01 Mar Presenting traps to avoid – Trap no. 6 Selling from the stage
Your client has asked you to present to their people and in many cases they are paying you a fee to do so. So be sure to check in advance if you are allowed to sell from the stage. Most corporations won’t agree to any sales from the stage and will recoil from it when you do it.
There are subtle ways to make a pitch and then there are outright blatant extended pitches. People do not like to feel as if they have been lured into a room for you to give them a sales pitch. If you intend to pitch, do it with subtlety and only after you have given them some very valuable and helpful information for free. Be very tasteful and ensure any pitching you do is kept to a minimum.
One way I reduce the need to sell from the stage is I pre-sell my books to the client in advance (before I even get to the event). I encourage the client to buy a copy of my book for everyone as a conference gift. Then I can make a fuss of the client for buying everyone a copy of the book and the whole audience claps them! Now my client feels appreciated, the audience is excited and I am delighted that they have the necessary tools to actually use what I have been speaking about during the presentation. Win, win, win!
If you are presenting at someone else’s conference, check with the conference organiser that it would be OK to pitch your business before you do. Otherwise you might find that you don’t get invited back to present again. Remember that sometimes the best pitch you can give is the quality of the presentation. If you put your name and your organisation on one of your final slides… and you have given the presentation of your life… people will follow through by ringing you. I have been surprised that clients can ring you as much as 2 years after the presentation, but they still ring.