I’m tired of it!
You know that crazy roller coaster of entrepreneurial income? The one where you feel like a millionaire rock star one month and a pauper the next? The one when you work like a wild person and make a ton of cash (hopefully) but then when you don’t (or can’t) work you have to start scraping for coins in the couch cushions, at the bottom of your purse, and in the seats of the car? Roller coasters I LOVE, but THAT one, well it’s long time to get off.
The thing is it doesn’t matter how long or short of a time you’ve been in business. It doesn’t matter at what point of income you feel like a prince(ss) or a pauper. We all know the feeling. And if we’re being honest, it happens far too often.
So OK, for a minute, let’s say you’re a smarty pants and you’re thinking, “I make more than enough money speaking/coaching/consulting/serving clients. I have no idea what you’re talking about Felicia.” Good for you. And here’s the thing — ask yourself:
What happens in your business on the days you don’t work?
Or if you’re in a day job, and you take off? Maybe the kids are sick, or you’re feeling under the weather yourself (you knew you shouldn’t have gone to that hole-in-the-wall restaurant!), or maybe you get diagnosed with something serious and have to take off for more than just a couple days. What happens with your business then?
You likely don’t make money, that’s what.
If you’ve ever struggled through that, you’ll certainly agree that feeling like you *have* to work with clients, be on stage, or show up “or else” is not a fun way to live.
I learned that hard lesson last year when I had to take almost 6 months off work throughout the year because of serious health challenges. And I found out the hard way I still had some work to do.
Well, I’ve found the answer.
Actually, I’ve found 21 powerful yet simple ways to create passive income streams so on those days when you can’t (or don’t want to!) show up to work, you can still bring in cash! AND the great thing is because of my relationship I’ve built with David Perdew, the founder of NAMS where he’s had me keynote speak twice and teach on his faculty time and again, he’s given me a “super secret I’m the only one doing this right now” coupon code so you can get access to it all – valued at almost $200 – for FREE! Just use coupon code: FSPassive.
I’ve worked hard this year to develop more passive income streams, but after diving deep into the content David Perdew and my friend Nicole Dean, another faculty member at NAMS, have created and that you can get for FREE but only through tomorrow, is that I still have a long way to go and much more passive income to gain!
Today, right now: I’m throwing it down. Let’s build our passive income streams together!
Yes I know it’s the holidays. Yes I know it’s a busy time. And that’s exactly WHY you should seriously consider joining me in this challenge. When you’re busy and want to be doing fun things away from your business or want to put your head down and write your next book or create your next speech, you still want (and need) money coming in. That’s what passive income will do for you.
So together – let’s get it going. I’ll be posting my progress here on my blog and I’ve even made a dedicated Facebook group to support anyone who wants to join in the challenge with me.
Be sure to pick up the Found Money passive income workshop to get some ideas and get started. The original price of $197 is a great investment into your business but as I said, I managed to clinch a great deal for you as my valued customer.
For a limited time, you can have it at zero cost but hurry.
Go to this link then download and devour everything!
This offer goes away for good on December 8th.
If you miss this one, you are likely to find yourself in exactly the same position as you are now. Let’s change that and make money while we don’t work!
Add your comment below to let me know you’re in and join me on the Passive Income Challenge for Speakers, Authors, Consultants & Entrepreneurs Facebook group to keep accountable and bring in more passive income!
Funny story, really…
A few months ago, out of the blue I received an email from someone I’d never met, Nathan at Wallaby Web Design, inviting me to participate in a contest. All I’d have to do to win the $16,000+ prize package was make a 5-minute or less video explaining why I should win and submit it by the end of the week.
Being a competitive person, I was up for the challenge. I had visions of using screen capture video to show my messy website, many pages of disorganized info, and tons of content collecting virtual dust. Except that week, I was headed to speak at a multi-day event, and one of my presentations was scheduled at the last minute, so I was busy preparing. Still, I didn’t want to miss a chance to win something as cool as the package they were offering, so one evening in my hotel room while at that event, before running out to meet a few of the other speakers for dinner, I turned my laptop camera on, spoke directly to the camera, and shot what became my winning submission.
Because it had to be less than 5 minutes long, and my actual recording was 5 minutes, 41 seconds, later that night (waaaay later), I was forced to edit the video to get it under time. At that point I was tired and you may know my infamous lack of technical skills anyway – holy rough cut, Batman. I ended up cutting words right in the middle – what a disaster!
Yet as I write this I’m on a plane headed to an exclusive lodge in ski country outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. There I’ll spend the next three days working on my business, shooting videos for my website, and getting hands-on help from expert online marketing professionals. I get to do this four times with the lodge stay and all meals included.
I’m also in the middle of making major changes to my website and blog with a new logo, totally new design, new pages, new everything.
Over the course of the next 10 months I’m going to have 36 landing pages made just for me, complete with video, written copy, opt-in forms, follow-up emails, and even gorgeous custom graphics.
This is the prize package I won, valued at more than $16,000. I’m getting ALL of it – plus personal private coaching – FOR FREE.
How did a TERRIBLY rough cut video end up winning a $16,000 contest? At first I thought maybe mine was the only entry. But it turns out my video was just one of many entrants. The reason I won was because I was able to communicate my message – what I wanted to say to win – from the heart and speak to my “audience,” the folks putting on the contest.
I did it with nothing more than a simple “talking head” or “direct to camera” video.
Video is a powerful tool for your business, no matter if you’re trying to win something or sell something, and we’re just in the infancy of seeing video do its thing online.
If you’re not yet using video, and want to know how, the absolute easiest way to start is by simply turning on your camera and talking. If you don’t know what to say or how to say it, that’s where I come in.
I’ve created a Speaking on Video Boot Camp where we’ll spend just 3 days together getting you in video-making shape. And by the end of the three days you’ll even have your first three videos DONE. Can I get a woo-hoo?!
You can learn more and register at the Speaking on Video Boot Camp registration page, but there’s one more thing you need to know.
In honor of winning the prize package I did, and because I’m headed to Salt Lake City, Utah this weekend to reap some of the rewards of the prize package, I want to offer you a special deal. When you visit the page, enter coupon code “Utah” (without the quotation marks) and you’ll save $50 on the upcoming program, which is already 50% off what I originally sold it for. It’s just my way of sharing the video-making love.
Go see more right now because that coupon code is only good for as long as I’m in Utah – til Monday. Then come on back to watch this poorly edited, yet winning video submission! (You will laugh.)
Once again I was added to another mailing list because “at some point our paths have crossed.” I promptly unsubscribed.
Yes, I can use a different email address on my business cards, have a VA check that list, come up with multiple formats of cards with and without email, etc. But why should I have to do all that?! Here’s the key lesson: Just because you have my business card does not mean that I’m even in the market for what you sell.
I once had a sales guy I know pretty well tell me that’s what the point of networking and meeting people is… to get their cards, add them to his list, and then they get to learn more about him. My point? No it’s not. It’s about building relationships and honest connecting.
Here’s a better way: You want me to subscribe to your email marketing list? Send me a personal invitation from you telling me where we met and suggesting why, based on our conversation, I might be interested in what you share via email. Include a link to where I can sign up and let me decide for myself. Otherwise, when you’ve added me to your list simply because we crossed paths, you’ve alienated me before I even get a chance to know you and there’s almost nothing you can do at that point to make me want to connect with you. As author Scott Stratten of UnMarketing commented on my Facebook rant about this very topic today: “People need to have opt-in newsletters, not opt-out.”
As I write this I have tears of humility in my eyes and my heart is overflowing with gratitude.
Today is a joyous occasion for me.
One year ago today I received a miracle. And it was because of you.
I was cured 100% of lung cancer.
It happened through my amazing medical team and the miraculous part came about from the power of prayer. Sharing this story is my way to say thank you and perhaps, if you are battling something in your life: illness, addiction, heartache, you will feel inspired and hold onto hope for a miracle to cure your life, too.
After many months of x-rays, tests, and two bronchoscopies (a procedure that did a look-see down my windpipe to the outer region of my lung), stemming from a serious case of pneumonia that never fully resolved, and a negative biopsy of a tumor found at the entrance to the middle lobe of my right lung, I was diagnosed with adeno-squamous small cell lung cancer on September 20, 2012.
Suddenly I was in a medical whirlwind that those who have ever received a cancer diagnosis know all too well. Seemingly endless tests from CT scans, MRIs, bone scans, blood tests galore and more gave way to appointments with specialist after specialist all sharing their take on my challenge and some gingerly sharing horrible things like “5-year survival rates,” which for a never-smoker, non-asbestos-exposed, no-other-typical risk factor case in a young 42 year old female, were pretty good at about 80-85%. I did meet with this one jerky oncologist who, before examining me, and barely opening my file told me the others were either lying or idiots and I had only about a 60-65% chance of living to see my 47th birthday. He did so in front of my worried father, who carted me to every single one of those visits. You’ll be happy to know, I never saw that oncologist again in my life, and had I not been pre-occupied with cancer, would likely have written a strongly-worded letter to someone in charge. I wanted honesty and truth, but above all I wanted and deserved as a human being COMPASSION and EMPATHY.
I knew family and friends were praying for me. And I decided to set up a private Facebook group for those close to me so I could update my status from one appointment to the next. I chose social media because most of my family and friends were there regularly anyway and it was easy for me to “check in” at hospitals and so forth, add photos, and more.
After all those visits I quickly weighed my options, chose a surgeon, and scheduled my surgery for the day after what could have been the final speaking gig of my entire career. Then I had an odd sense of feeling relieved and at peace. I knew, somehow, that everything was going to be okay.
Next is when the miracle of YOU happened.
The night before surgery, nervous yet calm, I sent out a plea to my community of subscribers, my blog readers, and my social media friends and followers, numbering close to 30,000. Here’s what I wrote:
“If you’re the praying type, please send up a prayer for me and the surgeon (Dr. McAfee) that all goes smoothly, is easy, and painless. If you’re more of the visualizing type, please visualize the IV going in the first time easily and my body healthy and complete. And if you’re of the sending good energy type, I’ll take all the good vibes you can muster!”
That short request led to an avalanche of prayers and positive energy from friends and people around the world, in 22 countries, most of whom I had never met in my life. I was added to church prayer lists, lifted up in Facebook prayer warrior groups, and thought about in the private hearts of people around the world. I’m in tears now as I remember it and so grateful for every single one; I can never know how many people even paused for a moment, but I know it all led to my own miracle.
The next morning as I was prepped for surgery before dawn, I silently wept, afraid most of the terror of the IV going in. You see, I’m what they call a “hard stick” and have had occasions where more than a dozen nurses, doctors, and EMTs took over two hours just to run one IV with more than two dozen attempts – each a painful stick of a needle and then some digging inside trying to find access to a vein. Much to my shock and horror, I not only had to have one IV run that day, but because of the multiple medications and various procedures, I needed TWO – one in each arm. I had held it together pretty well over the past couple of weeks, not because I felt the need to hold it together, but because I really was simply working through the process of what needed to be done, but that news was enough to bring the tears forth. My husband was in the room and one of my best friends texted me comfort.
As I was wheeled into the surgical waiting area, away from my husband now, alone with strangers who would soon be cutting into my body, I tried to relax (as if) and focus on the various instructions, repeating my name and birthdate to at least seven people. The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery area and my surgeon telling me what she had found.
Similar to most cancer surgeries, when the doctor removed my tumor and lymph nodes, each was examined while I was in the operating room to make sure nothing else needed to be removed and to once again verify the specific diagnosis. That’s when they found something curious – and miraculous.
What was only days before diagnosed from an actual tissue sample as “small cell adeno-squamous lung cancer,” suddenly became something different.
At this point in the story, you should know there are three categories of lung cancer: small cell with its variations, large cell with its variations, and something so rare it’s barely ever mentioned called muco-epidermoid. In fact, in a 20-year study at Harvard University Cancer Centers, exactly 12 cases of this muco-epidermoid lung cancer were diagnosed and treated. Of those 12, not one person died, the cancer never spread, and it never returned. So my diagnosis from a much more lethal small-cell type of lung cancer almost certainly requiring radiation and chemotherapy, to something that became a relatively easy “cut and paste” job requiring only occasional follow-up, was the miracle I received that day.
It’s all thanks to you, my community, my family, my friends and the power of prayer.
I could go on and on, but I’ll save that for my next book. For now, as always, I like to provide a few take-away lessons for you, dear reader. So here’s what you can do when you find yourself in a life-challenging situation:
- Build Your Connections Before You Need Them: I’m not getting on my “public speaking rocks” soapbox, but I will tell you most of my connections, and eventually the prayers and support, all came because those people saw me speak either in person or virtually through the Internet. However you do it, build your network and nurture your relationships because someday you may need an army of people to reach out to.
- Kick the Negative Ninnies to the Curb: Stay away from people, even doctors or other specialists and experts who don’t support you or treat you how you want and deserve to be treated. Period.
- Surround Yourself with Loved Ones and Let Them Circle the Wagons: There is virtually nothing family and friends can do for you medically, if that is your challenge, so they often feel helpless. Allowing them to do for you in any way they physically can while you take care of yourself, rest, and recover is a gift so they feel useful and as if they are contributing to your wellness (because they are!) while at the same time giving you the time and space to heal that you desperately need.
With that, I’d like to end with a song that is uplifting that I love listening to. Mandissa thinks you’re an over-comer and I do too! And from the bottom of my LUNG I thank you gratefully for the miracle.
Note: My Mom is pretty sure I’m a lot like Taylor Swift. If you do something that upsets me, you’ll not end up in a song, but in a speech, book, and/or blog post as an example of what NOT to do. Here’s an example from my day today. I wrote this and sent it in the mail because the COO’s fax contact information is not readily available.
An Open Letter to Robert Friedberg, Chief Operating Officer of
Delnor Hospital, Geneva, Illinois
Chief Operating Officer
300 Randall Road
Geneva, Illinois 60134
October 2, 2013
RE: Patient Complaint
Dear Mr. Friedberg:
Imagine for a moment that your wife, [name omitted but can be found online], had to make her way to Delnor for a procedure. Yesterday, you would likely have reminded her that the main entrance to the hospital is closed, parking can be a nightmare, and to enter the hospital, it’s probably best to park on the north side because that’s where the entrance is now located. She might have been concerned about whatever health issue was bringing her to the hospital, but it wouldn’t be compounded by the stress and chaos of confusion around where to go and how to get into the building.
I wish I had that same “insider information” this morning. But instead I had to learn all that the hard way when I arrived at the hospital today and tried to find an entrance – any entrance – to the hospital to arrive on time for my appointment to get a CT scan as a follow up to the muco-epidermoid lung cancer I mysteriously contracted last year and had cured by the amazing Dr. Mollie McAfee.
Going to the hospital for most people is stressful enough, or in some cases happy and exciting with the birth of a baby, only to be met by the torn up parking lot, then have that stress exacerbated by severe lack of signage and less-than-friendly staff giving vague directions, and a less-than-empathetic receptionist … I’d be hard-pressed to recommend anyone go to Delnor hospital for any procedure.
I was not the only one lost and confused while trying to get to a destination inside your facility this morning. I was followed closely by several elderly people trying to find their way to appointments and simply an entrance into the hospital. Cutting through the cafeteria or going all the way back to the car to drive around to the other side of the building, all with no signage are not acceptable options. There we were marching through the labyrinth of your parking lot trying to make our way to a front entrance that turned out to be closed, being told by a surly construction worker in broken English that the only way in was to walk back through the parking lot another 250 yards and go in “that door over there with the green roof.” They all have green roofs. Seriously.
All of this confusion could easily have been remedied. I was on the phone yesterday with someone from your staff who called to confirm my appointment. At that time she could simply have mentioned as part of her script that the hospital is undergoing major renovations, to park around the north side of the building, and enter at the temporary entrance on the north (or wherever) side, and to arrive with enough time to allow for the limited parking as a result of the construction. Of course that didn’t happen.
Further, the signage in the parking lot and inside the building for construction-related detours is either abysmal or non-existent. Posted just inside the entrance off Keslinger Road is a small sign with so many directions on it, is impossible to read with traffic following behind, construction vehicles in the way, and the disorientation of the chaos. Why are there not signs posted outside every single entrance with an arrow that say, “Hospital Main Entrance During Construction – This Way?” Why is there not a single LARGE sign with the only two necessary directional lines on them “EMERGENCY” and “MAIN ENTRANCE DURING CONSTRUCTION?” Why are there not ANY easily visible signs at that entrance directing visitors where they should park to enter the building?
I run an international communication consulting practice based out of my home in a nearby suburb. As a best-selling author and award-winning speaker, my clients from around the world pay me to find these communication challenges and suggest easy, quick, and low-cost alternatives to fix them. It seems your organization values good communication, based on the accolades for your nurses posted throughout the hospital. As a patient and a professional, I hope you get this right. Each day that passes is a challenge for your visitors and patients alike. I wonder how many dozens have experienced what I have but instead of alerting you, simply told everyone they know that Delnor is awful?
Felicia J. Slattery, M.A., M.Ad.Ed.
To my blog visitors: Have you ever written a complaint letter to the leader of an organization? What results did you get, if anything? We shall see if I hear anything. I’ll keep you posted.
If I were to tell you about the tale of international intrigue and scams of epic proportions – into the hundreds of thousands of dollars that I personally know about – your head would be spinning. Mine is.
This week I was fortunate to NOT get caught into such a scam, but I was on the phone with the scammer himself all the way from Thailand, where he says he retired at the ripe old age of 28 after selling software he created for a multi-million dollar “8-figure” sum. The reality is he’s been defrauding people for years and had to move to Thailand likely to evade the law and certainly to escape his true identity; I met his alter ego /pseudonym / alias this week.
How I came to be on the phone with this scammer, who thought he might actually have an opportunity to rip me off by talking me into giving him $6,000 was through a trusted colleague who himself was scammed by the same guy, along with many other smart, upstanding business people.
What the scammer didn’t know is he never had a chance with me and my money. Here’s why.
I not only never heard of him, but I couldn’t find anything on the Internet about him, either; not in any country where he supposedly lived and worked. My skepticism is best explained by this quotation from the late, great motivational speaker, Jim Rohn:
“Women have an incredible ability to pick up on emotional signals. For example, there are some wolves that are so clever they have learned to dress up like sheep. Man says, “Looks like a sheep. Talks like a sheep.” Woman says, “Ain’t no sheep!”" — Jim Rohn
One look using a free tool we all have access to – Google – and I knew that scammer dude ain’t no sheep. His alias didn’t exist anywhere in the world or online until June of this year. Suddenly as of June 2013 he had a bunch of social media accounts – none with even ONE photo of him (and really that’s just lazy scamming because anyone could grab a stock photo dude and pretend it’s them); every web page site and press release said the same exact 2 paragraphs. And there was nothing online about him that he did not write or put out himself.
This particular scammer was trying to use me as an entry into scamming other speakers around the world. I wasn’t about to let THAT happen. However, he had fooled other speakers and professionals I know personally. Smart people. People who want to trust others. People who are successful because of the relationships they’ve built and the action they’ve taken. People you would never imagine falling for such a scam. But when you’re the mark of a con man, you almost never see it coming until it’s too late.
Public speaking scams abound, sadly. So here are a few tips to protect yourself:
- When someone wants to make any kind of “deal” with you beyond a “normal” fee for goods or services be on guard from the start. Caveat emptor, my friend.
- Ask questions. Lots of questions. Any business person not willing to answer your questions about how they work, their background and experience, isn’t worth working with anyway, and is a warning sign that you could be dealing with a scammer.
- Ask for references and then CONTACT the references.Usually a quick email is all you need or outreach on social media with a simple message.
- Learn how to search and what to look for online. Don’t assume testimonials on a website are real or from real people. If someone is claiming an international presence and references a specific country, go to Google and first search “Google Australia” then when you get to that country-specific Google search site, search for the person’s name. Type in the person’s name and the word “scam” or “rip off” and see what comes up.
- Get a contract. Even though most scammers will write in loopholes, you can start to protect yourself if you decide to go forward and the person ends up being a con artist.
And finally trust your gut. If any part of you feels like something isn’t quite right, then don’t do it. Sure you could be passing on something that might have been amazing, but it’s much more likely you’ll save yourself the headaches and heartaches of a really bad decision to work with a really bad person.
- Recommit. You know speaking is powerful and you’re ready to make that happen and get on more stages. Recommitting to speaking means taking specific actions like setting some time aside to reach out to meeting planners, update your materials, start telling people you’re a speaker, and plan your marketing after your speech.
- Practice. If it’s been a while since you’ve done your speech, pull it out and practice it a few times beginning to end. Make any necessary changes based on new services you offer or current events in your industry.
- Start Fresh. You may be in a different situation than you were when you originally took my Signature Speech(TM) training or discovered speaking. Or you might have something totally new or unique you’ve come up with in your business that people LOVE that has nothing to do with your old speech. Maybe it’s time to write a new one. If it is, pull out your Signature Speech(TM) course content and put together a new speech.
Do you ever wonder if your audience is as excited about your speech as you are? Or maybe, are you secretly worried that you might be boring your audience to tears?
- Sleepers: Some people have incorporated so much movement and activity into their lives that when they are forced to sit still, like during your speech, no matter how fantastic you are, they literally collapse and fall asleep. That’s more about them than it is about you. But if you have more than one person looking groggy as you speak, you could be boring.
- Otherwise Engaged: If your audience members are sneaking glances at their phones, zoned out, arms crossed, looking around the room, and not listening to you or your message, you could be boring.
- You Don’t Ask for, And Don’t Get Any Response: If your entire speech is one-sided and could be delivered the same exact way by video, you’re missing the point of having people there in person. With a live audience, you have the opportunity to ask questions, elicit feedback, even – gasp- ask them to stand up and move a little. If you deliver a monologue and never even ask for so much as an occasional head nod, you could be boring.
Last week I had the opportunity to speak at a women’s symposium event in beautiful Galena, Illinois. My client, Brian Basilico, author of It’s Not About You, It’s About Bacon, introduced me to the meeting planner because he was going to be speaking at the same event and was booked before I was. In a typical turn of events where another speaker had cancelled (sadly this happens all the time), the meeting planner called me in a panic; would I be willing to fill in at the last minute with less than 2 weeks’ notice? Sure. Of COURSE I would; I was planning to be there anyway!
One of the sponsors of the event, the beautiful and serene Aldrich Guest House Bed & Breakfast, was host to the speakers the night before the event. So there I was, sitting around the dining room table with Brian, an expert in social media, and Traci D. Ellis, an attorney who works with professional women handling their business and personal needs. Smart people.
Yet, as we chatted about our presentations (and they both put finishing touches on their slides), I quickly learned that neither had planned to offer anything for sale to the audience, except for Brian’s book.
As I explained to them, there will be people in any audience who are ready to buy something from you RIGHT AT THE MOMENT YOU ARE ON STAGE. Unless it was in the speaker’s agreement with the event that you would not be permitted to sell any products or services, then by all means you should. And here’s why:
If you firmly believe in your heart of hearts that what you do for people with your services or the results that using your product can truly enhance the lives of those who invest, then it is wrong to withhold that from people you know you can help and who need it. All that’s left to do is to make sure they know what it is you offer. Plain and simple.
Beyond that, you deserve to make a living. Yes, I know you love speaking. And yes, I know it’s a joy just to be able to share your information with an audience. And yes, of course you get plenty of benefits from speaking even if you don’t make a dime. But as one of my mentors, Jeff Herring has always said, if you go out of business because you’re not making enough money to support yourself, then you’re doing the world a disservice, robbing them of your unique gifts. So get paid when the opportunity presents itself.
There are too many complex steps to “closing” on stage with audiences so you get the maximum results to discuss in a blog post. Even so, with some audiences, you don’t need a bunch of tricks and techniques; and they may not be appropriate for that audience anyway. Even if you never try a single “closing technique,” all you simply have to do is tell your audience members, “You might be wondering about how the details of what we’ve been talking about today can help you. I also do consulting in my business where I talk to my clients on the phone for an hour and we work out the details to [fill in the blank]. Normally I charge $250 for this hour. Today I’m offering a [discount/bonus/wh
atever] so you’ll get that hour for just $197. If [what you do] is something you’ve been struggling with, let me know today and I can help you.” You’re not hard selling. It might take you all of 30 seconds to say. You’re just sharing in a friendly, helpful way.
Using that simple strategy, Brian was excited when he was approached by a couple people who wanted his offer and one ready to give him a
check on the spot. Had he not offered it, the opportunity could easily have been lost, the moment past, and the cash left on the table. Instead, by simply offering a service, someone in the audience gets to benefit from Brian’s substantial brilliance. And I couldn’t be happier for him or his new client!
Do you always offer something for sale when you speak? How has that worked for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
I’m headed to speak at an event where one of the other speakers hired a videographer to record her. Very smart.
That videographer offered to record each individual speaker while he was going to be there anyway. Also very smart.
Because I’m always up for more video of me on stage, I called him to find out the scoop. I really only need 3-4 minutes of footage and the opening would be just fine. But he insisted that he has to record the entire 45 minutes to get that 3-4 minutes and then edit it and deliver it on DVD. Ok. Whatever.
Then I asked him how much it’d be. $100. Beyond reasonable. I immediately said thank you and I’d get back to him if I wanted him. That’s when he made a mistake, I think, that too many of us tend to make.
Because we were talking about money, he presumed that I wasn’t ready to hire him on the spot because the price was too high (really?!). He shot back sounding as if I’d offended him, “Well, how much did you think it’d be for a video and editing?” I replied that his rate was very fair and I just needed to decide if I wanted him to do the recording.
What I really needed to do was check with my regular videographer and great friend to be sure he wouldn’t feel slighted that I had someone else do the work that he usually does for me. I was pretty sure that my friend would be fine with it because he wasn’t going to that event, but I take care of my relationships and wanted to double check before saying yes. Plus, unless there is some incentive to saying yes on the spot, I always wait a little while before making a decision – to be sure that’s what I really wanted.
I think many of us when discussing our pricing with potential clients fall into that trap of thinking any hesitation is because our prices are too high.
In my opinion, that tends to be from a lack of confidence in your skills, abilities and deliverables. If you *know* for sure your products or services or speeches will be AMAZING and those you serve will LOVE them and their lives will be improved in some small (or large) way by investing in you, then charging what you think that is worth to receive that product or service is fair. It’s called doing business and making a living. And you deserve that.
The better way to handle any conversation in selling is to keep asking questions. That videographer could have asked, “What’s holding you back from saying yes while we’re on the phone now?” And I would have told him. But he immediately jumped to the conclusion that I thought his price was too high and became defensive and almost insulted me with his tone and the way he asked the question (had I taken insult, which I don’t because I know it’s not about me ). It’s an easy, knee-jerk response. But I didn’t know him from anyone… there could have been 100 different reasons why I wasn’t ready to say yes then and there. Maybe I wanted to see if I could find some of his work online to make sure I’d be getting decent quality audio and video. Maybe I didn’t want it delivered by DVD (which in my experience has always been a hassle to deal with). Maybe I just needed to take a few minutes to think about what I might do with the extra footage. He could have helped with any of those potential questions had he asked.
In the end, my amazing regular videographer is fine with seeing me on video that he didn’t take and I was able to email this new service provider and let him know the situation and hire him. Plus when I see him I’ll be able to start the relationship again in person so he doesn’t feel like I was slighting him for $100.
Look for new footage soon!
And I’d love to hear in the comments what you do when a potential client is hesitant to say yes. Do you assume it’s about money? Do you have a set of questions to ask? Please share!