Back of the Room Sales

One of the areas that most authors avoid is speaking to large organizations. Yet, this is the best way to have a larger number get to know who you are and what your message is.

It is easy enough to talk with smaller audiences and I have found that by simply focusing on smaller numbers of people, large audiences are not much different.

The challenge is to have more than enough material to offer your audience. The rule of thumb is 50% of your audience will be on your side immediately. Then 25% of the audience can be swayed by your personality and material. The balance of the audience will hold out on you for various reasons. Some might believe they should be the ones speaking rather than you, others might be having a bad day or someone has forced them to be in the room.

There are three learning styles: Audio, Visual and Kinetic. If you prepare material in all three mediums you will engage a greater number from your audience in purchasing your material.

You can take chapters from you book and record them with your computer and a head set. You can find a studio and record your book at a professional studio. You can also record your speaking engagements and creating CD’s to sell at future engagements. I use the Sony Digital Recorder ICD-SX700D, you can now get on eBay for less than $100, I paid $180 at Fry’s. Another tool I would suggest is Dragon Naturally Speaking. It will translate your audio to text files and you can massage the copy for an ebook or record chapters of your book.

Selling Back-of-the-Room material is an art. And learning to be good at selling your material is part of your job as an author. There was an event I went to several years ago where one of speakers asked “What would it be worth to you to be able to remember every detail in your  life?” One lady answered “$100!” He replied, “Stand up if you’d be willing to pay $100 to have your memory become accurate.” About half of the 400 member audience stood. The he went up in 50 dollar increments asking “Stay standing if you’d pay $150.” and continued to increase the amount until one woman remained standing who said she would pay $1,000! He asked her to come up to the stage and he gave her a free copy.

Then he announced he only brought a few copies and the assistants in the back of the room would take $20 in cash until they ran out of the disks. You wouldn’t believe the stampede to the back of the room. He must have sold well over 200, including the one I bought.

It’s about creating the sense of urgency and making the audience believe they need what you have.