Episode #121

How to Get Repeat Clients and Referrals

With John Spence

Would you struggle for five years as a speaker if you knew it was going to pay off? Would you be willing to travel 220 days a year if that’s what it took to one day share the stage with Simon Sinek and Gary Vaynerchuk? That’s exactly what our guest for episode 121 of The Speaker Lab has done and continues to do presently.

John Spence spends anywhere from 170 to 220 days a year giving speeches around the world. He speaks on leadership, high-performance teams, culture, strategy, strategic thinking, and business excellence, and has been for 23 years.

His speeches are never canned, each one is unique. That coupled with the tremendous value he brings to every speaking engagement has allowed him to build a business that is based almost entirely on referrals. Today he outlines his strategic approach to generating repeat business and referrals, how he got through the struggle of his first five years and why he enjoys being a road warrior.

On this edition of The Speaker Lab, you’ll also hear how he helps charities rather than giving free speeches. Listen in for that and more from the one and only John Spence.


  • What is the one question he asks all of his clients?
  • How does he create a unique topic for every speaking engagement?
  • The three ways he differentiates himself as a speaker.
  • How much of his business has been word of mouth?
  • Does he get nervous when he goes on stage?
  • How long does he talk with each potential client before working with them?
  • Why he refuses to sell from the stage.
  • How he got his foot in the door with companies like Mayo Clinic, Merrill Lynch, and Allstate.
  • And so much more!

Want to know exactly how to find and book more paid speaking gigs?

Download our 18-page guide to the 6 proven steps you can use to book more paid speaking gigs in 2024!

About John Spence

Episode Resources

Share This Episode 


Explore Recent Episodes

#499: The #1 Piece of Advice You Need to Hear From the Top Speakers In the Industry
We’re just one episode away from the big one — #500! As we wrap up this series, we’re bringing in the best speakers we know to share their #1 piece of advice for speakers who want to get to...
#498: Our Best Practical Advice for Speakers from The Speaker Lab Team
This week on the podcast, we’re excited to share our best tips, tricks, and amazing speaking advice from our coaching/support team and our resident speakers here at The Speaker Lab. Our team has decades...
#497: 5 Tips to Build Your Speaking Business from the TSL Leadership Team
We’re back and one episode closer to 500! This week, we brought in the Leadership Team here at the Speaker Lab to help us learn about managing a speaking business from their areas of expertise. It’s...