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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Potential client requests a live demo (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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saysold1
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Just wanted to run a slightly odd request by my Café friends.

A few weeks ago I received an inquiry from my site for an upcoming holiday (Dec) performance for about 400 - typical strolling gid for 2-3 hours.

The company making the request is a local medium size pharmaceutical type company.

After answering their questions by phone the rep called and asked if I would be willing to stop by their offices today and provide a 15 min free "demo" of my work to the company VP and a few staff members to "help them make their decision."

In the years I've been performing I've never been asked for this kind of demo, although I have done short demos for a variety of local luxury hotels (for the banquet and planning staff).

To me the difference is that a hotel or local talent agency offers the potential for multiple referrals during the year.

I agreed to do the demo later today, but it just feels a little weird since my site has a long list of genuine testimonials along with video.

Thoughts?
Creator of The SvenPad Supreme- "One of the most versatile and well made utility devices I have ever used. Highly recommended." Bob Cassidy www.SvenPads.com
John C
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In my entire career I've never been asked to do that.

Not much more to say about it. No long philosophy etc. Either do it or don't do it.
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mastermindreader
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Maybe your videos and testimonials are just so good that they had to see it for themselves to believe it?

I've never been asked to audition, either. But, if the money was right I might.
EricDraven
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Make sure that they don't just want a 15 mins entertainment...
;)
Believe me...nothing is trivial...
Amirá
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In your case I would go to their office but don't offer them a free 15 minutes show, rather a conversation, interaction with the client and the group and a short performance that shows your abilities, charisma , personality and all the values that they see in your offer.

All the best
Pablo
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Mindpro
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Are they going to give you 15 minutes of free samples of their drugs? Could be fun?
seamagu
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I've worked in these types of companies, usually there is a committee that can't come to an agreement so someone says, hey why don't we get a demo from each potential entertainer and whichever is best we will go with. Just remember, they are also looking out for things like punctuality, professionalism and anything extra you can offer. Not sure if that helps or not,

Oh yeah and if the VP is there you just need to impress him as everyone defers to his (and it will be a guy) judgement (I might mean a promotion down the road)

Best of luck anyway.

Sea
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Marmen
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I had something similar from a pharmaceutical company. They also wanted me to waste my time traipsing down to see them. I found out later they had asked a million other magicians to do the same thing. I NEVER do cattle calls under any circumstances. The second I find out it is a cattle call is the second I tell them that I charge a fee for visits. If, on the other hand I deem that I am the only one under consideration and the money is right I will pay them a visit.

However, in your case the word "pharmaceutical" rings an unpleasant bell. It is too late now for you to back out but when you get there you should try and find out if you are the only one they have dragged down to their office. The odds are even you are not.
Jamie D
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I've had this type of request happengo me before for a wedding. They wanted to come to the city where I live and have me do a demo. They also said that if they liked what they saw, they'd pay me x amount of money which was below what I normally charge. I said no and that was the end of it. Personally if they are offering you a nice cheque, I'd go for it.
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saysold1
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Quote:
On Jul 24, 2014, Amirá wrote:
In your case I would go to their office but don't offer them a free 15 minutes show, rather a conversation, interaction with the client and the group and a short performance that shows your abilities, charisma , personality and all the values that they see in your offer.

All the best


I agree with your advice as well - thank you.

I agree that interviewing the client and understanding their needs is equally if not more important than the show itself. Number of guests, kength, type of crowd, time of performance in terms of cocktails or dinner, whether other perfomers will be there as well, etc.

I've received a few PM's from you guys too and thanks for the helpful feedback.

And to Bob - ya, the money will be pretty good so WTH Smile Not hard to rationalize.
Creator of The SvenPad Supreme- "One of the most versatile and well made utility devices I have ever used. Highly recommended." Bob Cassidy www.SvenPads.com
saysold1
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Quote:
On Jul 24, 2014, Marmen wrote:

However, in your case the word "pharmaceutical" rings an unpleasant bell. It is too late now for you to back out but when you get there you should try and find out if you are the only one they have dragged down to their office. The odds are even you are not.


I will make sure I take my meds prior to the demo lol!

Yes I will tactfully ask if others are doing demo's too. Good to know - better to have asked prior but se la vie - we shall see.
Creator of The SvenPad Supreme- "One of the most versatile and well made utility devices I have ever used. Highly recommended." Bob Cassidy www.SvenPads.com
saysold1
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Quote:
On Jul 24, 2014, Mindpro wrote:
Are they going to give you 15 minutes of free samples of their drugs? Could be fun?


As Bob says...

"GOOD THOUGHTS..."
Creator of The SvenPad Supreme- "One of the most versatile and well made utility devices I have ever used. Highly recommended." Bob Cassidy www.SvenPads.com
David Thiel
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I actually push for face to face meetings -- particularly with large companies. Look at it this way: given that it's not a cattle call, but a large client who is interested in seeing me (I have a finely tuned BS detector) I jump at the chance to get a face to face. This is where you can make an impression that stands out far beyond what the other performers are offering.

I've done "meetings with mentalism" for MPI, ISES...conference coordinators at hotels and resorts. Would I pass up an opportunity to do what I do in front of an audience of people who buy entertainment? Is that a serious question?

You need to have certainty about two things: the power of your abilities to sell what you do AND the ability to detect whether or not this is an actual opportunity to show what you do in front of real potential clients. If you KNOW you have a solid act and you know these are "for-real" clients why would you NOT go for it?

In this case would I do a "free 15 minute demo?" Nope. I would go in and meet with them. I would play to the VP and at least one other person on the committee with one or two chosen effects. The rest of my time would be spent finding out more about their events, their clients -- what they expect to come out of the shows etc...and explaining how I fit into their plans (given that I do.)

Some of my most most regular clients have come to me this way. One of them booked me to work their booths and VIP rooms for six trade shows in a row. I made a very good fee on that. That same client had invited three other performers to come out when they were planning this series of events. Two refused. The other one who came wasn't a good match.

Regular clients are like gold. They book for trade shows, client entertainment events and their own retreats. They refer other clients to me. I think, in this age where there are so many poor quality performers, it's perfectly reasonable for a client who is expending a significant budget to want to meet the performer. I've seen some awe inspiring promo tapes...but nothing has the potential power of a face to face meeting...if you believe "sales" is about relationships more than dollars (which I do.)

Treat this appointment like a pro show, Brett. Knock it out of the ballpark and see what happens.

David
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Scott Soloff
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Quote:
On Jul 24, 2014, David Thiel wrote:

You need to have certainty about two things: the power of your abilities to sell what you do AND the ability to detect whether or not this is an actual opportunity to show what you do in front of real potential clients. If you KNOW you have a solid act and you know these are "for-real" clients why would you NOT go for it?

In this case would I do a "free 15 minute demo?" Nope. I would go in and meet with them. I would play to the VP and at least one other person on the committee with one or two chosen effects. The rest of my time would be spent finding out more about their events, their clients -- what they expect to come out of the shows etc...and explaining how I fit into their plans (given that I do.)



Brett,

I really can't add anything helpful. David put it as well as it can be expressed. And Bob nailed the bottom line - Why not?

Personally, I wouldn't do 15 minutes. S@%*, you know sales as well as anyone. Why would you treat this any differently than your business.

Let them do most of the talking, ask a couple of intelligent questions and hit them with one (David suggests a couple) demonstration(s).

Anyway, I'm sure it will go well. Keep us up to date.

Warm regards,


Scott Smile
p.s. Iain and Bob got me into using these stupid smiley faces. Can't believe it...
'Curiouser and curiouser."
mastermindreader
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I prefer this one- Smile
sandsjr
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Quote:
I would play to the VP and at least one other person on the committee with one or two chosen effects. The rest of my time would be spent finding out more about their events, their clients -- what they expect to come out of the shows etc...and explaining how I fit into their plans (given that I do.)


Exactly


Brett you're a sales guy from what I've read here. You know it's what's most important to them that counts. I would also add making a "real" human connection to the equation. If you can do those two things AND entertain/fool them with your stuff, you're in.
IAIN
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Quote:
On Jul 24, 2014, Scott Soloff wrote:
p.s. Iain and Bob got me into using these stupid smiley faces. Can't believe it...


i planted that thought in your mind scott, cos I never use them on here...(over at the other place I do though)
TonyB2009
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In all my career I have only been asked once to do anything like this, by a hotel. I said that I was not a hungry amateur who would audition for a single show. Hire me or don't hire me; I will be working that evening anyway. They hired me.

If I did agree to drop in and show them something, I would bill them for it. Just like they would bill you if they made a house call to you.
Marmen
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I am with Tony here.

I often make appointments to see people when soliciting trade show work because it is I who initiated the contact in the first place.In fact if I get called about a trade show I will suggest the appointment myself if the company is a local one. In fact I only solicit local companies for this very reason. However, if someone calls me out of the blue without any solicitation from me I may or may not go down to see them according to the vibes I get and how much money is offered. And also the sort of show it is. If they are seeing other people then they can forget it. My time is too valuable for that. If other starving magicians wish to go down there begging for work that is up to them. My days of responding to cattle calls were over a long time ago.
saysold1
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Quote:
On Jul 24, 2014, David Thiel wrote:
I actually push for face to face meetings -- particularly with large companies. Look at it this way: given that it's not a cattle call, but a large client who is interested in seeing me (I have a finely tuned BS detector) I jump at the chance to get a face to face. This is where you can make an impression that stands out far beyond what the other performers are offering.

I've done "meetings with mentalism" for MPI, ISES...conference coordinators at hotels and resorts. Would I pass up an opportunity to do what I do in front of an audience of people who buy entertainment? Is that a serious question?

You need to have certainty about two things: the power of your abilities to sell what you do AND the ability to detect whether or not this is an actual opportunity to show what you do in front of real potential clients. If you KNOW you have a solid act and you know these are "for-real" clients why would you NOT go for it?

In this case would I do a "free 15 minute demo?" Nope. I would go in and meet with them. I would play to the VP and at least one other person on the committee with one or two chosen effects. The rest of my time would be spent finding out more about their events, their clients -- what they expect to come out of the shows etc...and explaining how I fit into their plans (given that I do.)

Some of my most most regular clients have come to me this way. One of them booked me to work their booths and VIP rooms for six trade shows in a row. I made a very good fee on that. That same client had invited three other performers to come out when they were planning this series of events. Two refused. The other one who came wasn't a good match.

Regular clients are like gold. They book for trade shows, client entertainment events and their own retreats. They refer other clients to me. I think, in this age where there are so many poor quality performers, it's perfectly reasonable for a client who is expending a significant budget to want to meet the performer. I've seen some awe inspiring promo tapes...but nothing has the potential power of a face to face meeting...if you believe "sales" is about relationships more than dollars (which I do.)

Treat this appointment like a pro show, Brett. Knock it out of the ballpark and see what happens.

David


Biy I learned a lot from this post - and especially your sound advice!

I did the demo this morning and they booked me on the spot - handed me a deposit check - done.

They even gave me a 15 min private tour of the pharma facory operation and clean rooms and shipping operations - crazy fun. Never saw that before.

So yes it helped in bonding with the client, and even though I bood 3-5 events a month now and never encountered this kind of demo, I will actually be far more happy to do them in the future.

The VP made the decison on the spot. I agree that based on the email or phone call one can quickly gather whether the tryout is worthwhile.

Thanks again to ALL!
Creator of The SvenPad Supreme- "One of the most versatile and well made utility devices I have ever used. Highly recommended." Bob Cassidy www.SvenPads.com
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