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Profile of MAV
A number of us here in The Café feel it would be helpful to start a discussion on what to say and do when you first meet someone that, IF HANDLED CORRECTLY, could turn into a nice long-term business building relationship.

YOU: You are a full-time professional magician in a medium sized town. While you do perform children's shows your preference is to target the business side doing walk-around and small stage for corporate events and trade shows. You have ten years experience along with a steady gig at a popular restaurant.

SCENARIO: You have been invited to a social event where you engage in casual conversation with a fellow named Jeff. Jeff is in his mid thirties, married with two children and has worked his way up to Sales Manager at a large car dealership. You learn he and his family are long time residents in the area with high social visibility and multiple business connections. The two of you "click" in personality and you have determined that Jeff may turn into a Class A contact for new business and referrals. You are about to reach into your pocket and hand him your business card (there is no agency conflict in doing this). What do you say? What do you do now? How should you follow-up and be PRO-ACTIVE after the event to cultivate a long-term business relationship??

OK.................Somebody Start!!!
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Inner circle
1969 Posts

Profile of charliecheckers
First a few more questions. As it looks like I have been dabbling in quite a few areas. How much do I know about the corporate market? How ready is my show to address those needs? How much do I know about the corporate market as it relates to the retail auto industry? Do I perform public shows and are any currently scheduled? Is anyone at this social function that has seen me perform? Am I likely to be seeing this person again(the one I am currently speaking with) if so,periodically, often, or is this a one time chance meeting?
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Profile of ChrisC
Talk about HIM.

Talk in terms of his interests.

Avoid conversational narcissism.

How did he get started in his business?

How did he get to sales manager?

Whats his favorite part/most exciting part of his business?

Get him to tell you a story or two about the most interesting car he has ever sold, person he has sold to.

Then, once you have built good rapport, ask him

"So, if I'm talking to someone, how would I know if they are a good prospect for you?"

Can you imagine if someone asked you that? as an entertainer? And then they actually REFFERRED business to you? You would send everyone who needed a car and their brother to him.

Then, the next day send him a handwritten note saying "It was a pleasure meeting you, if I can ever send business your way I certainly will."

Then start sending him business.

This strategy comes from Bob Burg's (Author of the go-giver) "Endless Referrals" (Not an affiliate link)

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Profile of MAV
Excellent advice Chris. The initial conversation must be centered around them, not you. It is that ability to weave your ambitions into the relationship, without being "pushy," even at a later date if necessary that will bring you success.

And, I love the idea about the handwritten note. Today we have a tendency to use e-mail for follow-up. You will have established a point of differentiation by taking the time to write that note! Who does that these days????

The challenge is to create a "win-win."
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Profile of Mindpro
You job (conversation) is two-fold - 1. to discover his needs, interests, concerns and problems, and 2. to present your services as a benefit or solution to his interest or needs.

This can be done conversationally. It is more important to listen than to talk. Yes, you should present and introduce yourself, but you must take and control the conversation or "building" process to bot gather the info you need and are seeking and to position yourself and your services as an attractive offering based on him, his business and needs.

Also address the ever-important "whys". Why you can be a solution provider, why they have the needs they express, why you are the answer, why what you offer can be what they need, why (the benefits) they should book you. Keep in mind, it's usually much more and deeper than "t just have entertainment". If that's the best you're coming up with, you're not digging deep enough.

This is an art in and of itself, but is the foundation for relationship building.
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
A lot of folks think of marketing for their shows only through the process of word of mouth advertising. Word of mouth is certainly something you want to have working for you and it is an intrical part of seeking success. However most folks stop there when it comes to their own marketing endeavors.

Now it is great that you may be getting the work and that the gigs you have gets you word of mouth. However, there is so much more that you could be doing to make things work more effectively for you and even get you more work or even to climb up to a different and better paying market should you decide to do so.

The great part about effective marketing is that the principles cost you nothing and you really can apply them without breaking your budget. In a lot of ways it is just a change in your overall way of thinking from a passive form that many take, to a more active form where you are going out there and actively taking part in the sales process and actively involved in not just being the magic product to your client, but getting them to see you as a solutions provider for them. You are the one they go to, to have their problems solved.

As soon as you change your way of thinking (from perhaps a passive form to an active one), your perceived value to your clients change and this is a very powerful tool that can mean the client coming back to you year after year because to them you are worth more then any other magician they could hire. They do not care so much about your price or fee because they now know your worth to them.

So how do you get your prospects to notice you more effectively? How do you change your marketing approach from a passive form to a more active style? Good question and I would like to dive a bit further into it if I can.

The first step is realizing there is a difference between a passive form of marketing and an active one. In the passive approach, a marketer might do things such as hand out a business card, post up a flyer or place an ad in a magazine or newspaper. Now there is nothing wrong with doing any of these and a good marketer is one who will realize that a healthy combination of both active and passive can yield great results.

One thing to point out here is that posting a flyer or cards at any place is a very "passive" form of marketing. This is fine to do, but it means that you place something (ad, card, flyer) in the hopes that others will act upon it and take initiative to contact you. You lose control after the initial posting of the ad or handing out of the flyer. Your intentions are that a prospect will react positively to your ad etc. and then take action to seek you out.

Passive forms of marketing can be done successfully and should be used. However I find that "active" forms of marketing get me much better results and a bigger return on my investment of money and time.

In an active style, the marketer is always in control of the sales process. Instead of waiting for people to call, he or she goes out there and makes the calls and gets people to know who he or she is and the services they can provide. They take an active role in their marketing and getting the shows THEY want. They are always in control of the sales process every step of the way.

An analogy here would be a person going to a civic luncheon to network.

- A passive marketer would network, talk to folks and offer or give a business card to someone or as many as he or she can. They might even place an ad in the program or post a flyer at a table. They then go home and hope the person acts upon this action that they took.

- An active marketer is one who goes to the same meeting and also passes out a card to someone. However, they in return ask for a card back. This immediately puts them back in direct control of the sales process. An active marketer might even have a raffle to raffle off their free product to someone or something of value. This active marketer now can enter the data they receive from the business cards or the raffle forms into a database. They then would send the person an e-mail or letter thanking them for their time in talking with them at the event and offering to send them additional information.

This is only one small example, but I hope it shows the difference between the two ways of thinking. Passive and active forms of marketing are very different in their approach. Many do know about only passive forms as passive forms are the easiest and most common to do. There is nothing wrong with passive marketing.

However, it is my intentions to let people know that there exists an even powerful form called active style marketing. Use this active approach in your marketing and your thinking. There is great power in active style marketing because you take a much greater control and responsibility over the control of the sales process. You are much more in control of your business and its success.

It is a way of thinking that takes some time to get used to. But like any good habit, the more you do it, the better you get at it and soon you are doing it naturally. It is sometimes hard to think in active terms. I know it took me a while to remember to ask for business cards from people or to think of active forms when I am doing my theater shows or public performances. It takes time, but you can achieve a greater control over your marketing that you may not have had before.

So use a combination of both passive and active forms of marketing and use them to your best advantage. This gives you more control over your own success that you are seeking.

Kyle Peron

Entertainers Product Site

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1969 Posts

Profile of charliecheckers
What is the point of starting with a scenario if the suggestions are just general strategies that do not deal with a specific scenario. That is why I was hoping to get more details, so we could keep it real.
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Eternal Order
20386 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
On 2013-12-12 20:52, charliecheckers wrote:
What is the point of starting with a scenario if the suggestions are just general strategies that do not deal with a specific scenario. That is why I was hoping to get more details, so we could keep it real.

Which is always my problem with these types of threads.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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Profile of MAV
Specifics…………………OK, let’s talk about the correct way to ask for a referral.

WRONG WAY: “Do you know anybody that would be interested in having some magical entertainment for a birthday party or business event?”

Two problems with this: 1) You have just asked this person to mentally run through an entire database of people they know in a matter of seconds and produce a referral for you. 2)You asked a closed-end question which can be answered with an easy Yes or No response. And most times, you are going to get, “No, I can’t think of anyone right now.”

RIGHT WAY: Memorize these five words: “WHO DO YOU KNOW WHO.” Now your question will be: “Who do you know who may be interested in having some magical entertainment for a birthday party or business event?” As soon as you make that request you help them break down this massive database of people they know by asking, “How about a family member?” (Pause) “A neighbor?” (Pause) “How about someone at your work?” (Pause)

You have now accomplished three things: 1) You have broken down this huge database of people they know into smaller, more manageable categories. 2) You have given them time (Pause) to think through each category, and 3) you asked an open-ended question that is not as easily answered with a quick Yes or No.

Now this person may still not be able to think of someone right then. However, by practicing this method you will have substantially increased your chances of gaining a quality referral.
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