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Topic: Going The Distance - Being More To Your Kid SHow Client
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 1, 2005 07:13PM)
I wanted to take some time out to write about something that I like to call "Going the Distance". Basically I am asking you how far are you willing to go for your kid's show client and to perform the best that you can?

I can only answer for myself, but to me, going the distance is far more then just showing up and doing a good show, getting my money and leaving. For me going the distance is all about being a professional kid show entertainer on and off the stage and starts from the moment I make initial contact with the prospect to even far after I am done the performance.

It is a shame to think that we magicians and kid show performers are seen fairly low on the performing arts totem pole. This is just reality and it is often this mindset that our clients tend to have when they think about a children's magician. We often get stereotyped and they expect a certain thing or a certain person when really we know there is far more too it then that.

So already going the distance seems like running a marathon before we even get to the starting gate. However, I am one magician who is willing to take on that marathon because I feel I am worth it, my client is worth it and the kids certainly are worth it.

My goal is to educate my client first when I have the opportunity to do so. It is not my client's fault that they may have this perceived impression about who I am or about what kid show magicians are all about. They see things on Tv and so they have an impression long before they call us. Regardless of whether this impression is right or wrong, we must be able to combat it in a way that educates our client without putting them down. I feel we can do that.

The first step is changing the perceived impression the client may have in their heads as to what a kid show magician is. We must first be able to listen to the client. Often times we are so much in a hurry to sell to them, that we forget to stop and listen to what they are saying. When we learn to listen, we can often get an idea about what they may THINK we are about and you may also get to understand their concerns.

If I do not listen properly enough, then my client will only see me as another product. Instead of being Kyle Peron, I am seen as magician A, B or C. Well I do not know about you, but I take great pride in who I am and the services I provide to my kid show clients. I strive to NOT be seen as just a product to them.

Part of me going the distance is getting them to see me for who I am and for what I can do for them. So how do I escape from being seen as a product to them? By listening to their needs and by having the ability to both ASK and LISTEN.

I listen first to hear and lock in on items I feel are a concern to them. I then ASK them questions that I need to know to try and meet their needs and find solutions for them. I am not just there to entertain only. For me, going the distance is about becoming a "solutions provider" for my kid show client.

I learn to listen and ask them questions so that I can understand what their needs are for their event. I can then offer the best solutions to solve their problems for them. In doing so, every time I solve a need or problem, their impression and my perceived value will increase ten-fold in my client's eyes. They will come back to me time and again because I am there to solve problems for them. It does make a huge difference and can change the impression they may have had when they first called you. Certainly you do not have to do this at all, but for me, going the distance means that I am there to change their impression of me and to educate them on just how different I am then anyone else they may be considering.

Going the distance then also means being a professional the minute I pick up that phone to long after the kids show gig is over. When I pick up the phone, I must always be in the right state of mind. I may be having a cruddy day, but I must stop those attitudes from interfering on my professionalism when I talk to my prospects on the phone, in person or via e-mail.

I strive to listen on the phone and to answer any questions that they may have and I take however long it takes to answer those questions in detail sdo that my client feels comfortable with what I will do for them and what I offer.

I go the distance by sending them a confirmation letter in the mail to just simply confirm what we all agreed upon over the phone. This not only protects me but it shows my client that once again I am going well above and beyond what most others may not even do. It also serves as a way for them to feel more relaxed and comfortable knowing that the details are agreed upon by both parties before the event starts.

I go the distance again the day before the event when I try and call just to confirm everything for the next days event. This is their chance to talk to me about any changes or any concerns that may have come up. Once again I am working on changing their perception of me by making them understand that I will do everything I can to amke their event run smoothly and give them 100% effort.

When I am at a gig, I always will act polite and professional no matter what. Even if I am not on stage or if no one is around me, I am polite to everyone I meet and everyone I talk to. I may be having a bad day, or the kids may be hyper, but that can not distract me from going the distance and being a professional. You also never know who knows the client so it is always best policy to be polite and respectful to everyone you met while at the gig.

I go the distance once more by making sure I help the client in any way that I can. If I am done set up for the kid show, I always ask if there is something I can do to help them. If furniture needs to be moved for the show, I am the one to offer to move it and I am also there to move it back after the show is done.

When the show is over, I go the distance by handing the client a thank you letter as my way of saying to them that I appreciate them having me there and that I take pride in the service I provide. I even give them an evaluation form as a way for them to grade me on just how well I have done. A professional is one who never stops learning and trying to improve him or herself.

Now going the distance could stop right here. The gig is over, so why even bother to do anything more then collect your money and forget about it. Well for me personally, that is not good enough. If I want to go the distance, I need to remember the client long after I am done the show.

I do so because going the distance also means never forgetting those folks who have used me in the past.they are valuable to me because they already know what I do and I hopefully have changed their impression about me and what I can provide. Why would I want to forget about them.

Instead I get home and send them a thank you letter for having me there. I stay in contact with them throughout the year and invite them to my public performances. In this fashion I am keeping my name fresh in their minds.

All of this to me is about myself as a performer willing to go the distance for my kid show clients and not feeling like it is work and that it is a bother. To me it has become a habit and one in which I am proud of.

I would like to just ask you all if you are willing to go the distance for your kid show clients? If you are, then how have you gone the distance yourself? I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts and ideas on the subject.

Thanks for reading. Hope it is food for thought.

Message: Posted by: krantis (Oct 1, 2005 08:45PM)
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 1, 2005 08:56PM)
Mike: Thank you for the kind words of encouragement. I appreciate that. I like to try and share information with others in the hopes that it might benefit them as it has me. I have learned a lot over the years from trial and error and have realized that every time I go out there and perform, it is a real learning experience.

I will say that I am working on my first book type project but it is taking me a lot of time to do and I hope I do it right. It is something people have been asking me about, so I hope to continue it this fall and winter and try to complete the project. I will certainly keep you posted if you are interested.

For now, I hope to share information with others like yourself and I hope the posts and discussions we have here can be of benefit to you to grow yourself and your magic.

If I can be of help to you or anyone else, please just let me know. My pleasure.

Message: Posted by: Al Kazam the Magic Man (Oct 1, 2005 10:40PM)
YOu've just posted the first chapter in your second book Kyle. "Going the Distance, a How to Guide in Customer Relations" by Kyle Peron. We are the lucky ones, we've had the benefit of having read it, and of putting it into practise now and making tons of money, so we will have enough $$$$$$ to buy the complete book when it's finished. Thanks a bunch Kyle

All the best JoJo
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 2, 2005 08:04AM)

Thanks. You totally made my morning and I am laughing up a storm. Thank you. Actually it is not a bad idea at some point in the future. I just enjoy sharing information with others in hopes that it may help them with their own magic as well. If any of my thoughts have helped even one person, then I feel I have given back to magic what it has given to me.

I am working on the porjects I have now but they are taking tiome to get done and do it right. So in the mean time, I will continue to work on them and post ideas and thoughts here to share with you all. Thanks again.

Message: Posted by: chris mcbrien (Oct 2, 2005 08:01PM)
Save me money on computer printer inkjet cartidges and PRINT YOUR BOOK!
Your advice is like finding a Pot O' Gold!
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 2, 2005 08:47PM)

Thanks so much my friend. Wow someone actually prints out my crazy posts? I am flattered. Well perhaps, if I ever get the book project finished this winter, I can include a inkjet cartridge free with every purchase. hehe

I am getting so many PM's about when it is coming out, and such and I am trying my best to do it right as I have never done anything like this before. So we will see what happens. Thanks for the encouragement.

It is funny how JoJo and others have given me ideas for other book projects and I have not even gotten the first one done yet. Hehehe If I finally get this first one done, it will be a huge accomplishment for me. So it is a goal to get done this winter to have avilable for the spring. I am keeping my fingers crossed and having my wife kick me in the butt to get it done. It is something I really want to do cause I think it could really benefit a lot of folks as well.

In all seriousness, thank you so much for your kind thoughts. I do appreciate them all and means a lot to me. I always strive to help others out when I can and to give back to magic what it has given to me. I also like to help those who want to help themselves and if even one of my little thoughts helps someone else out, then that is all for the better.

Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Oct 3, 2005 02:00AM)
sorry to put a downer on things and I am sure some of you find kyle,s posts usefull, However taking a step back and looking at things constuctivly I see little new in the information that Kyle is giving here but merely a rehash of what others have written before. I do not mean that Kyle has copied from several sourses deliberatly. but does taking std marketing ideas (which have seen print many times before) and putting them in your own words really warrant writing a book?
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 3, 2005 05:11PM)

I appreciate your honesty and I also respect your opinion. It is why the Café is such a great place. We can all share our opinions even if we may not always agree with each other. We can agree to disagree and that is just fine. =)

A lot of what I said here comes from sound marketing principles that are indeed in many books. You are right about that. If one takes the power and effort to really read and educate ones self, then they will discover that a lot of the marketing principles are quite common from book to book and from teacher to teacher. It is how the person interprets these thoughts and principles into their own real world experience that really changes things drastically.

What I try to do is simply to take those principles and apply them to my own real world experiences as a performer and a magician and a person very much locked in on making my magic business the best it can be.

Everything I talk about, and share with others, is all ideas and tips and suggestions and thoughts pertaining to what I have actually done and tried and tested myself to know works for me. Will it work for everyone? Maybe yes and maybe no. That is for each performer to find out for him or herself. My goal is to only present tips and ideas in the hopes that they may help and inspire others to learn, gorw and find their own success.

The book project I am working on really has nothing at all to do with this post and I am sorry if that caused anyone any problems or troubles. The project I am currently doing is one based upon the market that I work and specialize in which is the festival and fair markets. Because of the lack of information out there on the topic, and from folks asking me to share my ideas and tips with them, I have finally decided to write the book . I hope to finish it sometime this winter if I can lock myself in my den long enough to do it. =)

I hope that my thoughts are of help to those who read them. If anyone even gets one simple idea from them that can help them along, then I feel that it was worth my time to write it.

Thanks again for your honesty, I do appreciate that.