Verbal marketing is any form of marketing that involves you opening your mouth and communicating with others, and if you're one of those people that get nervous meeting people for the first time or talking in front of crowds, don’t be concerned – it’s normal, and you’re not alone, it is a common fear.
“There are only two types of speakers in the world. The nervous and the liars.” - Mark Twain
On this podcast, I will discuss the four most common forms of verbal marketing, which are:
1. Business Lunches & Networking Events
2. Public Speaking Opportunities
3. Trade Shows & Expos
4. The Elevator Speech
Business Lunches & Networking Events
I’m a huge fan of attending well-run business lunches and networking events, and when I say well run, I mean there’s adequate time before, during, and after for meaningful conversations.
On the surface, the concept of networking is straightforward. The goal is to link like-minded individuals who have a common interest together, and through relationship building and trust they become walking, talking advertisements for one another’s businesses.
However, for networking to be effective, you must be genuine and honest and look at networking with a long-term view. You need to build trust. Never treat networking as a one-way promotional activity for yourself and your business and never try to shove your business card down everyone’s throat. Don’t become “that person” – the one everybody in the room wants to avoid.
The best part of networking is it’s one of the least expensive marketing activities you will undertake, and I believe my previous businesses were all built off the back of business lunches and networking the right way.
Who you know is far more important than what you know, but what’s even more important is who knows what you know.
Most communities will have a Chamber of Commerce or something very similar, but don’t overlook the local Business Women’s Clubs in your area, especially if you’re male.
Look For Opportunities
Opportunities for networking are limitless, and if there’s no networking group in your area, start one. Write to local business people you want to connect with and get one started. It could be before or after work, and you could meet at your favourite coffee shop.
If you only have four people attend the first meeting, then that’s four opportunities to create long-term relationships.
Huge tip: If you’re the person organising the new networking group, you initially control the invitation list; therefore you don’t have to ask people you do not like.
Public Speaking Opportunities
My first public speaking engagement was in front of 10 unfortunate people – and I say unfortunate because it was nothing short of abysmal. It was so bad the person who organised the talk asked me to promise to never speak in public again, and he wasn’t joking. I’ll admit, my confidence was low, but then I realised I could only get better, and I did. I went from abysmal to terrible, from terrible to bad, and so on.
If you fear public speaking, as I did, you need to deal with it, because public speaking opens many doors. Joining Toastmasters or a similar group may be able to assist you with public speaking, but for me I just threw myself in the deep end and decided I need to sink or swim – and unfortunately I sank, but I learnt the more I did it, the better I got because everything is hard, until it’s easy.
Always remember that the people you’re talking to want to see you succeed, they’re not there to see you fail.
There are many long-term benefits for doing public speaking:
* You will come across as a perceived expert: remember, perception is the reality.
* If you are an expert then the business you own and operate must also be exceptional.
* Speaking to groups of people at one time is a great way to leverage your time and promote your business for free.
* One of the best reasons why you want to say yes to a speaking opportunity: it’s one less speaking opportunity for your competitors. If you don’t do it, they probably will – are you okay with that?
Trade Shows & Expos
Having a booth at local shows and trade expos provide excellent opportunities to promote your business and the services you provide to large numbers of people in a short period, however, if you have a booth, make sure it looks professional, and you must make sure it is always staffed. There’s nothing worse than seeing an empty booth – it does not give a good image.
I’ve mentioned previously many marketing pillars overlap with one another, and this is often the case with verbal marketing.
If you attend a networking event, give a talk or have a booth at an expo, make sure you take photos for social your website and social media pages, shoot some video, or maybe shoot a live video. If what you’re doing is newsworthy, consider contacting the local media and sending out a media release.
Do You Have An Elevator Speech?
What is an elevator speech? An elevator speech is a concise, informative, compelling summary of who you are and what you do. Your speech needs to be told in 30 seconds or less, the same amount of time it takes for you to go from the ground floor to the tenth floor in an elevator, hence the name. It may also be used to pitch an idea, a concept, or new product.
When you’re at a networking event, you will be asked what do you do? I’m amazed at how many people are unprepared for this question. You only have a brief moment to explain yourself, and if you “um ’n’ ah” the opportunity may be lost. Therefore you need to be able to communicate what you do very quickly, and you need to practise this technique. You want your elevator speech to create a spark of interest in the other person. You want them saying tell me more.
Extended elevator speech
I’ve been at lunch meetings, and the MC will ask if anyone would like to stand up or come on stage for one or two minutes to talk briefly about their business. This is when an elevator speech, or an extended elevator speech, is needed. Also, what an opportunity, to get up and talk about your business in front of like-minded business people.
With all verbal marketing, it all comes back to you having the ability to talk and communicate with other people. If you don’t have the skill, you need to learn it; otherwise, you’re gifting work and your share of the wealth pie to your competition.
It’s No secret there’s big money in Verbal Marketing, but you have to overcome your fears.
Did you listen to:
It's No Secret Business Conference
On the 17th and 18th of August 2018. I will be holding a 2-Day It's No Secret Business Conference in Cairns and this year's theme is 'Communication, Persuasion and Influence'. My Keynote Speaker is David M Frees from Pennsylvania, who was also my guest on Podcast Episode 2. Bookings are NOW OPEN, and for more details, please visit my EVENTS page. (Limited to 50 attendees)
There will also be seven local business owners and entrepreneurs. More information is coming shortly.
First 16 Pages of My Book – It’s No Secret There’s Money in Small Business.