Info first, money later.
Just like a contract negotiation for a job, conversations around money should be held after you have all the necessary information to ensure it’s a productive discussion.
You must solidify in their minds that you are, in fact, the ideal person to speak at their event and not just the easiest person to book, or the cheapest. Confirm that your expertise can help them and it makes it easier for them to put a value on Once it is clear that your expertise can help them, then you can begin your discussions about fee from an informed position.
What you need to ask before you can firmly negotiate:
- Tell me about your event.
- Who is your audience?
- Are they paying to be there?
- How many speakers do you have?
- What kind of results are you looking for from your speakers?
- When would I be speaking?
- Is this a one-day event, a one-hour event, a one-week event?
- Who is your favorite speaker?
- Who are some of the other speakers?
Once you know these things, then you can bring up their budget and begin to consider creative ways to meet your budget.
The B.O.O.M Factor
Sometimes, event planners can not meet your fee. Whether they overlooked the cost when budgeting or really are stretching to pull the entire event off with two wooden nickels.
But you can always easily have a great ‘return’ in value that isn’t cash-based.
If your fee is $2,000 for a keynote but they say they only have $500 in the budget, there are other ways to create value and that means taking a thorough look at what the event/venue/attendees can offer. It’s called:
Benefits. Outside. Of. Money
“I understand and I would really like to work something out. Do you have any ideas how we can reach an agreement?” Then let them tell you what they have to offer in terms of valuable contributions to brand ‘you’.
Sometimes organizations can’t come up with anything so you will have to fill in the blanks. What else matters to you? What’s on your BOOM list?
– Can they purchase your book for every attendee? Can you sell your books? If you don’t have a book, what product do you have that can be monetized?
– Are the attendees potential clients? Can you make high-profile connections that will be worth something in the future? What about the sponsors? Can the event planner make introductions and arrange private lunches?
– Can they extend your trip and cover your hotel and travel expenses? Can they cover the cost of a guest for your stay? This too has some monetary value.