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Use Speaking to Close Bigger Clients, Faster

Find high-quality, fast-closing leads for your business.

10
minute read
Published on
May 6, 2024
Public speaking can grow your business, but it’s probably not for the reasons you think.

Maybe you’re a leadership coach who offers courses, training, and resources to CEOs and company leaders. Perhaps you have an accounting firm or a small digital marketing agency. Maybe you’re the founder of a consulting firm that works with small-business owners. 

No matter what your unique service-based business is, there’s no better feeling than the moment you close a deal and get a signed contract. 

That’s when the celebration begins. 

You know what I mean—the energetic fist pump to the sky, that phone call or text message to your best friend, and that Michael Scott busting open a bottle of champagne gif for the sales Slack channel. 

It’s an emotional high. But all too soon, it’s over. 

You and your team are back to the grind. The sales team refocuses their attention back on the CRM tool and starts working to land that next client. Time for more advertising and promotion, more strategic planning, more following up, and more Zoom meetings. 

Some days it can feel like a never-ending cycle. 

Marketing. New prospect intake. Research. Zoom call meeting. Contract creation. Sign here please. Celebration! And then back to marketing. 

The realization that you’ll soon have to start from scratch (again) can cast a dark cloud on your short-lived celebrations. And the truth is, the sales rat race can be exhausting. 

There’s a faster way to close. 

If you’ve ever wondered if there’s an easier way, you’re not alone. And there is. There’s a better way to close bigger clients faster. There’s a more enjoyable way to constantly market your services. And there’s a more effective way to win over more clients and more businesses. 

One of the most effective ways to close more deals, win over more clients, and bring in more business for your company is by public speaking. 

Because no matter what your unique service-based business is, sharing your wisdom on stage and on screens as a public speaker can earn you valuable contacts, new clients, and more income. It can make it much easier for your team to close deals, and it can make your whole business run more smoothly. 

In fact, according to research done by Audience Audit Inc. and Predictive ROI, the most common way people consume thought leadership content isn’t by listening to podcasts or scrolling on social media. It’s at live speaking events. 

But it’s not for the reasons you think.  

It’s probably not the first time you’ve heard that public speaking can help you market and promote your services. 

Most marketing advice out there will tell you that public speaking helps you win new clients for three main reasons. First, it builds brand awareness; second, it establishes you as an authority; and third, it gives you new networking opportunities. 

And it’s true… kind of. 

Yes, speaking can build brand awareness. Audience members who hadn’t heard of you or your business before now know who you are. You can increase your visibility and share your brand’s uniqueness and values. 

But will the right people recognize your value? Will it boost your visibility with decision makers and power players? 

And really, in today’s online world, you can build brand awareness anywhere, anytime. Post a video on YouTube, write a how-to article, share your thoughts on social media. You don’t have to be a public speaker to be seen and get likes, views, and shares. 

Sure, you can become an authority by speaking on stage. When you show up and deliver a valuable message, others will start to recognize you as the go-to expert in your field. When people see you as a knowledgeable expert, they’ll be more likely to trust you—and trust is an important aspect of the sales process. 

But experts are a dime a dozen. What will make you stand out from the crowd? Does more expertise equal more sales? 

And of course speaking events are great networking opportunities. You can connect with like-minded individuals and spark potential collaborations and business deals. 

But you don’t have to be a great speaker to be a great networker. 

I know many business people who are networking machines, and they’ve never set foot on stage. Others are powerful networkers who can mix and mingle with anyone they meet—but the idea of speaking in public terrifies them. 

Increasing brand awareness, becoming an expert in your field, and networking can help you grow your business. And it can help you get more inquiries and leads. But often the people that reach out to you aren’t the most ideal candidates for your services. 

You see, most of the time, these leads are soft leads.

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craft a winning speech that earns you fast-closing, high-quality leads for your business.
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You need fast-closing, high-quality leads.   

Soft leads are ones that are difficult to guide to the final signed contract phase of the sales process. They’re slow to close, take up a lot of your time, and require a lot of persuasion. 

Often, these potential clients will try to get the best deal possible on your services and you and your team will have to convince them over and over why they should hire your services. 

Of course, these leads can turn into more business for your firm or agency. Soft leads are an important part of a business strategy. But there’s one type of lead that’s much, much better. 

High-quality leads (imagine that celebratory Michael Scott champagne gif here).   

High-quality leads are ones that are already convinced they need what you have to offer. They’re ready to buy—either because they already trust you, they recognize you have the solution, or they trust the person that recommended you to them. 

This makes them super easy to work with. When your team meets with them, it’s an enjoyable and productive meeting. When the proposal is sent, they sign it quickly. And when they have questions or concerns, your team is happy to respond. It’s easy to build a strong, positive relationship with high-quality leads. 

Before you know it, you and your team are celebrating another signed contract. And your new client is excited to get started with your services. 

Why does public speaking work so well?  

Public speaking is so powerful for growing your business because it attracts those fast-closing, high-quality leads. As the face of your business, you can take charge of finding the best leads for your team and your company. 

But it all depends on the type of speech you give and who you speak to. 

You see, there are two types of speeches: how-to speeches and how-to-think speeches.  

Five Steps to Crafting Compelling Content… 

Seven Tips and Tricks for Leveraging Digital Marketing… 

Ten Things You Can Do to Recharge and Avoid Burnout…

These are how-to speeches that practitioners love. They eagerly take notes and go home and try out all the tips and tricks you shared. They’ll get you compliments and praise, but not high-quality leads. 

Because these how-to speeches attract soft leads. 

But how-to-think speeches? Those are the ones that are magnets for fast-closing, high-quality leads. 

How-to-think speeches are the ones that speak to high-ups, decision makers, and power players. They change the way they think and inspire the C-suite members to hire you.

Understanding the Audience Hierarchy of Needs 

You see, within each audience there are different groups of people that need different things. Each person who listens to you speak is unique—each has a different perspective, a specific type of problem, and a unique need. 

Your goal as a speaker is to make sure your content speaks to everyone in the room, from the most entry-level practitioners to the highest-up CEO. 

When you tailor parts of your speech for each unique audience member, you can inspire, teach, and engage the entire room—and get the most valuable types of leads. 

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The Audience Hierarchy of Needs reveals the different types of content unique audience members want to hear.

Speakers who only speak to the bottom two tiers of the pyramid will likely only receive soft leads that are slow to close and close at lower dollar amounts. On the other hand, when speakers connect with the C-suite audience members, that’s when the fast-closing, high-dollar-value leads start rolling in.   

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give a purely how-to speech that attracts soft leads.
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craft content for the C-suite to get fast-closing, high-quality leads.

A Tale of Two Entrepreneurial Speakers 

To show you just how big of a difference The Audience Hierarchy of Needs really makes, let me tell you about two entrepreneurial speakers. 

The first is a combination of many different speakers, business owners, and entrepreneurs and their experiences trying to grow their business through speaking. I’ve heard so many of them express the same concerns. Let’s call this hybrid Jackson. 

Meet Jackson 

Jackson is a successful marketing consultant who started speaking to find more clients to serve. Since he’s an expert in his field, he crafted a speech full of tips and tricks and called it “Seven Steps to Maximize Your ROI with Email Campaigns." He practiced, rehearsed, and prepared to step on stage. 

And when he did, the speech went splendidly. People in the audience took notes and eagerly listened as Jackson shared his expertise. After the event, a few people came up to Jackson and thanked him for his practical advice and useful insights. 

One of those audience members was Elliot. He was eager to get back to work and try the seven steps Jackson shared. He quickly put into practice what he learned from the speech, spending the next couple of months testing it out and trying new things. The email campaigns he was in charge of started to improve, and he was thrilled.  

Elliot knew what he learned could benefit the entire organization. So he decided to tell his boss about Jackson and his services. 

Of course, Elliot’s boss is a busy man. Elliot spent another week and a half trying to schedule a meeting with him. When the day finally came, he told his boss about Jackson and suggested hiring his services for the company. His boss listened and told him he needed a proposal to show to the board of directors. 

A week later, Elliot sent the proposal, and a month later, he heard back from his boss. He had mentioned it to the board of directors and planned to reach out to Jackson next week. 

Meanwhile, about nine months after giving his speech, Jackson gets a phone call from Elliot’s boss. Since Elliot’s boss didn’t actually hear Jackson speak, the only thing he knows about him is what Elliot told him (and what he remembers from a brief look at his website). 

Jackson and his team now have to convince Elliot’s boss they’re worth what they charge, because in this decision maker’s mind, Jackson is just another subject-matter expert that one of his employees recommended. 

Luckily, after a long negotiation and a significant price reduction, Elliot’s boss finally signs the contract (and Jackson sends a well-deserved Michael Scott champagne gif in the sales chat). 

Although Jackson is a fictional character, this story represents many thought leaders we meet on their entrepreneurial journey. When you give a speech that earns you compliments and praise, but not more business, it can be hard to know what went wrong. 

However, when you craft your speech with the Audience Hierarchy of Needs in mind, you’ll be able to connect with everyone in your audience—and get fast-closing, high-quality leads. 

Now, meet Andrew Davis (he knows about the Audience Hierarchy of Needs—in fact, he came up with it).

Andrew Davis isn’t just a marketing guru, he’s also a close friend and Partner here at HEROIC. His visionary ideas about the business side of speaking have helped thousands of speakers transform their businesses and achieve success faster. 

Andrew knows the speaking world because he’s neck deep in it. He’s one of the most in-demand speakers working today. He shares his groundbreaking messages on stages across the world. 

He co-founded, built, and sold a digital marketing agency. And he also co-authored the book The Referable Speaker with Michael Port, in which they developed the Audience Hierarchy of Needs matrix. 

You see, years before, when Andrew wanted to find new clients for his digital marketing agency, he used speaking to grow his business. But instead of crafting a how-to speech directed only at practitioners, he decided to add specific content in his speech for each type of audience member. 

He still shared some tips and tricks, but he also challenged conventional wisdom and inspired his audience members to change the way they think about digital marketing. He rehearsed, practiced, and prepared a how-to-think speech and he gave it at different organizations and events. 

And it worked. Every time he finished his speech, CEOs and company leaders would come up to him and ask for more. 

They would say things like: “That was amazing! Can you actually do this for our firm? Let’s chat more on Monday. Here’s my phone number, give me a call.” And when Andrew would follow up, he would close deals much faster and at higher dollar amounts than Jackson. (And he got to send a lot more celebratory gifs, too.) 

Speak, but speak to the right people.

Public speaking can help you grow your business. It can build brand awareness, establish your expertise, and put you in a place to connect with new people. 

But if you do it right, it can do much more. When you craft a message that speaks to everyone in your audience and shares new information that challenges how people think, you’ll get fast-closing, high-quality leads more often. 

Finding these high-quality leads can make the entire sales process easier for your team to manage and more enjoyable for everyone. 

Speak to the people who control the purse strings. Show them you have a better, faster, or more effective way of doing things. Tell them about your visionary approach to solving a problem. Help them understand that your new way will truly transform their organization. 

When you do, they’ll happily inquire about your services—and make it to the signed-contract stage faster. 

Spend your time speaking to the right audience members and you’ll spend more time in the contract-signing phase of the sales process. Oh, and more time celebrating, too (you’ll probably even have to find more celebratory gifs to send in the sales chat). 

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You need fast-closing, high-quality leads.   

Soft leads are ones that are difficult to guide to the final signed contract phase of the sales process. They’re slow to close, take up a lot of your time, and require a lot of persuasion. 

Often, these potential clients will try to get the best deal possible on your services and you and your team will have to convince them over and over why they should hire your services. 

Of course, these leads can turn into more business for your firm or agency. Soft leads are an important part of a business strategy. But there’s one type of lead that’s much, much better. 

High-quality leads (imagine that celebratory Michael Scott champagne gif here).   

High-quality leads are ones that are already convinced they need what you have to offer. They’re ready to buy—either because they already trust you, they recognize you have the solution, or they trust the person that recommended you to them. 

This makes them super easy to work with. When your team meets with them, it’s an enjoyable and productive meeting. When the proposal is sent, they sign it quickly. And when they have questions or concerns, your team is happy to respond. It’s easy to build a strong, positive relationship with high-quality leads. 

Before you know it, you and your team are celebrating another signed contract. And your new client is excited to get started with your services. 

Why does public speaking work so well?  

Public speaking is so powerful for growing your business because it attracts those fast-closing, high-quality leads. As the face of your business, you can take charge of finding the best leads for your team and your company. 

But it all depends on the type of speech you give and who you speak to. 

You see, there are two types of speeches: how-to speeches and how-to-think speeches.  

Five Steps to Crafting Compelling Content… 

Seven Tips and Tricks for Leveraging Digital Marketing… 

Ten Things You Can Do to Recharge and Avoid Burnout…

These are how-to speeches that practitioners love. They eagerly take notes and go home and try out all the tips and tricks you shared. They’ll get you compliments and praise, but not high-quality leads. 

Because these how-to speeches attract soft leads. 

But how-to-think speeches? Those are the ones that are magnets for fast-closing, high-quality leads. 

How-to-think speeches are the ones that speak to high-ups, decision makers, and power players. They change the way they think and inspire the C-suite members to hire you.

Understanding the Audience Hierarchy of Needs 

You see, within each audience there are different groups of people that need different things. Each person who listens to you speak is unique—each has a different perspective, a specific type of problem, and a unique need. 

Your goal as a speaker is to make sure your content speaks to everyone in the room, from the most entry-level practitioners to the highest-up CEO. 

When you tailor parts of your speech for each unique audience member, you can inspire, teach, and engage the entire room—and get the most valuable types of leads. 

X Mark icon
Dont
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Do

Speakers who only speak to the bottom two tiers of the pyramid will likely only receive soft leads that are slow to close and close at lower dollar amounts. On the other hand, when speakers connect with the C-suite audience members, that’s when the fast-closing, high-dollar-value leads start rolling in.   

X Mark icon
Don't
give a purely how-to speech that attracts soft leads.
Check mark icon
Do
craft content for the C-suite to get fast-closing, high-quality leads.
,

A Tale of Two Entrepreneurial Speakers 

To show you just how big of a difference The Audience Hierarchy of Needs really makes, let me tell you about two entrepreneurial speakers. 

The first is a combination of many different speakers, business owners, and entrepreneurs and their experiences trying to grow their business through speaking. I’ve heard so many of them express the same concerns. Let’s call this hybrid Jackson. 

Meet Jackson 

Jackson is a successful marketing consultant who started speaking to find more clients to serve. Since he’s an expert in his field, he crafted a speech full of tips and tricks and called it “Seven Steps to Maximize Your ROI with Email Campaigns." He practiced, rehearsed, and prepared to step on stage. 

And when he did, the speech went splendidly. People in the audience took notes and eagerly listened as Jackson shared his expertise. After the event, a few people came up to Jackson and thanked him for his practical advice and useful insights. 

One of those audience members was Elliot. He was eager to get back to work and try the seven steps Jackson shared. He quickly put into practice what he learned from the speech, spending the next couple of months testing it out and trying new things. The email campaigns he was in charge of started to improve, and he was thrilled.  

Elliot knew what he learned could benefit the entire organization. So he decided to tell his boss about Jackson and his services. 

Of course, Elliot’s boss is a busy man. Elliot spent another week and a half trying to schedule a meeting with him. When the day finally came, he told his boss about Jackson and suggested hiring his services for the company. His boss listened and told him he needed a proposal to show to the board of directors. 

A week later, Elliot sent the proposal, and a month later, he heard back from his boss. He had mentioned it to the board of directors and planned to reach out to Jackson next week. 

Meanwhile, about nine months after giving his speech, Jackson gets a phone call from Elliot’s boss. Since Elliot’s boss didn’t actually hear Jackson speak, the only thing he knows about him is what Elliot told him (and what he remembers from a brief look at his website). 

Jackson and his team now have to convince Elliot’s boss they’re worth what they charge, because in this decision maker’s mind, Jackson is just another subject-matter expert that one of his employees recommended. 

Luckily, after a long negotiation and a significant price reduction, Elliot’s boss finally signs the contract (and Jackson sends a well-deserved Michael Scott champagne gif in the sales chat). 

Although Jackson is a fictional character, this story represents many thought leaders we meet on their entrepreneurial journey. When you give a speech that earns you compliments and praise, but not more business, it can be hard to know what went wrong. 

However, when you craft your speech with the Audience Hierarchy of Needs in mind, you’ll be able to connect with everyone in your audience—and get fast-closing, high-quality leads. 

Now, meet Andrew Davis (he knows about the Audience Hierarchy of Needs—in fact, he came up with it).

Andrew Davis isn’t just a marketing guru, he’s also a close friend and Partner here at HEROIC. His visionary ideas about the business side of speaking have helped thousands of speakers transform their businesses and achieve success faster. 

Andrew knows the speaking world because he’s neck deep in it. He’s one of the most in-demand speakers working today. He shares his groundbreaking messages on stages across the world. 

He co-founded, built, and sold a digital marketing agency. And he also co-authored the book The Referable Speaker with Michael Port, in which they developed the Audience Hierarchy of Needs matrix. 

You see, years before, when Andrew wanted to find new clients for his digital marketing agency, he used speaking to grow his business. But instead of crafting a how-to speech directed only at practitioners, he decided to add specific content in his speech for each type of audience member. 

He still shared some tips and tricks, but he also challenged conventional wisdom and inspired his audience members to change the way they think about digital marketing. He rehearsed, practiced, and prepared a how-to-think speech and he gave it at different organizations and events. 

And it worked. Every time he finished his speech, CEOs and company leaders would come up to him and ask for more. 

They would say things like: “That was amazing! Can you actually do this for our firm? Let’s chat more on Monday. Here’s my phone number, give me a call.” And when Andrew would follow up, he would close deals much faster and at higher dollar amounts than Jackson. (And he got to send a lot more celebratory gifs, too.) 

Speak, but speak to the right people.

Public speaking can help you grow your business. It can build brand awareness, establish your expertise, and put you in a place to connect with new people. 

But if you do it right, it can do much more. When you craft a message that speaks to everyone in your audience and shares new information that challenges how people think, you’ll get fast-closing, high-quality leads more often. 

Finding these high-quality leads can make the entire sales process easier for your team to manage and more enjoyable for everyone. 

Speak to the people who control the purse strings. Show them you have a better, faster, or more effective way of doing things. Tell them about your visionary approach to solving a problem. Help them understand that your new way will truly transform their organization. 

When you do, they’ll happily inquire about your services—and make it to the signed-contract stage faster. 

Spend your time speaking to the right audience members and you’ll spend more time in the contract-signing phase of the sales process. Oh, and more time celebrating, too (you’ll probably even have to find more celebratory gifs to send in the sales chat). 

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