It’s a question that all business owners, regardless of size, should be asking themselves to ensure they are properly engaging with customers and prospects.
As a talent broker, Keith Harwood, founder of Inspire Speakers, admits that conveying his company’s value is the only thing that keeps him in business, by stopping customers cutting him out of the equation and going direct.
“If it’s a new client I’m working with, then it’s maybe trying to get them to think a little bit,” explains Keith.
“The hardest part of what I do is getting the relationship with the client. Once I have the brief … I’ve been very creative in the past about how I’ve gotten access to speakers or how I’ve researched for speakers and who I’ve gotten.”
Keith says one example of his work highlights the value he adds for his clients by leveraging his networks, connections and research.
“I recently had a brief … it was a cheese-lovers’ festival and they wanted an ambassador for that. Now, I don’t know anything about cheese, but with enough research and ringing various different people and asking a lot of different questions, I found a great person for that,” he says.
“The client was delighted and they got exactly what they wanted out of [it].”
Another way Keith adds value is by educating prospective customers about the benefits of hiring a professional speaker for their events, and then explaining how he can facilitate that on their behalf.
“The way I think of it is we can find the ads to anything these days on our phone, like if you want to learn the top 10 ways to be a salesperson [for example]. Will you remember that? By the end of the day, unlikely. Will you use it to help you be a better person? Unlikely,” he says.
“But if you’ve got someone on stage delivering it and they hone their craft as a storyteller, and if someone from stage that can deliver it in a way that’s going to move you emotionally, yeah, you’re going to do something about it and you’re going to hopefully make some changes [that will] make you a better salesperson.”