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Magicsharpie1
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I'm sure most you you have encountered this question. "what are your rates?". I was wondering how do you guys handle this situation?

Here a scenario that happens quite often.I hand them a business card and they didn't take the time to look at the business card yet, but the first thing that comes to mind naturally would be "what is your price". I normally respond by telling them that I do have a different services and it all depends on what they want and for how long...etc ,and just give me a call and we can discuss your event in more detail.

In my mind this seems like I'm dodging the question,even though it is the honest truth. Could you guys please advise me on how to handle this problem?
lou serrano
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I handle it in almost the exact same way. The only thing I might add is I will ask them if they have a particular event in mind. If they do, I then get their contact information and I make the initial follow-up contact.

I'd be interested in how others handle the situation.

Lou Serrano
Jim Snack
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Sometimes I answer playfully, "A million dollars," then pause and add, "plus travel!" Then I respond as Lou does, saying "Actually , it depends...do you have a particular event in mind?"

Jim
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trickychaz
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Describe the benefits to them first and what you offer show wise, and then follow up with the price of each pacakge...at least that is what I do!
Skip Way
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As Jim and Lou suggested - The most important first step is listening attentively to their needs. Only then should we offer the specific services that meet those needs. Doing this sets us apart and qualifies the fees we charge for the prospective client.

No offense, Chaz, but in my experience offering a laundry list of services before we know what their needs are wastes our time and theirs. Knowing you, I believe that's what you had in mind, though. Smile
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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TomBoleware
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I think you do have to be careful and not appear to be hiding the price and insisting that it be the last thing you talk about.
Many buyers don't really listen until they feel it is going to be a fair, affordable price. Joking as Jim suggests helps with the price fear thing.

I also think you do need to somehow hint from the start that they can afford it. If not they don't really hear all you saying, they are mental guessing the price.

"It depends, but either way I think you will be well satisfied with the price. What exactly do you have in mind? "


Tom
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trickychaz
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Quote:
On 2010-01-05 23:35, Skip Way wrote:
As Jim and Lou suggested - The most important first step is listening attentively to their needs. Only then should we offer the specific services that meet those needs. Doing this sets us apart and qualifies the fees we charge for the prospective client.

No offense, Chaz, but in my experience offering a laundry list of services before we know what their needs are wastes our time and theirs. Knowing you, I believe that's what you had in mind, though. Smile

No offense taken...you are absolutely correct. It will help you craft an offer for them! I am not sure what I missed that incredibaly important step!

Quote:
On 2010-01-05 23:45, TomBoleware wrote:
I think you do have to be careful and not appear to be hiding the price and insisting that it be the last thing you talk about.
Many buyers don't really listen until they feel it is going to be a fair, affordable price. Joking as Jim suggests helps with the price fear thing.

I also think you do need to somehow hint from the start that they can afford it. If not they don't really hear all you saying, they are mental guessing the price.

"It depends, but either way I think you will be well satisfied with the price. What exactly do you have in mind? "

Tom


This is from Jeffrey Gitomers's Little Red Book of Selling

He says...price or profit! Of course that is speaking in terms of Business to Business....

If they call and immediately ask for your prices...I would ask them a question, which would make them think and then listen carefully to their answer and craft something for them.

Customer: Whats you price?

Magician: Prices vary depending upon location, but the base rate is "$..." Are you located in the Mid Ohio Valley Area? What day and time will you be having the party?


Magician: OK great! WEll I have "describe the least expensive package and price of it" " move on to the other package option and express that it offers more value for their money and is the most popular"

And have a closing statement: "It all depends what you were thinking your child would enjoy most. I am avaliable that time and date and would be happy to reserve it for you!" NOTE* This last line is from Eric Paul's Childrens Entertainer Course.

Any Recommendations or changes?

Thanks
Charles
Kevin Viner
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Charles,

Each client is obviously unique and requires a slightly different approach, but I tend to quote fees for larger packages first. People would much rather protect what they already have (although I know many magicians who upsell quite successfully), and when you start saying "At this fee, you still have a great show, which will still include x1, x2, x3). The problem people have with starting high are that they tend to go negative with their clients (i.e. "At the cheaper rate, you DON'T get . . . ."). This tends to push clients to want their cake and eat it too (bigger package at their smaller budget). Sales conversations should ALWAYS be kept positive.

The most important thing in my mind is to make sure you actually have different packages and/or show lengths to work with. Otherwise, negotiations become tough since the ONLY factors affecting the fee will be distance and the number of people at the event.

As for the original question, I quote a ballpark fee range (most shows are between X.XX - XXXX.XX, etc.), and then exchange business cards with the potential client for a follow-up call.
Ken Northridge
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When a prospect blurts out the, “How much?” question, I get the feeling they are a no non-sense type of person, and I think if you avoid this question with a long sales pitch you are running a risk of turning them off or making them angry.

So, my strategy is to give the customer what they want and blurt out a quick answer followed by, “that includes (the top feature of my show) and there are some factors the may affect the price, such as the location of your event, that I’d be happy to discuss with you.”

If they bite, it opens the door for my detailed description of my act (sales pitch) as well as what they can add (how I can maximize my profit) to make their event to make it even bigger and better!
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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InventorRu
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I definitely want to find out more of what they have in mind.I think its harder to raise your price having stated a figure and then you discover as the conversation goes on that the whole show is more of a handful as more information comes out.
I value my services but I have my limits as to what I will do and for how much so I want to find out how far away it is and how much of my day will I be selling and even whether its a suitable job for me to be involved with.Then I will give a price.

Rufus
Skip Way
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I'm with InventorRu here. Once you've set your range, it's difficult to back-pedal when you find out they have this huge complicated affair in mind. Listen to the problem, offer a solution, then set your fee. It shouldn't be a "long sales pitch." You should leave the no-nonsense client with the impression that "this guy understands my needs" and "there are more important issues than price here."

Besides, if he's a "bottom line" type who is more concerned about the lowest price than having his concerns professionally addressed, he's the one who will dump you in a New York minute when he finds that cheaper deal. If you're doing your job right and growing as a performer, there will always be a cheaper deal.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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Jim Snack
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Lot's of good ideas here. There is a difference between a curious inquiry and a real potential client. Sometimes we are fearful of scaring a prospect away by quoting a high fee, but there is also another approach.

I once read that Lisa Menna, who does a lot of corporate work, will often set expectations high by answering the question with a humorous prelude. When the client asks, "What do you charge?" She responds, "Are you sitting down?" I love that line.

It's not my style, but in the past I used to respond to local inquires by first saying, "If you are calling around and getting quotes from several magicians, I'm probably going to be the most expensive magician you talk to. Let me explain why. Most everybody else locally does magic part-time, as a hobby. They perform one or two shows a month, and that's fine, but they just don't have the level of experience I have. I am a full-time professional, performing 15-20 shows each month, all along the East Coast. I have performed under all kinds of conditions, indoors, outdoors, whatever. I bring everything I need, sound system and backdrop if necessary, and can ensure a great show, no matter what. Furthermore......" And I continue selling my value proposition.

Some people equate fee with value and are willing to spend more if they think they are getting the best.

Jim
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Ed_Millis
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Wow! I was just thinking about this issue. As I am very close to the Mexican border, there is a pervasive mentality that "I can get it cheaper" - even if you really can't! (Sorry - no Pizza Hut down there!) I haven't even hung my shingle yet, and I've already been hit with the one-two - "Do you do birthdays?" and "How much do you charge?"

I like the "million dollars ... plus travel" line! Permission to stela that, please?? Smile

I was thinking of offering a "grand opening" discount. If this is a good idea, at what point do you bring up discounts, special offers, etc., that are plainly mentioned on your web site? Or would you just drive the customer back to your web site to "read the menu", then we'll discuss your order?

Ed
trickychaz
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David Farr's Amazing System....when a client ask for price...I pull up the webform fill in the basic info, and tell them they will recieve an email shortly with pricing.

Even if they don't book...I have captured a lead, and have their phone to follow up in a few days.
Jim Snack
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Ed,

Of course you can use the line...it's just going to cost your a million dollars....plus residuals!

Jim
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
lou serrano
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Another thing I often say when faced with the question, "How much do you charge? is "I'm very expensive." and then I smile and follow up as previously stated. This does two things, first it eliminates anyone that is price shopping or doesn't have any money. Second, the people that can afford my services are put in a position to say to themselves, "I can afford you!"

Now pricing and negotiation start on my terms. I'm one of the more expensive acts in my area , and I immediately try to differentiate myself from every other magician the prospect may have encountered.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
renricker7
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Just want to say

THANK YOU!!!

Guys, that stuff is pure gold to me!

thank you for sharing that!

rené
Domino Magic
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Something that's missing here is a lack of sales experience. Marketing experience, marketing ideas - all well and fine, however if you don't know a lick about sales, if you don't know how to close, then your marketing efforts can be wasted.

My advice is this - get some sales experience. Real world sales experience. Understand what the sales process is.

I have a ton of sales experience. Even though I'm a professional mentalist, I'm really a professional sales person. When I was a sales manager & trainer, one of the biggest obstacles my sales reps had to overcome was quoting the price. I would listen in on their calls and they would have a very smooth presentation UNTIL it came to quoting the price. Then they tap danced. Most sales reps lose the sale because they don't know how to close.

Here's a bit of advice you should take to heart. My old sales manager many years ago told me this and it's stuck with me 20+ years later. Just because you can't afford the price, doesn't mean they can't afford.

Price is what hangs most sales guys. They can't afford $2,500 for the product, so they project that to the potential client. It's almost like they're embarrassed about the price.

What do I do? When I have all the information I need,and I've explained the benefits of having me at their event, I just tell them the price. No drop down menus on a web site, I don't tell them that I'm expensive (I am, but I don't tell them that), no "jokes that it's a million dollars". I don't insult them, I just confidently quote my price.

Submerge yourself in Gitomer's books. Buy all of them. Read them a couple of times. You will find more real world information in Jeff's books than any magic marketing resource (No offense to some of you here).
Magicsharpie1
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I just wanted to thank everyone who contributed their ideas. and Domino I never thought about your sales managers saying that way. Its a really good point that encourages confidence into my rates.
Domino Magic
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Just one little last bit of advice and I'll get down off my soapbox. Sales, like magic, takes practice. Yes, I encourage you to read Gitomer books. Heck, read ANY sales books! But sales is presentation, it's technique. It's not just theory. The only way to get good at it is to do it. You're not going to be successful 100% of the time - and if you are, tell ME HOW! You're going to stumble, you're going to have off days and you may not agree with everything you read. But until you put some of that theory into practice, you'll never know and you'll never master it.

Hey, I'm all for marketing! If you're not marketing, the phone will never ring. But don't neglect this aspect of your business. If people are asking "how much?", that's a buying signal!!! Don't blow it by not knowing what to do next or by not having the confidence to say the right thing.
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