When You Speak to Groups Does Anyone Listen?

When conducting training on lead generation, I often see originators who are not good speakers in front of a group. Some originators think they don’t need this skill set. Others think they are good at it when frankly they are not. The current environment requires scalable marketing efforts and effectively communicating to groups—whether in person or via an online format — is more important than ever. Here’s why.

Prospecting has changed dramatically in the last 10 years and the days of having a handful of referral sources are long gone. Originators who want to succeed in today’s marketplace must increase their number of referral sources for optimum results. For example, top producers may have hundreds of referral sources within their sphere of influence. This is not by accident but a deliberate effort to fill the top of their sales funnel.

Originators can build awareness one-on-one but a faster, more efficient way to make connections is to hold group meetings. Whether it’s a lunch and learn, a webinar or a podcast, each group marketing type has its own rules that loan officers must master. Case in point: In 1995, David Letterman hosted the Oscars and was panned for his presentation. Letterman was never asked to host it again even though he is a veteran performer who has spoken in front of groups for years. Presenting to groups isn’t easy.


Scalable Lead Generation

Lead generation now is about scaling prospecting efforts and increasing the top of the sales funnel. It boils down to simple math: the more people aware of an originator’s expertise and solutions, the better the salesperson’s chances of earning the business.

Certainly, producers can prospect using emails, postcards or other traditional advertising methods but speaking to a group is more personal and impactful. Emails can be deleted and postcards thrown away if not relevant or personal. Today’s selling requires salespeople to differentiate themselves from the competition and doing the same things as other originators is not a smart selling strategy.

The good news is that webinars and podcasts have become easier to create and are reasonable in cost. Originators who devote time to learning these new tools can reach more prospects in a memorable, meaningful way.


Common Presentation Mistakes

Why do people tune out some speakers? Here are just a few of the reasons:

  • If the speaker goes on endlessly trying to convey a simple idea. Short and concise is always better when speaking in front of a group.
  • Words matter. Choosing the right ones are critical for success. Never include information that may embarrass someone. Never say bad things about your competition. Take the high road.
  • Too much information. Don’t overload people with too many details. Simplicity is always a winner. A good rule of thumb is to have three ideas that you want to stress.
  • Failure to prepare before speaking. Winging it is a fatal flaw that can torpedo a speaking opportunity. This is true in webinars and podcasts. These formats can be harder because you are not speaking or recording in front of a physical audience.
  • Unclear messaging. When people have a hard time following your presentation, they will not hear what you have to say. Divide your presentation into several key points that show you are a sales expert.

Speaking well is becoming an important requirement to succeed as an originator. Many top producers use group communication in their prospecting efforts and so should other originators. It will make a world of difference in your sales results.