Prospects gain an appreciation for your expertise and ability to understand and to solve their problems through what you write, what you say, and what your customers’ say about you. You should have a plan for developing referrals and testimonials, but I want to focus writing and public speaking as opportunities to demonstrate your expertise and give prospects a reason to believe that you can assist them. These outbound messaging strategies will complement your referral program and are essential to attracting new customers and cultivating valuable long-term business relationships.
Here are some suggestions for practices that will help you routinely refine and curate your thoughts.
- Collect Good Questions & Your Good Answers: When you get a good question from a prospect or a customer take the time to write up a succinct answer in a follow up e-mail (even if you have answered it in a phone call or face to face meeting).
- Refine & Generalize Your Good Answers: save your e-mail in a special folder for “good answers” and set aside time every week or month to reviewing and refining it so that it becomes a more general answer that’s applicable to more than just the person you initially answered it for.
- Start a FAQ on your website: If you don’t have one it’s worth considering starting a “Frequently Asked Questions” list. If a particular question indicates you have a defect in our standard presentation or marketing materials it’s more appropriate to fix the source of the question instead.
- Reformat Your Generalized Good Answers: Convert good answers into articles or blog posts.
- Make the Time to Rehearse: Always leave time to rehearse in front of at least one other person before you give the live talk.
- Record Your Talks: Record at least the audio for your talks and listen to both your presentation and any Q&A. Listen to it again a few days later and a month or two later.
- Consider Writing an Article: either as a leave behind instead of your slides or as another blog post.
- Never Give a Talk Only Once: Considering the cost in time to develop and rehearse a good talk, you want to find at least three opportunities to give a talk or variations on it.
- Videotape A Good Talk In Front Of An Audience: Once you have given a talk two or three times live either do a video recording of it or arrange to have later versions videotaped. You will look and sound much better in front of a live audience with a talk you are comfortable giving and this will come through on the video. Consider editing it into a couple of 5-10 minute chunks if you can to use as teasers, summaries, or good stand-alone content.