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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Good for Business? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bill Nuvo
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Yesterday, I had a phone call from a women. She had lost the contact number for the person she had booked for a party. She had found me through an internet search (which is cool because I barely just moved to the area and only had 3 free listings posted). She was wondering if I was the one she had booked and to confirm I was coming. I wasn't. But I offered to help her in anyway I could. I asked her the name. She gave it to me. I told her the only person I know by the name is _________ and he is actually a clown who goes by the name of ____________. She said that was it. I didn't have a phone number for him, but I gave her two numbers of people he has worked for. All this time too, she kept saying how nice I was in helping her. I also made sure she had my website address before hanging up.

On a side note, I find it amazing at how many people who do this business actually don't follow some simple rules of business like
Make confirmation calls no later than a day before the event.
Make sure people have an easy way to contact you through email, website, yellow pages, or whatever. If people lose your number they should be still able to find you.
LeeDillingham
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People that operate the way this did make us all look bad. All of us should use common sense, good manners, and deliver as promised. As the saying goes, one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.
Bill Nuvo
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So what it good business to give her my info to her? Was it ethical?
Skip Way
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When a client calls me and I'm booked, I always refer them to other quality entertainers on my list. We all have (or should have) a circle of referring peers...people we trust to do the job right who refer us as we refer them. My circle once tried to maintain an online calendar so that we could check at a moment's notice to see who might be available for a gig. It was a very professional and helpful idea...that we just couldn't keep current. Still, referring to other pros aids the client and makes us look more helpful and professional, in my opinion. They are more likely to call me back BECAUSE I was more helpful.

In your case, Bill, I would have told her that if she had any trouble finding this clown to call you back and you'd try to find another way to help her. She's more likely to keep your number and FAR more likely to call you next time she needs an entertainer because you went out of your way to be helpful...to someone who isn't a client...yet. That makes a BIG impression. Unethical? Unethical is leaving your client hanging and stressing over whether or not he's going to show. You're not stealing a client...he GAVE her to you through his lack of professionalism. Ya done good, son! I say, ya done good there!

Skip Smile
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Bill Nuvo
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Thanks Skip. I did exactly that. I told her if she couldn't find him or he didn't show up, that she could call me back. I hated to see someone in a situation like that and end up having an upset child. Just not good.

I just try to be real careful in the business ethics side of things. Thanks for reaffirming what I already knew.
Donald Dunphy
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Hi Bill -

I have had a similar experience, with an exasperated parent trying to find the entertainer she booked. She couldn't remember who, and he hadn't sent her paperwork at any point, nor made that important confirmation call.

I tried to be as helpful as I could. I talked about it in this post a while ago.

And I did not bad-mouth the other entertainer to that prospect, but I did sympathize with the prospect and her situation. I explained that if she couldn't track him down, she could call me back. And if I couldn't help her, I would give her a few leads of other entertainers to try.

I did mention that it was my personal business policy to send a confirmation letter and to make a confirmation call, as well as send an info kit.

- Donald

P.S. Like Skip, I refer customers to other professionals if I can't help them.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Skip Way
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I often receive calls from parents and event planners who have had their entertainer bail on them at the last minute...probably because a better paying job came through. I always ask for the name of the entertainer so that I can add them to my "Do not refer" list and, if I know them, talk to them and get the facts.

I guarantee, in writing, that if I can't appear for any reason, I will do my best to secure a suitable and comparable replacement entertainer at the agreed fee. I can't guarantee a replacement, schedules being what they are...but I do my absolute best, even paying out of pocket for a more expensive performer. My word is my bond and that means a lot to our clients.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Bill Nuvo
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I get a lot of those calls from performers cancelling at the last minute with my DJ business. It is mostly due to these people hiring non-professionals who are attempting at maybe starting up a business. Often these are chaps that have a hobby in said profession and somebody asked if they could perform at their party.

We have often seen it here on the Café with people who get a job without having the experience or even the equipment to do so. "I just got a booking for a ____________ gig, what types of tricks should I buy?". Fortunately those asking on here will recieve guidance, but there are those without guidance that can cause problems.

There have only been a couple of times when I couldn't perform. One time I could do nothing about it for the client (it was also booked through an agent). I was on my way to the gig. It was in winter. The weather had been really bad and I had to travel to another city 1/2 hr away. Well the rural roads/highways were closed by police. There was nothing I could do. I called the client and told her the situation, she was dissapointed but understood, and then I called the agent to let him know. I hesitated in taking the gig too. I had told the agent that in January and February, the area I was living in was prone to road closures. He understood this but still wanted me to take this gig. I did with the understanding that I would not be responsible for acts of nature preventing my reaching the gig.

Another time I got seriously ill (not just a cold which I have performed with). I contract Shingles/adult chicken pox. Fortunately I was able to give a few days notice to a repeat client who happened to be a daycare. I found someone else for that gig and still get calls from the client. Heck I even get Christmas presents from them.
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