Featured Contributor

Selling from the stage? Please stop. by @companyofwomen

 Selling from the stage? Please stop.

by Anne Day | Featured Contributor

OK. I admit this is a pet peeve, but I have a feeling I am not alone.

What is it that bugs me? Selling from the stage. Now I admit this is a strategy that is frequently taught by sales coaches and the like. But you know what? For me it negates all credibility and value in what has been said before.

Suddenly instead of the talk being about the audience, it is about the presenter and her financial goals. Suddenly I have been transferred from learner to buyer. Suddenly I feel quite uncomfortable, as the person on stage works her way through the patter.

It is too bad, because the presenters are misguided and, for me, at least, I lose respect. Because you know what, if you do a good job, share generously and wow the audience with your knowledge and expertise, they will want more.

By all means hand out business cards, so people can connect with you afterwards, as then if they will want to buy from you they can, without feeling they are being manipulated or pressured into making that purchase.

And don’t get me wrong. I’ve done it and I have bought into the hype. I’ve made the purchase. But you know what? When I get home I rarely find the time to check out the program I’ve bought. I now recognize that I get caught up in the moment, but reality is, that’s all it is for me, a moment, because I don’t follow through. Bottom line. It is a waste of money.

I urge presenters to forego this strategy. Be more authentic and real. Deliver the goods and when you impress the audience, they will be more than ready to buy more.

When Sam Horn talked recently at my Journey2Sucess conference, did she push people to buy her books, her services? No. She gave genuinely and generously. She even talked one-on-one with people afterwards. No charge. Has she built her fan base? You bet. And I am sure she’s sold more of her books without even having them there.

If you are a speaker, spend more time thinking of your audience and what they need to learn, rather than what you want to get out of the experience, because trust me – you will do so much better.

It’s about the audience. Not you.

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Anne DayAnne Day has had a somewhat eclectic career from heading up several charities, to being the editor of a national parenting magazine, to working for government and then launching her own business.

But she found working for yourself can be isolating and so eleven years ago she started Company of Women as a way to connect and support women entrepreneurs. Today the organization has six chapters across the GTA and beyond, and over 300 members. In 2009 she received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Oakville and the TIAW World of Difference award for her work in supporting women internationally. Over the years she has helped thousands of women grow professionally and personally through her programs, services and personal encouragement.

She is the author of three books, the most recent being Day by Day – Tales of business,life and everything in between. She is a regular business columnist with Huffington Post, and blogs for numerous other publications.

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