Tactics for Negotiating FeesHow do you stay up-to-date when there are so many of them and quite a few are constantly changing what they do?Here’s the situation: The client has $6,000 and the client who is right for them is at $15,000 plus first class travel. What do you do, try to switch them to a less-than-perfect selection?If you know that a particular vendor is right for this group, then sell the client on making that choice. How they pay for it is often up for discussion.Here are some creative options.Look for other ways to pay the fee.Perhaps a vendor to the client would be willing to sponsor all or part of the fee.Arrange for the vendor to meet with the sponsor onsite as a special courtesy.Offer to help the client promote the vendor for sponsorship.Send an extra press kit or video, or set up a teleconference with the speaker.Get the money from the training department’s budget instead of from the convention budget.Expand the client’s thinking on how to pay it.Allow the client to pay part of the fee from this year’s budget and the balance of it from next year’s budget.Take your deposit now but delay the additional payment as long as practical.Let the client pay installments on the excess amount of fee above their budgeted amount.In the above example, accept the $6,000 now and stretch out the rest.If the speaker really wants this booking, see if he or she will pay their own travel in return for some special consideration.Expand the booking contract.Book multiple engagements for this speaker with this client and offer a quantity discount that your speaker agrees to.Save the client the extra preparation and travel / lodging expense of multiple speakers by increasing the number of presentations for this speaker.Have this one speaker do a keynote, a breakout and a special private session for top performers or executives. The extra services will cost less than a full fee and the travel cost doesn’t increase at all.Help the client to see that the travel money they would’ve spent on others can be applied to this speaker without any extra outlays.Expand the scope of this speech.Offer to let the client record and broadcast the speech for a small extra fee. Let them sell the recordings to their attendees or the people who couldn’t attend. Do a satellite meeting or distance learning video broadcast to reach more people with this one speech.Generate more profit sources.Sell the client a book or audio album for each attendee. The speaker will often allow part of the product profits to be used to reduce the fee outlay. This also makes the whole event even more special for the attendees. Make sure there is an autograph session after the speech.Offer to have the speaker do a special pre or post speech event for a separate registration. This produces extra revenues at no cost to the client. The speaker may be willing to do a little extra work for only a little extra fee. There is no extra work to brief the speaker…and the travel is already paid!Schedule a special pre or post convention telephone or Internet conference with the speaker. Let the attendees and those who can’t attend talk directly with the speaker and get their questions addressed. Send an e-book or audio or handout to those who log on. Give them the chance to purchase some of the speaker’s materials at a special discounted price.Have the speaker do an extra consulting event for the client at a flexible date that fits their schedule. Think of the various forms of impact the speaker can have, don’t just focus on the performance at the convention.Let the speaker do something extra to promote his or her pet cause or new project. Some speakers have a charitable foundation that they will accept smaller fees to provide funding to. Others may have a new book to promote or company to prospect for. Get input from the speaker as to things that they’d like to do. Leverage your publicity.And the old standby, let them sell products. If the client will make a special display of the speaker’s materials and allow for a commercial from the platform, the speaker may reduce their fee or offer the client a percentage of the sales. This offsets the fee paid by the client, though it involves a bit of uncertainty. Nobody knows how much product will sell onsite. If there are concerns about the uncertainty, then set a no-less-than or not-to-exceed amount. Be sure your speaker commits to not turning their speech into a sales presentation.When you know you have the right speaker for the client, don’t let their predetermined budget stand in the way. After all, it is a budget, not their entire bank account. Win-win-win.When the client requests a reduced fee for multiple dates or product purchases in addition to the speech . . .Apply the discount to the last part of the transaction.For example: If the client offers to book a $10,000 speaker three times in return for a reduction of the fee to $8,000 per engagement, (and the speaker agrees), say yes. Then tell the client that the full discount will apply on the third or final engagement.Here’s the math:3 speeches @ $8,000= $24,000.Here’s the invoicing strategy:Speech #1 $10,000,Speech #2 $10,000,Speech #3 $4,000 =Total $24,000 .The client gets the price he wants and you and the speaker are assured that the discount is earned before given. In this way, a cancellation of Speech #3 doesn’t take advantage of your original justification for offering a quantity discount.If the discount fee is due to quantity purchases of products, bill for the speech at regular fee and show the entire discount on the product pricing.Note: If everything is paid in advance, none of the above matters. Always keep in mind that it is the total amount paid that really matters. How it is paid is almost always negotiable.