A story of how Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE became the speech coach of choice for a best selling author.
An author-speaker had a best-selling book and needed a dynamic keynote to go with it. His speakers’ bureau recommended two well-respected coaches who might help him. One was me. When he first contacted me, I had no idea that he was actually auditioning both of us so that I had competition.
First, I suggested that he send me his DVD. I would watch 10 minutes and give him an evaluation. If he liked my advice, we could continue with a formal contract. In reality, I watched his entire video. Then, we had an 80-minutes phone conversation during which he received my evaluation and suggestions on what to say and how to tell his stories better. Basically, I gave him a “free” session. My goal was not tell him what I could do for him, but to show him what I do. My goal was to leave him a better speaker even if he DIDN’T hire me.
This blew him away, and he revealed that he was also talking to another speech coach. “Of course,” I told him, “I would expect you to. Working with a speech coach is not like working with a psychiatrist, but you must feel equally comfortable. If you decide to work with me, you must know exactly what the experience will be like and sample the caliber of advice you’ll be getting. Then you’ll either say, “Yes, this is what I am looking for” or “This is great, but not what I am looking for.” Either way, you have a head start on your speech, no matter which coach you work with.”
He hired me.
In advance of our first meeting, I read his book. Three-quarters of the way through, I found out exactly why he had picked me. I was using one of his techniques without knowing it. In his book, he tells of an advertising company which was the last of four bidding for a large account. Each company had two hours to make its pitch. After the first three, the selection committee was already sure which one they wanted. The final company was definitely the underdog.
So the underdog started by saying, “You have a choice. We can present our Dance of the 1000 Slides presentation, showing you are past successes—or you can pretend you’ve already hired us, and we can start working on your project. Then, even if you choose one of the other great firms you’ve just talked to, you will still have gotten two free hours consulting on your campaign. Which would you like from us? Slides or consulting?
The advertising firm in his story was selling by doing. When selling coaching and consulting services that’s what I always do. Since then, he and I have worked on several projects and become good friends. His speaking fees have tripled.
As a consultant or coach, don’t tell potential clients what you have done. Show them what you can do for THEM. You are far more likely to sell your services.
Oh, by the way, my author-speaker never did speak directly to the other well-respected coach. Whenever he called he was always directed to the coaches “people.” It may interest you to know the author speaker has added $15,000 to his fee since we worked together.
If you are ready for speech coaching why not set up a call. If not, a great first step is attend the Patricia Fripp Speaking School in June. Then stay for two days after where you will learn to market you speaking and consulting services at The Odd Couple Marketing and Strategy seminar with Alan Weiss, PhD.
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Brilliant, Patricia! And beautifully written article. Thanks for sharing another tidbit of the genius of your approach to creating happy and successful clients.
your friend and fan,