For many leaders and experts, virtual assistants are on the rise. If youre designing your business plan for your speaking business and want to utilize a virtual representative, it is critical that you have a system of checks and balances to make sure that your representative is delivering your expertise in a way that puts paid engagements on your calendar.
Representatives of speakers, called by names such as agents, booking agents, marketing representatives and sales representatives, are included in the “virtual” revolution. But, is it a good idea for your speaking business?
Excluding bureau bookings, the best indicator of the effectiveness of your virtual agent is how many paid speaking engagements you have on your calendar. The best indicator of the number of engagements youll have in the future is the list of qualified prospects you have. The best way to ensure that you have qualified prospects is to organize your plan so that someone is positioning and prospecting for you on a daily basis.
How can you ensure that your virtual agent is prospecting? By systematizing the booking process and holding him or her accountable.
Begin with a list of daily and weekly activities and objectives that you expect. Create a daily time sequence of productive and in-productive activities. In-productive activities are the necessary administrative tasks that are required to prospect and complete the sale such as reporting checklists and forms, assembling packages, mailing and other clerical tasks.
Heres a quick start guide to working with your virtual booking agent:
1. Identify your unique selling proposition, your “I am- I do” statement. Study each word and see if there are other words that can more accurately distinguish your expertise and set you apart from your competition.
2. Identify your target market.
3. Provide the resources for leads such as directories and lists and merge them with your contact management system, such as ACT or Microsoft Outlook.
4. Write a short and concise prospecting script that anyone can use with a conversational tone. The purpose of the prospecting call is to identify A leads. Those are prospects that are interested in your expertise, have a scheduled event, are considering speakers in your fee range and would like to review your promotional materials. Rehearse the script with your agent. Demonstrate exactly how you want the conversation to be handled.
5. Mail out your promotional materials to all A leads on a daily basis.
6. On a daily basis, require that your virtual agent report to you on a daily basis all of the A leads. Incidentally, you should require experienced agents to report the same on a weekly basis.
7. If you do not get the results you expected, audit and evaluate your virtual agents script including her delivery, her tone, the accuracy of what shes saying about your expertise. You may need to build more questions into the script, shorten or change the entire script.
The best way to judge whether or not your agent can do the job virtually is to monitor the results daily or weekly. In the beginning of your relationship with your virtual agent, you should be following up with the prospect and handling any objections. If you find that youre distributing more promotional packages with little to no return, there is a very good chance that the script isnt effective or that your virtual agent needs to be monitored more closely in qualifying those leads.
You may discover that youve hired the wrong person for the job. Representatives who wish to work from their homes may not have the discipline, work ethic and focus that booking you requires. You may realize that “virtual” equals too much time, money and trouble! Perhaps your representatives will be more productive and serve you better by being where you are!
Mary McKay is a booking strategist for speakers, experts, leaders, top producers and cultural heroes who want to secure paid speaking engagements.
She systematizes the booking process to uniquely position the speaker, optimize the appearance, generate referrals and enable more revenue potential through product sales. For more information, visit http://www.gettingpaidtospeak.com or call 949-429-6646.