Talking to Strangers: Effective Sales Conversations for Experts Who Speak

Are you tired of talking to people who don’t understand how great you are ?

Are you settling for discounted (or free!) speaking fees?

Are you ready for profitable opportunities to come to you?

NOW is the time to fill your calendar with the top-quality, high-fee speeches you deserve!

In marketing your speaking services, do you have to talk with people who don’t know how great you are? If you don’t, do you delegate those conversations to your agent or other team member?

No matter how many years you’ve been speaking, there are always situations where you have to — gasp! — explain your value to strangers. Sometimes you’ve been speaking pro bono and it’s now time to get paid…sometimes you’ve hired a new agent to expand to a more profitable market and don’t have enough contact there…or sometimes, your referrals aren’t enough to fill your speaking calendar.

Hi, I’m Vickie Sullivan. As a former agent, I was hired by speakers to talk to people that they couldn’t — buyers who selected speakers but didn’t know THEM. It can be a daunting task to contact folks who don’t know you or what you have done for others. But once I developed a system, it became a lot easier and I became quite good at it. So good in fact, that my clients made six-figures from the speaking fees alone. For 11 years, I filled my clients’ calendars. Now that I’m no longer an agent, I am ready to share my “conversation” secrets — not only specific verbiage but how to apply that wording to specific sales situations.

It’s time to make each and every phone call more effective!

Why now? Because it’s time. Due to the flux of free speakers, many professional speakers have found that referrals and current clients can no longer fill their calendar. It’s time to go back to the basics and contact organizations, getting bookings the good ol’ fashioned way. It’s time for thought leaders who have volunteered their knowledge to get paid for speaking. It’s time for marketing directors and other staff to be more productive in their conversations on behalf of their speakers.

There are so many people talking about marketing your speaking services, I didn’t know if there was a need for one more voice in the marketplace. So I tested my theory with two teleseminars: one on prospecting and the second on getting your calls returned. The response was amazing! How could I not continue the series? So I developed four additional segments focusing on critical elements of the sales call: communicating the value, overcoming objections, negotiating fee, and closing the sale. I’ve put them all together and called it:

Talking to Strangers™: Effective Sales Conversations for Experts Who Speak


Below are the details of each topic.

Section #1: Finding Profitable Prospects.

The first step of any successful marketing campaign is prospecting. It is also the most difficult thing to do for many speakers and their agents. Learn the secrets to finding buyers who are willing to pay big bucks for their speakers. This section reveals field-tested tips, techniques, and strategies to finding those hidden decision-makers. You will learn:

  • Two reasons why prospecting is much more difficult for speakers than for other professions
  • Three hidden places to find buyers
  • Common mistakes speakers make in their prospecting calls
  • Two key questions that will immediately qualify any prospect
  • Specific verbiage that gets you in front of the prospect


Section #2: Getting Buyers to Return Your Calls.

You know they need speakers. You also know that your program would be perfect for their group. So why don’t those meeting planners return your calls? It’s because buyers don’t understand the value you bring. This segment uncovers the never-talked-about reasons why decision-makers won’t call back, along with specific tips and techniques to make your phone ring. You will learn:

  • The two things buyers don’t want you to know about how they select speakers
  • Three common reasons why buyers don’t call back
  • Top reasons many speakers don’t get past the initial inquiry
  • Two sentences that disqualify speakers immediately
  • Three things that guarantee a call back


Section #3: After the Introduction:

A miracle has occurred — the buyer has returned your call or you have actually reached them on the phone. You have a very short window of opportunity to show your value before the prospect shuts you out. You’ve introduced yourself…now what? How can you communicate your value in 10 seconds or less (hint: it’s not with your unique sales proposition…). This segment focuses on both big-picture strategy and 10 tools with specific verbiage that you can apply to your sales conversations. You will learn:

  • The difference between communicating your value to those who love you and doing that with strangers.
  • How to go beyond the introductory “here’s what I offer” to demonstrating what you can do for THEM.
  • What the buyers consider to be valuable — and how you can tap into that perspective.
  • How speaking fees change the market’s view on value.
  • One common tactic that always backfires.
  • Ten tools to communicate your value (with specific examples and verbiage of course!).


Section #4: Negotiating Fees:

One of the biggest changes in the marketplace is the proliferation of free experts. So how do you get paid when there are so many willing to speak for free? This segment focuses on responding effectively to the “our budget has been cut” argument. You will learn:

  • Current market intelligence on the trends regarding speaker fees.
  • Three kinds of speakers that will always have a hard time getting paid.
  • Two kinds of speakers that will always get their fee — no matter what.
  • Three avenues to find money to pay your fee..
  • Two questions to ask when they won’t tell you their budget.
  • How to respond when the buyer asks: “What is your fee?”.
  • What to ask BEFORE accepting a discounted fee.


Section #5: Overcoming Common Objections

Whether on the phone or in person, objections are hard to take. And this segment will transform objections from road blocks to mere speed bumps. Combining market intelligence with specific tactics, you will learn:

  • Why objections are so difficult to overcome.
  • Three common mistakes in dealing with objections.
  • How to get to the “real” objection.
  • Three kinds of objections.
  • When to walk away and when to make your point.
  • Tips, techniques and verbiage for seven most common objections.


Section #6: Closing Strategies

With so many experts out there, buyers have many choices when selecting speakers. How can you make the final cut? This segment will explore how speakers are REALLY chosen and (you guessed it) specific verbiage that will seal the deal. You will learn:

  • How buyers REALLY decide which speaker to use.
  • Three most common “deal killers”.
  • Using “side doors” to seal the deal.
  • When to start closing and how to begin.
  • How to close when no one will decide.
  • Two most effective closing strategies (complete with verbiage).


Section #7: Implementation Guide.

This 92-page guide includes the handout materials, checklists, articles, special reports and implementation strategies for each topic covered in this series.

Isn’t it easier to sell speeches to folks who already know your humor, your great stories and thought-provoking content? Sure it is…but this competitive marketplace forces speakers to go beyond that comfort zone. Not knowing how to have effective sales conversations with strangers is why so many experts let profitable opportunities slip away…and why so many calendars aren’t as full as they could be. If you’re ready to muster up the courage and go after the speeches that you deserve, purchase this product NOW! It’s time to start getting the speeches you deserve!


I look forward to helping you get more of what you deserve!


Vickie Sullivan


Ready to Make Your Conversations Count™?