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About Us: We Value Relationships More Than Transactions

About Us: We Value Relationships More Than Transactions

Speakers Spotlight runs on a relationship-first philosophy, and we have since day one.

At our core, we are matchmakers. Clients come to us looking for a speaker that will help them achieve their goal, whether it be inspiring or motivating their audiences, professional development for their teams, or support in navigating new frontiers of their business. And it’s our goal to find them the right match (aka speaker) every time, no matter the request.

This wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t prioritize relationship-building with both our clients and speakers; it’s only through these relationships are we able to accomplish what we’ve set out to do — put the right speaker in front of the right audience at the right time.

As professional matchmakers, this is why we list, as one of our six core values, that “we value relationships more than transactions.” In the latest installment of our “About Us” series exploring what makes Speakers Spotlight, Speakers Spotlight, we’re diving into this value’s origin story while exploring how we truly put it into action every day.

What Our Clients Say:

Responsible Distribution Canada has been working with Speakers Spotlight (SpSp) for over 25 years. We continue to work with Martin and the SpSp team year after year because of their excellent customer service and rare ability to match our organization and unique events to the appropriate speaker. For years, SpSp has listened, given outstanding advice, taken feedback, and supported the success of our live and virtual events. Speakers Spotlight is best-in-class!

Catherine Wieckowska, President,
Responsible Distribution Canada

Relationships First, Transactions Second

Our sales agents don’t earn commission, instead they’re incentivized to do what’s right — act with the clients’ best interest in mind. Our team is truly committed to helping our clients find the best speakers, not the most expensive ones.

That’s been our mantra since Speakers Spotlight called the spare bedroom of our co-founders Martin and Farah Perelmuter’s apartment, home. Even when bookings were far and few between in those early years, they prioritized relationship-building over bookings.

Hear from Martin in the video below as he reflects on those early days and why he’s thankful that they always acted on what’s right instead of what’s easy.

Value in Action

This value is built into the foundation of our sales team. It was important to both Martin and Farah that their team understood the importance of relationships over transactions.

Elise Bercovici-Diker

Elise Bercovici-Diker, Vice President, Client Services, has been with the company since 2008, first as an executive assistant then as a logistics coordinator to her current position as one of our indomitable sales agents. She emulates what Martin preaches in the video above with her own clients.

“Sometimes you can be working with a client for so many years, and then one year they don’t book with us. But I value those relationships and respect their decisions no matter what, so I always send clients my best wishes for their event even if they didn’t book through us. Those relationships are worth more than a booking and a transaction to me.”

But what Elise particularly loves is how this value radiates throughout our community of speakers.

“I once had a speaker call me on the day of their event while enroute to the hospital. He was trying hard to make it to the event but not knowing how long this would take, we had to find a replacement. I urgently started to look for another comedian to take their place and was fortunate to find someone who was available. This comedian was already doing two events that day but was willing to drive to a third to fill in.

He usually gets paid more than this speaker but was happy to do it at a reduced fee. And he felt so bad for the person in the hospital that he offered half of the fee to the original speaker as a gesture of good will. So, this value doesn’t just speak to our relationships with clients and speakers, but their relationships with each other as well. They help us and each other when we’re in a bind.”

What Our Speakers Say

Speaking is often a solo career, so I really count on the feeling of being part of the Speakers Spotlight (SpSp) team. I’m in touch with someone from the office every day, and the exchange is always friendly with every detail taken care of. In all my years with SpSp I’ve never had anyone drop the ball with logistics. It makes focusing so much easier. The agents are very thoughtful about matching me up with the right opportunities and trusting me to bring the right customization to each client. For us speakers, it’s the perfect mix of team spirit and autonomy.

Jessica Holmes

An Industry Team Player

Alexa Breininger

Alexa Breininger, a member of our rockstar logistics team, sees this value go beyond our speakers and clients to the industry as a whole.

“Our relationships with our clients and speakers are some of our most valued and the ones we might often think of first, but I believe it’s our relationships with our ‘competitors’, other speakers bureaus, that speaks volumes to our core belief of valuing relationships over transactions.

In any industry, not just ours, there can be a lot of gatekeeping, ego, and belief in a zero-sum game that ultimately hinders the possibility of partnership and collaboration between competitors. We don’t subscribe to that. We approach every opportunity to partner with other bureaus as a chance to build trust, goodwill, and ultimately, a relationship that goes beyond that one transaction.”

We’ll end this piece with a final note from one of our esteemed clients:

Everything is about relationships. We are business leaders, but we are people first and greatly value working with others who see our vision and are willing to make the journey with us. I have worked with Martin Perelmuter and the Speakers Spotlight team for over a decade. As a curator of experiences and events you know the quality of your speakers is paramount to success. Martin has taken the time to truly understand what I was looking for and to offer up speaker suggestions that were perfectly aligned, and those speakers delivered time after time to rave reviews.

I respect Martin tremendously as a leader and his team is a joy to work with. It’s been a long and wonderful partnership where I would like to believe many have been enriched by the content that was co-created. And behind every event there are people who care about making it impactful. I am forever grateful for the collaboration and the honour to work with someone I both admire and trust.

Katherine Twells, Vice President, Customer Excellence
The Coca-Cola Company

We’ll be exploring more of our values in the coming weeks, with the help of our clients, speakers, and staff, to show how they’ve shaped our company and how we work.

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