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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » When to include or omit pricing? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

gmsmagic1
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When should you include your pricing or omit it on your web site or other marketing collateral?

In general, I'm of the mindset that you should usually omit pricing since your primary objective is to get prospective buyers calling you so that you can sell on value instead of price.

Starrpower voiced his opinion on this topic in a separate thread. I encourage him to share it here as well if he desires since he makes some good points.

Now for anyone starting out that feels they can under-price their competition to secure work, just be careful or you may brand yourself as a cheap act rather than a quality act and corner yourself from ever evolving in the market.

Whenever I do give pricing in person or in writing, I personally take a creative marketing approach that has worked well for me. I ALWAYS mark up my target price by $100, but offer a $100 coupon to anyone attending my show or that prints it off from my web site after friending me on Facebook.

This accomplishes multiple positive things:

* It positions me as a higher priced quality act at a bargain price rather than as the cheapest guy in town (even though the latter may still be true for some of you)

* It allows me to easily justify increasing my price at any time since I have always consistently positioned myself as a higher priced show

* It eliminates the need to ever haggle on price since I've already given everyone the impression that they are getting me at a $100 discount

* It motivates people to print off my online coupon, which increases traffic to my web site, resulting in much better free organic placement on the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing over time

Because people think you marked down your price by $100 for them, they will be more inclined to give you higher tips. And when you consistently get tips that equate to the discount they believe they received, you will suddenly become much more confident increasing your pricing based on your actual perceived value that people are willing to pay.

- Gary
JoshLondonMagic
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Your primary objective should not to have the prospect just call you, but rather get them in your sales funnel. How many times has someone called and you gave your price and they said I'll think about it? Happens all the time. But, if you have a way to get them into a sales funnel so you can keep marketing to them even if they don't want to buy chances are high that they will book you at a later date or tell a friend about you.

I have an opt in form on my birthday party page where people can get instant prices and even get a coupon code for $20 off and they also get a giant 27 pg birthday party planning guide. Once they sign up they're redirected to a page with my fees and they are sent and email with more information. If they don't book me or email me back my auto responder takes over and emails them the next day then the next week wishing them a great party then once a month. Mind you, the emails are not "will you book me?" pathetic emails, but rather valuable emails witho good information.

My conversion rate is around 64% and even if people don't buy from me now they might in the future.

To answer your question, I keep my fees hidden on my website until they show true buying intent by giving me their email address. They can also call me and I go through the same process above.

I see so many local entertainers get calls for shows and when the prospect says I'll think about it (which is usually a polite way to say no because they didn't show that they are the best possible choice that adds the most value) the entertainer forgets about the prospect never to call them back or have further communication with them.

Josh
Josh
gmsmagic1
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Josh,

Valid points. I guess I'm giving too many people the benefit of the doubt here since this is sales 101 and I come from a sales background. My objective in my marketing material is to get the phone call. My objective from the phone call is to get the sale. And you never get the sale leading with price unless that is all you have to offer. I always lead on value, qualify what is important to my prospective buyer, and then position the package/pricing to best meet their needs.

I personally don't use the phone calls I receive to create my funnel. I consider every household with kids ages 3-7 living within a 20 mile radius of my home to be my target audience, so I align my marketing strategies accordingly. A traditional sales funnel doesn't work well for this target market since the kids will quickly age beyond my target range. A traditional funnel does work well if you're targeting libraries, pre-schools, and other businesses where you've established a point of contact and want to develop a rapport over time. Just my opinion for whatever it's worth.

- Gary
Starrpower
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I appreciate both of your valid opinions. I love the idea of marketing that drives people to your site or your information. I don't think there is a single correct answer to whether or not we should post prices. My approach differs depending upon the market. basically, the cheaper and easier it is to book, the more readily I make pricing available. (Josh, is your giant guide a physical publication, or an "ePub"?)

Here is the portion of my opinion from the other thread that addresses pricing:

I used to be of the mindset that posting prices was a 100% wrong thing to do. I have made a turnaround. Not a full 180, but enough that I can see advantages to both approaches. For low-dollar shows, like birthdays, I post rates because I'd rather have people call ready to book. I can get enough for my needs that I don't want to bother taking the time to "sell" the low-dollar programs.

As for libraries and similar, the culture in my state is for public librarians to go to the Department of Public Instruction's library website where entertainers' profiles are listed. If you're not there, you're not in the game. And they require rates to be posted, so it's a moot point.

For other shows, I am on board with Josh and Gary; I like them to call me. Although interestingly, in recent years I am finding that most of my initial contact comes through email or my online form. Only about 40% actually call me. A sign of the times, I suppose.

Vashi!

Mark
Dynamike
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1. Experiment
A) Every prospect is not the same. The best way to find out is to try different options and use what works best for you.

2. Post your prices
A) If you are not good at closing sells and have no interest in improving, post your prices on your website so you will deal with less phone contact.
B) You have the cheapest prices in town.
C) You have a 40 hour a week job unable to answer your prospect's calls, without any office assistant.


Gary, are you going to criticize my post because that is not what you were asking?
JoshLondonMagic
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Quote:
On 2013-10-27 14:01, gmsmagic1 wrote:
I consider every household with kids ages 3-7 living within a 20 mile radius of my home to be my target audience, so I align my marketing strategies accordingly. A traditional sales funnel doesn't work well for this target market since the kids will quickly age beyond my target range. A traditional funnel does work well if you're targeting libraries, pre-schools, and other businesses where you've established a point of contact and want to develop a rapport over time. Just my opinion for whatever it's worth.

- Gary


A common mistake in marketing is to assume that everyone who has a pulse is your possible customer. You and I both know this isn't true. If someone with a 5 yo who lives 5 miles from your house has only $50 to spend on a magic show are you going to take it? Probably not. My point is that not everyone with kids is your target audience. My fees are a bit on the higher side and I know exactly who my customers are because of that. Where they live, what they eat, what kinds of cars they drive, how many kids they have, etc.

I think marketing has to be in the form of a funnel. For all the birthday parties you book what percentage of the parents are on the PTA? Do you market to them? Just because you're booked to do a birthday and finish doesn't mean you never talk with the customer again, right? The customer undoubtedly has friends and contacts who have kids with birthday parties, own businesses, are teachers in schools and knows the librarian.

I see so many here try to become successful with booking shows and making a living doing this and they are not doing the easy things to keep the phone ringing. One of the easiest things we can do is cross market to our lists and let past birthday party clients know that we do school shows, libraries, etc. all it takes is a valuable email once a month to keep top of mind and keep the conversation going.

Josh
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gmsmagic1
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Mike, on the contrary, I feel as if your posting was directly relevant to the topic! Smile And everyone is entitled to an opinion since there is no right or wrong answers here.

Josh, I stand corrected. I stated that I don't use phone calls to create a funnel. Actually, in-bound phone calls are precisely what I use to create an active funnel along with other qualified leads I've identified on my own. I meant to say that I don't just market to those that call me. And I also didn't mean to imply that I don't use a funnel. A do keep an active funnel which is comprised of qualified leads that may come from past customers, referrals and phone calls, or as a byproduct of prospecting.

Where we can agree to disagree is in our definition of a possible customer (prospect). It sounds like you have an excellent marketing approach to email blitzing your active funnel and maintaining top of mind awareness among your leads. But I don't just market to a funnel. A funnel is by definition a list of qualified leads. In my opinion, until you have qualified everyone in your target market that meets your ideal demographic, I do consider them to be a prospect as long as they have a pulse since an unqualified lead is precisely the definition of a prospect.

- Gary
Donald Dunphy
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I post my birthday show rates online. I've tested having people call for rates vs. posting them, and the close rate is about the same. (Definition - "Close rate" = # of shows booked. "Inquiries" are different than "closes".)

I also include my rates in most of my school show and church show mailings. And again, after testing it both ways, the close rate is about the same.

The difference is that I don't have as many birthday prospects (or school prospects, or church prospects) asking about my rates but not booking. Pretty much, I only get people calling to book. I never hear from those who might object to my prices.

But then again, my goal is NOT to put a prospect into a funnel and bombard them with repeated emails. My goal is to have someone to raise their hand and say, "I want to book a show".

BTW, for those who state that posting rates is a practice for only low priced entertainers, I disagree with you.

- Donald

P.S. I don't recommend this approach to others, who might just do something blindly. There is some testing and careful thought behind what I do.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
dearwiseone
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Quote:
On 2013-10-27 13:16, gmsmagic1 wrote:
In general, I'm of the mindset that you should usually omit pricing since your primary objective is to get prospective buyers calling you so that you can sell on value instead of price....

- Gary


Not me. My primary objective isn't having people call me at all. I don't want to deal with the price shoppers. I'm not looking to sell people on the phone. It takes time and effort. I'm looking for the easy sell most of the time. Most of the people who contact me to book me want me because their child wants Presto at his show. They're not looking for a magician, they're looking for Presto.

Listing your prices also pre-qualifies people. You won't have to spend the time or effort trying to convince people of your show's value.

I also list my prices because it's what I would want and I'm convinced it's what my target market wants. I conducted market research twice and found that the overwhelming majority of people in my target market prefer to see the price listed on the website. Personally, if I have to email someone to "get a quote" from their website, I've already closed their page and I'm on to another option that has the information I need on their site.

Just my thoughts!
- Kevin
Paddy
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I don't list prices but in my close I tell the prospect very bluntly that "if you looking for cheap, that's not me, if you want the best show then my price is $xxx for a half hour show." When they ask if I can delete the balloons will I discount the price I add $50 and explain that I will have to rewrite my show if I delete any part of it.

There is an idiot in my area that charges $65 an hour less than I charge and I still book about 70% of the calls and I am busier than he is. Quality means a lot.
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

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Paddy
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I don't list prices but in my close I tell the prospect very bluntly that "if you looking for cheap, that's not me, if you want the best show then my price is $xxx for a half hour show." When they ask if I can delete the balloons will I discount the price I add $50 and explain that I will have to rewrite my show if I delete any part of it.

There is an idiot in my area that charges $65 an hour less than I charge and I still book about 70% of the calls and I am busier than he is. Quality means a lot.
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
Paddy
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I don't list prices but in my close I tell the prospect very bluntly that "if you looking for cheap, that's not me, if you want the best show then my price is $xxx for a half hour show." When they ask if I can delete the balloons will I discount the price I add $50 and explain that I will have to rewrite my show if I delete any part of it.

There is an idiot in my area that charges $65 an hour less than I charge and I still book about 70% of the calls and I am busier than he is. Quality means a lot.
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
Julian Franklin
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My experience has been similar to Donald's. I post my prices for ALL my shows (granted, I basically do only Schools, libraries, and the occasional birthday party), but I post my prices for all my shows. It is not the FIRST thing anyone sees on my websites, but it is there for them if they care to search it out. If they find it, then they've read enough to know if they want to book me or not. If not, then I've saved myself several minutes on the phone. If so, I've saved even MORE time since it is a very quick closing process at that point.

--Julian Franklin
Mike Brezler
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I don't list my prices because I live in a very rural area. I can travel from 10 minutes to almost 2 hours to do a show. I consider my travel time and gas into my quote to a customer.
One of the first questions I ask is how they know about me. Some have seen me at a public show or referred by a friend and they are the easiest sells. Others like what I offer listed on my website. I am upbeat when talking and I let the prospective customer know I am a busy magician and I require a deposit to hold the date. I am not the cheapest magician nor am I the most expensive. My wife and I offer a quality show and it works for us.
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