Exploring cultures, countries and comfort zones
Payment for Services Abroad
It is nice to travel to exotic loca- tions, see new sites and meet many wonderful people. But, as a professional speaker, it is even more important to get paid when you speak. In the past, getting paid has been very risky when you speak outside your native country. You are most vulnerable immediately after you have delivered your speech, when there is little motiva- tion for your contacts to pay you. Many
speakers can tell tales of great promises
that didn’t come true after they concluded their speeches.
You will have a much better chance
of getting paid when you take steps in
advance—firmly and professionally.
Here are some helpful tips for collecting on your services:
Be professional up front. Sound documentation can avert many potential
problems. Draw up an agreement that
stipulates what you will do, how much
the client will be expected to render and
in what form of payment, and under
what circumstances payment would be
refunded. Most credit card companies
will honor such an agreement, but get
prior approval so your client is protected
from loss if you do not show up.
Specify currency. It is wise in today’s
volatile financial market to specify the
currency for your payment. You might
prefer payment in the stronger currency
of the land you are visiting, instead of
your own country’s currency. Check
with your accountant and financial
advisor on this one. Bonus: If possible,
consider getting paid in gold bullion.
With the soaring price of gold, it is a
Trade or barter. This could be extra
time and accommodations for you and
your traveling guests to take advantage of local hotels, amenities and
attractions. You also might consider
accepting merchandise instead of
payment in currency.
PayPal to the rescue. PayPal is accepted
for payment worldwide. You can ask for
payment in full and up front before you
leave your country. PayPal can convert
from one currency into another. Other
services, like Google CheckOut, also
handle this transaction. Find one that
works for you. You’ll pay a small percentage to PayPal or another service for
this insurance. Consider it a well-spent
cost of doing business. Bonus: It might
be better to include all travel expenses
in that one price and cover everything
yourself. This is cleaner, more efficient
and better for all in most cases.
Don’t depend on the law. Laws are different in other countries. This is part of
the fun of traveling and doing business
internationally. Cash (or gold) in the
bank is worth more than a promissory
note. Get advice from others who have
done business in that country and try to
get recommendations before leaving for
your speaking engagement.
International travel and speaking can
be exhilarating, enlightening and enjoyable. Just make sure that if getting paid
is part of your adventure, you should
exercise extra precautions before
leaving your country of residence.
Terry L. Brock, MBA, CSP, CPAE, has done business in 35 countries in his role as a professional speaker, coach and blogger. Contact him
via www.TerryBrock.com or email
October 2011 | SPEAKER | 13