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HypnotizeAmerica
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Frankly if you are selling on price you are selling on the wrong thing. Justify your price, never sell because of it.

For me I rather people talk about how much I cost, not how cheap I was.
Dannydoyle
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Jonathan I didn't mean it to be a referendum on Ammars "salami method", only mentioned how it made me feel in person. The tape I am sure is worth it and did not mean to imply anything to the contrary.

Tim the simple fact of the matter is that at some point you ARE selling on price alone. Many people who do internet shopping if you have a web page do it based on one quality, PRICE.

But to make price your sole selling point is just wrong. Make the show the focal point of selling. Then after the show make sure they get more than they feel they have paid for. Then no matter what you charge, you are a bargin.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
jlevey
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Understood Danny.

As always, thanks for your great and insightful input.

Jonathan
Jonathan
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NJJ
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Whilst I think it is important to stick to your price 99% of the time, there are times when being flexible can be very helpful.

I would NEVER lower my price to 'get the gig' but I have changed my pricing when

1) The client was offering a service/product in leui of payment that I wanted. "Will Do Magic For Wide Screen TV"

2) Doing the show will lead to QUALIFIED leads and bookings. (NOT free publicity) e.g. A room full of agents, event organisers, venue owners etc.

3) They wanted a package I did not offer. e.g. I could do a 30 minute show for $500 but they only want to 10 minute show and can only afford $400.
jamesbond
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Yup the more they pay you the better they treat you (in most cases...) I gladly hand over those cheapos to my competiton let them deal with these penny pinchers. I would rather deal with people who have the $$$.

Bond...JamesBond...
icentertainment
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When they want the 15 minute show compared to my 45 minute show- their is no change in price for an additional 30 minutes

and the reason - mostly opportunity costs

I still have to travel there and back do sound tests etc and chances are I won't be doing a gig again that night because they want the 15 minutes straight after dinner or in between the speeches.

Opportunity costs.

Same with my Roving show and stage show----my stage show is getting more and more popular- so why bother doing the roving magic at a lower fee?
jlevey
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Some news to share... and hopefully some booking encouragement.

I have just been booked to perform mingle magic for 35 minutes along with a ten minute music-comedy show in the home of a Company's President... on Christmas Eve!

This will be strictly a family celebration, not a compnay event, with 25 guests tops.

Was I ready to loose the show if the client did not agree to meet my substantially increased fee for performing on a very special evening.

I was.

Did I think I would lose the engagement because I literally tripled my fee for this particualr engagement?

I did.

Did I loose the gig because of the enriched price...

Surprisingly, I did not.

Instead the client thanked me for agreeing to reserve this special date for his family's event.

I will start my mingle magic at 7 pm and will be finished by 7:45 pm.

In time to be home with my family.

Nice feeling, but (as mentioned) a bit of a surprise --I was surprised but not "completely" astounded, since I believed that I offered a quality product at prime time.

Consider the value of being genuinely ready to loose a contract if your desired price is not met (not just on Christmas Eve).

Of course, it doesn't always work... and that's okay... in fact, that's the way it should be.

Best wishes.

Jonathan
Posted: Nov 13, 2006 11:25pm
Although I have always worked hard at bettering my negotiation skills and our entertainment services, I continue to take insights and inspiration from my fellow Café members.

Thanks to all those that start threads like these, and to all those that contribute to the practicality and good-natured spirit of its path.

Sincerely,

Jonathan
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Donald Dunphy
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Great inspiration for others and for yourself, Jonathan!

Good news, for sure. Congratulations.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
johnobryant
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I was reading a marketing book and it states that you should hold your ground with your fees. And be able to be the first to walk away from the gig if they think it is too high priced. In other words, don't be desperate to just book any gig.

Also, you should work with a clients budget. Not exactly making your price the same as the customers budget but maybe seeing what you could add on or subtract from the original show.

Don't be afraid to walk away from the gig.

-john
icentertainment
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I got a little tough with a customer today---not too good a feeling but here goes

After some negotiating on their part I eventually told them
names and companies withheld)

Look I don't mean to be rude but you want to book me on a Saturday night in December- You are a Huge company (fortune 500) and the location of the event is a rich area and you are trying to haggle me down. I'm going to turn down the job right now and I did and excused myself from the phone and hung up

1 hour later they called back and booked for the original price I quoted and appologised allot. >>They had the money all along, they just thought I was a small entertainer with no self respect or self worth.

Be strong, be tough, don't be rude (like me this time) be nice but at the same time don't let yourself be walked over by huge companies stand strong on your price and be ready if they ask why is it so much?- this is where your DVD and past client list and testimonials kick in - they see the quality and they hear whatever and whoever has booked you in the past has to say.
Jim Snack
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This has been a great thread. It reminded me of a story I heard many years ago about folksinger Arlo Guthrie.

When someone asked him what his fee was, he first asked about the booking to see if he even wanted to do it. Once he decided that he wanted to perform at the event, he told them that he only had two fees - "$4000 or free, which could they afford?"

If they couldn't afford his $4000 fee, then the show was free, because he didn't like to haggle over price and he had already decided he wanted to do the show.

I don't know if the story is true, but it is a good idea to have a firm policy regarding fees and under what conditions you will accept a lower fee.

Jim
Jim Snack

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icentertainment
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Gees I would say he would do allot of free shows
jlevey
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Jim,

Great story... but how does it end?

...was Arlo paid his fee,or did he do the show for free...?

I know, it doesn't really matter does it... after all, that's not the point.
____________________________

As always, thanks for your great insights and sharings.

Jonathan
Jonathan
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Jim Snack
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I don't know how it all ended. He probably just told them to contact his manager and he stepped out of the negotiations. I don't even know if the story was true, but I understand he did a fair amount of drugs back in the 1960s. Maybe he said it one time when he was tripping. If that was the case, ignore everything I wrote!

Jim
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impossible man
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I have found that one way to let people know the quality of your act is to ask a good price in a voice that lets them know you are perfectly willing to take a pass on any client that won't pay your price.

As my wife says when she tells me to ask for a raise in my salary, "Companies can do what they want to do." They will spend money when they want to. I once worked for a company that wouldn't give me a 5% raise, but spent $25,000 TWICE on counterfeit Microsoft licenses (incidentally, that amount was equal to my yearly salary at that time), trying to get them cheap.

Once you work inside a few companies you'll be surprised that some of your coworkers don't feel guilty for accepting a paycheck at all, let alone a bigger one than yours. You will make sure your magic prices are high enough.

I don't mean to be cynical, it's just that I've spent a lot of my life thinking everyone knew more than me, then trying to rewrite their programs, etc. and getting a little confidence in myself.
Dean Gilbert
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NJJ
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Here is a follow up question for you. I already have my own thoughts but I thought I'd throw this out there as a topic of discussion.

When do you do know when you REALLY are too expensive?
jlevey
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Perhaps you are "too" expensive when...

...When you aren't able to book shows because other entertainers of similar caliber are charging less and securing the gig(s).

Of course, they could be too "inexpensive", but without bookings, you are a tree falling in the woods.

Of course, at this point you could confer with your fellow magi and agree on an across the board fee raise... Unfortunateluy, many performers are "solo" people and will continue to charge however they see fit --however, some may see the light and "join you"... it's worth a try. When they hear how much "you" charge, they may think... "hey, I'm worth that too", and raise their prices accordingly.

Another way to now if you are too expensive is if you charge (and get) top dollar, but feel "lousey" after the show, knowing that the client and audience did not feel they got their monies' worth. And , of course, they will never book you again, nor will their associates, friends, family ,etc.

Conversely, you have "earned" your fee if the client pushes the payment into your hands and speaks in short, rapid bursts of enthusiasm and praise about how happy he/she is to have booked you and how much he /she and their guests enjoyed themselves during your performance... perhaps you should have charged more (and can... next time round).

My 3 cents.

Jim Snack... are you out there? If so, please contribute 4 cents or more.

Ice, Impossible man...? Are you there?

______________
Jonathan
Jonathan
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Jim Snack
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4 cents...too expensive...but here's my 2 cents:

I agree with Jonathan. If people aren't booking you than your fee may be too high and you may not be delivering the value clients expect for that fee. But if they are gushing after the gig because you delivered more value than they expected, your fee is no longer an issue.

If you finish a booking feeling that there was something else you could have done to deliver more value, then your fee may be too high. After every show, ask yourself if there was something else you could have done to 'WOW' your client. Did you go the extra mile?

Finally, if you are doing the gig only for the money, then your fee is too high.

Jim



Jim
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jlevey
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Thanks Jim,

I think you should raise your prices... that was definitely "worth" more than 2 cents!
Donald D... are you out there?

Nicholas J.... You started this whole thing --please share your thoughts on this.
Jonathan
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Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2006-11-15 09:18, jlevey wrote:
...Donald D... are you out there?...


Here I am. Smile

I agree with nearly everything that has been said so far, about how you know if your prices are too expensive.

But here are some more thoughts, for what they're worth.

I think you will always encounter people who think you cost too much, no matter what price level you are at.

And I also believe that when your show is a higher price, you don't have to close as many inquiries to still be successful. You make the same amount of money doing less shows.

The number of people who think you are over-priced depends partly on the quality of your lead-generation. I know from experience, when I ask how a person heard of me, if it was from a yellow page ad, they are more likely to have a price objection, than if it was from my parent magazine ad or from seeing my website. Also, if it's a referral, you encounter price objections less often.

Part of your ability to get paid the price you want, is based on your ability to deliver the product in a way that satisfies the customer. Not just doing a good show, but also building a good relationship with your customer. If you have repeat business, referrals, word of mouth, testimonial letters, great feedback from the customer, etc. then you are clearly satisfying the customer. Always keep your eyes open for the signs.

The other part of your ability to get paid the price you want, is to sell well, or show confidence in a way that others feel it, too. Yet, the balance of that, is to NOT be arrogant. Because part of the reason people hire you is because they like you.

I once read a post from someone, that said if you are booking 50% of your show inquiries, then you are priced at the right level. I strongly disagree.

You could be a horrible salesman, and still close 50% of your inquiries, simply because of your low price. You could be a good salesman, and have a price that is twice the other performer, and still have a 50% close rate. So it isn't the fee that determines the close rate.

Part of your ability to close is the quality of the leads, and part of the close is also your ability to sell (show that you can provide value).

Of course, the other part of having the ability to sell, is to follow through on your promises, and deliver the product you sell. Selling isn't finished just once they have agreed to buy. Selling is completed after they have had the product and are satisfied. That's what builds trust.

Many prospects will buy on value, if you take the time to show them you are worth what you are asking. I remember asking some birthday prospects their budgets, years ago, but they ended up spending 3 or 4 times that amount with me in the end, because I sold properly. If I hadn't sold well, then they might have been satisfied with spending only the money they budgeted. Now they were satisfied with spending way more than that. Why were they satisfied, even though they spent more money? Because they got what they wanted.

Like Zig Ziglar is famous for saying, "I believe... you can get everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want." Your job as a salesman / entertainer is to help people get what they want. (Do they want a magic show? Not necessarily. What they really want is often certain intangibles.)

So, if you aren't booking shows, and you suspect it's your price, it could really be several reasons: bad customer service, bad selling, wrong market, wrong lead generation, you might have priced yourself out of a market (not always a bad thing), etc.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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