This article was originally published on Marketing Insider Group on April 9th, 2019.
One thing can make or break a sales event: the keynote speaker. In an arena like sales — where the ability to convince, compel, and influence others is essential to success — a speaker has to be able to not only share a great message, but also do so confidently.
However, people who attend lots of sales conferences — or organize them — can tell you that an exciting or motivational keynote speaker isn’t a guarantee. To ensure the next sales event you attend or organize is more appealing, check out these energetic and knowledgeable sales experts who can pack a room.
1. John Hall
John Hall is the author of the bestselling book “Top of Mind,” which connected with sales professionals and underscored something fundamental about sales: the importance of engaging prospects so consistently that you’re top of mind when the time is right. Hall’s unique approach can help your salespeople create a mindset and framework that will differentiate them as trusted resources rather than quick-selling used car salesmen. Hall has keynoted major events like Brand ManageCamp, Collision, and Techweek and has been named the No. 1 must-see keynote marketing speaker by Forbes.
2. Brittany Hodak
Brittany Hodak is the co-founder of ZinePak, an entertainment agency that aims to make fandom a science and earned offers from four of the five sharks on “Shark Tank.” The company specializes in making striking sales material for sales teams to utilize, and its tens of millions of dollars in sales in more than 20 countries highlights Hodak’s knowledge of sales. Hodak has spoken at events ranging from the BOLO Conference to New York Entrepreneurship Week; she won a Stevie Award for Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year and was named to Ad Age’s 40 Under 40 list alongside her co-founder.
3. John Rampton
John Rampton is a connector, an online influencer, and the serial entrepreneur behind Due and Calendar. As a consultant for several businesses in the Silicon Valley area — including ones that eventually sold to Google, Microsoft, Adobe, and eBay — he speaks on everything from relationship building to time management and productivity. Rampton was named the No. 1 influencer by Entrepreneur and has spoken at events ranging from SXSW to Dreamforce. “Self-Employed: 50 Signs That You Might Be an Entrepreneur,” Rampton’s book co-written with Joel Comm, was named a best life-hacking book by CNBC.
4. Joey Coleman
Joey Coleman is the founder of Design Symphony; he leads workshops and consults with organizations to help them determine how to retain customers. An expert is customer experience design, Coleman has won awards for his keynote speeches at national and international events and coaches businesses on addressing their audiences. His work — which has included organizations ranging from Zappos to NASA — has focused on the crucial “First 100 Days” of the customer life cycle and has included insights gained from his background as a trial attorney, a member of The White House Office of Counsel to the President, and an employee of the Secret Service and CIA. He just released a new book, “Never Lose A Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days,” which will be a must-read for any sales professional.
5. John Ruhlin
John Ruhlin is the CEO of the Ruhlin Group and the author of “Giftology,” a book about the art of using gift-giving to increase referrals and strengthen relationships. Based on the idea that “knowing how and when to give gifts is just as important as what to gift,” Ruhlin and his team focus on helping organizations take their partnerships to a new level. As the No. 1 Cutco seller in history, Ruhlin’s sales expertise shines through in his custom speaking engagements. Working with organizations ranging from Caesars Palace to the Chicago Cubs, Ruhlin is accustomed to developing dynamic addresses for diverse audiences.
6. Liz Strauss
Liz Strauss is the CEO of Genius Shared and the founder of SOBCon; she’s also the host of the “Keeping Curious” podcast and the author of “Anything You Put Your Mind To.” Considered “the most influential relational blogger,” thanks to her Successful Blog, Strauss provides consulting and training to businesses looking for action-oriented growth, strategic influence, and stronger engagement with customers and partners. She’s also a social web strategist who’s been named the No. 8 social media power influencer by Forbes.
7. Jeff Winters
Jeff Winters is the founder and CEO of Sapper Consulting, which focuses on helping clients generate B2B leads and close deals. An expert on utilizing precise targeting, email marketing, and sales data, Winters shows others how to get past the meeting phase with prospects to create a partnership. He’s known for talking about how to marry forward-thinking technology with creative copywriting to fuel sales.
8. Keith Ferrazzi
Keith Ferrazzi is the founder and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight and the author of the bestseller “Never Eat Alone,” a book arguing that the secret to success is networking and building relationships. As a Fortune 500 coach and the leader of a company helping organizations break the habits that prevent them from reaching their goals, Ferrazzi has worked with companies including Facebook, Goldman Sachs, and General Motors. He created The Relationship Masters Academy, helping salespeople and other professionals develop “people skills,” and he’s been named the “World’s Most Connected Person” by Forbes and Inc.
9. Jill Rowley
Jill Rowley is the chief growth officer at Marketo who’s also spent time at Eloqua, Oracle, and Salesforce — she knows her way around marketing automation. As a current or former advisor for several different organizations, including Affinio and HubSpot, Rowley is known for her talks and training on sales, specifically social selling. Her focus on modernizing sales and marketing and achieving growth in an engagement-oriented environment earned her a sales Stevie Award and recognition as one of the “most influential people in sales lead management.”
10. Grant Cardone
Grant Cardone is the creator of sales training programs designed to help companies increase sales by identifying overlooked opportunities and customizing their approach. The owner of four companies that earn nearly $100 million total in sales annually and the author of bestselling sales books, Cardone’s sales experience is on full display in his speaking engagements. Known for saying “Your job is not to get people to like you — your job is to get people to buy from you,” Cardone focuses on continuously fueling sales motivation and taking sweeping actions others aren’t willing to.
11. Amy Volas
Amy Volas is the founder of Avenue Talent Partners, a firm designed to help startups recruit the right salespeople and take recruiting back to meaningful connections so clients can connect with some of their most valuable assets: salespeople. Billing herself as “your ally in the war for sales talent,” Volas is “armed” with insights from working with Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Yahoo. She’s known for discussing themes such as building a team of all-star salespeople and ensuring social selling is an important skill in your next hire’s tool kit.
12. Marcus Sheridan
Marcus Sheridan is the founder of The Sales Lion, which started as a blog focused on sales and marketing issues and grew into workshops, keynotes, sales coaching, and CRM training. Focused on helping others solve the problems that prevent their companies from earning the sales they’re capable of, Sheridan has spoken at events like the PM Grow Summit and HubSpot’s INBOUND Conference. He is also a partner at Impact, a marketing agency that helps companies generate high-quality leads.
Not every sales event is lucky enough to host dynamic, insightful speakers, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Use this list to help identify the next sessions you want to attend or host, and you’ll be well on your way to gaining new perspectives worth the price of entry.