How to Speak to Sell

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If you’re an entrepreneur – particularly a coach or consultant – you have probably heard that speaking to groups is the best way to boost your profile, command more income and get more clients.

This is all true. What you may not have realized however, is that speaking about your business is really like having a sales conversation. In this case, a conversation with a group rather than an individual.

The challenge to speaking to a group is that the individuals within the group may have somewhat different needs. But that being said, several sales rules still apply. Here are four important ones to keep in mind.

  1. People don’t like being sold to.

Most people love new cars but hate going to the car dealership because they feel intimidated by the sales process.  The same thing happens when when people see a speaker at an event. They may like your topic or idea, but if all you do is try to sell them they will soon be put off and stop listening.

You need to make any talk educational. That means you need to provide some real insight into a particular problem.  What problem is that you ask? It’s the problem that you solve for your clients.

For example, as a speak to sell expert, I solve the problem of how entrepreneurs can get more clients more quickly.

Every business exists to solve some sort of problem.

You have to identify the problem first, then provide insight into how to solve that problem.

Insight means deep understanding. You need to give your audience a new or deeper way to look at their problem, and then give them a roadmap to solve it.

Providing this type of insight has become the best way to generate sales. It’s a lot more effective that simply telling them how great you are.

  1. People will have objections.

Sales rule #2 is that your prospective customers will always have objections. These objections could be related to how much your service is worth, or simply if your solution will work for them.

It’s important that you know the most common objections people have to buying your service or product, and find some way of addressing those objections in your talk. If you can address their objections in a way that’s educational and objective, they’re going to be much more likely to take action with you.

  1. Emotional connection is key.

Great sales people understand that buying is an emotional decision, not a logical one.  After a certain point, the more information you give your prospective customer, the less likely they are to buy as they will start to feel confused or overwhelmed.

Notice I said feel. Yes, those human emotions are a big part of the sales process. If people feel confused, overwhelmed, or uncertain they just won’t buy.

People need to feel confident that they’re making the right decision.  And that means having the right information, not just a bunch of facts and statistics.

How do you do this? By connecting your key information to true life stories. These stories should involve people. People who are feeling the same emotions that your prospective customer is feeling right now.

For greatest impact, some of these stories should involve YOU – the sales person.  This shows that you understand your prospective clients’ feelings and the importance of their decision.

You will also want to include stories about how you’ve helped other clients in similar situations. Again, it’s not just about the facts but also feelings. How did these clients feel before working with you? How did they feel afterwards when they got the result they wanted?

Treat people like the emotional beings they are – and they’ll respond to you. It’s about respecting human nature.

  1. You need them to take one step.

This last tip is obvious, but is sometimes forgotten when sales people speak to a group.

A good sales person doesn’t try to sell five things at once. A good speaker doesn’t either.  It’s always a challenge to get any prospect to take any kind of action, so the best way to approach most sales is through a series of steps.  The same applies when you speak to sell.

You have to ask yourself – what is the one next step I want my prospective clients in the audience to take? In most instances, it’s getting them to commit to a one-on-one sales conversation.

Create your talk with that in mind. Have a simple call to action at the end of your talk that will allow that one on one conversation to take place.

The simpler and easier you make it for people, the more likely they are to do it. Don’t ask them to call you – get their contact information and a promise to call them.  The customer shouldn’t have to chase you to buy your product or service.



Jason Reid helps entrepreneurs get more clients more quickly by showing them how to speak about their business.

Before becoming a Speak to Sell Expert, Jason spent decades as a TV journalist and award-winning story editor.

You can check him out at

Posted in Sales Leader


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My decision to call Claudia for help with the sales side of my business is by far the best one I have made since becoming an entrepreneur.  In the few months we have been working together I have seen a measurable increase in both sales numbers and ROI, but also in the number of “yes” responses our pitches receive. Far from being an uncomfortable, necessary evil to gain new clients, sales has become a natural, organic process that is actually enjoyable.  Clear, actionable advice and invaluable, relevant tools have taken us to the next level, thanks Claudia!
Anastasia Antonakis, Principal at Incite Creative Media House