The Most Profitable Skill in Speaking

What is, by far, the most profitable skill you can have in public speaking? Survey says, Being able to sell. If you can sell your message, your products, your services, and yourself, you will profit immensely as a speaker.

What you’re about to pick up in this entry is the most important idea there is when it comes to selling anything. Listen to this quick 2-minute audio of me sharing this all-important message at the Grants Managers Network’s Annual Convention, which took place in Baltimore. Click the right arrow in the audio player below.  


Always Sell the Result

You heard the most important idea, which is this: never sell a product, service, or idea; always sell a result.
Let me give you some examples out of my own life. Instead of selling my Storytelling home-study course product, I sell you the result. What’s the result? Something like this:

“You’ll be able to keep every audience you have on the edge of their seats.”

Instead of selling my free site, I sell the result by saying something like this:

Raise your hand if, a year from now, you’d like to be 3 times better than the speaker you are today. Great, go to for this free resource… 

See the difference? Whenever you sell a product or a service or an idea, you need not focus on what you’re offering. Instead you need to focus on what your audience will get as a result.

How Selling the Result Changed My Results and Can Change Yours

How important is this process of selling a result? Well, the reason why I won the Mid-Atlantic  Salesperson of the Year for Glencoe/McGraw-Hill three Times and significantly enhanced my own quality of life in the process is all because my awesome boss taught me to sell the result. While my competitors sold textbooks, I sold results. I’d watch their presentations and they’d say things like, “This textbook has a more detailed history of the United States than any of the other books from the other companies.” In other words, they tried to sell the book. But, remember, you should never sell a product, service, or idea; always sell the result. So what would I say in my presentations? Something like this:

Your students will pass the Maryland State Assessments at a much higher rate because the book is totally aligned with the Voluntary State Curriculum. 

I’d also say something like this:

Your teachers can meet the needs of each student with this one program even if the student reads 2-3 grade levels below. In other words, no child will be left behind.

Others sold the books. My boss had me sell the results. Thanks to him, we won time and time again.

Selling Yourself

Obviously in today’s times many people are looking for work. In addition, if you’re a speaker like me, you’re constantly generating new business and this requires being able to sell yourself. So what can you do? It’s the same as the car. Don’t sell yourself, sell the result. For example, don’t tell a prospect, “I have been speaking for 12 years and I have an MBA in Change Management.” Instead, first locate their pain and then say something like the following:

If you want to get your staff fired up to embrace the change that’s coming and be willing to let go of the old ways of doing things, that’s how they will feel after my presentation. 

Get into the habit of never selling a product, service, idea, or yourself; but always selling the result. When you sell the result, you change peoples’ lives; including yours!

Craig Valentine

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