Talking to the Bureau in Person or On the Phone

Before you call a speaking bureau, do some research to figure out which ones match your goals. Just as two snowflakes aren't a like -- it's the same with speakers bureaus.

Your best plan (and you'll discover if they are truly interested in you) is to Invite the right bureaus to come to a program. Afterwards, go into schmooze moan take their representatives for lunch or a drink afterwards.

Each of these bureaus is a way for you to get more paid bookings. So the trick is to get deal with bureau individually.
Instead of simply mailing impersonal flyers or press kits, call each bureau first.

Call sometime in the late afternoon to find out if your market, fees, and topic match the clients of the bureau. Get your information together first so that you can make the phone call quick and efficient.
Use Your Phone Call Time
1. First, find out if the bureau specializes in a certain area. Some bureaus deal with celebrities, sport's figures, only authors. You get the picture.

2. Talk to the representative about your market, topic, and fees. Some bureaus only work with speakers who are within a certain price range. Don’t ask for the names of clients. If you want to see why they "truly represent," go to their site and scan the categories. More important, you should foucs and see if what you speak on suits the types of clients the bureau works with.

3. Make sure the bureau knows if you’ve worked with another bureau. Believe it ot no, bureaus speak to their competitors. They all tend to know of one another, and yes, your old bureau can be a good reference for you.

4. If the bureau matches your topic and fees, ask for permission to send them your materials. Inform them of what you be sending – content sheets, fee schedules, presentation folders, etc. and ask them if there is anything else they need.

5. Be friendly to the bureau ethic by letting them know you’re willing to be part of a team. Inform them that YOU are going to do everything you can to make THEIR bureau look great in the eyes of the CLIENT

6. Let the bureau know that they can always expect professional behavior from you.

7. Get to know the bureau’s requirements. They’ll only work for you by invitation, and you will have to go over a contract with you. Most often a bureau will want to see you speak in person before they’ll contract you.

8. A good way to get to know bureaus is to call leads into those you want to work with. Oh, do speaker's bureau's love this. Who wouldn't? Your giving them a chance to earn their 20-25% commission.

9. Make sure you update all your bureaus regularly. Be proactive with your bureau and let them know you are going to arm them with the materials THEY need to promote you. Send a monthly booking schedule and newsletters, and include any new articles written by or about you. This is

10. Again, do your research. Find out about the owners of the bureaus you’re interested in. Contact the owners with articles you’ve written and postcards from the places you’re speaking. It takes time, but it’s worth building a relationship with bureau owners. Each relationship could turn into tons of potential speaking contracts for you.

11. Always treat bureau representatives respectfully. Don’t nag or use foul language on the phone or in person. Bureaus have tons of choice in speakers on every topic, and they want to know you’ll treat their clients well. Each bureau looks not only for talent and specific topics but also for the ability to work on a team.

12. Remember that bureaus only work on commission. They have a big overhead… which is why they take 20-25% of your fee. So when they reveal this to you - do NOT get sticker shock (like I did!)

One last note: When you work with a speaker agent, they represent YOU. YOU are their focus. A speaker bureau deals with LOADS of speakers. I hate to say this -- but you are a commodity to them that they are selling, that's it They represent the client's best needs, not yours. If you know that going it -- then you be thrown by anything else in the relationship. In other wards, they are looking out for their own best interests!

Author's Bio: 

Peter Fogel is an award winning humorist, speaker, and sales writer for many alternative health direct mail marketers. He has worked on over 15 major television programs and is the author of the book, "If Not Now... Then When? Stories and Strategies of People Over 40 Who Have Successfully Reinvented Themselves... he is also creator of Peter Fogel's Guide to Effective Public Speaking. For more info on his products and for his his 7 Days to More Effective Public Speaking E-course ... go to -- now!