circle in her experience of being a former Corporate Executive that hired speakers, to becoming a sought-after speaker and author being hired, to now representing some of the most Remarkable speakers on the Planet for you to hire.  Sue is a well respected thought leader in the industry of professional speaking.

 

 

 

Can Social Media Replace the Personal Customer Touch?

social mediaHow many times have you heard  “we don’t have to make commitments to speak with our customers anymore, we just text, email, or send them a DM on their Twitter account!”

Really? Is that the only way a vibrant growing business, association, or non-profit communicates with their customers now? How many of our customers are still wanting to live in the “good old days” when you contacted a company you got a real person, or when you entered your favorite store someone greeted and asked to help you?  I am seeing more and more complaints and it has nothing to do with the age or stage!

People are wanting that special touch, along with being in touch on all forms of Social Media too! How can we provide both?  Here are some surprising, startling facts from the Office of Consumer Affairs and American Express that we need to know in order to plan our business strategy. Remember  “without a customer we don’t have a business!”

Did you know:

  • It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
  • For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent. 
  • According to consumers, customer service agents failed to answer their questions 50% of the time.
  • 80% of Americans agree that smaller companies place a greater emphasis on customer service than large businesses.
  • In the last year, 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration because they could not talk to a real person.
  • 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
  • Almost 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience.
  • On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
  • 59% of 25-34 year-olds share poor customer experiences online.
  • Failing to respond to a customer either by phone or social media is perhaps the absolute worst thing you could do.

The current data supports that our customers of today want to be valued, and appreciated and will even pay higher fees to receive the best experience possible! How you do that depends on the customer.

My company loves Social Media and the valuable contacts, fans, customers, and friends we connect with; but Social Media cannot replace what we still love more which is: hearing their voices, seeing their faces, and enjoying quality time with them to be able to serve them in the best possible way that they so richly deserve!

Getting to know our customers is so important! Can Social Media do that for us?  Lots of times it can get us on their radars, but we still have to take the time to reach and contact them one on one either by phone, in person, Skype, FaceTime or Zoom.  They need to know we are “real people” interested in them first-not just in what they can do for our businesses!

The main part of creating that great customer experience is to make sure we follow-up and do what we promise and commit to them, or they will go somewhere else!
We hope you have a wonderful Fall season and a great rest of the year! Finish strong and keep in mind that giving the best customer experience possible is the way to having more referrals that you didn’t even have to ask or market for!

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency