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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » What's your follow up system? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dannydoyle
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On Mar 17, 2021, TomBoleware wrote:
LOL Danny, I don’t have to make stuff up, I help write a few sales training manuals.

Self-employed business people can learn a lot from direct-selling companies like Kirby. Unlike car sales, Kirby uses a soft-sell approach. But not taking no for an answer doesn’t mean being high pressure, it just means being persistent and doing it tactfully with a smile on your face. The average vacuum salesperson hears ‘no’ 8 or more times before making a sale. The number one reason salespeople fail in sales is dealing with rejections. It’s not for everybody.

Tom


This was one thing you said.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Mar 16, 2021, TomBoleware wrote:

So how many times do you follow up? As many times as it takes to get an answer.

Tom

Her is another.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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Much of the stuff Tom is talking about is what gives salespeople a bad name - used car salesmen, vacuum salesmen and women, the old door-to-door salespeople, telemarketers, timeshare sales reps, etc.

Sales today is much different and completely different than all the stuff Tom is saying especially as it pertains to entertainment sales. As I've always said learn and understand entertainment business and sales, once realized you will soon see the differences and why many things from conventional business, including sales, don't translate or work the same with entertainment business. This coupled with current trends, techniques, and attention spans created a whole different playing field.

Also, we must remember the stuff Tom has referred to is from your (us, not just Tom) perspective as the one trying to present or create a sale. What you consider "following up" is different to the prospect, they experience it as being bothered, hassled, or badgered by that person still trying to sell me something. Plus personally, I don't want someone indecisive, not willing to commit, not willing to take immediate action, that can't see the difference in what I'm offering compared to what else is to there, that can't see the opportunity.

This is why positioning is sooooo important as I always stress in entertainment business as it eliminates so much of his common nonsense.
TomBoleware
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Ya’ll make it sound like if they don’t answer the door I just kick it down and go on in. Smile

I’m simply saying, why not follow up on a qualified lead until you get an answer? The trick is knowing when it is no longer a ‘qualified’ lead, then you stop.

There is nothing wrong with simply taking what business comes your way. But please don’t tell me that is a new sales method that only a few people know about. It is NOT sales.

I'll stop with the only two real secrets to sales success:

1. Have a worthwhile product
2. Promote it with passion

Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

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Dannydoyle
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You are not going to stop and we all know it. Nobody but you said take whatever business comes your way and nobody but you said it was new or whatever you choose to make up and assign to others. You made it up and is a wild misrepresentation of the position.

There is a LOT wrong with continuing to bother people. For example if they ARE a qualified lead they can quickly not want to hear from you ever again no matter how many stupid emogies you use to pretend you are clever.

Also you are NOT just saying follow up until you get an answer. You are saying to just going even though they say no MANY TIMES! Over 8 times is ok with you.

Tom honestly this is why it is so hard to discuss with you. You have said and argued each of these positions passionately in THIS THREAD. So no that is not what you are simply saying. It makes it very difficult to take anything you write seriously.

Also your second rule can be very annoying to prospects who do not share that passion. Your spewing MLM slogans.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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When your "simply saying" anything regarding Sales, you are only talking on a surface level. The same for your two secrets to success. There are many people who have done your two rules of success and have and are failing miserably.

My first rule of success: Learn the real rules of success!

These types of surface-level nonsense helps nobody and derails the topic and the potential benefits that could've come from it. It oversimplifies something that is much deeper with many layers.

Let Tom do his business the way he had for decades based on his Successories rah-rah generalizations. Perhaps this is why he had 43 businesses in 50 years as he's told us before.

This tread is exactly what is wrong with and keeps people away from Tricky Business. This thread was so promising until the exact moment we knew it would get derailed.
Donald Dunphy
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Here's a couple of my thoughts on the subject of following up on a show inquiry. I'm not sure if these thoughts have been voiced yet.

1. When you're speaking with the customer, ask them who is involved in making the final decision. This can solve a lot of problems. Sometimes you just speak to an "information gatherer", who isn't involved in the final decision at all. Most of the time, the "information gatherer" is involved in the final decision. Sometimes there's a committee, and you can find out when they are meeting ("Can I have your permission to follow up with you after that date?"). You might also find out that you should send a written quote as a follow-up email (rather than just counting on your phone / in-person conversation), so they can share with others on the committee. That way you can communicate your information to the committee yourself, rather than expect the "information gatherer" to effectively pass along the info you only gave to them verbally.

2. If a person seems to be the primary (or sole) decision maker, sometimes they need a bit of time to think about it (as opposed to making a decision on the spot and letting you know). Ask them if they'd like for you to follow up (ask them this, if they indicate that they aren't ready to book). If you get permission to follow up, then do it once. If they don't respond, most of the time the silence is a "no", but they just don't want to tell you. Move on with your life.

3. Sometimes, it's an annual event, and if they don't book you this year, it might be appropriate to re-approach them in the future for their next event. Silence or "not now" could mean "yes" down the road, as long as you don't burn the relationship.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Mindpro
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There ya go! Some good thoughts.
Donald Dunphy
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Another thought...

I think that trying multiple times to follow-up, when they aren't responding, is bad "posturing". It makes you look a little desperate for their business, and implies that you aren't a busy / successful performer.

Here's an article I wrote a few years ago on "posturing":

-----

“Posturing”
By Donald Dunphy

Bob Burg wrote a book titled “Endless Referrals.” This is the same author who wrote “The Go-Giver” more recently. In the forward section to “Endless Referrals,” he was talking about something he calls “posturing.”

He defines “POSTURING” as how you react when rejected when approaching a prospect or a customer for a sale. Handling their rejection in the right way gives off a certain message to the prospect. If you react like it matters, but that you aren't really upset (not emotionally attached to their rejection), that sends off a subtle message that you have lots of “inventory” (a big prospect list), and aren't too concerned about their rejection. It sends off a message that you are successful, instead of scrambling. It tells of confidence, and draws customers to you.

For those who don't do it, give it some careful thought. Watch your reaction when you lose a booking, or when you are facing competition, or when the prospect rejects you over the issue of price. How you react reflects your worldview to your potential customer, and to other people who could give you potential business (colleagues, friends, etc.)

When you see a magician complaining about prospects rejecting him to go with a less expensive magician, think about the complainer's “posture.” Are they giving the impression that they have lots of business coming in, and a big inventory? Or are they giving the impression that they are scrambling for every morsel, that they aren't successful, and that they really don't have a big inventory?

You have a choice about how you react, and about the impression that you make.

A well-known phrase to keep in mind: SW, SW, SW, SW, WN?
Some will (buy).
Some won't (buy).
So what (if they don't buy)?
Someone's waiting (to hear from you, and to buy).
Who's Next?

And if lack of shows and lack of show inquiries is really bothering you, then do something about it. Make more calls, send more emails, send more letters, etc. Take a more active role in your marketing. Learn about the differences between “Active Marketing” and “Passive Marketing”.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
thomasR
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Donald - your point #1 is very important to mention-

I’m almost always contacted by an “information gatherer” who then presents the information to their boss or a committee. I create a small proposal that I send to the information gatherer to present so that the boss / committee have a clear understanding of what I am offering and for what price.
Dannydoyle
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The first mistake must make is feeding with an "information gatherer". If they have to team to someone else, THAT is who you need to be talking with. It is really the only way to go with very few exceptions such as PTA or committee situations.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
thomasR
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Quote:
On Mar 18, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
The first mistake must make is feeding with an "information gatherer". If they have to team to someone else, THAT is who you need to be talking with. It is really the only way to go with very few exceptions such as PTA or committee situations.


Danny, would you ask the “information gatherer” (I’m still using Donald’s term, not sure what to call them but that seems to fit) for a direct contact to their boss?
Dannydoyle
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Oh heck yea.

A good example of the problem is the hotel industry. They have a LOT of "managers". Food and beverage, rooms division, front desk, entertainment and many many more. Almost every one of those folks can say no to an idea, but almost none can say yes to an idea. It is ABSOLUTELY pointless to talk with any one of them.

When someone has to take the idea to their boss, THAT is the person you need to be talking too. Whoever can say "yes" ultimately is who you want to deal with. Once you have established credibility (Which I admit is the bottleneck for most.) talking with someone in some daisy chain of phone calls and emails is a recipe for disaster.

I mean why work with someone who simply can not ultimately give you a yes answer? What benefit does that hold for you? Sure you have to start there but very quickly you have to get past that person. There is nothing to be gained doing things that way.

Again it comes to perception and how you are perceived by the client. How do they view you? How did they get in contact with you, or did you have to contact them? How many times have you tried contact? How did you act DURING contact? I mean EVERY interaction tells them what they need to know, and if you have credibility with them to be able to ask them for that contact information.

Here is the worst part. You can't go BACK and make a different impression. ALL those things have added up to the clients perception of who you are. It is why I am SO ADAMANT about these things because each and every one of those little things MATTER as to how you are perceived. The part that might be even a little bit worse is that as you get to corporate clients (I don't mean company picnics for families but actual corporate clients, there is a HUGE difference.) the perception matters even MORE.

I know most don't care about this, and yea if you are doing a birthday party for Billy, then no big deal. But when you do try to do things on a little bit higher level then the perception matters a LOT.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
thomasR
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Oh I see Danny. That makes sense.

I was saying it’s usually “information gatherers” who contact me for a price / proposal that they then present to their boss / committee.
Dannydoyle
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Yes you need to get to the guy who decides.

See the deal is that nobody can possibly present you as well as you can. Or someone you hire to do so for that matter. They may not be able to deal with objections as they happen and so forth. Talk to the guy who decides or the committee yourself. Nobody knows the product as well.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Donald Dunphy
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One other part of this, that myself, Danny, and others have mentioned is the idea of actually speaking with the prospect (customer), whether it be by phone or in person.

That way, you can ask questions like, "Tell me more about your event", "Do you have certain goals / expected outcomes?", "Have you seen my show before / what do you know about me?", "Who is involved in making the decision?", "When are you making the decision?", "Can I follow up?" (if they don't make a decision on the spot), etc.

I think a scenario mentioned in the original post of this thread, was a prospect emailing the performer for a quote, and then the performer responding with an email (price quote). Then he sent several follow up emails. It didn't sound like a conversation was involved at all, if you just exchange emails.

(An exception to this would be a repeat booking by a past customer / client. I'll exchange emails and make the booking without chatting with them on the phone.)

If you feel a conversation isn't necessary for some customers, in order to book, then you might as well just put your rates right onto your website, instead of doing an email exchange, with no conversation. For example, I have my rates online for several shows I offer, because I feel I can provide enough information in writing for a booking decision, without actually speaking with the customer, for that specific show / market. Occasionally, I have a prospect call and ask more questions before booking... but they've qualified themselves by knowing my price, and that is no longer an important part of their decision. Obviously, this is only relevant for some types of shows / markets. I'm taking about kids shows and family shows, in my case, which often has a lower price point than shows for other markets.

If I was trying to book higher priced shows / markets, then I'd want to get them on the phone, or meet with them in person, instead of just doing an email exchange, or just putting my rates online.

To summarize. Want to book more shows? Actually speak with your prospects (customers), when they show interest in your shows. Don't rely on emails to do the same thing as a conversation.

- Donald

P.S. EDIT - I re-read the original post, and Nash seemed to indicate the same weight given to voicemails and inbox show inquiries, and then his follow up system of emails / phone messages. So, I don't know for sure if he responds to every inbox inquiry with only an email reply, or whether he always tries to get them on the phone every time.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Mindpro
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I couldn't agree more. I have found if you are looking for relationship-based business, return and referral bookings, and are truly interested in serving your customers and operating from the needs, interests, and perspectives of your clients and customers, the phone is the only way to go for initial contact and presentation.

I much prefer and recommend via phone rather than in-person for a variety of reasons - especially for magicians. There is simply so much better information to gain, positioning to establish, service to provide, and understanding and the setting expectations that simply can't be done by other contact methods. It is purely the best way to present (sell) your services for an entertainment business.

I have many people ask me how I get multi-year contacts, such high closing ratios, such high return booking ratios, and develop such strong relationships with my clients, this is the reason why. This is what has also allowed me to have dozens of clients that we have served annually or multiple times a year now for 30+ years. It also leads to better trust, credibility, and of course willing to pay whatever pricing you offer without questions.

Anyone who says they can do this without speaking to the client is someone I know I could get away from you, lol.

I love all these magician courses and marketing gurus that tell you online or electronically is the way to go these days as if speaking in person is "old-fashioned" or "out of style." Relationships in business never go out of style.
If you don't want to do it, fine then hire someone to do it for you, but if this is missing from your business, you are missing business.

Subsequent contact, once you are already established can continue electronically.
Mindpro
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Donald, out of curiosity do you speak to them yourself or have someone do it on your behalf (wide, partner, employee, etc.)?

I have my own strong beliefs on this but would value your thoughts.
Dannydoyle
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I have never once done a show where I have not spoken to the person paying me. It at the very least someone representing me speaks to them.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
TomBoleware
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Now I know that nobody here has said you should ‘demand’ that you talk to the boss but it is worth saying that you have to be careful trying to get to the boss, those little gatekeepers have more power than you think. They are put there for a reason and one of those reasons is to screen salespeople. The boss would never have time to talk to every caller wanting to sell something. Business people get calls every day from someone wanting money.

If I had my secretary call someone to get information about a product/service and she told me he would not talk to her, my first words would be, call someone else. True you don’t want to sell to the gatekeeper (the one answering the phone) but you do have to CONVINCE them it is important to talk directly to the end buyer. This is an art in itself and requires a skill that many don’t have.

It’s often said that a good rule is, never take a “no” from someone who doesn’t have the authority to give you a “yes.” But the best way around the no’s is never talk to the gatekeeper to begin with. Tip: They usually work the 9 to 5 shift, so call early or late and the boss may just be the one to answer the phone. Tip Two: ALWAYS Know the name of the person you wanting to speak to before you call.

Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

www.tomboleware.com
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