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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Professional Speaking – How to break into the International Market
by Frank Furness


Choose your unique and specialty market. My market was initially the English speaking International Financial Services market. Over the years this has spread to include the IT and software market as well as any company in any country where people can understand English. Because of my delivery style, I have chosen not to work with translators (at this stage)

Marketing yourself – the key to success
· Identify clients you have spoken for in the past that have international offices. Get a referral to the decision maker in the overseas office. Email or send a letter and follow up with a phone call.
· Dial and Smile – Pick up the phone and cold call. When I started out, I identified companies and banks that have international offices and phoned the President. One of those calls resulted in a business relationship with a company that spends between $50k - $100k each year sponsoring me to speak to their clients around the world.
· Find five clients that will provide you with 50% of your work each year. I have five large international companies that each book me for between six and thirty talks each year. I also have two or three Companies that I am developing should any of the ‘big five’ drop out.
· Actively prospect when speaking abroad. When speaking overseas, I will scan the local papers, magazines and yellow pages for potential clients. I’ll then phone and establish who the decision makers are and endeavor to set up a meeting and sell my services. A lot of these Companies are open and receptive to meeting with you.
· Referrals – always ask for referrals. Apart from existing clients who I do repeat business with each year, I have over 200 potential clients that have been given to me as referrals. If you leave the client satisfied, they will always give you referrals – IF YOU ASK!
· Add on an extra day to meet with potential clients – Wherever I speak in the world, I add on an extra day to see potential clients and bureaus. I can normally fit in 5 appointments for the day and this always results in at least one extra booking. On a recent trip to Singapore I managed to give a keynote speech to a large Insurance Company and in the same day have five meetings with potential clients. One of these meetings was a cocktail party where I met with twenty of the most influential business leaders in Singapore.
This was only achieved because I had developed a center of influence in Singapore who had arranged the talk and all of the meetings. He is rewarded with a percentage of the fee, which makes it a win-win situation for everyone.
· Find the other offices – When speaking internationally, find out where the International client for whom you are speaking has other branches around the world. Find out who you should contact at the other offices to do the same talk. In January last year I spoke at a large software company in Dubai. The CEO from London was in Dubai at the time and heard me speak. After the talk he asked me to contact him to replicate the talk to their other international offices. They have offices in 33 countries.
· Network and socialize – Before going on an international talk, surf the net to see what social events are happening while you’re there. Then arrange an invitation, as you’ll always meet potential clients at these events
· Have fun and take a tour – If I visit a country for the first time, I’ll always take an extra few days to see the place. This normally includes a half-day bus tour. It’s amazing who you can meet on these tours. I’ve met and become friends with the Vice-President of one of the largest insurance companies in the USA and a grand old lady who turned out to be the wife of the owner of one of the UK’s biggest supermarket chains.
· Bureaus – find out who the bureaus are internationally and meet with them. When I spoke in South Africa two years ago, I met with the leading bureau. This resulted in bookings from this bureau to speak in Sun City, Mauritius for both Cape Town.
· Web site – Pay a company to generate hits to your site. By doing this I have just secured a talk with a USA bank from the Internet. This has also generated three other enquiries, one with an International Company who needs someone to speak in five different Countries for them.
· Always meet with the decision maker at the event. I was recently booked to speak in Scotland to a company who had just merged with a German telecommunications Company. After the talk we spent some time with the German CEO and now following up to present the same talk to the German counterparts.



Frank Furness CSP CFP is a professional speaker and trainer specialising in sales and sales management. He has educated, entertained and inspired audiences in 42 countries. His publications and sales CDs have been sold globally. For more information or to sign up for the free ‘Sales Tips & Ideas’ newsletter, email frank@frankfurness.com or telephone+ 44 (0) 1923 248200. www.frankfurness.com


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