Here are four scenarios where it makes sense to accept a lower speaking fee.

Have you ever been to a really fancy convention center with an atrium?

You know, the kind with a water canal, ducks, and a little fake village?

I'm in one today that even has an evening light show and an augmented reality wildlife adventure… all inside the atrium. (Ha… I think they're a little weird, honestly.)

But I'm willing to tolerate a little weirdness because I just spoke to a great group of corporate employees… and I was able to hold firm on my full fee of $20,000. Contrast that with a phone call I recently had where I negotiated down to a fee of $7,500.

This leads to two fundamental questions:

  1. When should you allow yourself to negotiate?

2. When should you hold firm on your quotable fee?

Let me grab another coffee, dodge some ducks, and we'll find the answers… starting with two truths, you need to accept.

Truth #1: It's Actually Rare to Get Your Full Quotable Fee

We've spent a lot of time talking about setting your quotable fee. But really, there are few times you actually sell yourself at the full rate. That's because event organizers are all used to different levels of investment…

If an event organizer is used to hiring speakers who charge $5,000 every year, they'll have a heart attack if you swoop in with your quotable fee of $20,000.

Or, on the flip side, if you're speaking to an event organizer who once hired Magic Johnson to speak for $250,000, your fee will look like peanuts.

The amount you charge really needs to depend on that particular event and the types of speakers' fees they are used to paying.

 Your final fee should be relative to the other speakers the organization is considering or who they've hired in the past.

That's why you're going to do a little research before you begin any negotiation with a new event organizer. In fact, there is a specific question I always ask when I'm talking with a new prospect. I'll share more on that tomorrow in part 2 of this article.

Truth #2: Know in Advance How Much You're Willing to Negotiate

You might recall I mentioned the three important numbers you should consider when talking to clients. Here they are:

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