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Harris Deutsch
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Profile of harris
Pass the egg roll and smiles in closing a deal!

Show Business...many folks forget the second word!

Harris "I'm not ok, your not ok, but that's ok" deutsch
still too old to know everything....
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
music, magic and marvelous toys
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NY Metro
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Profile of solrak29
On 2009-12-01 13:05, jiayi wrote:
Something I learned in sales: if the customer is haggling the price, don't just reduce your rate, offer something extra (free giveaway, stay a little longer, balloons, etc) and keep adding value to your offer. Most of the time, these are people who have a psychological need of getting a "good deal". I also think it is a really bad idea to ask to videotape the show for half price. People are paranoid these days, they don't necessarily think they are getting a good deal.

I really like this idea; thanks for another option.

I generally add discounts as I see fit for promotional items (i.e. pictures, vids,
testimonials). I also have been following the idea of taking away value ( balloons,
shorter show, prizes, whatever) in order to reduce my rate.

I think your last minute option would of worked if it happened during the initial part of the conversation instead of as a reaction.
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Profile of BIGmagiclV
I did the Christmas party for a Mexican burrito place with several locations. They couldn't meet my price so we agreed on money and dinner. they ended up giving me money and a coupon book with coupons for 25 burritos! I couldn't eat Mexican food for 6 months after the last coupon was used.
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Profile of LBP MAGIC
Here is the biggest reason I wont drop my price for anyone.

When I am selling my show to a potential client I am of course explaining why I am better and why I should be paid my asking price. I am more expensive, because xyz.

The second they ask for a discount to match another performer and I drop my price to match psychologically I have just told them that xyz is really worthless and I was just trying to take you for a ride. Basically I have become a commodity. I am no different than any other performer! Word travels and soon enough you are just a commodity just like everyone else.

Now if you feel it is for a good cause. I would say sure I can drop my price $30.00 but I will not be doing x. I'll drop it $60.00 but I wont do y and z. Now you have just told them that xyz are something valuable and something they will be missing out on. Often times you can spin that back into a full price show with xyz. The customer can see a value for those things. Probably called you because of those things in the first place.

We should all stop being commodities!
Red Shadow
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Profile of Red Shadow
LBP - Thank-you for saying what I wanted to say.

All this dropping ventriloquism or balloons from your show to reduce price is just another form of begging for work. You are desperate for that persons money and so you are trying to negotiate with them so that you get the booking. It looks really desperate on your end. As though your original quote was just a feeler and now your willing to do anything to get the booking.

Your suppose to be the professional. The one who has a high-end product who gives it a price for what it is worth. As soon a you start dropping that price, for whatever reason, you become less of an entertainer. Your just another name. In any other conversation regarding pricing, you have all said that you charge what you believe you are worth. This price is calculated by competitors, attractions in the show and various other factors. If you quote a price and they try to mess you around, what does that look like as to the value of your show?

Adding incentives is a possibility, but surely the best solution is to have a firm price and if the client can't pay it, knowing that the next caller will pay. I know that this might mean losing a booking or too, but that's life. Not everyone can afford you, just like you can't afford a PlayStation 3, Wii and xbox. You have to choose what is in your price range and you can't have everything.
If your in a busy season and the work is in abundance, why would you ever add or drop things from a show and haggle with a price.

Be proud of your own show and know what it is worth. Don't let others dictate your value, especially those that have never even seen your work.


P.S: I also see it as unfair to my clients that do pay the full price. If I lowered it for one client, its not fair to the others. I know they will never know that, but I would hate for it to happen to me, so I don't do it to them.
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Profile of TonyB2009
On 2009-12-02 07:59, ku7uk3 wrote:
P.S: I also see it as unfair to my clients that do pay the full price. If I lowered it for one client, its not fair to the others. I know they will never know that, but I would hate for it to happen to me, so I don't do it to them.

I agree completely. That is why if someone is determined to bargain with me, they have to go mid-week. If I reduce the price of a show on Saturday for one, then my prices have to come down.

I had a university ring me on Friday looking for a hypnosis show for E250. I couldn't believe it - it was roughly a third of my usual price, and they knew it. But they wouldn't budge on price. They suggested that I needn't give them posters, they would supply a sound system, and I could do a short show. I (even though I was broke) suggested they place the E250 someplace dark and painfull, and lose my number until they had learnt some respect.

If I had accepted their money my college fee structure would have collapsed. Not good, especially in a recession.
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Profile of BIGmagiclV
How come you couldn't just hypnotize them into paying your going rate?
Mike Brezler
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Waynesboro, Pa.
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Profile of Mike Brezler
The first things to ask--- the date, location, how many people, and their budget range. This will give you a good idea of how much the potential client wants to spend, and if there is any way they can afford you. If their high end price is around your low end price you can offer to do a basic show for that price. When a potential customer calls, you have no idea if they are rich, or poor.
If they tell you a higher budget range you can go for the deluxe show with balloon animals, etc.

I also had coupons printed up in a Valpak mailing for $10 off the basic show and $15 off my deluxe show. If they are within a few dollars you can ask if they received the Valpak coupon and if they didn't then I offer the coupon to close the sale. I don't think this is an unfair practice. I only offer the coupon if I am close to a sale. If someone books me and has a coupon I also think that's great.

I do agree that there is a minimum price I will do a show for, but in asking a few questions you can find out if it's one you can or want to do.

I hate it when people haggle over the price. I had a national business that charges an arm and a leg for membership balk at $150 for two - half hour shows on the same day. This business has more money than God and I decided not to do the shows. They were not able to book any magicians.


Posted: Dec 5, 2009 11:40am
Correction--the first thing I ask is how you heard about me.
Mike Brezler is The Wacky Wizard
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Profile of PSYSHADOW

If all else fails, you can easily 'flannel' it by hiring a room (without audience) and film your complete show. Then add the sound effects of a crowd (easy to get on CD) !

It's not as daft as it sounds. When I was 40 years old, with my back to the wall money-wise, I built a disco system, but my disco was totally different.
It was about 25% playing records and 75% carrying on and full audience participation !

Because of my age it was difficult to get work until I 'Flanneled it'
The work came pouring in, and I done disco's for the next six years, and magic.

Try it !
Peace in the World - or - the World in Pieces
Police Magician
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Profile of Police Magician
Since many have responded with good advice, I will tell you about my shows.

First, I do this in my off duty time as I already have another job. Second, when I get calls, I ask how many people in attendance, as I have a price for 25 people and under, etc., what type of show they want, the age group, venue, date and time. Then, I ask how long a show they want.

Based upon their answers, I give them a price just for the magic. If they want me to bring a puppet or do balloons, that is extra. In some cases, I have given them a "deal" by including a puppet and/or balloons for a price just higher than the magic, but not as much as the full price for all. The time factor is lowered by this as well.

I don't haggle with people about price. If they want to haggle, I end the call as my gut feeling is this is going to be a problem if I accept. Since doing this, I have not had any problems.

Another aspect of people like this is them asking me if I know of other magicians. Although I tell them I do, I let them know that the other magicians price will be higher as they have to travel. I don't mind giving a show to another magician, as I have done this in the past many times when I could not do a show due to my schedule.

This is the way I do things with these type calls. It may or may not work for you. I know my area and the people know me. I will not reduce my price for any organization as I have been burned in the past by doing such favors. What you do is up to you and I hope all works out well.

Happy Holidays to all.

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Profile of tiriri
I live in a country where bargaining is a costume, but I don´t bargain with magic. I just tell them it is a set price.

I use to accept bargaining until a couple of years ago and I found out that after increasing my fees a little bit people stopped asking me for a discount. I believe it has to do with two things; first, that in marketing terms something expensive is usually thought to be good, and second, I developed I much better show than in the beginning and I think people can sense that in the tone of my voice when we talk over the phone and even though the price is more expensive than before, I show more security in the way a talk to them. I’m sure it is pure NLP but I don´t use it on purpose, it just works like that.

Best regards,

P.S: Even though I raised my prices and I made some of my magician friends do the same, a shows price here in Ecuador is like on third of a show in the US:
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Profile of clownmagic
On 2009-11-30 12:07, ku7uk3 wrote:
I occasionally get callers wanting to hire me, but they try to haggle with me and get me to reduce my fees. The usually come associated with the term 'but were a charity', or 'My child's ill' or something to try and guilt you into lowering your fee.

Even worst, is that they all seem to want you for Christmas parties, which is our main time of the year and there is no way I am offering a lower price at that time, when I know a fully paid gig is usually the call away.

But the question is - do any of you lower your fees if they try to haggle you? and if so by how much? £5, $10, half price? - Does it help the sale and was the gig worth it?

I also get normal birthday party mums trying to lower me, but again I say no. The price I quote is the price I charge. I never budge on a matter of principle. You can't negotiate in a shop or for any other service, why should I let them negotiate with me?

I just got a phone-call from a Charity about 25 miles away, that wanted me for their Christmas party of 75 children on Tuesday December 22nd. I quoted my normal Jan-Nov price, which was already heavily reduced by £30. But still they wanted me to lower it by another £15. I said no and they didn't call back. I did offer one other alternative at the last minute though - that I could do the show at half-price if they allowed me to video the performance. They said no and went back to trying to lower my price yet again.
I'm not worried about losing the client (they still might call back), but what would you have done?


There is an entire chapter devoted to this in John Breeds book "How to Create Kid's Magic And Triple Your Income"

It talks about how to charge your rate, but build in added value to close the deal. It also talks about setting a proper rate and your market. The first half of the book is all business stuff. Marketing, Rates, Advertising, Talking with clients, ect. I must have read those parts about 5 times now and learn something new each time. John Breeds really goes into detail. He is supposed to be the Silly Billy or Chris Capehart of the UK.

I have been using the added value approach and it works well. I normally include facepainting after the show, but I use that now as the closer - if they seem hesitant, I offer to include it free of charge. It costs me an extra 30 mins, but it gets me the show usually.
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Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
I do not reduce my price.
If I get a cheap@ss on the phone then I tell them in an extremely nice manner....

"Well if you're just looking for a cheap show there are lots of cub scouts or dads that will do a show for free or really cheap. They're not professional magicians but they will do a cheap or free show to get more experience".

This plants several seeds psychologically. Those are....
...left to the student. Hand Crafted Magic
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Servaas Koomen
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Profile of Servaas Koomen
I'm working in sales, and I handle discount requests as follows:
option 1: so if I knock of something of the price we have a deal? if they say yes, you knock of 1 or 2%

option 2: trade the discount for less time or something else

option 3: just say that it isn't possible.

maybe you can apply these to you own situation.
"The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That's what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they'll go through the pain no matter what" A.
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