May 8, 2012


Please contact meWhen you speak, how do you collect contact information from your audience?

Your audience knows you want business. You can pursue them, or let them pursue you.


Put your business card in the basket to win. And there are no losers because you'll all receive my wonderful newsletter filled with sales pitches.
You've probably seen that approach. How did you feel? I rarely enter. Privacy is too important to squander on trifles.

Last month, I saw a touted speaker use the Draw Ploy. The session was ho hum. We weren't told what the prize was. I entered to see what he’d do. The next day, I started getting weekly emails I did not request. That’s spam, Bye bye trust.

A slightly better way is get permission. For example, ask them to write “newsletter” on the back of the card or make a mark.

Sometimes there are attendance sheets with columns for name/email address and checkboxes for "add to mailing list", "request free ebook". The legibility of the handwriting can be a problem and contact information gets seen by others who sign up.

Maybe you offer an ebook or other enticement in lieu of a prize. Either way, you're buying attention with a lure. You’re also creating extra work for yourself.


When you speak well, your audience pays you with attention, applause and business. There are lots of them but only one of you. Value comes from scarcity (the #2 principle of influence). Who needs who more?

You don’t need to give a prize. Worse, you're wasting valuable time with the draw. Speak well and interested audience members will want to approach you afterwards. Save time for this.

While chatting, you can exchange business cards and ask if they'd like to connect on LinkedIn. That’s a low key to stay in touch even if they don’t need your services at the moment. If they don’t invite you within a few days, you can reach out to them, Once connected, their entire network knows about you.


Provide easy ways to reach you. You can put your contact information on your final slide. You can have a business card placed at each seat. You can have a one-page summary that includes your contact information as a handout at the front of the room after you’re done.

Better still, reach your audience without collecting business cards or sending emails.

Let the organizers do the work. They already have the tools and permission to send emails. What do you have that your audience might want? How about your slides, a video recording and other resources? Tell your audience what you’re making available and how. You’re supporting the organizers and helping your audience. You’re planting seeds for reciprocity.

Bonus: the organizers can reach people who didn’t even attend. You can’t.


I usually create a web page with a copy of the slides, a video and additional resources. I send the organizers a link to share. No email accounts get filled with unwanted attachments. I can make changes or add more content. Also, I can track visits with Google Analytics. Here’s the most recent example. Next week, I volunteered to show the unemployed how to earn trust. Here’s the page.

A destination gives you another huge advantage. You're adding to your digital tapestry.

Have you ever seen lousy speakers? The organizers booked them on faith and got duped. If you build a page showcasing your presentations (like this), they can see what you’ve done with their own eyes. You reduce their risks immensely.


Some top speakers don't give their contact information. I asked one why. Because he's findable online. He said he wasn’t interested in anyone too lazy to do a Google search.

Instead of contacting your audience, give a great presentation, be inviting and be findable. Let them contact you. We value what we earn over what's handed to us. Be the one they want.


PS Do you pursue or get pursued?

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