Casting a reality check on real-world conundrums
You should consider
bundling some of the other
options in your bailiwick. I will
bundle customer interviews,
team surveys revolving around
their strategy, and several
other options that will increase
my fee over and above my
published speaking rates.
The Price is Right
A past client refers a potential client to
you, who openly shares her speaking
budget without asking your standard fee.
She really wants to book you and offers
the entire sum to you, assuming your rate
is higher than it is. Do you accept her
offer or inform her that your standard rate
is lower? What would you do?
My fees are published on
my website, on eSpeakers, and
in my collateral material. I would
quote my rack rates for a keynote,
half-day and full-day, and then
explore what else I can offer; for
example, a pre-conference dinner
with the board, emcee an awards
dinner, offer a break-out session
or bonus session, do a follow-up
There really isn’t any question
about ethics here. If a former
client referred her, they eventually
will compare notes and she will
discover any duplicity.
--Orvel Ray Wilson, CSP
Straight up, I’d charge my
normal fee. However, if it sounds
as if there might be some
significant customizing or some
added value that you could bring
to the table, then you should ask,
‘What else can I do for you? ’
There is no reason you should not tell her your standard fee and
what extras you can deliver for an additional fee. You may uncover other
ways you can help that are worthy of an extra fee. Find out what the
client needs by asking questions and digging deep.
—Janelle Barlow, CSP, PhD
Las Vegas, Nev.
What Would You Do? is a regular column
that presents a real-life dilemma faced
by professional speakers. NSA members
are encouraged to submit a dilemma
for possible discussion in this column.
Please submit dilemmas to firstname.lastname@example.org. NSA reserves the right to
edit submissions for length and style. All
dilemmas will be anonymously attributed. Opinions expressed are those of
the individual respondents, not NSA.
I would inform her of my customary fee. Fee integrity
is important, as is honesty and honor. With the budgeted
funds, I would suggest another speaker who would
complement my message or provide a different view. After
all is said and done and the booking is finalized, I would
consider raising my fee.
I would quote my regular
fee. It’s important to have fee
integrity and I don’t want to
make the meeting planner’s
problem my problem. If the
planner wants to pay me the
entire speaking budget, it is not
my concern because I assume she
is an intelligent, rational person
and believes that my intellectual
property is worth the money.
If a client wants me, they
will find the money or make a
counter-proposal. A counter gives
me the opportunity to explore
ways that I can meet the revised
budget, such as selling product,
shortening my presentation,
asking them to pay for my spouse
to attend, advertising my services
to their members, etc.
--David Brobeck, PhD
—Michael Soon Lee, MBA, CSP