“You Get What You Pay For!”

How many times have you heard: “you get what you pay for?”  I can remember my Grandmother saying that over and over again.

We are not sure where the quote actually came from, but I am finding more and more people want value, a positive experience, and service. Isn’t that what everyone in business promises to provide and deliver in a cost effective, excellent and timely manner?

I encounter this at times: “Sue, I love your company and the speakers you represent, but we can’t afford you!”  Ever heard that, or said it to a someone else, maybe even me?  When I hear it, I have to first think, “what are they really saying” before I respond. I have found in my many years of sales and marketing that usually it is not about the money at all!

People and companies can always find the money when their deepest desires are met! However, when hearing that statement how many of us will take the time to ask, “tell me more about why you feel that way?” to see if we have even uncovered their deepest desire, or addressed it clearly enough? Or do we just smile, feel rejected or even say: “you get what you pay for” and walk away?

Building a business is all about relationships, knowing your target markets, and being willing and confident enough to do the best you can, provide great value, overcome objections, and handle rejections well so you can move on no matter the choice of others!

Challenge for you:  is your business model based on value or fees first?  How do you position yourself so value is the main thing that people want to come to you for,
regardless of your fee?  It’s key to your success!

As Founder/CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau Sue Falcone knows from experience how stressful finding the right speaker can be! Sue is passionate and dedicated to bringing customized and personalized services to her clients by providing experienced and accredited professional speakers, and a stress- free experience when working with her or a member of her team. Contact her at 888-766-3155 and she will help you get started to creating a Remarkable event!

You Have to Slow Down to Speed Up!

You Have to Slow Down to Speed Up

Today is the start of the second half of the year. I am sitting here early on a Sunday morning with a cup of steaming hot coffee considering that today marks the ending of the first half of 2018 and the start of the next.

You are probably like me and spend most of your time working…doing…creating your life. However, sometimes we need to look back and be honest with ourselves so we can move forward.

In other words, you have to slow down to speed up. 
Are you where you want to be in 2018? You likely have accomplished some of your goals and still, have more to do. Same for me.
Here is a simple exercise if you want to evaluate yourself.
1. Look at the numbers.
Can you quantify what has happened in your life and business to show how far you have come? List out your accomplishments. Be careful not to forget the ones that were easy for you, but come as a struggle for others. List out your income, profit, skills gained, weight and your PR in health. Don’t rush this as it is helpful to see have far you have come.
2. Write about your experiences.

What experiences stand out for you? What struggles did you overcome? What moments made you proud?

3. Get clear on the next six months.
What do you want from the next six months? To lose weight…more profit…2 weeks off to travel…write your book (the one you have been talking about). List all the things you want.
4. Find your one thing.

Which of these is most important to you? Can you narrow it down to one thing? Can you identify the one goal or experience that means the most to you? You have other goals and other experiences, but can you determine what is MOST important to you for the second half of the year?

Ok with this, you have something that excites you and inspires you to live a bigger life. It can also be scary too.

What to do next?

I know for sure that to create something new that you have to create new paths to get there. You have to let go of the old to create a new way of being.  If you share with me your ONE thing, I will send you a free tool to ensure that you make it. This is not a sales strategy or some other manipulation. It is a simple way to align yourself with your “one thing.” All you have to do is reply here and tell me what you want in your life in 2018.

Here is you…and your next six months. Let’s create something that inspires you for the inside.
You are awesome!

Gene Hammett

Gene started working with founders, CEOs, and entrepreneurial leaders to generate growth in their business, after his business world collapsed. He studied everything about how to overcome stagnation, tap into sustainable growth, and empower leadership to achieve more. This potential career-ending setback, began a new journey in his life with a mission to partner with business leaders to help them unlock the growth potentials they may not know exist. Since then, his research has been featured in Forbes, Inc Magazine, Business Insider, Success Magazine, YAHOO!, NBC, and Entrepreneur Magazine. As a regular contributor for Entrepreneur Magazine and Inc. Magazine, he is able to share his insights with the world and his Award-winning Podcast, LeadersintheTrenches.com is reaching thousands of leaders.  To top if off  he has a Best-selling book: “The Trap of Success-A Brutally Candid Guide to Overcoming Your Fears, Finding Significance, and Attain Profound Success!” and speaks with audiences all over the world. To hire Gene to speak at your upcoming event, contact 888-766-3155 now.

Nonprofit Caregivers Need Help, Too

NONPROFIT CAREGIVERS NEED HELP, TOO

Every day dedicated nonprofit professionals are working to help those who have suffered misfortune, aiding victims in need of care, and finding solutions to someone else’s problems.

Nonprofit professionals deal with situations that can range from the simple to the complex and, often to the tragic.

The daily pressure and stress can be mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging. Even the most compassionate and consummate professional can feel the cumulative impact of such a demanding career.

Unfortunately, the intensity of this already stressful workplace environment is growing. While budgets are being cut and calls for help are escalating, staffs are being pushed to do more with less.

So who props up those who prop up others? The answer could be You.

As a high school basketball player, I was barely good enough to make the team, and my prospects for actually getting into a game were close to nonexistent.

In spite of my bench warming role, my three younger sisters showed up at games to loudly cheer for their brother. Their pleas to “put Hardy in” didn’t persuade the coach but did totally embarrass me.

Through the years, my sisters have continued their encouragement. They recognize a need and offer support. My once youthful embarrassment has grown into appreciation and the realization of how fortunate I am to have such great cheerleaders in my life!

You too can have a positive influence on those you work with by being a cheerleader who provides co-workers with a much needed boost.

Help create a supportive environment that will assist in re-charging those whose batteries are running low. Offer words of encouragement to those dealing with a particularly difficult situation. Recognize when someone may be struggling, and help find a way to temporarily lighten his or her load. An act of kindness will go a long way toward deflecting frustration, fatigue, and even burnout.

Acknowledge those who are making a difference. The feeling of being appreciated is a powerful motivator.

Champion the effort to get everyone working together as a team. Celebrate the individual and collective successes your organization is having so each person can share in the glow of accomplishment.

People who work to meet the needs of others are indeed special. But even those who help others need help and deserve recognition and encouragement themselves.

A sister can be a great cheerleader. And you can too!

Speaker Hardy Smith is your Go-to Resource who works with NonProfits and Associations that want an Ongoing Culture of Performance. Organizations across America have benefited from Hardy’s 30-plus years of experience working in the high-performance world of NASCAR racing. His extensive involvement with nonprofit, volunteer-based, and community groups nationwide gives him a keen understanding of nonprofit and association needs. Hardy’s offerings include keynote addresses, seminars, workshops, leadership retreats and strategic planning sessions, such as, “Why Don’t Board Members Do What They’re Supposed to Do?; leadership training; strategic planning; and innovative and results-oriented consultation.  To hire Hardy for your upcoming event ct 888-766-3155.

When Is It Time to Join a Speakers Bureau?

This is a question I receive many times a week from Speakers: “When Is It Time to Join a Speakers Bureau?”

I don’t hesitate or blink an eye when I share: “when you are already booking yourself consistently for paid events!”

That answer usually leads to the next question: “what does a Speakers Bureau really do for a Speaker?”

With over 250 different speakers bureaus currently listed in the United States, most are thought of only as a listing service rather than as an extension of a speakers’ marketing plan. The major benefit is that the bureau handles the billing and contract negotiation with the event planner.

This is why it is so important for a speaker to know how a bureau operates before they sign on and enable someone other than themselves to find and book speaking engagements for them.

Once those two questions are answered the next one that always follows is: “what should a speaker ask and have in place before they actually reach out to a speakers bureau?”

Having once been a paid professional speaker myself, and knowing one has to keep current on what is going on in our industry, here are some key things I share with speakers that they need to know and do in choosing a speakers bureau; and also what they need to have in place for a speakers bureau to accept representing them:

  • Realize a speakers bureau does not take start up speakers; have to be consistently booking paid speaking events.
  • Check with other speaker friends to see which ones they are listed with.
  • Ask them if they are happy with their bureau.
  • Determine how the speakers bureau will handle your billing and event contracts.
  • Understand there is no better booking agent than you , however a speakers bureau can give you more traffic and increased bookings.
  • Have a defined business plan where you see a speakers bureau is not a replacement for your marketing plan, it is only an extension of it.
  • Be very cautious about signing with a speakers bureau that wants you to be exclusive with them.  Read everything you are given.
  • Determine how you are going to do business with a speakers bureau.  A lot of bureaus now do not have a signed agreement in place with the speakers they represent; but look at it this way, shouldn’t a speaker want one? As a speaker you have one with your clients, so why shouldn’t you have one with someone you are allowing to represent you to a client?
  • Make sure you have a total package to offer a speakers bureau, which you should already have in place to be able to book yourself. At my bureau my Executive Team reviews all our requests for representation using these quidelines:
    –   Been a paid professional speaker for at least two years.
    –   Have a determined Fee structure range.
    –   Provide evidence of consistent bookings and business plans.
    –   Have a Social Media strategy in place.
    –   Have current up to date Marketing materials which includes:
    One sheet, Professional photos, Professional video clip,
    Recommendations from clients,  List of paid clients,
    Updated website, Have a Social Media Strategy, and Current
    publications such as Books, Blogs, and Articles.
  • There is no guarantee a speakers bureau can get you bookings right away- timing is everything.
  • Event Planners seldom look to a speakers bureau for just one speaker, they usually want 3-6 speakers to look at before making a decision.
  • Choose a speakers bureau that has your best interests at heart, and wants to develop an open relationship of mutual cooperation.

I do my best to be a “Booking Bureau” rather than just a “listing agency”, as I do not want to waste a speaker’s valuable time, nor mine or my staff’s either. I spend the
biggest part of my workday, seeking and working with event planners and decision makers, to match and book the perfect speaker for their events.

I have learned this from our industry: A speaker does not have to compete or compare themselves to another speaker, they just have to be ‘in’ the competition, and know what event planners and decision makers of today are looking for!

Sue Falcone is the CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau. She has come full circle in her experience of being a former Corporate Executive that hired speakers, to becoming a sought-after speaker and author being hired, to now representing some of the most Remarkable speakers on the Planet for clients to hire.  Sue is a well respected thought leader in the industry of the ever changing world of professional speaking!

6 Top Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Keynote Speaker!

6 Top Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Keynote Speaker!

Want to have the best Keynote Speaker at your next event?  Dr. Daren Martin shares how you can assure that happens by asking the “right” questions!  You will also see some of his helpful tips that you can use to evaluate the answers you receive!

Q 1  Do you tailor your keynote to the audience and industry or have a set keynote you use for everyone?

I have seen many canned talks that did not resonate with the attendees of the conference. A little research goes a long way in delivering a keynote that is on point and resonates with everyone present. Every industry and organization has their own language, pet peeves, challenges, and opportunities that need to be taken into consideration.

Q2   Are you available throughout the day or only during the time of your keynote?

It can be a great value add if the speaker is around before the keynote (to familiarize themselves with the group) and after the keynote to connect, answer questions, etc.

 Q3  Are you also available to do a workshop or breakout following your keynote?

Some topics may benefit from a deeper dive with the speaker in a more intimate fashion. I have done this many times and it is a great way to expound on a topic.

Q4   Are your books available at a discount to our audience or for vendors and exhibitors as a possible sponsorship.

Books are a better takeaway than cheap tchotchkes. You can drive traffic to a location by having them pick their book up at the designated spot signed in advance by the author or at a designated time with the author present.

Q5  Do you have a follow up reinforcement piece we can send following the conference?

A meaningful follow up video or handout reinforces the ideas shared in the keynote.

Q6  Are you willing to do a brief video to make available to our attendees about your involvement at the event?

The right video can get attendees fired up about the conference and create energy around the keynote and/or attract attendees to the conference when attendance is optional.

By asking these top 6 questions you can generate a relationship with the speaker and let them know what you as an event planner and decision maker expect them to bring to your audience so that it is a successful and less stressful event!

After 20 years of running his own business and consulting Fortune 500 companies, Dr. Daren Martin uses his international experience to motivate your audience to “Create a Culture of Service.”   Dr. Daren’s thought leadership and change strategies in transforming companies earned him the title “The Culture Architect.”  He is a best selling author of multiple business books, including: A Company of Owners: Maximizing Employee Engagement and the hand drawn/written, Whiteboard: Business Models That Inspire Action, as well as Beached Whale: Learning to Swim in the New Ocean and The Sink: Radical Transformation with One Small Change.  In addition, his new book to be released soon is: Think/WOW: Customer Service that WOWS!  To book Dr. Daren for your next event call
888-766-3155 today.

Do Creative People Think Highly of Themselves?

Do Creative People Think Highly of Themselves?

By Julie Austin

A recent study on creativity showed that people who are highly creative tend to score low on tests of humility and honesty. After spending most of my life in the entertainment industry and being surrounded by creative people, I’ve run into plenty who thought highly of themselves and would score low on honesty. But I’ve also been around plenty of creative people who are also very honest and humble.

I would have to say that the ones that are still humble are less likely to make it to the A list though. Being creative and making a great living from your creativity seem to be two separate things. Unfortunately some of the most creative people never make great money at their craft and remain very humble and honest.

The study, which used the HEXACO model of personality structure, said that the people who scored low on humility and honesty were more likely to bend the rules for their own monetary gain and had a sense of entitlement. So, does this mean you have to be arrogant and dishonest in order to make a lot of money with your creativity. I hope not. And certainly the most creative people, whether they are writers, actors, artists, etc. don’t always make a lot of money.

There is another piece here besides just creativity. In today’s world you also need to be a good pitch person. And that requires a different set of skills. Most creatives are not very good at the business side. It helps to have both.

Creativity means putting yourself on display for others to judge. That means your ego will take a beating and you have to be pretty confident to keep doing it for the long haul. You have to have a thick skin to keep taking that beating over and over again. Maybe this helps to explain why creative people think highly of themselves. You have to believe in your own creativity before others will.

Julie Austin is a sought-after Keynote Speaker, award-winning author, and Inventor of Swiggies – The Wrist Water Bottle by Hydrosport.

Coming from a background in the TV & film industry as a commercial actor and TV host, she also has worked in the development of over 1,000 scripts. Julie knows the creative and how to sell it from a business perspective.

Julie knows a thing or two about innovation. She’s an inventor/innovator who turned $5.00 and a lump of clay into an international NASDAQ winning product—the Swiggles wrist water bottle, now sold in 24 countries. Call 888-766-3155 to book her for your next event!

Don’t Leave Your BIG Goals to Chance! Reliably Achieve BIG Goals Faster

Don’t Leave Your BIG Goals to Chance! Reliably Achieve BIG Goals Faster

By Carl Loop

Do you hear people state a BIG goal that makes you inwardly (or outwardly) just shake your head in disbelief? As in, you have about as much chance of accomplishing that as a New Years resolution (which has about 8% chance of being accomplished on average).
And yet, people do accomplish goals, they even accomplish BIG goals that they (and often everyone else) once thought were impossible!
• 7 and 8 Figure Business Growth at Record Speed
• Owning 200 Investment Property Homes
• 1st Female NFL Coach and Hall of Fame
• Feeding 10’s of Thousands of People
• Winning the Nobel Prize
• Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with No Arms and No Legs (Kyle Maynard)

Leaving your BIG Goals to Chance risks having them downsized or discarded! Reliably Achieve BIG Goals Faster from these 5 Steps!
5 Steps to Reliably Achieve BIG Goals Faster!

The Power of Vision.

“Without Vision the Past Predicts the Future.”
The future is predictable without a Vision. A Vision uses your Belief System to creates new access to something greater. A Vision is your “come from” place and communicates your BOLD Stand. It’s the secret weapon that pulls you through tough times and boosts you to a higher place.
Having only a resource and task focus develops survival/safety concerns which bring survival results and create interactions of force, competition, self-interest and disconnection. Vision focus develops aliveness, power, collaboration, community and connection, all of which reliably drive you higher.

Don’t Go it Alone.

Individually, we are self-limiting, less accountable and less reliable. One of my BIG successful clients says: “we have that little voice in our head that doesn’t want us to be anything.”  When we are aware of others knowing and supporting what we are up to, or being aware that others expect our greatness, it pulls us higher and more reliably forward. The best version of ourselves comes when we contribute to others and others contribute to us.

Performance on Purpose.

“If you’re just performing to lifeless goals, you’ll be lifeless about achieving them.”
The greatest version of you, the version that has and can achieve the impossible, comes from connecting to a purpose (rooted in your Vision) that moves you. Performance on Purpose comes from seeing your life as a movie where you are the hero having victory over undesirable forces, and where you are helping to free others from those undesirable forces.
A goal driven by purpose has a much higher reliability to be achieved.
Also, we must continuously renew ourselves with our purpose so we can maintain performance at our extraordinary personal best.

Planning.

“Businesses that Plan Together Pull Together.”
Create a unified Roadmap of Prioritized Goals, Plan, Action. Clarity catapults results.
It’s only a lofty dream until you know the steps for achieving it.
Often, in the patterns and chaos of daily doing, we miss the BIG pieces unless we have the Vision, Goals, Plan, Action roadmap.

Set “Control Points” So You Maintain Progress.

Communicate frequently at specific, committed times. Committed communication greatly increases Reliably Achieving BIG Goals Faster.
Develop and Commit to an Escalation process when things go off track. Have a “By When” date on when you will complete something.
Define and Accept an accountability process and have discipline to hold yourself -and accept having others- hold you to it.

Don’t leave your BIG Goals to chance.  Schedule a 15 minutes conversation today!

Carl Loop says the most amazing thing about what he does is to help people “See the Unseen” to LEAP opportunities.  His various award-winning corporate, entrepreneurial, creative, technical and leadership background and experiences enable him to bring a new perspective so you see the unseen to “Achieve The LEAP.”

Carl is passionate about helping people “Achieve The LEAP.”  To date, he has helped businesses profit by 10’s of Millions of dollars…and counting!  When Carl was very young, he could jump really far, and became a bit of a celebrity in schoolyard competitions. People started calling Carl “Leaping Loop” and it has stuck ever since! Call 888-766-3155 to book Carl for your next event!

Event Planning And The Scourge Of Round Banquet Tables

Event Planning And The Scourge Of Round Banquet Tables

By David Deeble

Let’s be serious for a moment: audiences should be seated facing the speaker.

Imagine a photographer going from round banquet table to round banquet table taking pictures of people without asking anyone to turn around and face the camera. To do so would be absurd. But it’s no more absurd than introducing a speaker or entertainer when much of the audience – by virtue of the fact that they’re sitting at round banquet tables – still have their backs squarely facing the podium or stage.

Before introducing an entertainer or speaker to the stage, take a page from the photographer playbook and request that those whose backs are to the stage to at least offer the presenter their profile.

This and a few other simple changes very often make the difference between an audience which is engaged and one that is not.

Return to daviDDeeble.com or learn how a head injury forced me to reinvent myself from a conventional to a comedic juggler.

David Deeble’s career in comedy began at the age of 8 when he joined the Long Beach Mystics, a now-legendary magic club in Long Beach, California. There, he was schooled relentless
ly in the importance of being a polished entertainer – not just a magic act. After opening for such comedians as Ray Romano and Kevin James, David made his debut as the variety star in “Bare Essence” at Harrah’s, Lake Tahoe. From there, he began making numerous appearances on American television including “America’s Got Talent,” “Last Comic Standing,” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on which he performed his trademark grocery-sack juggling routine. To Hire David as your next Entertainer, click here or call 888-766-3155 to book him!

How To Ruin Your Event

How To Ruin Your Event

By David Deeble

There’s lots of ways to ruin an event. Let’s talk about ruining the entertainment portion, especially if you have gone with comedy.

With any type of live entertainment there is a relationship between the audience and the performer. Nowhere is this more pronounced than with comedy entertainment which, when performed at the highest level, is much more like a dialogue than a monologue. The audience might be able to chat amongst themselves and still enjoy a rock band, but not so with, say stand-up: to be successful the craft requires an audience that is totally engaged.

A professional, experienced and talented comedian knows when an audience isn’t with her and will prattle, prod and engage an audience until she knows they are focused and only then will he get to the heart of her act and the business of making them laugh.

But how, you may ask, can I make a comedy entertainer’s job as difficult as possible?

Let’s say you’re a professional event planner or someone who is otherwise responsible for planning an event for your company. You’ve done your homework and found a comedian who is accomplished, a pleasure to work with and perfectly suits your needs. Now the question is, what can you do to thwart this his remarkable talents and years of experience and make everyone in attendance uncomfortable at the same time?

Here are a few simple things you can do to ensure that the delicate, essential bond between an audience and a comedian is tenuous at best or, better yet, never established in the first place.

• Schedule The Entertainer Immediately After A Break

The room is pumped. The most-popular, hardest-working guy or gal in the company has just received his well-deserved award from the CEO and the energy in the room is at its peak. Whatever you do, don’t harness the audience’s energy by immediately introducing to the stage the entertainer you’ve budgeted a sizable sum to procure. Instead, have the CEO, emcee or whoever has the floor to announce a break “of about 15 minutes”. That should be enough time for the room to deflate, the energy vanish and allow the stragglers to head back into the room and settle into their seats while chatting with their fellow fellow employees about golf plans for the following weekend.

• Seat The Audience At Round Banquet Tables

For the love of God, you’re not going to ensure that all the seats in the audience are facing the stage, are you? No, no, no. When an entertainer walks on stage you want roughly half the audience facing the back of the room. That way more people will be able to tell when the line for the open bar is down to only a few people. You might also consider leaving the doors in the back of the room open, allowing those seated with their backs to the stage to “people watch” the smokers, stragglers and maybe even catch a glimpse of that woman from the coat check with the ineffable aura about her. Ideally, you want these people who face the back of the room to be completely unaware of what is going on on the stage. Think muzak.

• Serve Food During The Show

When a world-class comedy entertainer and a mediocre salad go head to head, the salad wins every time. Anything requiring utensils is best – after all, people are capable of enjoying a comedian with finger food like popcorn just as they are capable of enjoying a movie. Of course, it never hurts to have hard-working servers bustling from table to table pouring water, grinding pepper and sending that steak back to the kitchen until it’s done right.

• Arrange For A Large, Empty Space Between The Stage And The Front Row

Nothing is more conducive to an attentive, engaged audience like seating them as close to the stage as possible. There’s an intimacy to this seating arrangement that mimics the openness and rapport of an private conversation. This is why you want a large empty space surrounding the stage. Many venues place a small stage against the wall of a large banquet hall and surround it with a large, empty dance floor: this is the ideal way to ensure your money and reputation go to waste. Nothing sends the the audience the signal “You have nothing to do with this performance” quite like seating everyone no less than a metric mile of the edge of the stage. This way audience members can chat with each other throughout the show while feeling – wrongly – that it has no impact on the overall performance.

The above are just a few basic, feng-shui examples of how to ruin the entertainment portion of your event. The truth is, there are almost as many ways to ruin it as there are second-rate entertainers to ruin it for you.

Do you know other ways to ensure that entertaining at your event is as uphill a battle as possible?

David Deeble’s career in comedy began at the age of 8 when he joined the Long Beach Mystics, a now-legendary magic club in Long Beach, California. There, he was schooled relentless
ly in the importance of being a polished entertainer – not just a magic act. After opening for such comedians as Ray Romano and Kevin James, David made his debut as the variety star in “Bare Essence” at Harrah’s, Lake Tahoe. From there, he began making numerous appearances on American television including “America’s Got Talent,” “Last Comic Standing,” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on which he performed his trademark grocery-sack juggling routine. To Hire David as your next Entertainer, click here or call 888-766-3155 to book him!

The Strategic Fit – Building Relationships with Speakers’ Bureaus

The Strategic Fit – Building Relationships with Speakers’ Bureaus

By Christy Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM

This is the final piece in a three-part series recapping a conversation I had with Sue Falcone, Founder and CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau on how planners can strategically build relationships with speaker’s bureaus. The Strategic Fit - Building Relationships with Speakers' Bureaus

This is the final piece in a three-part series recapping a conversation I had with Sue Falcone, Founder and CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau on how planners can strategically build relationships with speaker’s bureaus. Part one introduces the value of the speakers’ bureau, and part two talks about event speaker trends.

Christy: What do you do about speakers who speak from scripts and are reluctant or unwilling to adapt the message to an audience?

Sue: It’s essential to make sure every client gets a unique and custom experience. Audiences will not accept “canned” presentations, although once that was the norm.  Every speaker search I do starts with a thorough questionnaire for the speaker and the planner so that I know exactly what is expected from and needed from both sides.  It doesn’t matter how many times I have worked with a client; every piece of business must be earned.  Fresh, relevant material is a must and that means adapting to the audience.

Christy: What do you say to those who think they can’t afford to hire a speaker or to those who would prefer to simply book directly?

Sue: I focus on creating an experience from the initial contact, so fees are not the first thing we discuss. I want to know what the client is looking for and what the goal is for bringing in the speaker. From there, it’s my job to find solutions and secure a speaker they like and need.

As for being able to afford my services, there are a few key points to keep in mind. Always ask if the bureau’s fees are paid for by the client or the speaker as it varies by organization. At Remarkable Speakers! the speaker pays for the booking, so there is no cost to the client for utilizing my services. It is also important to know that the speaker fees we quote are not marked up to cover the fees the speaker pays us.

The additional thing to keep in mind is the expertise offered by the bureau. After listening to what the client wants, I make initial recommendations, factoring in not just the speaker’s content but their style. It has to be a good fit at every level. No one has time to waste, so working with a pro means only seeing speakers who meet your needs, style and budget. Watching clips on You Tube and searching the net for speakers can take hours and may not lead you anywhere.

Christy:  Planners are so often in ‘go’ mode that they forget to stop and consult the experts. It’s a good reminder that help is available and that the service providers will likely do a better job than we could. Thanks for that quick reality check!

Sue: I think we can all fall into that trap sometimes! To continue: as for budget: I never apologize or shy away from the cost to book a speaker. Some of the best advice ever given to me that I live by was: “when quoting fees you should be able to do it without blinking an eye. Do it with confidence, facts, and commitments.”

That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for negotiation.  Both sides need to walk away feeling good about the partnership. I can work with both parties to create mutually agreeable terms.  I love the “thrill of the hunt” and closing deals. After booking thousands of speakers I have tons of creative ways clients and speakers can find middle ground.

Christy: My friend is a speaker. Why do I need one of yours?

Sue:  Now, more than ever, everyone thinks they are a speaker, or knows someone who is! I always thank my clients for the opportunity to “earn their business.” Often, when looking for a speaker, initially, people do not know what they want. Even if they have a friend or colleague in mind, it’s a good possibility they still are looking for suggestions. I find that many times after a few questions, the client is not quite as sold on their friend as it might have first appeared.

Knowing the speaker has advantages but does not guarantee it’s the right fit. I ask questions about what they are looking for in their speaker, and does their friend have all need to have a successful event. I share key things to look at; great video clips, an active and engaged social media presence where you can see reviews and testimonials, and what their marketing materials look like to see how fresh, current, and relevant their speaker is. I make sure they think through the ‘why’ around choosing their friend as the speaker.  It’s important to remember that the impact of choosing the best speaker reflects on them.  I want my clients and potential clients to be seen as “rock stars” for choosing the perfect speaker and having a successful event. Sometimes their friend may be their speaker of choice.

To me it’s about helping people make good decisions so even if we don’t book a speaker, I am still thankful for creating a relationship that can be developed for future business. The other opportunity is for me to add a new speaker to my roster as we are always looking for Remarkable Speakers!

A huge thanks to Sue for her time, expertise, buoyant personality and wisdom. I speak to many people each day and few have Sue’s remarkable spirit, candor and enthusiasm. I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I had speaking to her. To continue the conversation, leave a note in the comments section below, find me on Twitter: @SMEChristy or email me: Christy.lamagna@strategic.events.

CEO, Sue Falcone, recognized the need for a speakers bureau that would represent professional speakers, and provide the perfect speaker for clients who sought the best for their events with a personal “hands on” custom touch.

From a former corporate executive, to becoming a professional speaker and author being hired, and creating a distinctive and unique speakers bureau representing speakers for hire, she gained the experience and expertise needed to give a full service experience.