Speak to Sell: How to Make Money On The Back End of Speaking
– Transcript Ep #205
Well, hey, friend, welcome back to another episode, we are at number 205 of the show which is still mind blowing to me. Today’s episode, I’m gonna keep this intro short and sweet because I’m sharing with you an interview that I did last month on the Sweet Life Podcast and, okay, full disclosure. I don’t listen back to my interviews very often anymore at this stage of my business. When I was early in my speaking career, I would watch my game tapes, listen to everything over and over again because that’s how I really developed my skills, but where I’m at right now and the volume of interviews that I do, I don’t always go back and listen to them. And I don’t know if I’m supposed to admit that or not but it’s just the reality so I feel like I need to share this with you but here’s what’s fascinating.
After this interview, April, the host of the show and her team, they had shared a clip to, no, what was it? What was it? No, I don’t remember the context if they shared a clip or something had happened, where I said something. In the clip I’m like, damn, that was so frickin good. Do you ever have moments like that where you say something so brilliant and then you’re like, holy crap, I said that and then you wonder could I remember to say that again? Me too. Sidenote, if you say at once, you can totally say it again but that’s part of the process of reflecting back of what you talk about.
Anyway, fast forward to it. I ended up listening to my interview and as I was listening to the interview I’m like, this is so freakin good. In it, April is a really tight interviewer meaning that she’s really good at keeping things moving along and keeping the interview short, which by now you should know about me would be a very challenging thing because I’m not a short winded person by any measure, so she kept it short but within it, we actually have essentially two masterclass style conversations.
So the first half of the interview is really about how to leverage speaking and how you may or may not be approaching your business, but I really want to separate out for you exactly how business or how speaking fits into your business model. So many people have this get it frickin wrong and they waste their time so that’s the first half of the fairly short interview. The second half is really where the freaking gold is. What I share in this interview, I do not share publicly anywhere else. It’s based around my experience teaching sales for 15 years. I am a ninja at sales. That is how I got my start on stages. It is a topic that I spoke on. I’m really really good at sales and not just like selling for the sake of selling but selling for the sake of serving, and if you’re listening to show you know my story.
I talk about how I built my experience teaching doctors how to sell hearing aids. Hearing aids, I wear, they have changed my life and for me to teach doctors how to help more people who have a hearing loss, that desire of hearing better. They’re treatable, right? Have been able to have access to hearing aids and accept help, that is a huge gift. The challenge is they struggled with it. So what you’re going to get in the second half of this interview is just a masterclass on my unique approach to selling. Now, if you really want a true masterclass on selling, go back to Episode 202, that’s where I spilled, like totally spilled the beans on my top strategies for selling but this one here is really specific to one thing that will be a game changer for you. So hopefully by now I’ve convinced you to go ahead and listen to this episode, even though it’s titled recast.
Sometimes we’re like, why are they resharing? I’m resharing this because it is that mother frickin important for you to hear. So without further delay, here is my interview from the Sweet Live Podcast with April Beach, you’re gonna freakin love it, and if you want to learn more about April, I left the intro out of respect to her and her show. Everything’s in it so you’re going to hear the entire thing, including our intro of the show.
She’s just frickin awesome. So if you want to learn more about her, I’ll also link in the show notes to my interview with April on the show that I did. Oh, it’s been at least 18 months at this point. I’ll have to have her back because I want to talk to her about licensing on the podcast, how to license out your digital products to organizations and pull down six figure contracts, so more on that to come probably this fall but for now go ahead and jump into the interview
You’re listening to the Sweet Life Entrepreneur podcast. With business mentor and entrepreneur activator and probate. Great people with great people to do great things. That is dope.
April Beach 06:21
Today, I’m giving you a framework. I love you said. This transformation process. You say here you go. This is it. Everything you just said. April, wow, that is the best. Business architecture and business engineering. I’ve never really thought of it like that but right away when you said that. Thank you, April. I appreciate you. Do it. Yeah.
Hi guys, this is episode number 290 and we’re diving into the business model of speaking, my very good friend and I’m so grateful to say that she’s also an expert that comes into our ecosystem and works with our clients. Heather Sager is back on the podcast again, and if you’ve ever wondered how to actually use stages to sell your programs on the backside, this is a very important episode for you to tune into.
As you know, you can be a paid speaker, that is a different type of business model. We are not talking about that today. We’re also not talking about being a speaker on podcast and we’re not talking about being a speaker on summits. That is not what we’re talking about here today. So I want to make sure that you’re not showing up and being like, oh, I know this already, I get her free opt in. That is not at all what we’re saying on this show.
In this particular episode, we are diving into the framework of how to get booked to speak and actually close deals in the process of communications with companies to sell your program on the back side of speaking whether you’re paid to speak or not. It’s a really powerful episode. It’s actually so powerful, and the framework that we’re talking about scratches the surface of what Heather comes in and works with our clients on, especially our clients that have million dollar programs in our content, in our licensing their programs to companies and organizations.
This is one of the powerful ways that we use to sell and licensed their programs to other companies, nonprofits, and even other businesses. So if you’ve been listening to the last couple episodes on licensing, you also should be listening to this because it’s one of the methods we use to sell your licensed program. Again, Heather is absolutely amazing. I can’t wait for you to get to know her if you’ve never met her before.
At the end of this, you’re going to know the two different types of speaking business models and you’re going to know the three steps and what you need to do to use the model that we’re talking about here to sell your programs on the back side. It could be your course, it could be your consulting, and it could be your licensed program or certification programs. It’s a powerful episode, tune in with us. Let’s go ahead and dive in.
All right, everybody. Welcome back with my friend, Heather Sager. If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you know that Heather is one of my favorite people to bring in here because we unpack strategies that you can instantly take to the bank of which means taking to your business first, especially in regards to speaking and so Heather, it’s been a bit since you’ve been on the show, but give everybody a quick update about what you’ve been up to in your business lately and all of the amazing action your clients are taking.
Heather Sager 09:34
Yeah, thanks for having me on the show, April. So the biggest new thing in my business I think last time I was here, I had my podcast going for like a year and a half and we just had a wonderful pivot. The new name of my podcast is now Hint of Hustle, and what I really focus on with entrepreneurs teaching them with speaking is, I am a huge believer that the time you spend on stage should give you more freedom and flexibility off stage. So I’m on a mission to help more entrepreneurs who are personal brands trying to make money with their information products, how to leverage stages, so they get their time back, and that’s what my podcast is all about.
April Beach 10:10
Oh, I love it. I love it, and that’s why we were saying, you know, we’re a match made in heaven for what we do. And it’s really interesting, because before we dive into what we’re gonna say here in a minute, I hear from so many entrepreneurs say they want to speak, but it just sounds so exhausting, traveling around, being on this speaking quote unquote circuit, if you will and that really isn’t what they want in their business, so I’m very glad that we’re talking about this today. So let’s talk about the business of speaking, the business model of speaking as we dive into today’s show. What should our listeners know about that?
Heather Sager 10:46
Yeah, so exactly what you just said is a lot of people go down this path thinking, oh, speaking means I travel to conferences or organizations that I deliver keynotes and I could get paid very well for it which is very true. That’s actually how I started full time in my business. I jumped from the corporate space where I was planning multimillion dollar events, bringing in the world’s best speakers for my conferences, and I love what they were doing and I knew I was really good on stages.
So I thought I could do what they do, I decided I’m gonna go out and become a professional speaker. And that’s how I started and very quickly, I realized that the professional speaker route was not giving me my time back because I was committed to organizations a year, 18 months out for these contracts, like my time was being booked even further out and I had multiple bosses versus just my old former boss.
So I thought like, hold on, I love being on stages, I’m really good at it and I have really good messages to share so there has to be a different way. So when it comes to speaking, I think most people think when they think professional speaking, they think professional means I’m going to get paid for my time on stage which is that traditional speaking model which most people end up hiring, or bringing on like an agent, or a speaker’s bureau to have them book on their behalf to get on stages, which is really great when you want to get paid for your time on stage so that is a very relevant business model.
It’s very profitable because the margins are low. You don’t have to have a big team. A lot of professional speakers have a part time assistant and really what you need is a damn good talk and a system to book stages, that does what you need. Now to get started, like there’s some other things with it but that’s one model. My clients that I work with, we operate off for a different business model, and that is the the model where instead of speaking, being the product, you’re using speaking to grow your products.
So this is for if you’re a coach, you’re an entrepreneur who has digital courses, membership consulting, you do any of those types of things with information products, and you want to make money off stage, we have to look at a different business model and that’s where you can still get paid to speak on stage but that moment on stage opens far more opportunities, both with the organizations and with the audience.
April Beach 13:02
Yeah, and that’s exactly what we talk about behind the scenes. As some of you guys know, Heather is one of our experts that comes in and works with our clients of the Sweet Life Company because we’re selling these game changing very valuable offers, and there’s no better way to get in front of a perfect audience and using stages to sell those programs, sell those offers on the back side. So I’m super, super excited to dive into that second business model, selling programs, selling your intellectual property on the back side of stages. So how does somebody get started with this process? And they’re like, yes, this is totally what I was looking for but I didn’t actually know how to go about doing that.
Heather Sager 13:46
Yeah, I love this topic so much because a lot of times I’m focused with people just on their talks, and we don’t even get to the point of the making the business on the backend so this I’m going to geek out with you today. So you know how I mentioned in a professional speaking model, you really need two things, a damn good talk and you need the system to book the stages. So when you’re leveraging those stage opportunities, and let me just clarify, when I say a speaking opportunity or a stage opportunity, it could be you being paid to speak at a conference, it could be you coming into an organization teaching a workshop, it also could be speaking virtually, maybe for an organization, but also you might be going direct to your ideal clients and speaking at virtual summits, or hosting your own events.
A stage is simply a platform to share your message so you have a lot of opportunities available for you. But to use speaking as a way to grow your business, you actually need three things in this business model. Number one, it’s not just good enough to have a damn good talk. It doesn’t matter if you’re charismatic or you’re a great storyteller, you have to have an effective talk, which means not only do you wow your audience and the client who booked you, but you have to ensure that you’re driving demand and desire for your offers. So that’s why you have to have an effective talk, that is number one.
That’s what I spend most of my type time helping clients with because most entrepreneurs, we believe we’re really, really great speakers but we’re really good at getting praise. We’re not good at organically driving sales from our messages, and I teach people how to be persuasive without being schmucky. Number one, effective talk. Number two, of course, you have to have a system to book talks. It’s the same on both ends, but who you’re booking, you’re being a little bit more choosy and more intentional with the types of clients you’re after.
But then number three, you have to have a system on the backend for how you make money after your talk because it’s not just about your time on stage, it’s what’s happened next and part of that is what happens next for the audience, but a big part about speaking when you’re an expert is you can make money through consulting, booking additional gigs. There are so many opportunities in the backend when you’re booking corporate and organizations.
April Beach 15:55
Yes, yes, yes, and licensing, and that’s what we love to talk about, right? It’s just selling your program, selling your consulting to the organization. So let me just repeat for our listeners, what I just heard you say is that there are really two audiences that you actually get to sell to, in business model of speaking number two. First of all, the audience, and second, the company that you’re speaking for, and how powerful is that? So you really have two people that you can serve. So how, if somebody really wants to get started with this, what are some of the steps to build, first of all the effective talk? So my question for you is, how important do you believe is it that they’re effective talk connects with the solution they provide in the offers that they’re selling on the backside.
Heather Sager 16:48
If you want to be effective in your selling, you want it to be very closely aligned. The the more distant your stage topic is from your offer, the harder the hill you have to climb with your audience and the longer the nurture window and the more connection you have to create in terms of connecting the dots for them. But the closer aligned your solution is to what you’re speaking about, the closer you are to your audience with them being aware of their problems. So I like to align those things, that’s why what we do to build an effective talk for the majority my clients.
We build something called a signature talk which very much coordinates with what you teach in your signature method. So what we do is we focus on how do we create the context for the signature solution so that people are excited about it and that’s what we do inside my program called the Signature Talk Accelerator, where we geek out over that, we obsess over it and say how do you build the narrative in a way that gets people excited and you’re able to pitch it to organizations so that they see the benefit for them to
April Beach 17:48
Right. It’s so fascinating. I mean, when I talk to clients, I think there’s so much confusion around people thinking, oh, I need that motivational talk. I need the one that feels so super good, and I really do think there’s a disconnect between what you’re saying, between an effective talk and not that it’s not motivational, not that it’s not inspiring.
Of course, it encompasses all those things but you’re bringing somebody through, would you call it up that framework and you’re saying in their method of what they teach in that process. And I really think that it’s just muddied waters a bit for people that just don’t understand that if they do not have that framework extracted from their offer as part of their talk, they’re working against themselves. I was actually just working with a client, I need to send her over to you.
As I’m saying this, I’m realizing, oh, my gosh, I need to make sure she’s getting introduced to Heather, and she has an amazing programs, working through it a certification program. She’s booked all the time on stages, and the talk that she has been giving for years, now that we have this program that we’ve built for her right, it’s totally the wrong talk. It’s a great talk. She’s known for this talk, she’s getting booked for this talk but now she really needs to pivot that.
Heather Sager 18:12
Yeah, and she could probably keep it. So one of the things I talk about with my clients is you’re gonna have a speaking ecosystem. So your signature talk is the one that is most directly aligned with your offer. So that one there and that’s why I help clients, we start there because if you have a method or if you have a program and if you don’t have a method, see April, right? She helps with that.
This is what you do is we want to align those. A lot of people go, oh, I’m going to start with my signature talk and then I’m going to figure out what to sell. It’s kind of ass backwards. I mean, you could do that, but you’re going to be far more again, the word is effective. If we start with what is the goal, what ultimately is the offer you want to be known for, what is the thing that you want to sell, and then we build your signature story and all of the messaging around that but you also will have other talks.
So for me, I’m still a professional speaker, that is part of the revenue in my business. I love speaking. I don’t think that’s ever gonna go away. I have a variety of keynotes and workshops that I deliver that are not my signature. Now the majority of them are connected back in some way to my signature talk because I want to be known for something but let me give you an example here.
I specifically work with entrepreneurs who have mostly online programs. So again, experts could coaches, consultants, educators. Now with this type of business, I’m very specific in what I teach on speaking. However, when I work with organizations, I’m hired a lot by companies to come in to train their sales team, to come in and train their executives on more effective communication. Now, communication, giving presentations, that’s really not the same for sales, like a sales force or an executive, but the principles of effective communication they transfer.
So I have talks that are modified that aren’t completely different than what I do but the point is, you can have multiple talks, but you want to know which ones are going to be the best money makers for your business on and off stage.
April Beach 21:07
Fabulous. I love the ecosystem language around that is, you know, that’s just awesome. Okay, so they have their talk, they have their framework, they have their outline of what they’re going to speak on and then the next step, you said that is you need something after that. What comes after that, after you’ve booked that talk? What what happens on the backside to actually sell the programs? What does that usually look like in your experience?
Heather Sager 21:36
Well, a lot of times this starts actually well before the engagement itself. So we create our talk, I recommend for my clients as we practice, we book some low stakes talk that are not your ideal client that you’re after so we can hammer out the the weird parts of your talk. People struggle with transitions, the stories, right? We have all that done but let’s say that you booked an epic stage talk, and now you’re going how do I make money on the back end?
Well, the reality is, most organizations when you come in or conferences you speak at, they are not going to be a fan or allow to any capacity of you saying, here’s my program, here’s my artwork. Selling from the stage is a very unique thing and what I’m finding with today’s consumers, most people are turned off by it and what you’ll hear oftentimes is people are like, but it’s so effective. And it is, but what we also find is consumers who purchase from those selling from the stage moments, they buy, despite feeling kind of yucky about it.
There is a high pressure stakes piece of it so yes is effective. I’ve done it before and multiple people have done it before but you go into it knowing that it might not be the best experience for the audience. Now I say that I know a lot of people disagree with me, that’s totally fine. But what I find with most of my clients is it works and it’s not always the most positive experience. Sometimes it is.
There’s like people like Brendon Burchard. He is phenomenal. However, I bought a 10k Brendon Burchard offer. One scenario, I remember feeling like this was not, I don’t feel great but anyways, but I love the offer. I digress here. But going to the back end, your back end selling starts before the talk.
So we talked about you have two audiences, you have the ultimate for the client audience or the people in there and then you also have the client who booked you. So what I like to start out with is if you’re having a pre-call with an organization, you’re scoping what they’re looking for, and I’ve taught your group this before April around how to lead these calls, around how you actually start gathering information for your client.
April Beach 23:35
She’s so good at this, you guys. It’s ridiculous. It’s like ninjas feels insane. Sorry, go ahead.
Heather Sager 23:43
So yeah, no it’s great, thank you. You can say more nice, like that.
April Beach 23:46
She’s incredible at it. It’s crazy. My clients are so powering up.
Heather Sager 23:50
Oh, yeah, most people, they go into these inquiry calls, like thinking like, I want to, I want to get the information so I can pitch. I want to understand the scope and the context so I can offer a bigger transformation. That’s how I go through. So I asked the questions I need for my specific talk but I’m also asking rooted questions around what is the overall impact in this organization? What is the bigger picture for the people in the audience?
I want to know context because context allows me to paint a bigger picture for them because 9 times out of 10, probably 10, 10 times out of 10. Most meeting organizers or HR professionals when they book you, they are filling a spot for a conference. They’re not thinking oh, your program would be amazing for our fleet of salespeople, like they’re not really thinking their. Their job, their scope is the meeting planner, or the HR person to bring in people for this one training event. That’s like point blank. That’s what they’re focused on.
However, if you have a conversation with them and even nod to the fact that this goal is in alignment with your program, and in fact most of your clients you work with, you end up working with them on a more long term basis through consulting or through your program licensed out for them. You can drop these breadcrumbs in your planning conversations with them on a very soft nod and you normalize it by saying how you typically work with clients which opens up the door often when you’re on site with them at an event.
This is how I used to book speakers. We’d bring them in because we were auditioning them and we had spots to fill. But the ones who our audiences went bananas over that, you better believe, I took them to lunch, ask more follow up questions and those often led to multiple six figure contracts for those people consulting in our organization. So you never know when a lead, but you do not wait until that you step off stage to start selling. It starts way at the beginning at the start of the relationship.
April Beach 25:46
Oh, this is so powerful, and it’s a different thought process. It’s about being very proactive and not shooting from the hip and being incredibly strategic about the steps in the time that you take in every moment that you have, with a potential organization, a potential buyer, a potential client, which again is of course the audience is listening but I really loving this conversation here. We’re honing in on the company side of it.
And one of the things that you have said when you’ve come in and work with our clients that are licensing their products and selling their programs to companies is being a great listener, and this is not what we’re talking about on this show but the feedback that our clients when they leave one of your master teachings in our ecosystem is wow, I’m not being a good enough listener. I haven’t been a good enough listener or I haven’t really, like you were saying, understand what their bigger picture is. What words did you say? I think you said understanding the greater mission of the organization, not just the micro mission of the spot they are trying to fill as a speaker. I think it’s so powerful.
Heather Sager 27:09
It’s critical, and I think this is the, there’s a lot of things that go into this but one of the biggest misconceptions people have with speaking, is that it’s your responsibility to stand up on a stage and grab the mic and it’s your moment to share whatever is on your heart, whatever message, what you want to know. And that works if you’re trying to become a motivational or inspirational speaker, or there’s a lot of very successful athletes or celebrities with a story, they have a story to share and that’s great but again, we’re not speaking for just monetizing that time on stage.
We’re business owners and there is a bigger mission we have and it’s not just about making money. I think this is the critical takeaway here to connect back with listening. The people that I work with, they genuinely want to help solve the problems they were put on this earth to solve. They know that what they have to do. There are people who need it and they feel the sense of duty to teach it in a way that are going to reach these people.
Now the dichotomy that we have here is because we have to play expert role, we think that we have to know everything, and therefore, share everything with a prospect in front of us or people on stage but your most powerful connection and sales tool is to listen. You need to understand what types of questions should you be asking so that people open up to you.
One of the most important parts of sales calls, whether it’s booking for a stage or you’re selling your licensing deal, is you need to understand what questions you can ask to help the person in front of you better understand their own problem. And if you take anything away from this interview, rewind back that 10 seconds because if you can learn how to do that which is what I do all the time.
That right there, it becomes, you become the linchpin for the organization, where they’re like, oh, you have, like what you’re putting out things that we weren’t even aware of but yes. Organizations, they want to pay to solve the immediate pain but what they really want is they want to solve the root problems. The problem is they do not understand what those are and that’s where you come in.
April Beach 29:09
Powerful. That is something that people don’t talk about enough and I know that we’re super lucky to tap into your genius in our company and now our listeners can tap into you again. So in summary, there are two types of speaking business models. Number one, it’s the business of being a speaker, getting paid to speak, very well known, people understand this business model.
I think people are scared of this business model and frankly, that business model personally to me doesn’t sound great at all. That sounds, not you, especially as you were explaining how far in advance you are booked to speak. My goodness, you know, for people that are really looking for time control and time freedom that is not an ideal business model and then we have this other one which is the ecosystem of speaking and the offers that you sell on the backside.
And you said, the importance of having not necessarily a heartfelt motivational type of a talk, but an effective talk that’s connected to the offers and the solutions that you provide on the backside and then the process, this is so powerful, you guys.
Seriously, like you rewind this and please share this episode on social media with your friends, maybe you don’t share it with your, don’t share it with your competition. Just share it with your friends. Is listening in these conversations, and can you say that one more time before we end. When you help them understand, finish that.
Heather Sager 30:43
When you understand the context of their problem. If you help them start seeing really what the environment is around their product and not just sitting in the pain of the annoyance, that’s a game changer. Because they start trusting you because here’s what other people, here’s what your competition does. Is they go through and they ask the generic questions to unearth the, oh yeah, oh, you’re struggling with this? Yep. Check the box. Oh, yeah. You want this? Yep. Okay, check. I have pain, check. I have desire, check. I have, like ultimate timeframe, check. I have budget. So then they pitch back. Okay, cool. You said this, I think this, here’s what we should do. Point and done.
But when you get good at asking questions, when you ask them to more contextual things, and I’m not saying go into their life story, like we’re not gonna go into their childhood trauma, and like understand this, but they’re very pointed, intentional questions that I teach my clients is what we’re doing is we’re raising their level of awareness to their own problem. And when you do that, you instantly put yourself in a different category from your competitor because they see you not as someone who’s just a wham bam, thank you ma’am speaker, where you’re coming in for a paid gig to get in and get out. You actually care about the results and the impact your message has for their clients, their audience, their employees, whoever their group is. When you demonstrate that by taking the time to ask pointed questions, you become more valuable.
April Beach 32:07
Boom, mic drop right there. Thank you so much for being back again on the show and for all you’re giving first and all the ways that you do that, not only in our community, but I know in so many places that you do that online. If you guys are not following Heather, please make sure that you are following her and cruise over to Heathersager.com. Heather, how are you working with clients right now out of curiosity, but if you’re listening to this in two years, guys, it might not be the same.
Heather Sager 32:36
The websites is the best place to keep up to date to get the podcast, the Hint of Hustle. It’s a great place to go right now, if you’re like, ooh, I like her fire. I’m like this every week, so Hint of Hustle where you can find me. But I’m working with clients these days I’ve really honed in and I focus primarily with the starting point for every successful speaking business, right?
Making money through speaking is having a damn good signature talk. So I’ve taken all of my training that I’ve been doing for the last five years plus, I’ve been speaking on stages for the last 20 years but I’ve taken all of my programs that have actually simplified it into one three day accelerator to help experts get their story, get their effective message, get everything out of their head into what we call a shitty rough draft, so you have that burden we can work from then you go deliver a beta talk, we get feedback, we work on it together. But that is the best way, my favorite way that I’m working with clients right now so you can find all about that on my website to see when the next time is coming up, and if we’re not teaching that live, there’ll be an alternative for that. But getting your signature talk down, that is the place to start.
April Beach 33:35
You know when you texted me that three day Accelerator. I was like, oh my gosh, this is fire. That’s what all of us want, right, to get solutions fast. So I don’t have it, it makes me want to have a three day accelerator now, I’m gonna.
Heather Sager 33:51
It blew my mind. We just taught it a couple months ago and the like, within a number of hours. We were getting posts from people that they were already having wins. They were already booking talks just from the micro time we had spent together. It blew my mind. I’ve been working with clients for years and the volume of transformations we’ve gotten out of this 3-day Accelerator is just like alright, rinse and repeat. We’re just gonna keep doing it this way.
April Beach 34:16
Love it. Love it. Well, thank you so much for just being so rad and just being who you are and bringing all your smarts from all of your decades of experience in sales and working with companies and consulting companies and teaching people how to kill it from the stage and build a profitable business on the backside. We absolutely love you and appreciate you again. All the show notes will be found over at sweet lifeco.com We will include all the links for this episode so you guys can connect with Heather. Thank you so much, my friend.