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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  July 08, 2010

Are You Prepared to be Pitched?

Talked to a seasoned speaker about catching up at the NSA (National Speakers Association) convention this week in Orlando.  He explained his reason for not coming in two words:  pitch-fest.  And unfortunately, he’s not the first one who has given this reason for not attending.

Here’s the ugly truth:  the market’s down and some speakers are eating their young by using the convention to pitch their coaching, retreats and mentoring service to the newbies.  Some are good, some are not and some think they have a magic wand.

The new folks don’t know what’s about to hit them.  Many will mistake prominence in NSA for the assumption that this service / retreat / program will provide everything they need.  Many newbies want to join the “in crowd” and think their secret password to the party is working with one of these cool kids.

My advice to everyone new on the scene:  ignore the hype and the reputation at NSA.  Focus on one thing:  track record in providing what you need.  The key question to ask:  what specifically have you done to help someone in my situation?  And listen carefully to the answer.  If you need a brand, don’t work with someone who helped a famous speaker get publicity.  Branding and publicity are two different things.

As for me:  doing something I’ve never done before — let’s call it the “un-pitch”.  I’m coming in on Friday instead of Saturday (trust me, you don’t want to know why) and decided to give away five 30-minute “rent my brain” sessions.  For free.  Yep, I’m giving my brain away.  The response was amazing.  We were overwhelmed with requests and the five slots were gone in less than 10 minutes.  It never ceases to amaze me what happens when you give fully.  I can’t wait to see what happens on Saturday! See you in Orlando!


About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.