Arnold Palmer

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

When I saw that the 2008 rate for a speech by Larry Summers was $45,000 to $135,000, I got to thinking.

Out of curiosity, I started prowling the various Web sites of speakers' bureaus and came to six conclusions:

  1. It seems everybody in the world is available for speeches. Included are political and show business stars, second and third bananas, and hundreds upon hundreds of people I never heard of.
  2. All of these people—luminaries and nobodies—get fees from $1,000 to $1 million, plus expenses.
  3. I used to make a lot of speeches, and all I ever got was expenses and a plaque with my name engraved on it.
  4. I was a damned fool. I was as much a nobody as anybody else and could've picked up some dough if I'd just asked.
  5. If someone invites you to make a speech, think about asking for an honorarium at the very least, if not a fat fee, plus expenses. For Colin Powell, expenses include a private jet along with his $100,000 fee.
  6. The worst that can happen is that no money in the budget exists for fees or expenses. If you refuse, someone will replace you.

I am continually astonished at the number of mailings and ads I see that fail to contain testimonials from delighted customers. Testimonials are a strong lift element in a mailing or ad. Your claims are more believable and prospects feel good about doing business with you. In the words of the late advertising legend, David Ogilvy, “If one testimonial tests well, try two. But don’t use testimonials by celebrities, unless they are recognized authorities, like Arnold Palmer on golf clubs.” Ogilvy was talking more about spokespersons than testimonials from happy users. Customer Acquisition The generally recognized sequence of events in marketing is (1) find a suspect; (2)

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