How to Make a Free Speaking Gig Pay, Even If They Won't Let You Sell!

by Lisa Sasevich

We've all been there. We get booked to speak, but then the promoter says, "We want you to come and speak, but you can't sell." Ugh...What do you do?

First, don't throw in the towel. You can still make it well worth your while, even if you don't sell AT the event. Below are three simple but effective ways to maximize this type of opportunity.

1. Use a Drawing to Collect Leads

If the promoter tells you that you can't sell, just say, "No problem. May I do a free prize drawing?" Often, he or she will say yes. A drawing is a great way to drum up interest in your product or service while collecting qualified leads for your ezine. Here's how.

· Give away a product or service that you most want to promote. You might choose an audio program or a consultation with you. Pick something that you want the audience to know about because, of course, if you're giving it away, you have to talk about it for a while. This is your opportunity to unabashedly promote all of the benefits of your product and the amazing results people have had with it.

· Pass around a fishbowl or a basket. As I've said, it's amazing how people will clamor to get their business card into a fishbowl for the opportunity to win something.

· Build your list. Let everyone entering the drawing know that they will also receive a "complimentary subscription to your XYZ ezine." That way you've disclosed that you'll be sending it to them in advance of their opting in with their business card.

· Celebrate the winner. Have the person who wins come up to the front and say, "Everyone, give Sarah a hand. She won the XYZ product!"

· Be ready afterward. After your talk, people will come up to you and ask how to get your program, and they'll want to know what else you have. Be ready with order forms, or if that's not permitted, see #3 below.

2. Turn One Gig into Many with a "Stay Connected" Form

Whether or not I can sell at the event, I make sure to get my "Stay Connected" or "Looking Forward" form into people's hands. This is my magic tip for turning one speaking gig into many and, if I can't sell, for capturing emails so that I can be in contact later.

· The top half of the page contains three checkboxes that are important for my business goals going forward. Yours should reflect your own goals as well. The first one says, "Yes, I would love a complimentary subscription to your Invisible Close ezine so I can get tips that I can immediately use to boost sales in my business." The second checkbox says, "Please contact me about scheduling a possible keynote, workshop or training. I loved your talk." The third one is, "I have a business referral opportunity for you."

If they love you, people will often come up and say, "You have to talk to my group!" So you say, "That's great!" and ask them to write it on the form. Be sure to ask for their primary email and phone number.

· The bottom half of the form has a picture of my product, my contact information and three strong testimonials. There's a dotted line where they can tear it off, hand back my part, and keep my testimonials if they want to.

3. Sell On Your Own Turf!

A great strategy, if you can't sell at an event, is to offer the participants a free teleseminar to cover one of the juicy points you didn't have time to cover during your talk. Schedule it within 48 hours of your talk. Again, collect business cards or at least their first name and email address so you can send them the free call information.

This works in two ways. First, you can add them to your ezine list if you let them know in advance they will be getting a complimentary subscription. Second, you can invite them to the free teleseminar, and, on your turf, it's open season. You can make any offer you like!

With just those three simple tactics, I've turned "no-sales" events into whopping successes. And you can, too!

Sales-from-the-podium expert Lisa Sasevich has x-ray vision for seeing the sales opportunities that exist in every company, and the creativity to convert them into gold! If you're looking for simple, quick and easy ways to boost sales without spending a dime, get your FREE Sales Nuggets now at

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