I recently attended a Saturday morning business meeting. I went to the meeting (did I mention it was a Saturday morning?) for the sole purpose of supporting the speaker whom I met at a past conference.
Seemed harmless enough!
The presentation started off in a very dynamic way by asking questions of the audience and creating interest in the topic. Extensive time was spent discussing clients the speaker has helped and the value delivered. Clients of the speaker were brought to the event to help promote the speaker’s coaching program. The last 20 minutes of the presentation were spent handing out an application for the coaching program and explaining how to fill it out.
How much value did I get from the program? None. I left the meeting feeling a bit embarrassed and annoyed. When will I get that Saturday morning back? Have you ever felt like this when you’ve left a meeting? Did it discourage you from attending future meetings for fear of another infomercial?
I see this scarcity mindset all the time with financial advisors that are looking to “network” when in essence they’re looking to simply set an appointment with someone to explain “the value of their work”. It’s no wonder insurance agents and advisors get such a bad rap.
The best advisors, sales reps (and yes speakers) offer value in everything they do. Heck, if you attend a seminar and get a ton of ideas on how to solve a problem, aren’t you more apt to hire the expert delivering the seminar? Become their client? Buy their book? Promote their services? Refer them business?
Here’s how NOT to annoy your audience.
Deliver great content at all times. If you’re delivering a program called How to Manage Your Finances, make sure you give actionable approaches about How to Manage Your Finances. Don’t just talk about how important it is to do so and all of your success in helping people. Take a HOW TO approach (as in how to do it) rather than a WHAT approach (what you should do is manage your finances and I can help you). See the difference?
Learn what your audience would value most and give them what they came for. Invite them to do business with you if they think you could be of help to them given your smarts, approach, philosophies, and accomplishments. And leave it at that! Leave the applications and fact finders at the office. Deliver a quality product and see what happens!
Even as you meet people through your networking, look for opportunities to show your smarts by helping others solve real problems. Don’t just simply tell people how great you are. The more a person tells you how great they are, the less great they are. Isn’t it funny how the great ones never have to tell you?
A message worth being annoyed about on an early Saturday morning!