Managing Your Expectations

managing-your-expectationsNote from Cathy: I wanted to share this with you because Dan makes some important points in this piece. Authors may expect that a book signing, speech or media appearance will sell hundreds or thousands of books, and be very disappointed when/if that doesn’t happen. I love Dan’s perspective of expecting not less, but different results. When you look at the long-term in your business you will see that even if today’s activity didn’t yield the results you hoped for, you may get results far beyond your expectations in the future.

I just got back from speaking at one conference and exhibiting at another. I thought I’d make way more sales than I did, so I began to wonder, “Why did I ever think that?” I realized you might have the same questions.

I thought I’d speak and sell a lot of coaching programs since my talk was so wonderful. I thought I’d sell a lot of press releases because the other conference producer was a client.

Neither happened.

I believe in managing expectations for my clients – so why had I gone so thoroughly off track?

I guess the first thought goes back to the first chapter in my book, Internet Marketing Confidential in which I asked, “Who is the biggest liar?” and the answer is “YOU!”

Well, in this case, it was me.

That’s because we all think we can do so well. It doesn’t hurt to be an optimist!

Except when it does.

I needed to set realistic expectations for success, or a new definition for success.

And I think I found it, after much soul searching and asking this same question to my friends.

Success is…

  1. Creating new relationships.
  2. Reestablishing old relationships.
  3. Selling product and services. However, arriving at a number is the result of your own track record and looking at similar speakers or coaches at similar events. Don’t compare yourself to guys who sell books by the truckloads, unless, of course, you sell books by the truckloads.

At both conferences, I saw old clients and met new prospects. I was surprised to realize the best prospects were the other exhibitors who could refer my services or resell my services. That was a nice surprise.

I also don’t overlook the lifetime value of a client. One sale at one convention could lead to thousands of dollars from that client – and his or her referrals.

Also, the networking with other speakers was huge. I got a picture with Guy Kawasaki and gave him a copy of my book. If he reviews it, then I think that might lead to more than a few sales!

Time will tell.

But now I feel much better about attending those conferences. Although I didn’t leave with enough money to break the bank, I think I left with enough positive incidents to have made the trips worthwhile.

What do you think? How do you measure success when you speak?

Dan Janal, author of Reporters Are Looking for YOU! helps small businesses get publicity so they can sell more products. My clients get terrific results from my coaching, consulting, done-for-you services and do-it-yourself tools. For info, go to or call me at 952-380-1554.