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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Asking for rates right away! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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TomBoleware
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Domino, I don't think the million dollar joke would insult anyone.
With most it helps ease the tension and takes price out of the picture
for a few minutes. Guess it depends on the personality.

I do agree that marketing and selling is not the same. A good sales person will
pre qualify each customer so no time is wasted on those that can't afford it.
But then that may not always be possible with the average magician, I'm not sure.

You make some great points, especially about having confidence in your price,
(it really is best to just spit it out) and closing. Like they say, the ABC's of closing is Always, Be, Closing.

Tom
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misterillusion
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My usual reply is "My performances are 'tailor made' to your needs and to be specific I need you to answer some questions to get to that point. We can go budget or we can go high end depending on what you decide. My prices range from $____ to $_____." I actually quote a minimum price for a minimum show and then the high end price is really high. My next step is to ask a closing question such as "Are you looking for a stage performance or strolling?" This gets the ball rolling to ask more qualifying questions and to find out exactly what they are after. Works for me.

Charlie
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Benji Bruce
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The best way for me is when I hand someone a card and they say, "How much do you charge," then I always say, "Well right now I've been hired to perform and it would be rude for me to discuss rates at this moment. But if you're serious then give me a call tomorrow and we will talk about it."

I haven't had ANYONE ask after that AND it lets me know who is serious about my services and who is not.
Domino Magic
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Many times people ask for a card and ask rates because they don't know what else to say. I'll be honest, I rarely hand out my card when asked. You have to take control of the situation. In Benji's above example, I would get their card and call them.

Once I've established a relationship and qualify them, then I'll send them anything they want but the important thing is I have their information and can control future contact.
Skip Way
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Domino is , as usual, spot on correct. The most important business card is theirs. They may or may not call you from your card...but, you're in control when you have their card.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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Domino Magic
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Quote:
On 2010-01-06 21:04, TomBoleware wrote:
Domino, I don't think the million dollar joke would insult anyone.
With most it helps ease the tension and takes price out of the picture
for a few minutes. Guess it depends on the personality.


I guess it's not my cup of tea. I don't joke about price. If I'm inquiring about the price of someone else's service, I don't want them joking with me about it.

I don't say "I'm expensive" because to that person my fee isn't expensive. I've already sold them on the benefits of my show and at that point price isn't a factor. But I also guess it's all in who you're presenting your pricing to.

My fees are what they are. I don't negotiate. If they feel I'm too expensive I recommend they contact another entertainer and they can hire me at a later date when my fee isn't a problem. Now I can do that because I offer the only show of it's kind in my market, so it allows me to charge more than any other mystery entertainer in my area. Most of the time they will find the money and pay my fee.
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2010-01-06 19:59, Domino Magic wrote:
My advice is this - get some sales experience. Real world sales experience. Understand what the sales process is.


Thank you for pointing this out before I had to and got death threats LOL.

To add one thing because I guess I am the only guy who works this way, but I have one price. That is what my time is worth. I hardly ever work at home so travel is part of the dealio, but I do not have "packages" or whatever. If they can afford it then they can afford it, but I do not offer all sorts of combinations of things and what not.

I have often had people call me and simply use me because it is far less confusing than sifting through all the "offers" people have for them. One price, book it and pay it. If not no biggie. I may not be "better" but I am easier to use.

I am not saying this is the way everyone should work, I am not saying it is right, or better than any other way. I am saying it is the way I do things. I should also add performing is all I do.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Ken Northridge
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Technique, theory, education and real world experience are all good things in selling, but the most important thing is to really truly believe in your product and believe its worth every penny you're asking. If you believe that, its not really selling, its passionately sharing what you believe will help you fellow man.

I've done my fair share of 'real world' selling myself. I've sold everything from liquor and wine, to electronics to women's lingerie (don’t ask Smile). I have found success when I have removed myself from the salesmen stereotype and concentrated on being confident and enthusiastic, conveying my strong belief in the product.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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TomBoleware
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Well said Ken,I think you right. Probably the hardest part of selling
to learn is that it's really not about selling, it's about buying.
You can be very successful if you just learn to allow people to buy.

Tom
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Domino Magic
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Quote:
On 2010-01-07 00:54, Ken Northridge wrote:
I have found success when I have removed myself from the salesmen stereotype and concentrated on being confident and enthusiastic, conveying my strong belief in the product.


Ken,

Of course you're correct in that statement. Sales, as a profession, is a whole other game at that level and that's why I encourage everyone to read Gitomer. It's not about learning to talk people into anything and being the "slick sales rep". It's about build relationships and providing value.

But the theory, practice, etc is necessary for some guys. I've seen it first hand when I was managing a sales team. They did believe in the products and services we offered, but choked when it came time to close. Why is that? It has nothing to do with being passionate or not about what you're selling. It's the fear of rejection and the fear of losing the sale.
Dannydoyle
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I will say that it is much easier to spout slogans and rah rah, than actually sell.

In the end selling is about a relationship. You are more selling you than "magic".
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
lou serrano
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Quote:
On 2010-01-06 19:59, Domino Magic wrote:

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.


Domino Magic,

Your entire post was full of great advice, but the original question of this thread was regarding what you do when the person asks for rates immediately after receiving your card.

I never joke around on price when it comes to closing the sale. In most performing situations I encounter, it isn't appropriate to get all the information I need from the prospect, explain the benefits of having me at their event, inform them of all the value I deliver, and then close a sale.

This is usually something that can be done much more effectively with a follow-up phone call or an in-person meeting. I'm not saying I've never closed a sale immediately after someone has received my card, it's just not the norm. By the way, I do have more than 30 years of sales experience, with the last 16 years being directly related to magic.

Since you mentioned magic marketing courses in your post, I should mention that my product, The Real Secrets, covers much more than just marketing and sales. My course is a complete system on running a successful business as a close-up magician.

Again, I think your posts had some very sage advice, and I thank you for sharing.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
magicofCurtis
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Quote:
On 2010-01-07 11:31, Dannydoyle wrote:
I will say that it is much easier to spout slogans and rah rah, than actually sell.

In the end selling is about a relationship. You are more selling you than "magic".



Best advise I have heard from you.... Smile
Dannydoyle
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Even a blind squirl finds a nut every once in a while.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Domino Magic
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Quote:
On 2010-01-07 13:57, lou serrano wrote:

In most performing situations I encounter, it isn't appropriate to get all the information I need from the prospect, explain the benefits of having me at their event, inform them of all the value I deliver, and then close a sale.

This is usually something that can be done much more effectively with a follow-up phone call or an in-person meeting.


Lou,

I agree with you. The "what do you charge" question can come up while you're performing or from a referral or any other time. I guess the point that you and I are both making is to be in control of the situation. If you're performing and they ask, get their contact information and follow up when it's appropriate. If it's a situation where someone is calling you and "what do you charge" is at the beginning of the conversation, you take control and get more information to them before quoting a price.
magicofCurtis
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Quote:
On 2010-01-07 15:17, Dannydoyle wrote:
Even a blind squirl finds a nut every once in a while.


Yes, a nut indeed! Smile
Dannydoyle
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I will simply not answer the "what do you charge" question when performing. I take contact information and will then be in touch. When I am working for another is neither the time or the place to discuss such matters. Anyone who has ever been in any sort of business will respect that, or I might say "should" respect that.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Vick
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Lot of stuff here (some good) but another glib way to handle the question is

"How much do you want to spend?"

I'd never use it (doesn't fit me) but it will qualify them quickly and also sends back the message to give an accurate answer more information and consideration is needed. It opens up the opportunity for communication.
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Dannydoyle
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Something to consider. Their "perception" of what you are worth is directly proportional to the place they see you when they ask.

What I mean is if you are at a family restaurant, making balloons in rainbow suspenders, perhaps that may make them think twice if you want to charge an arm an da leg.

This is why when I was working restaurants I only worked the fine dining place. Same reason Dillinger robbed banks. that's WHERE THE MONEY IS!
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Ed_Millis
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Quote:
Something to consider. Their "perception" of what you are worth is directly proportional to the place they see you when they ask.


So when one is first starting out (like me), you are usually seen in the places easiest to be in, because the people have invested (risked) the least in a totally unknown product. These are not always the most high-falutin' places "where the money is".

How do you avoid getting pigeon-holed there? "Those are the people calling me and giving me money, so I guess that's what I'm going to do." And they keep recommending you to their friends who want the same services in the same style - and for the same price!

I realize the ladder of success is not an escalator - it doesn't move me up unless I move myseslf in that direction! But what have y'all done along the way to get from where you started to where you wanted to be? (Which, in keeping with the topic, is "Where people expect and are willing to pay more".)

Ed
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