Objections/Call Scenarios:

Send me your info in an email
I’d be happy to. To ensure that we send exactly what you need as I’m sure you’ll be collecting a lot of speaker emails, let me make sure I understand what’s going on with your event and give you exactly what you need.
When are you going to be looking at speakers for that event?
And what’s the theme of the event or what challenges will be top of mind for your audience?
Who have you brought in to speak in the past? What did you like/not like about them?

And who’s making the decision for speakers on this event? Is it you, a committee, an executive director or a combination?

What do you/they really need to see from the speaker to make a decision? Speaker reel? Articles? Testimonials from other clients?
And to make sure I don’t waste my time or yours, do you have an idea of budget for your speakers? Or what’s it been historically? That way, we can send over what we can do for that budget in the way of keynotes, workshops, books, etc.
Great, thanks for answering those questions! We’ll get that over to you now so you can review it and we’ll reach out in (DECISION TIMEFRAME WINDOW) to see if we can provide anything new, as we’re constantly releasing new content. 

Offer a custom video and immediately drive the meeting so you can get the information needed for the video
“If you’re planning on spending $X and will be making a decision by Y date, we’re very used to working with committees, and instead of just sending over a bunch of generic videos, I’m happy to produce a custom video for your committee addressing those challenges.

Proposal/Request for proposal/RFP/submit on website:
(This is a potential black hole. There are numerous things that need to be done before we ever ask a speaker to submit via a website) –  MAKE SURE YOU HAVE QUALIFIED FOR BUDGET, DISCOVERED CHALLENGES AND DECISION-MAKING TIMELINE BEFORE PROCEEDING:
We’re happy to do that, just a few quick questions so we don’t waste your time on reviewing my material: What’s the decision-making process look like for those submissions? Does it go to a committee or an individual for a decision?
(If a committee, see ‘COMMITTEE’ objection above and drive the meeting by gathering info for a custom video)
And for the last paid speakers you brought in (IF YOU CAN REFERENCE PAST PAID SPEAKERS BY NAME, DO SO HERE), did they also submit via the website/RFP?
(If not, who handled hiring them? You may have a different decision maker to contact)
What did you find make them stand out?

(You’ll more often than not find that paid speakers DON’T submit through the website, they come in through another channel/another DM. If paid speakers use another DM, pursue the ‘paid speaker’ DM and avoid the RFP.)
Then say:
We’d be happy to produce a custom video for your RFP addressing those challenges.

We Need A Celebrity:
You need to know WHY they want a celebrity. Butts in seats? Drives up registration fee? Whatever they tell us needs to be reframed to speaker value. 

Filling seats is important?
We fills seats through (doing XYZ – Your pre-event VALUE ADDS).
Increased Registration Fee To See Celebrity
We can increase your registration fee by providing more content, workshops, take-aways,books, etc.
Questions to ask:
Which celebrities have you brought in the past ? What did you like AND what did you think they could have done better from the stage? Celebrities don’t customize, or conduct interviews to tailor content. They don’t usually hang out with the attendees. Do your members want a talking head or someone who understands their audience and their challenges? Which is going to get more members to renew and attend next year – the ones who grew their business or the ones who want to hear something that has nothing to do with their businesses?


“You know, that’s not something I’m sure about, as I can tell you I’ve spoken for a range of fees, and a lot depends on where I’m at in the world that day, if I can make the location in between other speaking engagements, etc”
Be THEIR advocate:
“Tell you what, let me float that fee by ‘my manager’ and see if I can talk them into it, because I know your event would really benefit from my insight. If I can get a soft commitment, can I reach back out to you on DATE and discuss next steps?’
(This keeps the ball in your court for a firm follow-up)

You also might hear: “I’m not giving you a historical budget, how much does your speaker charge?”
“That’s a valid question. Honestly, it depends on what type of experience we build for the event. Some of our best clients want us involved early on to help them get folks registered before the event, they want multiple workshops and keynotes, and then there’s the follow-up additions we offer to ensure your folks implement what they learn. And we haven’t even talked about books. So the price could range from free to $30,000.

We can’t afford anything/not paying for speakers this year.
I totally get that, budgets are tight everywhere these days, but I know you’re still trying to create a great experience for your members even with a tight budget. If we could work with you to locate the fee and even generate revenue for you  so my speaker would actually make you money – would that be of interest?

Diversity/Not Diverse Enough
I can totally appreciate you want to diversify your speaker lineup. I know that from your seat, all your choices have to lead to member value. What outcome are you looking to achieve by diversifying the speaker lineup?
(If you need to seed the conversation: Get butts in seats? Change the perception of your organization to appeal to newer members? ‘Young it up’?
Thanks for sharing that – here are my ideas:
(Match whatever they said the reason for diversifying lineup is to your speaker’s value proposition AND DRIVE THE SALE:
Diversity To Increase member attendance:
We’ve found ways to close out registration for 1700 attendees inside of a few hours. Let’s get you on the phone with (SPEAKER NAME) to discuss …
Diversity for new points of view:
I’m probably the most diverse speaker you’ll ever see, because my entire life and career has been a diverse experience that led me to be able to claim to be an expert in (YOUR SPEAKER VALUE PROPOSITION).

Diversity for appealing to a new generation of members/younger members

I definitely understand that the future of your organization is in your junior members. That’s why it’s going to be critical for them to not only enjoy their event experience, but also connect and learn from the senior members you have there as well. Here’s how we do that (example 1, 2, 3).

No external speakers/outside speakers
(ensure you’re talking to the DM, as this is an easy push-off from a gatekeeper, AND that you have the challenges the org is going to be addressing at the conference)
I totally get why you would say that, your members are interested in solutions to their challenges, not a rah rah ten tips to success kind of talk. Because you mentioned (challenges x, y and z), I think I can help. I have never (laid a power line, produced a valve, or drilled for deep sea oil – whatever your past clients members have done), but that didn’t stop them from bringing me in as the headliner. That’s because I’m is an expert in (dealing with change, innovating for the future, tapping into the potential of all your leaders whatever their gender, etc.). If we could provide a solution to challenge X, I’m willing to bet, like the hundreds of other clients we’ve had, your members will be more concerned with getting a solution in place than whether your speaker has 30 years in your industry. You’ve got a room full of people with 30 years of experience, you’re covered on that front.

One of the reasons we see dwindling attendance is because few events are must-attend. If there isn’t a live experience to draw them to that location, you might as well be doing events via webcast. That’s why we see so many of our clients start using a headline draw like me as their opening keynote speaker to turn it into a must-attend event!


We’re all set for speakers for our events this year/Already selected speakers
Is that the only event your organization does that brings in speakers like me? Who are they/what’s their contact info/would you happen to know about what time in the year they’re selecting speakers?
(This lets us know if there are multiple DMs/opportunities that could fire before this person is next looking for a speaker)