POINT / COUNTERPOINT
Opposing views on burning questions
a single-fee approach is best.
“I offer my clients a single, set speaking fee
based on the length of the program needed, not on vari-
ables, like location or size of crowd. Here’s why this
approach works best for my business:
First, having a single, set fee ensures clients will have no
surprises. If a client is thinking about bringing me back for
another program, they know what they're paying. They’re
also able to easily refer me and share my fee with other de-
partments and organizations.
Second, it takes no less time or preparation to deliver a
program to 20 audience members or 2,000, and the value of
my content and deliverables doesn’t decrease the closer the
event is to my home. Clients pay me to block out time on
my calendar. Once I sign a contract with them, I will not
take another piece of business on their date. Signing a contract a year out for a local conference at one-half of my
standard fee could potentially block me out of a full-fee
event in another state or country. The same is true regarding
reducing my pricing based on audience size. I've found that
standing by my pricing has often left me open for less price-sensitive customers on dates that would have otherwise been
filled with clients with much smaller budgets.”
Crystal Washington, CSP, is a futurist and technol-
PRO: You’ll close more deals with “Sweet Spot” pricing.
ogy strategist who works with organizations that
want to leverage technology to increase profits
and productivity. She is the author of The Social
Media Why and One Tech Action. Go to
“If you propose a single number for a speaking or consult-
ing quote, you run the risk of either outpricing yourself or
leaving money on the table. I am a fan of providing three
options that entice the buyer to choose the middle package,
or as I like to call it “The Sweet Spot.”
How often is your client expected to get quotes from
multiple speakers? When that happens, not only do you
have to blindly hit the budget right with your flat number,
you must consider the fee competition from other
providers. When you present several options, along with a
strong bullet list of features and benefits, it is likely you will
close the deal more often.
Many NSA members have reported they have earned
thousands of dollars more by finding the “gap money” by
moving away from flat quoting. Another benefit with this
strategy is that the buyer indicates the value of the work,
and many times it is higher than the speaker realized. How
can you flat quote accurately if you don’t know the budget,
the competition or your own value to this buyer? Range
quoting is the way to go.”
Laurie Guest, CSP, a 20-year member of NSA,
keynotes on customer service and staff development. Get her free speaker resources, including 100
ideas of what to add to a proposal at www.unlock-thegoodies.com (password: NSA).
Continue the debate! Are you in favor of the
point or counterpoint? Tweet your thoughts
using the hashtag #speakermagcounterpoint.
When not posing questions for this column, Eleni
Kelakos uses theater techniques to help speakers and
leaders perform at their peak on and off the speaking
platform. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quote a Set Speaking Fee?