cise demonstrates how itemizing your services can
increase your fees:
• Draw three columns on a sheet of paper and
title the columns, from left to right: “pre-event,”
“event” and “post-event.” Your speech should be
listed in the middle column under “event.”
• Now, list everything you provide for your
presentation in each column. Be creative. I’ll wait.
• Under “pre-event,” you should have listed
things like: interview sample of audience, prepare
customized design, “shop” the client, “shop” the
client competition, interview customers, hold discussions with client management, etc.
• In the “post-event” column, you should have
listed things such as: debrief with the buyer, provide
a hard or electronic copy of the key points, provide
a Web page coded and specially customized for the
audience, provide coaching via email and/or phone
for selected key audience members, etc.
The items in the middle “event” column should
include: conduct a program for spouses, conduct a breakout session for specific application,
provide handouts, provide products, allow video
Speaking is a process, not merely an “event.”
Don’t throw everything but the family dog into
your proposal in an attempt to prove your worth.
I know what you’re thinking: “I already do a
lot of that stuff for my speaking fee!” Yes, you do,
which is why you’re not a good marketer or allowing middlemen to negotiate for you or demand
concessions. You have to unbundle, not bundle,
Raise Your Fees
Speaking is a process, not merely an “event.” Don’t
throw everything but the family dog into your proposal in an attempt to prove your worth. Provide
options at different points in the process.
No bureau will do that for you, and no meeting planner will entertain it. Meeting planners are
paid to conserve budget (“Will you do a second
session while you’re here?”), but true buyers are
paid to get results. And real buyers have real egos.
They believe they get what they pay for.
The president of a major high-tech firm, while
introducing me, asked his senior officers what they
thought my fee was for spending six hours conducting a session for them on site. None came within
$15,000. Then he said to them, “You’d better listen up!” He was telling them that I practiced what I
preached and that he was getting the very best.
I’ve heard speakers involved with NSA tell
me that they are hired hands, and they do whatever the client wants when they are on site. I’m
no hired hand—I’m a highly skilled professional,
one of the best in the world at what I do. I provide
great value. And I receive equitable compensation.
What do you believe about yourself?
Let’s be very clear about something: Money is
never a resource issue. It’s always a priority issue.