cash130I did a post a while ago about money and it’s time to do another, more up to date post. I hear so many times when I talk to speakers 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 labels with price 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 IP 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 after I know experience, expertise, background etc. You can ask others in your chapter what they charge and gauge about where you should be. Do not overvalue! It’s much better to be able to get experience speaking if your fee is reasonable early in your career.

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”.  I think it’s a good idea to spell out what you consider travel expenses in your agreement. For example, I list hotel, airfare, meals, ground transportation, airport parking. You may have something else you would add.

When speaking to a prospect and you ask the “budget question” ( see “10 Questions to Book More Business post ) 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 they working with?” If you’re 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?” See my post on value at

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 the speech. It will make it easier to sell!

Your fallback position if the client says no to preselling books 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 2013, Lois Creamer. Lois Creamer works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and avoid costly mistakes! She can be reached in the following ways:
Twitter: @loiscreamer
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