Professional Speakers – Do You Hate to Talk about Money?

100 Dollar Bills
Are you afraid to talk about money? If you aren’t willing to assign a value to your work, your prospects will do it for you and your work will probably be undervalued.

As a speech coach, I work with professional speakers to help them develop more powerful and persuasive presentations, my friend and colleague, Lois Creamer works with professional speakers to help them book more business, make more money, and avoid costly mistakes. Lois and I joined forces for our virtual event, How to Book More Business and Get Invited Back. At the end of this post, you can enjoy a replay. We shared industry-insider strategies to help speakers, trainers and consultants. Here is Lois’ expert advice for speakers, explaining how to determine and negotiate your professional speaking fees:

Money Talk: Book More Business Style!
by Lois Creamer

So many times when I talk to professional speakers I hear the following, “I hate to talk about money!” My reply (and I’m only half-kidding), “Then you better get a different job. Perhaps something in retail where price tags are used.”

We are in an intellectual property business. We get paid to deliver what we create. One of the most difficult tasks you have in an intellectual property business is to assign a price to it. One thing I know: if you aren’t willing to do it, your prospects will do it for you, and they will undervalue you at every turn!

I can’t tell you what your fee should be. I get that question as well! When I work one on one with clients I do offer my advice on pricing, after I know the speaker’s experience, expertise, background, etc. You can ask others in your National Speakers Association chapter what they charge and gauge about where you should be. Do not overvalue! Early in your career, you are much more able to get paid speaking experience if your fee is reasonable.

That decided, I suggest a two-tier fee schedule. I think it gives you a little room to negotiate if you have to do so. Bureaus are fond of two-tier, schedules. An example would be:

  • One hour to half day (3 hours)  $5,000
  • Half day to full day (6 hours)  $6,500

Make sure you have a sentence under the fees that says, “All fees are plus travel expenses.”  It is a good idea to spell out what you consider travel expenses in your agreement. For example, I list hotel, airfare, meals, ground transportation, and airport parking. You may have something else you would add.

When speaking to a prospect and you ask “the budget question” (See my article, “10 Questions to Book More Business.”) the answer will be either, “Yes, no we don’t have it,” or,  “We don’t know the budget yet.”

If they say, “Yes,” you’re in! If they say, “Don’t know,” ask them when they will know. If they say, “No,” ask, “What numbers are you working with?” If it is close, let’s say they want to spend $4,000, use my phrase that pays and say, “If I could do that, what else of value might you be able to offer me?”

Lois Creamer
Lois Creamer works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money, and avoid costly mistakes.

If you have a book, bring it up after the decision is made to hire you. Ask, again another phrase that pays, “Do you think it would make sense to have every attendee be able to walk away with the companion book to my program? If so, I can give you a generous discount!” Or say, “Do you think it would make sense for each attendee to walk away with a reminder of my visit and the importance you paid to bringing me in today?” It’s hard to say “no” to either of those questions! I want it to be hard!

Note: If you are writing a book it’s a great idea to label it (not necessarily literally) a “companion book” to your speech. It will make it easier to sell!

If the client says no to pre-selling books, your fallback position is to offer them in the back of the room to anyone who would like to avail themselves of further information.

That’s it! A little “money talk” Book More Business style! I hope it works well for you!

Copyright, Lois Creamer. Lois Creamer speaks from experience! She works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money, and avoid costly mistakes. An expert in branding, marketing, and sales, Lois helps her clients increase their bookings, develop outstanding promotional materials, identify their target markets, qualify prospects faster and easier, answer sales objections, close more sales, find the decision makers, develop other revenue streams, develop their “sales speak,” and gain a competitive edge.
Lois Creamer is an expert at helping speakers book more business, make more money, and avoid making costly mistakes. Lois will share some of her industry-insider secrets, including:

  • Positioning: “You should position by the concept and by the outcome.”
  • Great line: “If it were easy to get booked, I wouldn’t have a business.”
  • Good point: “Target one market because it is easier to target one market than many markets.”
  • Great call for action: “Do you think it would make sense to bring me in at this time to …”

Fripp Virtual Training FrippVTIf you want to become a great speaker easily, conveniently, and quickly, FrippVT can help. Enjoy three free chapters on Stories, Openings, and Sales: http://frippvt.comVTphoneandipadsmall

Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.