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p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Hi,
I was wondering how many of you offer any form of guarantee with your shows?


Phillip
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
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I've never offered a guarantee Phillip. I would be worried that you might get the occasional nutter who will think they could get away with not paying you by saying your not good enough. My contract I send out says the payment is to be made before I start the show, I don't noramlly ask for it, but if I'm not sure about someone, I always ask for it before I start.
But I would never Guarantee a show. If they are not happy, they can discuss it with me after. I had someone recently decide not to pay me my full amount because they thought I wasn't good enough. When we got into the conversation further, she admited that she wasn't happy because she had worked all that day for nothing as it was for charity, and I was being payed £90 for, quote: "tying balloons for an hour" I took it further and won, she had to pay the full amount. With a guarantee, I'm not sure how I would have got the money.
All the best, Billy
Vilago
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P.B., this past week I started to consider doing just that, especially after reading Jay Abraham's ideas on the subject (for those who don't know, Jay is a renowned business consultant). He says that, once you offer it, you should expect a refund rate from .5 to 3%, while your total return should escalate 30 - 40%...seems reasonable enough to test it out for awhile.

Or maybe it could be adjusted to offer a guarantee if "the kids don't laugh and aren't amazed"...something along those lines might weed out the cranks...how can they argue that their kids didn't laugh?
Andy Wonder
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I've been pondering offering this as well. I guess this depends on why people don't book you. If you know you are loosing booking because people are not sure if you are good enough then it could be a good move.
If on the other hand you are one of the higher priced entertainers in your market and you loose work because some people think you are too expensive. You might be inviting more trouble.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Vilago
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Andy, I agree that this might cause problems in showbiz land, but I still think it might be good to test it in certain areas...who knows, it might work?
Andy Wonder
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I am planning on offering a guarantee for my school shows for the 1st time this year. I am still not sure about offering it for private birthday parties. I would like to offer a guarantee because I see it as an added benefit to my clients. On the other hand I know for sure some people would take advantage of it.
What has been your experience Phillip?
Smile
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
p.b.jones
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Hi,
Well I have offered a full money back guarantee if not 100% satisfied. For over 15 years now and have never had any problems. Andy contrary to what you mentioned I think that it is more of an advantage when you are more expensive than the competition. My fees are double my nearest competitor and almost triple others. The idea of putting the risk on me instead of the client works to my advantage.
Phillip

Villago,
Jays material is great, I have his book, a twelve audio cassette set and a video of him at a Tony Robbins Success boot camp. If you like Jay you will like Millard Grubbs books. Millard has taken Jay's ideas and applied them to magic so the work is done for you.

Phillip
kenscott
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Phillip
Great points, I totally agree with you. I have never offered a guarantee. I think it is a added bonus to the client for booking you. At what point should you decide to do this? If your calendar is full for the most part, why do it? Now if someone is having trouble booking shows, then adding a guarantee is the thing to do.

Millard Grubb???
JamesinLA
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Who is to decide that you did not live up to your obligation? There should be some imperical criteria to be met or argued by the person wanting a refund. In this way, it's not open to caprice (I just don't feel like paying you) while it also is a comfort to those who are genuinley worried that they get what they paid for.
Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
p.b.jones
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At what point should you decide to do this? If your calendar is full for the most part, why do it?

Hi,
This is all covered by the same answer I think the Guarantee is most useful in two circumstances.

1. When you are building your business/needing to increase Qty of shows

2. When you reach the point that I did where you are offered much more shows than you could perform but are at/near the top of what you can ask per show in your area. By offering a guarantee you will find that you can move above what people would normally pay because there is no risk at their end.

Phillip
Dynamike
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I never offer a guarantee with my shows. I have confidence in what I do. I always get positive remarks. I have been late at times because the traffic was slow, there was bad weather, I had a hard time leaving my previous site, etc. If I'm late I may give my customer a $20 discount. But I'm not going to offer all the money back.
p.b.jones
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I have been late at times because the traffic was slow, there was bad weather, I had a hard time leaving my previous site, etc. If I'm late I may give my customer a $20 discount. But I'm not going to offer all the money back.
Hi,
I do not want to be picky here, But sorry I would not book you.

You may do a great show but being late is a non starter for me. You say you have confidence in what you do, but then you contradict that by saying that you are sometimes late. Personally I have never been late starting (my fault) or missed a show through illness ect in over 20 years. But if I was late I would invoke the guarantee myself and do the show for free.
Just my opinion

Phillip
Cheshire Cat
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Our name and our reputation is our guarantee. Once this status has been achieved what more is required other than maintaining standards? If anyone expressed dissatisfaction I would require a detailed analysis of why to check we had not just booked in some sort of 'nut' before we made any sort of financial or verbal concession to them. Any form of lateness is unacceptable as parents are under a tremendous degree of stress within the 30 mins. or so before a party. 'Being there' goes a long way to alleviating this stress for them (I know this can be difficult for clown/costume entertainers). Smile
Andy Wonder
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Millard Grubb has quite an extensive looking marketing package for magicians. I am saving up for it. The Magician's Emergency Tool Kit! - Gold Edition It looks similar to the Dave Dee course I suppose but has a lot more content.

After reading your comments Phillip I have decided I am going to try offering a guarantee for private birthday shows this year. It could be a good way of getting feedback on my show. I remember a party 3 years ago year where the birthday Mum complained that I had not made her little boy the star of the show like she had wanted. She had seen my web site or brochure that said your child could get the credit for making the magic happen. I had ignored the birthday boy during the show because he was just 1 year old and sleeping at the back of the room. He woke up while I was making balloons afterwards. He also had an unusual foreign name that I had forgotten. Her complaint although I did not like it at the time really was valuable. Ever since then I always make a point of memorising unusual names and spelling them as they sound in my dairy. Now with 1 year old children that can’t really participate I pepper the show with use of their name.
Most parents in that situation would not have complained to me. They may have told their friends but not me. There is a saying in marketing that an unhappy customer will complain about your service to their friends before they ever tell you. I guess with a guarantee you are giving them a financial incentive to give you that feedback. Who knows I might be doing something in my show that irritates parents and not even be aware of it. Offering a guarantee might be a good way to find out.
I will keep you guys posted as to how I get on with my money back guarantee.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
p.b.jones
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Hi,
I always tell the parents on the phone when booking a show for a 1 year old that they will be too young to participate as an on stage helper. One other important line in my phone script is when saying how the child gets to help ext is "Provided the birthday child is willing" I have various techniques to get shy children up, but once in a while you get one that is just too shy.
Phillip

Our name and our reputation is our guarantee. Once this status has been achieved what more is required other than maintaining standards?

Very true but lets say tommorrow you decided you wanted to increase you fees by 60%. This would likely push you above other entertainers in your areas prices. Do you not think that a buyer looking for the best for their party might look at you and think, well he is much more expensive than the rest so he must be better, plus we have nothing to lose as if he is rubbish we get our money back.
Phillip
Cheshire Cat
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Hello Phil and Andy - welcome to 2003! Hope it will be great for you. Andy, without wishing to offend you can I ask why you feel a necessity to book in 1 year old's parties. We start children at age 4, although it would be nice to be able to do 3 year old girls' parties as they are so way ahead of boys. I know parents say: "there will be older children at the party", but this is not always the case, and it's not getting a whole school class of kids and parents to see your work - with the obvious potentialities is it? Phil, I'd love to increase our fees by 60%, and with what we do ("make their living room like a theatre" to quote Ken Scott) we are probably worth it. But after 20-odd years of just going up by £5 every September it would be so difficult and I feel it would be "used" by competitors against us. Another hurdle at the moment is the £100 barrier for Birthdays. You dollar entertainers have no doubt passed this a few years ago. My instinct seeing there are two of us (so we earn double in any case being in two places at once!) is to hold back and let others hit the £100 Birthday barrier first. Smile
Billy Whizz
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Hi Aceparties, I know the feeling, here in the South West is the same, I'm concerned about going over that £100 barrier for Birthdays. I think next year, I'll maybe jump to £110, a £15 jump because somehow I think it sounds better to say £110 than it does to say £100. (fingers crossed eh?)
All the Best, Billy
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Hi,
Well I have been well over the £100.00 barrier for most of my party packages for quite a while now. I think you will find that it is just a mental fear on your part rather than reality. I do not live in a rich area and have sea on several sides so my radius is ltd. But I can still pull more than I can handle.
By the way most marketing gurus will tell you that fees ending in 7 will almost always out pull other price endings and in our business you will find that the majority of clients will tip you upward.
Phillip
Cheshire Cat
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We do live and trade in a very rich area but still cautious Phillip. Some Manchester based entertainers try £120 for Birthdays, and probably get a few takers here in loadsamoney Cheshire, but we look to trade about 6 parties a week between us in 2003. The tips are often and forthcoming which is nice, overheads are very low - just Yellow Pages, modelling balloons, sweets, two capable cars - guess we've reached that point in life whereby we've "achieved wealth", although not through kids parties! Smile
kenscott
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By the way most marketing gurus will tell you that fees ending in 7 will almost always out pull other price endings and in our business you will find that the majority of clients will tip you upward.

Phillip can you explain this I did not understand this but it sounded good???
Ken
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