Searching out speaking gigs: Phone calls & voicemail
You all should be making calls and doing it on a regular basis, either you’re doing it yourself or a trained assistant can do it, in my opinion you are always the best one for this job. The only reason you wouldn’t be making any phone calls would be if your schedule is booked solid every year or you’re at “celebrity status”
When you finally track down the person who has the power to hire you more times than not you will get a voicemail, my tip for you is to NOT leave a generic message such as, “Hi my name is Bob and I’m a motivational speaker and can speak on team building” that is blah, blah and destined to be deleted. You need to catch their attention instantly before they have a chance to push delete, so how do you do this? Simple. Be different and always, always briefly list the benefits for their audience.
Before you call it’s important to do your research and make sure you know their audiences needs and challenges that way you can be more specific when leaving a message. So, first research the company/association you are calling this will make you look professional because you took the time to research what they need and will make you the top expert. So before scrambling to get on the phone and blindly start calling do your research.
You want to give them a reason to call you back. You need an excellent hook and that is going to come from researching before you call, this is going to get you those speaking gigs. See what kind of events they have had in the past, what types of speakers did they hire and what were the topics. If there is any feedback from the planner, the speaker, a participant make sure you make note of the comments as some sites will have comments from previous events.
Really narrow in and focus, this is not rocket science but a trained and focused task that gets easier every time you do it. If your schedule becomes a bit busier you can train your virtual assistant to do it, I recommend the speaker do this part, but many do hire out and it still works for them, so either way. However, if you do hire a VA (virtual assistant) to help you with calls and follow ups I suggest you start out doing it yourself first…get a feel for how it all works and how you like things done that way you can train them on exactly on how you want it done. To just hire a VA and say go make calls for me and drum up business is not wise nor recommended. Its costly and frustrating if not done right.
If you did your research then you will hit it dead on and increase your chances of a call back. Do stay away from long voicemails. Do stay away from the “me-me” … in other words don’t go on about where you’ve been, what you’ve done, your list of credentials, etc. and make sure you address them by their first name when leaving a message, it makes them feel important that you took the time to find their name.
My goals in coaching speakers is to get them positioned to where the hiring party is finding and calling them or they have built such a strong platform that people are knocking on their door or word of mouth keeps them busy, however the majority of you still need to knock down doors to get attention and this means making phone calls so people will stand up and notice you as the expert. This will help you get speaking gigs.
I recommend researching and making a list of about 50 to start, make it a specific list for your industry and put them into groups of 10 calls a week, follow up, send one sheets, emails, another call, etc. until you have exhausted that list…don’t be annoying but don’t give up easy either…determination is what gets most speakers on top, they don’t take no for an answer and they certainly don’t let it deter them from moving forward until they start getting a yes. Make sure you keep excellent records of your research and contacts.
Don’t delay, do some research and start making your calls today so you can start filling your schedule. Remember to use voicemail to your advantage by pitching the benefits quickly and uniquely, using your researched “hook”, be different so you can grab their attention. It takes practice indeed but doesn’t everything we do? Once you do it several times it will be a breeze. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain…You can do it!