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Turn Lost Presentation Leads Into Closed Sales

Tips for reaching out to the people who never registered for, showed up to or purchased something from your presentation.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The following excerpt is from Dan S. Kennedy and Dustin Mathews’ book No BS Guide to Powerful Presentations. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

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You can often make a pretty good meal, or two or three, out of leftovers. Have you ever turned leftovers from several prior days’ meals into a soup or stew? Or turned Thanksgiving feast leftovers into a night of sandwiches and another night of open-faced turkey sandwiches with gravy?

Related: 3 Presentations You Can Automate to Spread the Word to More People

Presentations leave leftovers on the table, too. There are the people who expressed interest but never registered online -- at your website, or by calling your office. There are the people who registered to attend or watch but failed to show up. There are the people who showed up but failed to buy or take another desired action. There can be recoverable value in all of those lists.

Sometimes, monetization can be a simple matter of somehow giving them the same presentation again. For a TV infomercial client, I once took all the people calling in but bailing out of the conversation with the order-taker before buying and sent them a letter with an audio recording of the very same infomercial they’d watched. This converted more than enough of these nonbuyers to buyers to be nicely profitable. For most of the nine years that I spoke on America’s number-one seminar tour, Success, usually as the last speaker of the day, I came home and mailed a very long letter essentially transcribed from my presentation to all the ticket buyers who hadn’t bought my resources. Many hadn’t stayed all the way to the long day’s end to even see me at all. Others were, by then, spent out, lugging bags of other speakers’ resources.

This follow-up mailing never failed to be satisfactorily profitable, and it brought thousands of new customers into my world who would have been left behind otherwise. Similarly, during the several years that I did a lot of consulting with Weight Watchers International Inc., I determined that people going to introductory meetings and getting the initial presentation but not joining were getting little or no follow-up, and I proved that an immediate follow-up letter built around the presentation sent the next day by Federal Express got a large number of those people to join.

Related: 2 Secrets About Online Media Presentations

Other times, more complex and sophisticated follow-up can be warranted. I have a longtime client who sells a service to dentists via a presentation delivered live and in person in seminars and online by a webinar. The doctors attending the seminars or watching the online presentations who don’t sign up for the service get not one but three sequential follow-up campaigns, each with 16 to 32 steps, incorporating mail, email and phone, over eight to 10 weeks. The first campaign offers the same service by restating the same presentation carved into pieces. The second campaign offers a stripped-down version of the same service at a lower price. The third campaign offers an entirely different service and drives to a different online presentation to sell it.

You should brace yourself for the piece of insider’s information I’m going to share with you: The profit from eating these leftovers is almost identical to the profit from the primary presentation and its sales. In other words, we nearly doubled the income from the same audience by this follow-up.

This isn’t a freak situation. To the contrary, I usually find some opportunity to make good meals out of leftovers, with just about every client I work with, by follow-up, often recycling the same presentation or at least the elements and content of the original presentation.

Based on this, in acting as your own consultant, you have two questions to give a lot of consideration to:

  1. Where are leftovers being tossed in the trash, rather than being used to make meals?
  2. How many times, places and ways can I reuse or recycle my effective presentations?

Related: 6 Steps to Creating the Ultimate Webinar

During the two years that I was coaching a group of high-income, top-performing financial advisors who all obtained clients by assembling audiences for their own preview seminars, I asked, What do you do with all the people who attend these seminars but don’t book private appointments with y’all? Given the success of these advisors, I got surprisingly poor answers. One said sheepishly, “Nothing much.” Two, “We put them back into our prospect list” -- which meant they got future mailings (only) for the same seminar they’d already attended and failed to act on. Three, “If Harriet has time, she calls them.” And how often would you guess that Harriet has time to call them? We developed a 16-step, eight-week follow-up system, using mail and email, entirely automated and saw conversion rates as high as 25 percent. This follow-up message leveraged the content of the original presentation.

These unconverted prospects contain gold like cactuses contain water -- it isn’t obviously visible, but it is there.

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