I was speaking to a potential client on the phone today and I was impressed with some of the questions she asked me. I was amazed at the quality of her questions. It was clear that this woman had a clear plan in mind when she started to choose and select her motivational speaker.

Most of her questions were centered around my experience; basically she wanted to make sure I had lots of it. Tons of experience. And I was impressed with her questions. And it struck me that she — perhaps without knowing it — should teach a short class in how to Make Sure Your Speaker Has a Proven Track Record. She wanted to make sure I:

•Am a motivation speaker with a long list of happy clients.
•Consider booking only speakers who have earned thier CSP (Certified Speaking Professional… this is a pretty big deal.)
•That I am a speaker who can provide RECENT references. And that ALL of my recent clients are happy clients.
•That I am a speaker who’s clients are not only numerous, but go back a LONG way. (She wanted to make sure that I had experience over time.)

What a great idea. It reminded me of how my wife and I engaged a construction firm to re-do our kitchen. We did check references, but we did not ask for the firm’s Six Most Recent clients. We should have done just that. That contractor was a nightmare.

He had references, but heck… anybody who has been in any business a few years can find happy clients. What I should have checked was this: are ALL of his clients happy? At least the ones in the last year?

So when this perspective client wanted more than clients… she wanted recent clients … I was impressed. And totally thrilled to give them to her.

Bottom line: book a speaker with a LONG and PROVEN track record. (Of course.. I’d love it if you book me. : )