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Topic: Pet peeve
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jun 25, 2010 08:14PM)
Ok, So you field a call and you're booked. You give the people someone else's number and then the question... "just so I know, for next time (Like they're actually starting a file) For next time, what's your hourly rate?"

We all know that don't want MY hourly rate but to use it to compare to the next call.

I usually pick a number out of the air that will make the other guy look good... so then the follow-up question (which is a waste of my time because I'm already booked and they're never going to call me back) They follow up with "And what do you do for that show?"

So... I used to sit and answer, when I was a younger man. I thought it was polite. Now I know from hundreds of calls that people NEVER start the conversation with "I got your number last year and you were booked so I kept it in my wallet till now, hoping you were available" .

Now... if I'm booked and they want information I just tell them that I'm retiring in a month... that usually stops them from taking another 5 minutes asking questions about something they will never buy. I mean, what can they possibly say " O.K. then, please tell me what you would have done for us?"

I also told them I has several shows which are outlined on the web site - same thing "While I have you on the phone, would you tell me what kind of costume you wear? and is your show appropriate for my audience?
Seriously, what difference does it make what WE do if we are booked? They just want to use us for information.
- -

That's my pet peeve. But enough about mine.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jun 25, 2010 08:15PM)
What's yours?

Come-on, you've got to have something different, don't you?
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jun 25, 2010 08:34PM)
There is one question that I never know how to answer.

"hi I'm looking for a magician to do my daughters birthday party. What kind of magic do you do"?

I don't know what they are looking for, nor do I have a good answer for that stupid question. I could say "good magic", "appropriate magic", or "childrens magic". I usually say audience participation, or funny magic, because I have always tried to be original, and not be pigeon holed.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jun 25, 2010 09:07PM)
I ask how old they are. Then tell them why the show is good for that age.

But you're right Al, are you going to list the names of the tricks... "Yes madam, I have a great sucker trick where I lead the kids down the garden path then pull the rug out from under them..." It's sometimes better to say WHY the kids like the show (and your personality) then WHAT tricks your doing. Kind of like asking someone on a date, You just tell them that no matter where you go, their going to have a great time because you're together (then you go play miniature golf or shoot pool).

One lady called and asked if I was doing HARD magic or SOFT magic because the other magician will do SOFT magic which is "Nicer". I explained that I have 30 credits in developmental Psych and did 5000 shows at an amusement park and it didn't even phase her... That I went through an audition process where the bosses saw hundreds of magicians ... That I have two hundred letters of recommendations from schools.... But all she wanted to hear was that I did SOFT magic (whatever that is) She was just worried the magician might light one of the children on fire or chase them around with a chain saw. lol
Message: Posted by: Michael Messing (Jun 25, 2010 09:46PM)
Here's mine. I explain my shows and my pricing and the person (usually a woman because I do a lot of birthday parties) says I'll call you tomorrow and let you know what I decided. Then, she never calls back. I know it means they're not booking it but at least call back if you say you're going to.

Equally annoying is to have a phone message to call someone about a show. You call them and get their answering machine so you leave a message about the best time to reach you. They don't call back so you leave another message and they never call back! How hard is it to say they don't need you. People are so afraid that it will get confrontational when they reject you.

I used to work as an entertainment agent and the owner of the agency had a favorite saying. "My favorite answer is yes. My second favorite answer is no."
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jun 25, 2010 09:48PM)
I don't do bunnies, birds, puppets, balloons, goodie bags, or theme parties. That's what I don't do, but what I do fits into no caragory. I try to do jaw dropping funny magic, but that is a magicians trem, and means nothing to the customer.
Message: Posted by: RebelEntertainer (Jun 25, 2010 10:47PM)
Hey Jay,

Here's mine...

At library shows, why do parents insist on having their 3yr old and under sit by themselves in the very front row? Even after I politely mention how loud and crazy the show gets, and suggest a little further back my be a bit more comfortable. Can you say "Waaaaaaahhhhhh!!!"

Oh yeah, and Al, I love the "What kind of magic do you do?" That's a classic.

John Abrams
Rebel Entertainer and guy that does soft magic, hard magic and everything in between
Message: Posted by: RebelEntertainer (Jun 25, 2010 10:56PM)
Oh, here's another one that I get occasionally. Since one of my shows is listed as Animal Magic (and always specifically states that it's a magic show), here's the occasional call.

"Uhh.. Hello. My cat died. Can I bring him in?"

I honestly get this call a couple of times a year.

Maybe this has nothing to do with clients calling, but you could classify it as a Pet Peeve.

John Abrams
Rebel Entertainer and guy that has nothing to do with dead cats
Message: Posted by: Benji Bruce (Jun 26, 2010 03:14AM)
I've never had someone do that to me but I'm sure if it happened I would probably quote a really high price since it doesn't matter. And they might go around telling people I charge 3 or 4 times what I normally which would increase perceived value :)

Not too long ago I was doing a strolling function for an association and this lady asked for my card and then says, "Do you do kid shows?" I said no...and she replies, "Oh...you haven't reached that level yet!!!" And she was dead serious. I couldn't help but laugh :)
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jun 26, 2010 09:14AM)
Jay -

I have found that another way to deal with persistent people who want price, when you are booked, is to say something along the lines of: "I'd be happy to give you ALL of the information about my shows and fees for XYZ event. I'll also need to ask you a few questions about your event. This will take about 10 minutes. Do you have the time now?"

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Mystical Matthew (Jun 26, 2010 12:14PM)
Yesterday a woman told me my pricing was outrageous because I wouldn't do a full stage show for $50.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jun 26, 2010 12:17PM)
Donald - I used that too. Then they'd get exasperated and push me for a quick price and would get off the phone frustrated - I don't want either of us to be upset when the call is over. Now that I'm retiring, in a month, there's no argument and no need to contine with the charade.

I'm waiting for someone to call in a year and ask how my retirement is going - then I can tell them great, I took magic-up as a hobby.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
So what's your pet peeve?
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jun 26, 2010 12:44PM)
Why are you retireing? When I started out my show was 80% juggling, and 20% magic. Twenty two years later it is 20% juggling, and 80% magic, so it is apparent that I am slowing down, but I love the action, and I won't stop performing until my doctor, or my wife tells me that it is time to stop.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jun 26, 2010 12:55PM)
I'm retiring so I don't have to answer questions from people who will never book me. But if I'm not booked then ... I'm still in business.

If you go to a clothing store that's out of business, you won't need their business hours or to know what sizes they carry or what their return policy is... Same here. If I'm booked and the non-potential customer starts asking questions.... then I'm retiring!

Pet peeves.... everyone.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jun 26, 2010 02:08PM)
Oh I see. I have a similar policy with rude people. If you can't talk cival to me over the phone then there is no amount of money that will entice me to visit your house. When I am treated poorly over the phone my price usually jumps $500
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jun 26, 2010 02:34PM)
Another thing I've done (when not available but they want the price), is mention that any price quotes I give are only good if you book within the next 60 days. I also put this "condition" on my rates sheet, when I mail an information kit.

A pet peeve of mine was mentioned by Michael Messing, where they don't let you know one way or the other (and usually it ends up they changed their mind about booking you), especially when they ask you to hold a date and time. I tell them clearly that I only hold a date and time for 24 hours, but they need to let me know either way. 3 days go by and they don't call me back. I will likely have tried to call them again after 48 hours. Tell me no or tell me yes, or communicate with me in some way.

One more pet peeve of mine is when customers, and even some long term clients, are pokey about signing and sending back the contract. I get concerned that they are going to misplace it.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 26, 2010 04:25PM)
Event Planners who call wanting you for holidays (because we have heard your the best balloon guy around) and want to pay me less than 1/3rd of my rate then when I say no thank you.

They want to give me flack about the economy and how I have to drop my prices, to which I answer..

Umm, I am staying booked and am refering gigs to others weekly, I am actually thinking about raising my prices.. and on a Holiday I will never LOWER my rate

3 of them I have hung up on because they just won't give up that I need to do their event at a lower price. (guess they should stop promising things to clients without knowing the price first)

but yeah I don't mind price shopping parents as much as the price haggling event planners
Message: Posted by: MikeHMagic (Jun 30, 2010 01:28PM)
I don't have pet peeves, just a bucket of crap that ticks me off...and on that note...
I love the ones that call on Tuesday night for a show that Saturday, they say they will call back in 15 minutes, than call back on Friday night, and say "Hi, remember we talked the other day about the show tomorrow? I need you."
Message: Posted by: Alikzam (Jul 1, 2010 01:17AM)
In response to Jay's original post.

Usually when the caller asks those questions they've never hired an entertainer before. They have no idea what types of shows are available, or what the price range is. Its our job to educate them on the value we are providing for their event.

When somebody asks for my rate, and I know that they're just going to use that information for their next call, I give them a price RANGE. Usually the other entertainer will fall somewhere in that range if they offer something comparable, and also it protects me from having them call back next year quoting my old rate.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Jul 2, 2010 07:03PM)
I dislike being asked to work for free by T.V. Stations local fairs and Community Events, especially around the Holidays. The Charities always try to guilt me into it.

They always say I'll get great exposure (as a loser who works for free).

When I used to say yes I was always treated horribly, no parking, no announcements or personalized mention in event programs and bad performing situations like next to bounce house or a rock band.

Now I call the Charities I want to help and if they need me I tell them what my needs are.

- Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Jul 3, 2010 09:40AM)
"Someone told me you're...a musician?"
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jul 3, 2010 09:52AM)
"Before you juggle those bowling pins could you light them up first", "let's see you juggle those bowling pins with your eyes closed", "I see you can juggle three bowling pins, but could you do ten of them", "hand me those bowling pins, I'm sure that I can juggle them too", "Hey I saw what you did, that's just a trick"

I could go on but you get the idea.
Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (Jul 3, 2010 11:09AM)
I choose to interpret any misinterpretations of what I do (resulting in inappropriate or annoying questions) as a fault in my communications and/or a failure in my representation/positioning strategy.

Why do I choose to take responsibility? Because then I am empowered to make changes for improvement.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jul 3, 2010 01:24PM)
"Hey magic man, can you make my wife disappear?", "Hey magic man can you change this $1 bill to a $100 for me", "Hey magic man, can you pull a rabbit out of that hat?", "Let me see those cards, and I'll show you a trick that I learned from when I was at camp".
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Jul 3, 2010 02:37PM)
Scott, I'm afraid if I did communicate clearly I might not work in this town again. SQ (smirking Quietly)

The more I read the more peeves I pick up ( the "what do you really love?" thread might be more productive).

Remember, they are not Pet Peeves unless you feed them.

- Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: MikeHMagic (Jul 3, 2010 06:21PM)
I suffer from Irish Alzheimer's, that's where you forget everything EXCEPT the Grudge!
Message: Posted by: AragorntheMagician (Jul 30, 2010 06:43PM)
If I'm already booked I make several suggestions but if it's a yearly type event I try and sell Next Year....lol. I start out each year with about 15 - 20 bookings this way. I give them the "Soft Sale" by saying, "I will call you 2 months before your event and you can decide then." Most take it when I call them. They don't have to remember me...I remember them!!
Message: Posted by: Police Magician (Aug 3, 2010 06:58AM)
Mary, I know how you feel. Charities always try to put a guilt trip on you. I always tell them that it is their charity, not mine. Others who want you to do free shows always tell you how you will get bookings from it, etc. I ask if they can put that in writing so if I don't, they will make up the loss.

I don't haggle with people on prices for shows either. I have a set price for different type shows that include age group, amount of people in attendance and time frame. If they don't like my price, so be it.

Now, what is my pet peeve? People who want me to recommend other magicians to them so they can shop around. I tell them I am not a booking agency.

Message: Posted by: Paddy (Aug 3, 2010 12:47PM)
Mary and Glenn, I got a call from the Cincinnati Reds baseball team last week asking for my wife to face paint at an event. Then they had the cajones to tell me that it was a non profit group of the Reds so we had to donate our time. I did what I usually and doubled my price, but I will gladly give you a 50% reduction. Didn't work with them.

Message: Posted by: Police Magician (Aug 4, 2010 06:39AM)
Peter, that reminds me of a time when a group did the same thing to me. I asked them if our local Food Lion grocery store would mind if I walked in, loaded up a cart and walked out as I donated my time for their event. They said that would be stealing. I told them they are trying to do the same with me.

People have a lot of nerve expecting us to donate our time and talent to all these events. Problem is, if you give in to one group, word spreads so the domino effect with others occurs.

Message: Posted by: Gerry Walkowski (Aug 8, 2010 05:57AM)
I think I have numerous pet peeves, all of which many of us have experienced before.

PLAYING PHONE TAG: You call a client, he/she calls you back. No matter how many times you call the person, or they call you, you just can't reach one another. (And they give you several different phone numbers to reach them.) When this happens, at least this has been my experience, these types of clients tend to bring trouble in some form or another.

PRICE DISCOUNTS: Whenever I've offered any sort of price discount, I've always found that it has come back to haunt me in some way.

PEOPLE CALLING YOU AND SOUNDING LIKE THEY'RE REALLY NOT INTERESTED IN YOUR SERVICE: Once in a blue moon I get these calls from folks who just want the bottom line price and could care less what type of show you offer. When you start telling them about your services they're very abrupt with you. It's almost like having a conversation with yourself.

BUT WE WANTED A CLOWN: The client says they visited your website, you tell them all about your show, and then they ask do you have clowns or Barney.

Message: Posted by: dduane (Aug 9, 2010 11:39AM)
I have a framed 'table card' that basically says in big letters, "PUT THIS CARD AT THE END OF YOUR TABLE TO ASK FOR THE MAGIC OF DENNIS". Most of the waitresses set up the tables with the card at the end. The customers don't read or move the card, so I get all sorts of comments when I approach the table. No matter how hard I explain to the help, they keep putting the card at the end of the tables. Isn't it obvious that the message is for the customers, not the wait help?? (I'm lost on this one -- any advice is appreciated...). It's worse if I don't use a card as a signal and to inform people who I am. Without it, I get, "What do you want? Who are you?"...like they don't even hear me. I am trying to keep a good attitude and not think that most people are just CLUELESS.