From Front To Back: Strategies And Tactics For Back Of Room Sales

Part One: Be Amazing

As a professional speaker, I’m sure you’ve attended your share of seminars and keynote speeches in your time. Many times we attend these events to see a particular speaker, because we’re truly interested in the information, or sometimes we attend just to watch for good techniques and audience connection.

A few years ago I was in San Francisco attending one of these events that we all know as a “pitch fest”. You know, the event where there’s a new speaker every hour, they give you about a solid fifteen minutes of content (if that) and then proceed with a forty five minute sales pitch about how rich, skinny, and happy they are just because of the product they are offering. Sheesh!

As I was sitting there madly creating four pages of notes during one particular speaker’s message, one of my buddies leans over and says, “This speaker is horrific, what are you possibly taking notes on?” He was spot on, she was terrible to say the least, but I was taking notes on all the little “tricks” she was using to ultimately form a line at the back of the room and “close” nearly a hundred thousand dollars in sales in the short break time following her speech. (Did I mention she was terrible as a speaker?)

Now, before you form an opinion about my beliefs on back of room sales, allow me to clarify a couple of things. There are a lot of way to persuade an audience and I believe in generating as much revenue as possible every time I take the stage. And I believe my first responsibility is to the needs and expectations of my audience. That said, any strategy for sales must pass my personal integrity test. So, although her strategy worked to generate sales, it did not pass our Strategy #1 – Be Amazing!

In this series we will introduce 3 distinct strategies for generating revenue through back of room sales. We’ll provide tactics that work within each of these strategies and examples of how they could work for you.

Be Amazing

First and foremost, deliver an amazing speech and people will want what you’re offering, period. Think about speakers like the late great Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, and Les Brown. These guys all are proven examples of how being a phenomenal speaker leads audiences to line up to purchase your “stuff”. Having personally shared the stage with Les Brown fourteen times, I have watched over and over as a line forms for Les in the back of the room. Regardless of the product or program he was offering audiences can’t get enough. They want the experience to continue.

Once you deliver an incredible message from the stage, it becomes your responsibility to offer a means for your audience to continue their experience with you. Take-aways like books, CDs, DVD and coaching programs allow the experience to transcend the physical time you spend together in that space.

Notice I said the “experience” that you’ve created. This is what the audience is purchasing from you in the back of the room. An amazing speaker creates a multi-sensory experience for their audience. They create feelings and connections that move way beyond the walls of the venue.  They create a way to keep this feeling and hope alive! There’s a reason teenage girls line up by the droves to buy $50 Taylor Swift T-shirts immediately after a concert. The same is true of mesmerized audiences after an incredible Cirque Du Soleil show! Merchandise is big business for celebrities and athletes, you should be no different. Would your fans buy the t-shirt?

People are eager to purchase merchandise from the people who inspire them and create an experience for them. So, how do you as a speaker create that experience? What is your merchandise? How are you creating a lasting experience for your fans?

This model describes the elements that go into creating a lasting experience for your audience. Download the full version of this model HERE.



In part two of this series From Front To Back: Strategies For Back Of Room Sales we’ll look at the strategy of list building to generate residual sales. We’ll explore tactics that work and how you can incorporate this strategy to work for you.


Kenny Chapman is co-founder of Way Beyond Ordinary Speakers, entrepreneur, professional speaker – and Mentor. Learn more about Kenny at

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