What's the "Forbidden Topic" When Working with Bureaus?
There is one topic — normally a perfectly ordinary subject — that you should never discuss with a client that you got through a Speakers Bureau. Do this and you'll never work for a bureau – any bureau – again!
Obviously, if the bureau is adding their commission to your standard fee, you shouldn't discuss your fees with the client. The client would probably be unhappy that they paid more than necessary for your services; and the bureau will certainly be unhappy with you for showing their client how to save money by bypassing the bureau.
Although there might not be a problem with discussing your standard fee with the client when that is what the bureau is charging the client and they're taking their commission out of your fee, the safest approach in dealing with bureaus is to never discuss fees with the client – period. Refer all financial questions to the bureau.
After all, you’re not working for the client organization — you’re working for the bureau itself. So keep all financial discussions between you and the bureau, and never discuss fees with the client.