Maybe you’re still waiting for that TEDx logo on your website or the New York Times Bestseller. That’s why you’re not making the high speaking fees you deserve, right?
Wrong. So, so wrong.
Credentials have nothing to do with what someone is willing to pay you for your talk. After more than 4,500 sales calls, we’ve learned that driving higher fees starts long before we ever get a buyer on the phone.
High Fee Skill #1: Delivering On Promises
Most speakers, if they market at all, blast out an email or two and wonder why their phone isn’t ringing. They’re missing a key element we found is the first step in driving high fees, and it’s also something sorely lacking in today’s business world:
The last thing we do with every piece of communication – whether it’s letter, card, phone, email or LinkedIn, is state when our team will be in touch to follow-up and what method we’ll be using. Of course, when we say we are going to reach out or follow up on a certain date, it is vital that we do so. By constantly engaging and following through, we create continuity in our conversation, make a promise a deliver on it, and make decision makers understand we have a vested interest not just in us – but in the success of their event.
(If you’re looking for 1:1 assistance with getting the team to increase your fees, apply by clicking here and we’ll personally walk you through how to make it happen in your business)
High Fee Skill #2: Customizing Content
One of the worst things that can happen for a speaker’s career – and future fees – is when a decision hears from their audience: “Where the heck did you find this guy? He knows nothing about our industry!”
Conducting interviews with industry specialists can help us go beyond a keynote filled with buzzwords. By asking questions that build out the bullet points of our keynote, we are able to integrate pain points and challenges that individuals within the industry face, making our keynotes relatable to professionals in the audience. This can be done with a random sampling of attendees months prior to the event itself or with the organization’s board members, and we’ve never encountered an event planner unwilling to give us access to folks for this reason.
When we can say to a decision maker, “We regularly build between 50 and 60 customized references in our hour-long keynote,” we prove to them they are not getting a run-of-the-mill speaker. Instead, decision makers see they are making an investment in someone who spends a lot of time learning about the industry. It’s a massive selling point during sales negotiations that puts you in a class above even celebrity speakers.
High Fee Skill #3: Don’t Just Hit-It and Quit-It
After we get back home, it’s vital to follow-up with the decision maker. While some speakers hit-it and quit-it, that’s not the style of a professional.
While we’re doing a pre-event call (sometimes months prior to actual talk), we book time on everyone’s calendar after the event for what we call an After-Action Review. During that call, we discuss the quality of the keynote by sharing metrics of opt-ins, laugh lines and how many customizations we delivered.
Even after the event is complete, we show them the fee they paid was not just for a keynote – it was for a partnership to help them achieve their goals.
That’s what being a high-fee speaker is all about.
Do This Now To Increase Your Fees:
-Incorporate promises into every letter, note, email or phone message you send to people that can hire you. Make promises and deliver on them.
-Map out the bullets of your talk and ask yourself, “If I was building the knwoedge I’m delivering in that bullet specifically for the folks in my next audience, what questions would I have to ask?” Get on the phone, get contact information for the folks in the audience, and ask them!
-Schedule after-action calls before your events (you drop to the bottom of the priority list the minute you step off stage, so get it done early). That’s the time to go over the objective metrics you tracked and hear from your buyers – “Did I achieve what you brought me in to achieve?” and “If we did it all again, what would you like me to have done more, better or differently?” are GREAT questions to show them you were worth every penny they paid – and make you worthy of their referrals.
If you’re ready to begin building the systems that build speaking businesses, we’re offering a free speaker sales masterclass beginning soon: