9 Essentials of Selling from the Stage

There are two ways you can get paid to speak. The first is to be a paid keynote speaker on the speaking circuit. As a non-celebrity speaker in Australia you can expect to be paid $5k to $15k for speaking at a conference.  

The second way is what we call a 'busking out,' also known as selling from the stage. This is where you speak for free (or a nominal amount) but then sell something else at the end of the session. 

Here’s the Selling Thought Leadership model from ourConviction Selling book

I want to go through the 9 elements; specifically through the lens of a busking out talk. 

  1. Cool. Like all sales this is a numbers game, but the trap with a busking out is that you just aim to get people in the room. What’s more important is getting the right people in the room. Pretty easy to fill a room with people – make it free, offer some food and an interesting topic – but then you get a room full of people who want a free feed and some light entertainment. While it’s a numbers game, better to have less people if they are people you would want to work with and who will seriously consider what you’re offering.  
  2. Sold. The first sale is to yourself. You need to love what it is that you are selling at the end. It needs to be so good that you almost wish you were in the audience so you could buy it. And this all gets amplified when you’re in the front of the room talking to lots of people. PLUS you need to love the session itself. Make sure it's so full of value that even if people don’t buy your thing, coming along could be a turning point in their life or business.  
  3. Clean. Make sure that everyone coming along knows that you are giving them a chance to buy something at the end. Put it in the invitation, and reiterate it at the start of the event. No surprises.  
  4. Selective. Be selective about who you want to work with, and who you want in the room. During the event be really clear about the type of people that you work with and help the folks in the room know if that’s them or not.    
  5. Dance. Be real. Have fun. Show up in service. Aim to change the lives of everyone in the room. Don’t come to sell, come to serve.  
  6. Clicking. Listen. Have a conversation. Hear where people are at. When speaking to a room it's easy to go into presentation mode, but that’s not what serves.  
  7. Reverent. When you get to the decision point where people are deciding if they want to engage further with you, treat that moment with a bit of reverence. Make sure you don’t go overtime on the first part and have to rush through this.  
  8. Surrendered. We also don’t want to be too significant about it. Be light. Hand over control of what’s next. Please don’t go into “selling mode” at the end, and definitely don’t start doing a hard sell.  
  9. Invitation. Finish with a clean invitation. What’s next? You can ask for a credit card, contact details, or a conversation. When we do this with Thought Leaders Business School we say “let us know if you’re interested and we’ll set up a conversation”. It’s a 12-month program with a significant investment in terms of time and money, so it doesn’t feel appropriate to be asking people to sign on the dotted line. But for something smaller I would.