...and That Time Pete Rose Screwed Me Over…

Several years ago, I entered into a battle with Pete Rose.

Yes, that Pete Rose.

Good ol' #14 for the Cincinnati Reds Baseball team…. "Charlie Hustle"... the all-time MLB leader for hits, games played, at-bats, singles, and outs. The man, the myth, the legend.

Yeah… he screwed me over… by accident.

It just so happened that I was invited to speak at an event where they were trying to decide between hiring me and Pete Rose.

At the time, my speaker fee was $20,000, and Pete's was $25,000.

When the event organizers noticed the two fees, they were a little perplexed… and rightly so. Pete Rose is hugely famous – way more famous than little ol' Andrew Davis. Plus, he was going to be there the whole day… and even offered to bring a bag of baseballs for autographs.

So the event organizer asked about my fee. "What gives? Why are you charging so much?" I had lost the gig before we even got started.

I don't really blame them for not hiring me.

I blame Pete Rose.

Not because he did anything malicious. But he was so incredibly underpriced that it made my reasonable fee look outrageous.

And that, my friends, is our topic for today...

We'll look at what it takes to correctly and fairly find a Quotable Fee to help you win your next gig.

I'll show you the three main factors that help speakers calculate what they should be charging, and I'll share what Pete could start charging for his next event. (It's a LOT!)

But let's start with a few simple basics about speaker fees…

Put This Number on the Tip of Your Tongue

When thinking about speaker fees, there are three important numbers every speaker should calculate. But, while writing this, I quickly realized that was way too much to tackle all at once.

So, instead, let's start with your Quotable Fee. (I'll get to those other numbers another week.)

Your Quotable Fee is the number that is sitting patiently on the tip of your tongue, ready to be blurted out when someone asks how much you charge.

Maybe you're standing by the side of the stage greeting audience members when the next person in line immediately says, "we'd love to have you speak at our annual event; how much do you charge?"  There's no time for a lengthy discussion. There's no time to negotiate or ask about event specifics. After all, there's a line of people who want to chat.

Instead, you need a clear and concise fee… a quick answer on the spot. It needs to be a number you can say with confidence so you can get the ball rolling with this new prospect.

The 3 Things a Quotable Fee is NOT

Your Quotable Fee is not pulled out of thin air.

I've read a lot of speaker advice that invites speakers to consider how many times they've spoken when choosing this number. I hear things like, "If you've spoken 10 times, charge around $3,500" or "If you've spoken 250 times, charge $10,000."

That's not how it works, okay?

Instead, your Quotable Fee has to be well thought out – not plucked out of a vacuum.

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