Motivational speaker Brad Montgomery explains speaker fees and how you can maximize your conference investment and get the most value from your speaker
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Motivational Speaker, Humorist, Seminar Leader
For you folks who prefer to read, here’s the transcript to the video:
Hey, it’s Brad Montgomery from bradmontgomery.com. We’re going to talk today about motivational speakers’ fees, what are they, how to think about it, how to do this. Alright, I’m on the road right now so I’m hiding in the coffee shop because it’s way more fun than the hotel and the drinks are better. But I just talked on my cell phone with two different clients and they both had the same confusion about motivational speakers’ fees and so I thought, let’s just put up a video real quick.
Let me tell you how speakers do not think about fees. What we don’t think about is time. I don’t charge by the hour. I don’t work at Wal-Mart. I don’t punch the clock. I’m not a plumber. I don’t charge like, okay, the first two hours are, I don’t do that. I’m much more interested in charging for value. Value, so I want you to think when you’re hiring a speaker and you’re computing what you want to invest in your speaker, what would be the return on that investment for you if your speaker rocked and really made a huge difference for your organization, for your team?
So in my case, I’m a motivational speaker. If we’re able to motivate them to do the things they are not doing, what would that be worth to you? So for example, if you’re in sales and we’re able to increase sales, let’s just think small, just to make the point. If we’re able to increase your sales team’s sales by 1% for one week, which is pretty crappy, right? We ought to be able to do more than that. But just 1% for one week, what would that do? You’d be able to compute that and then you start thinking about, well is that a good investment or not? And for most of you, that’s a great investment, so why wouldn’t you want to do it?
And then two, why wouldn’t you, if you really want return on your speaker investment and you’re thinking value, then that’s when you might really think, well spending a little bit more for a guaranteed motivational speaker, somebody who you know can deliver because they’ve got the credentials, they’ve got the testimonials, they’ve got the long client list, they’ve got the experience, really seems like a good value.
So you notice I’m talking about value. I’m not talking about time. I’m talking about value.
Let me tell you another way we think about fees and pricing, just to help you see into our brain and our office. So Eric and Renee and I do not think about minutes. My keynotes are priced, my events are priced for under 90 minutes. It’s like my keynote is generally 90 minutes and under, 90 minutes and above, seminars for a half day, full day, whatever.
That means if you call and say, well it’s only 25 minutes after lunch. Well, I’m happy to do that and do that all the time, but for me, it doesn’t matter if it’s 25 minutes or it’s an hour and 25 minutes because my costs are fixed.
What costs do I have? I have limited number of dates I can sell, 365 days in a year, but I’m only going to be a keynote speaker on X number of days. We only schedule me out a certain number of days per year and then because of that, if I work for you, I can’t work for somebody else, right? Because I’ve sold the date. That means it doesn’t matter to me really if I work for you for five minutes or for five hours and five minutes because I can’t sell that date to somebody else so it’s going to take a minimum just to arrange that. So I’m not going to be thinking, oh it’s only five minutes. Even though you might be thinking about that, that’s not the way we think about it.
And then the other thing that’s important for us is I have to prepare every day because I do customized keynotes and I know you want that. You don’t want just somebody to come in off the street. You want someone who knows you so I should prepare about the same amount of time for a half day seminar as I do for a 45 minute keynote.
So preparation and then finally the travel and problems of getting there. It doesn’t matter if I’m crossing town or if I’m getting on a plane and crossing the country or crossing the world, I got to get there, right? So once you’re there and you’re in the hotel and you’ve done all the travel and the security and the TSA and have bothered to put on a clean shirt, which comes with it, what the heck, again, that helps you see that it doesn’t matter to me whether or not I’m working for 15 or 20 minutes or all day long because those prices are fixed. That expense is done.
Hire a speaker who can help make the changes you need in your organization
So next time you’re thinking about keynote speakers, I want you to not think about fees as like a per minute or per hour thing. I want you to think about it as what value are you getting, what level of guarantee are you getting and then can the speaker help you make the changes you need? I’m guessing you’re hiring a speaker because you need some changes in your organization. You need your people to be doing something differently now than they were doing before. Well, if you feel like a motivational speaker or inspirational speaker can help you get there, what’s the value in there for you? You ought to be able to calculate that. Or at least guess and if you need help on that, call us. We do that all the time. That’s the way we think. Alright, hope that is helpful to you.
I guess one final thought. Often, I get people who call me in to say, well what is your fee, Brad, to do one keynote speech? Well, what I do varies so much based on what my clients need so there are some price ranges we could give you, but more what we like to do mostly is then not give you one set price, but instead to ask you, what is it you need, what value are you after, what changes are you after, how can we best help you get your organization from point A to point B and then based on that conversation, we kind of look through my toolbox of all the things I could do and then what I’ll usually do is send you a proposal with a few choices on there and then you can choose. So that’s why it’s not really like a loaf of bread. They’re making some heavy coffee over there. It’s not like a loaf of bread or a set of headphone speakers where you can just look it up online and find out how much it costs. Instead, it’s a process. We’re going to deliver something very customized just for you, just for your organization, just for your people, just for your audience and that’s why the pricing is based on value, not time.
But in particular, if you want some help thinking through this value proposition and pricing, I’d love to further explain it and then of course, make it relevant for you because I know of course I understand that budgets are an issue and you want to work it out but that’s what we’re here for, which okay, one more thought. I’m going to do one more thought.
One of the ways to think about it when you’re talking to a speaker is to tell them what your budget is. So in my case, I like to know what sort of fee family you’re in. Are you in this family or this family this family because if you’re in this lower family, there are some ideas that I might be able to help you with that can still fit in your budget or most of my clients might fit here, but a few of my clients, they really want to invest in change and lasting change and so we really can pull out the whole show for them. So that means my proposal can vary depending on your fee family, so when you call a speaker and they say, well what’s your budget, can you give me an idea of what you’re working with? In our case anyway, in our office, it’s not a negotiation tactic. In our case, it’s an effort to narrow it down so we can help give you some ideas that fit with you and fit within your budget.
Alright, hope that helps. Come visit bradmontgomery.com . So glad for your time. Gosh, I’d love to be part of your team, but if I’m not the guy, make sure that whoever you’re hiring delivers value, delivers a guarantee and fits within your budget in a way that afterwards, you can really be feeling like that was the best investment we made to make the best meeting or conference we possibly could have had. Have a great day! Thanks.