Old-time direct-mailing companies used to tell you to send “lumpy” mail, if you wanted a quick response from your prospects. “Send your info in a tube, or in a box with something that rattles, or in an envelope that clearly has a shape in it!” You were guaranteed to get a higher rate of return with those lumps and bumps.
We can learn something from that theory to build our speaking businesses.
You probably can’t count how many prospects you’ve had who’ve never answered your email. Never returned your call.
I once had that situation when hoping for a job at a big TV station. I went for the interview, and 6 guys around a table, in one way or another, said, “Miss Fox, we’d like for you to come to work for us.”
“Thrilled!” couldn’t describe my mood, as I flew home to Portland, ME.
I waited. What do you think happened?
I called the newsroom bull dog to leave a message. What happened?
I sent a hand-written note to the News Director. What do you think happened?
Dejected, walking down the street, I saw a big sign: “Will ship anywhere in 24 hours.”
I walked in and asked for 2 LIVE lobsters. The clerk put them in a mailing box with an ice pack, and I put in a note that said, “I would hate to leave these bad boys behind, but for you, I would! I WANT YOUR JOB!”
What do you think happened the next day at 3pm? Yep! I got the call. The next day at 3pm? The contract by overnight mail!
I’ve used that same technique, mostly without live lobsters, to get prospects to answer my calls about speaking gigs over and over again.
My favorites: Tins of fancy pecans from Sunnyland Farms. My notes have said,
“You may think I’m nuts to keep bugging you for an answer about your session. I might be, but I want to make sure you know I am still very interested in doing a knockout job for you.”
“It might have been nuts for us to eat all that dessert, but I thoroughly enjoyed our lunch and the chat about your conference. I’m ready to deliver that uber-interactive session you want.”
2 bookings! Just like that!
Dark chocolate truffles, hand-wrapped in colored foils – each color depicts a different flavor, from the VA Chocolate Company. That note said, “Tomorrow afternoon, when your energy dips around 3:30, pop in one of these and give me a call. I’d love to help you turn your sales team into BOLD speakers.”
A book about helping your kids with homework, by Ann Dolan, sent to a mom commiserating with me about that very subject. That note said, “My friend wrote this book and it really helped me make homework time fun with my granddaughter. Hope it will do the same for you. I promise your participants will have fun and walk out speaking like leaders. Give me a call when you can.”
My favorite: Good KARMALS – BOLD speaker branded with a speaking tip inside each wrapper. The note: “You wanted an interactive session: Every time a participant answers a question, we toss a Karmal. Lots of laughs and the wrappers are full of learning! I look forward to hearing from you. BTW, my favorite is the Coffee flavor.”
I’ve coached many clients to send all kinds of things. They, more often than not, get the call right away.