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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Booking tip #1 (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

SoCalPro
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Inner circle
Southern California
1603 Posts

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"Fax the contract THEN offer an add on."

If a client books you, don't waste ANY time, fax the contract right away or risk losing the gig.
Let me explain.

1 month ago, a lady from a senior center called me and wanted to book me for an hour of strolling in Santa Monica (a fairly wealthy part of SoCal) on Halloween night. Knowing that these types of places usually never have any kind of budget, I quoted them that I think was fair, my usual one hour of strolling magic which is $295.00 for the hour (yeah, I said it..I don't care how many of my competitors see my rate). I didn't even charge extra for the 1 1/2 to 2 hr. California drive time traffic, just the flat rate. Well, she told me there would be 100 people there and she booked me for an hour. I hung up the phone and thought to myself (I'm a thinker) "ya know...if I'm gonna miss Trick or Treating with my kids and there will be 100 attending, why don't I try to up my performance fee by $90.00 by offering to stay an additional 30 minutes? This way more will get to enjoy the magic." I immediately called her back and got her voice mail......every time I called.....every 2 days....for 2 weeks....with a return call never in site. She finally calls me and said that she had been out of the office,,,,,,email down,,,blah, blah.blah. I told her the reason for my call and she said that she would have to ask the committee as they approved her to spend the initial $295 and that's it.

Anyway, I call her every other day for the next week. When she finally returns my call, she tells me that the committee sad she couldn't spend that much....not even the initial $295. She also said that she usually only spends $175 on entertainment. I assured her that she couldn't get a professional magician for that and she agreed. I also told her that since she booked me 3 WEEKS AGO, I turned down several shows because she had already booked me. She apologized and really did sound bummed out as well.

She also told me that she was leaving that facility soon that she wasn't happy there. She told me that she would call me from her new location (my hand is on the phone waiting for that call Smile).

What did I learn??? Fax the dang contract right away and THEN if you have any brilliant ideas, pursue them AFTER you get the signed contract back.

Thanks for reading. I hope I was at least able to help someone that may have gotten burnt in the future. Smile

JIM
Jim Snack
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1338 Posts

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I never consider an engagement confirmed until I get at least a signed confirmation. One thing I learned the hard way is that deals can always fall through between the time they say "yes" on the phone and I get a signed contract and deposit in hand.

I tell every prospect that I will only hold the date for them for a limited time without a written confirmation. If others are involved in making the decision, I'll give them a day or perhaps two. If I get a call from someone else for that date in the interim, I will contact the client with the first hold and tell them they have only 24 hours to send back a signed contract or risk losing the date. With that policy, I find out very quickly how serious they are about booking me.

And yes, faxing back the signed contract and then forwarding a deposit check by mail a few days later is fine.

Jim
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
nucinud
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Inner circle
New York, New York
1298 Posts

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If I don't get the deposit and signed contract by the deadline date as stated in the cover letter, the client could lose the booking and I don't consider it booked until I have the check.

Years of experience has forced me to do this. It happens, people are hot to trot and you don't hear from them. I call them on the dead line date. If I have not received the check and contract. Some times they sent it late, some times it is lost in the mail (happens), I have gone to pick up a check. AND sometimes they have changed their mind and did not have the courtesy to let me know. Or they were just embarrassed to call.

The down side to getting lots of calls, is that you get tire kickers and skittish people. But the percentage is small. You learn to live with it.

I try to qualify the prospect as best as possible, but it is not that easy over the phone as in person. But I am learning to be better at it.
"We are what we pretend to be" Kurt Vonnegut, jr.



Now U C It Now U Don't

Harry Mandel

www.mandelmagic.com
SoCalPro
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Inner circle
Southern California
1603 Posts

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I'm getting a lot of "tire kickers and skittish people" right now and it's driving me crazy. I have a hard time keeping up on all the follow ups from all the lookie-loo's.
With all the calls I am getting and the fact that my booking percentage seems to be down, I take it personal and I know I shouldn't. It's just the business we are in.

I've had people book me in the past and when I call to confirm the day before I find have no signed agreement. I called them and they nonchalantly said that they changed their mind. Hello!!!! How about a phone call??!!! Once I book them I just usually just move on. I really should keep up with that.
nucinud
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New York, New York
1298 Posts

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It could be worse.
There could be no calls at all.

We have to wear many hats. One hat is office worker. I know we would rather just entertain, but this is a business. And I have to tell myself that over and over again. This is a business. And until I or we can afford to hire people to do paper work and handle bookings and follow ups, we do it ourselves.
Fun, ain't it?
"We are what we pretend to be" Kurt Vonnegut, jr.



Now U C It Now U Don't

Harry Mandel

www.mandelmagic.com
mesmer
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Inner circle
1186 Posts

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Agree.....Contarct first, Down Payment from 50% of my Fee, the next 50% is where Im on the performing arena about two hour before show time
Magic of Dan
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Regular user
St Charles, MO
115 Posts

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I tried emailing a contract to a couple clients. Big mistake! The two clients I emailed the contract to never received them. Gotta love spam blockers. I have started telling clients that I will email the contract and it they don't receive it within a certain time period, I will then fax it to them. I am the same way, I tell the client that the show is not considered booked until I get the contract back.
Dan
The Magic of Dan
Donald Dunphy
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Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7418 Posts

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Another reason for sending contracts, promo kits, and other paperwork in a timely fashion, is that it shows you are trustworthy. Every little detail about your contact with prospects and customers sends a message to a customer about whether they are spending their money with the right person.

I picked up this concept from Steve Taylor, and you know what? He's right.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
mesmer
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1186 Posts

Profile of mesmer
In here in my country we can NOT Email legal paper...the Hard Copy must be send via standard mail.....I also have my own riders for the client to fullfill as this is part of the Contract....
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