One of the best things to do to quickly establish credibility, get massive exposure, and attract new clients, is speaking. Hands down. Whether you organize your own seminars on a regular basis to continually fill the pipeline (the way I did for years), or get booked for talks to "pre-formed" groups like associations, it works like a charm--provided you give very good info.
If you deliver the talk properly, there's always a group of people at the end of your talk who rush up to the podium to chat with you. Some will tell you how much they enjoyed the talk, some will be e-zine readers who've wanted to meet you for years, some will want free advice or to "pick your brain." But, there's one question you'll almost always get and it comes in two parts. The first part's the good part; "I'm interested in working with you." The second one is the tricky part; "What do you charge?"
There's ONE fundamental problem with answering the second part of that question. If you answer it right there on the spot, you'll most always lose that client on the spot. Here's why.
When making a purchasing decision, if they're only focused on price, there isn't any room for VALUE or RESULTS. And I believe people buy in three ways: by emotion, by results, and by value (what they're paying for what they're getting). If you don't get the value part right, you might as well not even bother. They'll always go into sticker shock.
The solution? Don't give them your rates on the spot. Instead, invite them for a conversation to be held at a later date where you can fully describe the value they'll be getting from working with you. I call mine the "get-acquainted session," you may call yours a free consultation, whatever. The important thing is that's where the magic happens. That's where you can find out more about them, get to the root of their problems, describe solutions, and they can buy by value.
Now, by the way, this situation doesn't just happen at the end of a speaking gig. If you've got a kick-butt elevator speech that makes them say, "Wow, that's exactly what I need, I want to work with you," then you'll also get the question at networking events, at the cocktail hour of your friend's wedding, or simply when someone contacts you by email or phone. The answer is always the same though. Invite them for a free consult.
Your Client Attraction Assignment:
Never give your rates cold. You'll almost always lose the sale right there on the spot. Instead, invite them for a conversation. Here's what I recommend that my private clients say to their own prospects:
"I actually offer several different programs, depending on how quickly you want to get results, and of course, on your budget level. What I usually recommend is that we set up a free get-acquainted session. Not only do you want to find out more about me, my programs, etc., but I want to find out more about you and your situation to see if you're going to be the right fit for my programs as well. Shall we set that up?"
Done. The prospects almost always let out a sigh of relief (it's almost as though they didn't REALLY want your rates after all) and then you're all set. Now, you're ready to close the sale. Easy.