Last weekend I attended The MANE EVENT horse expo in Chilliwack BCk (just outside of Vancouver).
I love all things horses! But I’m sure you already know that by now. And as much as I attended this event to watch some of the clinics and demonstrations, I also attended to go through the EXPO, so I could meet and talk to various saddle companies, as I am in the market for a new saddle.
Now when it comes to saddles there is so much that I just don’t know. But what I do know is that the one I have doesn’t fit me or my horse because ever since I switched from English to Western Riding and bought the saddle I had second hand:
- I’m developing hip & knee problems
- I can’t balance in my seat, and neither can my coach who is a very accomplished rider
- My horse gets very agitated when I go do up his cinch. I’m talking full mouth open threat to bite me. (he does stop short of doing it, but he is definitely telling me that it hurts him)
- By the end of the ride, the saddle is always falling to one side (it turns out he has one shoulder bigger than another)
- And a few other things.
So I went to this expo with a lot of questions, and also a bit of apprehension as I just didn’t know what I didn’t know, and wasn’t sure if I would ask all the right questions.
There were SO Many choices.
But when I got there, I was even MORE overwhelmed. There were so many saddle makers there. Each with their own unique selling point, and I just started to feel like I was over my head.
I walked up and down the aisles just not even knowing anymore what questions to ask.
Then I went to a talk about saddle fit
I can’t even begin to describe my relief when I saw that on the schedule was a talk about saddle fit. Specifically what happens to the human spine and horse spine when they intersect. I tell you this speaker was talking to me! There were a few hundred people listening, but I knew he was talking to me. He talked about:
- Asymmetrical horses – and what needs to be considered
- How to tell if your saddle doesn’t fit: Your horse tries to bite you, you can’t stay balance, you are leaning to one side of the horse at the end of your ride.
And then he went on to talk about common ways that people and saddlemakers/fitters try to make a saddle fit and why they are only stop gaps and just end up causing more problems. After fitting over 60,000 horses. Yes, 60,000 horses this man had my attention.
Even better, he had my HUSBAND’s Attention. I mean I paid less for my first car than I will on a new saddle, so you can imagine he has had some reservations about the whole idea. BUT after listening to this talk, he now understood why I needed a new saddle, and why I just couldn’t buy one “off the shelf”.
The talk was over and I went shopping
Well now that I had heard this talk, I felt like I knew what I could ask as I walked around the expo. And, of course, all the suggestions for saddle fit were exactly what I had heard in this talk as “stop gaps” that cause more problems. So….one by one, each saddle was eliminated. And then…..
Guess who had a booth. Yes, the speaker. He wasn’t just a saddle fitter, he was a saddle maker. And guess what else, he had a line up outside his booth. Yes, a line-up. I had to wait to talk to him.
And then when talking to him, he hit all my pain points again, and then had the solution, and as it turns out his saddles were at least twice the price of any of the other saddle makers there. I kind of held my breath not sure what my husband’s reaction was going to be.
My husband wouldn’t settle for anything less
Well much to my surprise and delight, my husband said “look if you are going to invest that much money in a saddle, then there is no point saving a money for something that is half as good. This is who you need to buy from”
When you are the speaker – the clients come to you
What a timely and powerful lesson. There were a couple dozen saddles makers at this event. But only one was the speaker. And just by having the front of the room, the attention of a couple hundred people, he instantly positioned himself as an expert.
And then because he had a full hour to talk to us (instead of a quick introduction at his booth) he not only positioned himself as “an” expert. He positioned himself as THE expert.
It was brilliant. He knew who his clients were and hit all the pain points. He also knew his competition and how they sell, and was able to do a pre-emptive strike by creating fear doubt and uncertainty in anyone who was considering getting a saddle that perhaps these other saddle makers weren’t quite as experienced as he was.
I mean, this is yours and your horse’s SPINES we are talking about!
So here he was with a line up outside his booth. And guess who I’m going to be buying MY saddle from?
Standing out in a crowded market
He realized that it wasn’t enough to just have a booth at an expo. He needed to establish his credibility and authority, and the only way to do that was to be at the front of the room and speaking. By doing so he stood out amongst a dozen or so vendors at the same event that appeared to be doing the same thing.
Speaking regularly means you will NEVER lack in leads or high paying clients.
But you know what else? This talk wasn’t a one-off deal. No. This man is a brilliant entrepreneur, he travels to horse shows all over North America and Europe speaking – so much so that there is at least a 5 month wait to get my saddle! He has his client pipeline FULL.
What about you?
- Do you sometimes wonder how when you go out and network you can stand out from a dozen or so people in the room who seem to be doing the same thing as you?
- Do you wish that you could have a waiting list of clients?
- Do you wish that your perfect clients just knew how you were different than your competitors?
- Do you wish that the “price” question would fall off the table once and for all because your potential clients have NO doubt at all in the quality and the value of the service you provide that they just have to “have it” regardless what the investment is?
In this is a real life lesson, proved to me once again, without a shadow of a doubt – that, no matter WHAT your business or modality, SPEAKING is the BEST way to establish credibility and authority, and have your clients flock to YOU, instead of you chasing them. BUT a one-off talk is just that. Just like this saddle maker, you also need a FULL calendar of speaking gigs to make it happen.
If you are ready to make 2017 the year you transform your business and multiply your income through speaking, then NOW is the time to be getting those gigs so that just like this saddle maker
I’d love to invite you to join me inside The Secrets to Getting Booked where I teach you EXACTLY from A to Z how to fill your calendar with quality speaking engagements in front of your ideal clients so that you can become a sought after speaker and expert in your field.