By Dottie Walters
1. The bureau must please their clients. Their aim is to have the client use the bureau for speakers on a regular basis. If you please their client, the bureau will use you again and again.
2. The client belongs to the bureau forever. Just as a sales rep's clients belong to them. The manufacturer is careful to give all commissions on business from their sales reps back to their reps. If they fail to do this, the sales rep will find other manufacturers who will do so.
3. The bureau looks not only for talent and content, but also for a speaker who is a pleasure to work with.
4. There are many speakers who speak on your subject. It is a competitive market. Speakers are easy to find. Clients are hard to get.
5. The bureau spends thousands of dollars in direct mail, advertising and telemarketing to find a client that wants to book you. You pay the bureau when they get you a job. Straight commission. Experienced speakers reveal that 50% of the fees they obtain for themselves go to marketing costs. So when you receive a bureau booking (most bureaus charge 25% - 35%) it is a bargain. This is why experienced speakers obtain 85% of their bookings from bureaus. They work hard to develop the relationships.
6. Ask bureaus for advice. If they offer career consultations, pay for it. They work with the buyers all day, every day. They are experts. What better source could you find?
7. If you team up with 20 bureaus that each get you one $2,000 talk per month, you will gross $40,000 monthly, or $480,000 per year. The client pays all travel and hotel expenses. When your calendar is full at the $2,000 price, it is time to raise your fees. Always give your bureaus plenty of advance notice of a raise. Many speakers we work with began at $1,000 and now charge $50,000 for a keynote.
8. Discuss the selling of your books, audio's and videos in bulk to the client. Give them written rates and commissions. Same with consulting and training fees.
9. Be available. Have the best answering machine or answering services you can find. Check you messages every 2 hours. If a bureau has a client waiting, they cannot hold on until you return their call a week later.