Speaking is one of the best ways to gain clients for service professionals. It quickly establishes a relationship, gives the audience a real-life taste of you and your services, and it allows them to feel as though they know you. Yet even though this is such a powerful way to gain clients, so many approach with no strategy to actually gain those clients.

Below are 5 client-gaining ingredients for your speeches.

1. What’s Next Strategy
One of the biggest missed opportunities I see is walking into a speaking engagement whether it is a keynote presentation, a break-out session, a lunch & learn or a 10 minute introduction, you should always have a “What’s Next” Strategy.
Your presentation is a taste of your programs, products and services. Organize your content to position your services or products to be the natural next step and use your speech to lead into it. Even if you can’t directly promote yourself or your services, you still have audience members how will ask you, “What’s next?” Be prepared to answer this question.

2. Know Your Audience
If you are a service provider who is speaking as a way to gain new clients, speaking to your target audience is always the best way to go. Regardless, you still have to be aware of who your audience is. What are they going through? What is a day in their life like? What issues are they looking to overcome?
This can be done in several ways. Market research is a great way to understand the needs of your audience. What books do they read? What website do they frequent? What industries or associations do they belong to? What are the issues being covered in the above venues? Another way would be through surveys. You can survey the audience members beforehand either directly or through the event coordinator. In fact, the event coordinator is another great resource to tap into for this information.

3. Be Present
Of course you have to be present for your presentation, but do you make yourself available before or after the presentation?
Get to your presentation in plenty of time to set up before anyone arrives. Then as people enter the room, greet them, introduce yourself, chit chat. This creates a relaxed environment and allows you and them to feel comfortable. Remember, this is often their first impression of you.
Also, make it known you will be available afterward to either sell back of the room products or be around to answer their questions or hear their thoughts on your presentation. Invite them to approach you.

4. Collect Contact Information
What’s the point of speaking for clients if you’re not going to gain anything from it? If this audience is populated by your ideal prospects, collect their contact information to contact them after the presentation. Here are a couple of phrases I have used that work like a gem, “I have an audio recording that goes more deeply into this material. If you would like to receive this information, pass forward your business cards and I’ll make sure you get it by the end of the week.” Or “I’m often asked for a copy of my presentations. Anyone who would like a handout copy of my slides, please pass forward your business cards and I’ll make sure you get it ASAP.”

5. Follow Up
Now that you have their contact information, actually follow up! Make it your number one priority. I’ve talked to so many people who totally miss this step, or wait and wait and wait until so much time has gone by they feel it’s too late. These are people who have directly told you they are interested in gaining more information. Be prepared to send it to them within 2 days of your presentation.

Thank them for attending your presentation along with sending the link. Then follow up afterwards to make sure they received the information and see if they have any additional questions about it.

Many people use speaking as a way to get clients, but they aren’t just going to line up afterwards all by themselves. By including these 5 elements as a natural part of your presentation, you will make speaking for clients a powerful part of your overall marketing strategy.

Author's Bio: 

Kathy Jo Slusher-Haas works with certified coaches to go from confused, frustrated, and blocked to gaining clarity, resources, and re-energize your business so you can authentically market your business and enjoy the ride. Visit http://www.marketyourcoachingbusiness.com/Free-Stuff-.html for instant access to your own free Marketing Survival Guide.