Monthly Archives: March 2015

Signature Talks and Preview Calls

signature talk

Signature talks and preview calls are designed to sell high-end programs like group telecourses and telecoaching series

The Talk That Gets Them Wanting More

Whether or not you are new to selling teleseminar coaching programs and information courses, you’ve almost certainly heard of a “Signature Talk,” or a “Preview Call.”

If you’re unfamiliar with the jargon, “Signature Talks” and “Preview Calls” are designed to sell a paid coaching program by giving the audience a “preview” of your expertise or system. They are typically 60 to 90 minutes long.

The main thrust of your signature talk should be teaching, with an emphasis on easy-to-apply tools or techniques that get people saying to themselves, “wow, I need more of this!” Then, you show them exactly how to get more in your high-end telecoaching program.

Don’t Start Here

In recent years, the coaching and info-marketing industry has latched onto this concept of “build the plane as you fly it.” The idea is that you should sell people on your program FIRST, then, after they sign up and pay, you’re supposed to come up with the details of your training system as you go.  In other words, spend all of your time and energy crafting your signature talk, then put together the coaching program “on the fly.”

While I can appreciate that this idea might get procrastinators and perfectionists unstuck, I’ll raise my hand as one of the few dissenters.

First, any sales pitch attempting to sell something that’s not concrete is bound to be flat, unfocused and uninspiring—and therefore ineffective. So the most likely outcome of selling something without knowing the program details is very few sales.

Second, buyers are more sophisticated than ever. People can smell when something’s off, no matter how many tricks you pull out of your magic bag of presenters-speak. And let’s face it—even if you can sell something before you’ve built it doesn’t mean that you should.

A Framework to Build On

I think this “shoot first, then aim” idea got started by people who have been building and selling programs for years. So even if they don’t have their program framework on paper, they have a framework in mind, just from the fact that they’ve been through the process so many times.

For us mortals, we need to lay out the framework, first.

I’ll also point out that, in my humble opinion, the people who wing it are leaving money on the table. If they would take the time to re-think their systems step-by-step from the ground up each time they do it, they would inevitably find ways to increase value, and therefore revenue. Even the most advanced marketers could take their sales to unimagined heights.

Does this mean that I advocate finishing every single detail of your course before crafting your preview call? No!  You can work on your signature talk and finalize your modular content in parallel.  So if that’s what people mean by “build the plane as you fly it,” fine…I’ll join your camp.  But the program framework MUST come first. How else could you know what it is that you’re selling?

The Foundation For Your Signature Talk

To be specific, here’s what should be 100% done before starting the organization of your signature talk:

1. An overview of the system

2. An outline of your program modules

3. A first draft of your sales letter

If you’ve completed those three steps, your signature talk will have plenty of meat on its bones.  You’ll already know:

  • How to describe client pains and your program’s benefits in a compelling way.
  • The basic content pieces for each of the modules in your system
  • What the breakthrough learning and mindset shifts will be
  • What action steps clients need to take to apply that learning
  • The roadmaps, checklists, exercises, and other content assets that will be required to deliver on that learning

As you build out the tools and coursework for your program, if a friend were to ask you, “What have you been working on?” you could probably give him or her a pretty good idea of what your course does. If they followed on with, “can you give me an example?” what you come up with on the spot—the key learning or breakthrough—is very likely something you would want to include in your signature talk.

With your groundwork done, you can approach your signature talk with confidence and self-assurance, which is exactly what clients are seeking in a coach.