This is a sad story…and hopefully you can learn from it.
When I just got out of college, I was going full-time with speaking and performing as an entertainer. I wanted to do mind reading shows and motivational speaking, so I was going full-force.
So I set up my lead-generation systems to get speaking gigs and to get any type of client that could pay me.
At the time, I was lucky to get $500.
If someone said they would pay me $500 to come to their event then I was like, “Oh snaps! I’m a marketing genius.”
Most people were asking me to speak for free or speak for exposure…and it sucked…because I knew I had a great presentation, I just didn’t have the right marketing materials in place that demonstrated my value.
(If you want to charge $10,000 then you have to look like a $10,000 speaker. And if your marketing materials are bad, you won’t get speaking gigs)
But I did have something going for me…my mind reading.
I was doing it all over town.
And then I got approached for a gig by a big-time company. They wanted me to do a presentation for their annual event and I knew I would be perfect for their event.
The guy called me asked me to come into the office to meet the team that’s planning the event so I could show them what I can do and talk about everything. I’m thinking… “Ok, no problem.”
So I drive to their office, go into their conference room, and I see them planning the event. They’re going over the theme, the colors, and I’m just hanging out for a little. After about 10 minutes, they say, “At this point, we’re going to have you [Benji] come on stage and do your thing.”
They asked me how much I charged…and guess what I did?
I was lucky to get $500 at the time. So what did I say when they asked me how much I charge?
Yup…like a boss, I said $2,500.
And you know what he said? “Ok that works.”
I thought… “Whoa! I’m actually going to make $2,500 for 45 minutes. WOW!”
At the time, that was the biggest amount I was going to get (or so I thought). But this is just the beginning…
I did what I always do and told them to sign the contract and send a 50% deposit.
He said, “Ok. Do you accept credit cards? I can pay the deposit right now.”
And I said, “No. Just mail me the check with the contract and we’re good to go.”
Once I got home, I’m practically jumping up and down like a little girl. Naturally, I thought the deal was done.
And this is where things start to get sad…
A week later, I never heard anything about the contract. Two weeks, nothing. Three weeks…what the hell? Then I get the dream-crushing email.
The email said, “Hey Benji I’m sorry man. It looks like the CEO booked someone else because he knows the person and they’re cheaper.”
Oh hell no!
I just lost the biggest gig of my life…and you know why?
Because I didn’t get the freakin’ money. The deal isn’t done until the money is in the bank.
They offered to pay a 50% deposit right there and then. But I didn’t accept credit cards because I didn’t want them to get their 2.9% credit card fee. Since I didn’t accept credit cards, and since I didn’t get the money right there and then…I lost the gig.
Do you see the problem?
I didn’t want to accept credit cards because I didn’t want them to take a percentage of my money. I was so focused on what I was losing that I didn’t pay attention to what I was gaining.
If someone asks if you accept credit cards….say yes. Then go to PayPal and send them an invoice. Or even better, use Square and get the information right there and then on the phone.
Always always always get the money.
If I would have had a deposit, the CEO wouldn’t have cancelled because they would have already been invested in me.
Don’t make the same mistake as me.
Don’t focus on what you’re losing, focus on what you’re gaining.