Your business plan states your target market for your specialized product or service, and it isn’t Paid Speaking Engagements.
You can let each lead, prospect, contact or client know that if they want to learn more you’ll be happy to deliver a one-hour paid presentation to inform the management and executives of the organization.
Let’s face it: You are in the business of selling knowledge; your knowledge is generally embodied in your product or service. You should not be giving it away.
If Business is “the exchange of two pieces of paper, one of which must be a cheque”, then every time you speak and someone makes notes, you are giving them a piece of paper, but if they are not giving you a cheque, then it’s not business, it’s just a pastime. And who has the time or money to spend on a pastime nowadays.
Over twenty years ago I met a consultant who shocked me at the time; he explained that he never left his office unless he was being paid. “What about sales calls?”, I asked. No such thing in his books, unless it was over the phone. If a phone conversation convinced the prospect that it would be worth some time spent face-to-face with the consultant, then, on the basis that time is money, this consultant reasoned that an exchange of time for money was appropriate.
“But won’t you miss out on some work this way?” I harried. ”Yes”, he replied, and then showed me that a prospect who didn’t value his time was not going to be a good client. He was interested only in clients who valued the time he would spend disseminating knowledge.
It’s a mistake I have often made with prospective clients; sitting in their office listening to their problems, and then excitedly letting them know what the solution was. How many of your prospects have listened to you for free, and then bought a book or found the answer on the web?
Your positioning is therefore that of creating an image of a person who has great wisdom and experience that will be of value to a client organization.
How much value? That is reflected in your price, and if the prospect does not agree, then what makes you think you’ll be getting any future business from them? Or that you’ll be happy with a penny-pinching client?