The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » How many answer the phone when it rings? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2~3~4 [Next]
todd75
View Profile
Inner circle
1277 Posts

Profile of todd75
I was just listening to a Eric Paul lecture where he says that he NEVER EVER answers the phone. Interesting! I like his thinking behind it. If you are soooo busy, then why are you answering your phone?

Many, many years ago, before the big cellphone era hit, I went to a local paging company and bought a beeper. I had voice mail put on it, and every time someone left a message, it paged me. I had to dial in to get the message and call them back. Of course, that was way before I went full-time. It worked great, but it makes me wonder how many calls I lost with people who hung up. I think that some people, no matter who they are, just simply will not leave a message under any circumstances.

So...how many of you answer the phone every time it rings? I will admit that I do most of the time, but I usually will let it ring 3 times before picking it up. Is it just me, or have others noticed that when a person calls and does not leave a message, if you have caller ID and you call them back, they are 9 times out of 10 not a serious call anyway?

B-day party moms will usually hang up unless they are serious. Schools will almost always leave a message. What are your experiences?
todsky
View Profile
Inner circle
www.magicstore.ca
2320 Posts

Profile of todsky
Good question, other Todd. My business line is my cell phone. B-day moms often leave messages for me (although, I don't know how many don't). Schools and daycares leave messages. I usually pick up my phone, but lately I am getting tired of waiting for calls, and I'd rather not be interrupted by phone calls when I am either writing, reading, practicing, going for leisurely walks, etc. So starting in January, I've decided to close my cell phone, and just let it take message. I'll check the messages a couple of times a day. I'm tired of being a slave to the ringing of the phone.

Todd
Todsky's Magic Shop: over 15,000 tricks, books, DVD s and Card decks. www.magicstore.ca
Tony James
View Profile
Inner circle
Cheshire UK
1398 Posts

Profile of Tony James
This side of the pond, you either answer the phone or you don't get the job. Simple as that.

The days of leaving a message are long gone. The only messages are from people who have already booked and want to check something, or from event organisers, which is a different business. If you wait and check the caller ID and try and call back, you can't get through. The customer is calling the next on the list.

We have almost 60 entertainers in our local Yellow Pages. People select the adverts which appeal and start working through them. These days, they give themselves a time slot - say twenty minutes - to sort out the party. They will probably be at work and do it in their tea break.

In essence, the first person who answers and sounds reasonable gets the job.

Why is it that magicians in particular always want to appear busy? They try to give the impression they work eight days a week, fifty eight weeks per year! I don't find other types of acts playing games like this.

In North America, can you get birthday party work Monday to Friday?

That business is now tiny in the UK. At one time, there were parties and work two or three days each week after school. It's all gone.

Most parents are now at work Mon-Fri, often going back within a few months of the child's birth.

During the day, urban areas are populated by retired people and those who work from home. There are the odd few mothers who believe in being at home with their offspring, but they don't run parties either - they wouldn't get any children to come.

The children are either in nurseries, with approved childminders or grandparents, or when they get to five years plus, they can stay at school till someone collects them around 6 p.m. In the next year or so, all schools will have to supply this service.

So there's no problem here about answering phones. Indeed, as someone said to me, an unanswered phone is a sign of the entertainer not being professional and probably out doing other work.

A few parties appear mid-week during school holidays, but not many. This is a rich area, and many people fly off for short break holidays at these times. The parties, which do go ahead at this time and even at weekends, often don't have many children because so many are away.

The general Birthday Party business here is crammed into weekends, and Sunday is more popular than Saturday.

Of course, if you really want to kid the world you're flat out working, don't answer the phone Saturday or Sunday.

The rest of the week, ignore it at your peril!
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
todd75
View Profile
Inner circle
1277 Posts

Profile of todd75
Interesting!

I often cannot get to the phone because I do travel so much and go into areas with very poor cell phone service.

FYI- having an 800 # is a huge thing! It really says that you are professional. I have had many schools and libraries tell me that they could not call me if it were not for the 800 #.
ThePartyMagician
View Profile
Loyal user
Bristol, UK
216 Posts

Profile of ThePartyMagician
Quote:
This side of the pond, you either answer the phone or you don't get the job. Simple as that.

The days of leaving a message are long gone. The only messages are from people who have already booked and want to check something, or from event organisers, which is a different business.


That may be your experience, but mine is very different here in the UK. I have a message on my answerphone that tells people the times in the day that I return their calls. I haven't lost gigs yet because of that (mind you, people are generally pre-sold on my show anyway and are just phoning to check availability.)

Just another viewpoint to consider.
Best regards,
Mike
Potty the Pirate
View Profile
Inner circle
4619 Posts

Profile of Potty the Pirate
Tony,
My experience, and my approach, is totally different. I always work Saturday and Sunday, so I don't take calls during the day, but call back messages in the evenings. EVEN IF I'm at home, I STILL won't take the calls, as I expect the parents to realise that I must be out working. I consider this quite an important psychological element. On the very rare occasion I end up speaking to a client during the day on a Saturday or Sunday, I'll always mention that I'm very busy doing shows today.
I'm often out during the week, and I lose sales to customers who are working through the Yellow Pages. But the majority of clients are previous customers, have seen me at other parties or events, or have been recommended. These folks always leave a message, and are incredibly patient about getting hold of me.
I find more and more, that mum's don't want to just call through the Yellow Pages (especially, if they have a bit of money to spend). They want a personal recommendation, because they've seen so many amateurish entertainers (we have about 100 in our area now, 2 years ago there were only about 50).
Recently, I've begun to hear more and more horror stories about disastrous parties that descended into chaos because of a poor entertainer. I've heard of entertainers hitting kids, walking out of the party, demanding a "strong drink" a soon as they arrive, and performing half-drunk, and one clown who thought it was OK to come on to all the women who appeared to be single! These guys are causing many problems, because they put folks off hiring an entertainer altogether. But as I'm already established, I keep getting the work, far more than I can cope with.
todd75
View Profile
Inner circle
1277 Posts

Profile of todd75
Wow! It has been my experience that people who hang up are usually clients that you don't want anyway. You know the type - "Yeah, is this the musician? How much do you charge?" True leads always leave a message from what I can tell.
magicgeorge
View Profile
Inner circle
Belfast
4299 Posts

Profile of magicgeorge
Hi,
I've heard of this marketing method on another forum. I heard it described as "jerk marketing". The premise being, not answering the phone proves your busy, and therefore increases the clients interest. Here is some of my response:

"Not answering the phone proves nothing. How do you now they'll assume your busy working? For all they know, you might be off drinking, whoring, and smoking crack. Maybe the astute might notice something was afoot if you answered the phone on a Saturday afternoon, but if they where that astute, they wouldn't have phoned then in the first place.

It's when you pick up the phone and speak to the customer that you start the process of getting respect as a professional performer.

Answerphones can also be very bad for getting new business. Even with great marketing, new customers will often move on to the next number in the book, online, etc. if they get an answerphone. It's generally rebookings, and bookings via recommendations, that will leave messages and hang on till your free and change the date, the premises, etc. on your behalf. They've already seen or heard about your act, so they won't need convincing that you're a star.

As they say: "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."


Those were, and are, my views on purposely not answering the phone as a marketing technique. However, that does not mean I do not use the answerphone a lot. I like to take time off where I am not answering the phone to business calls. I do not want to be a slave to the telephone 24/7. But I think we are able to do this because we are in a position to do so. It's something we can do for ourselves, not as a positive marketing technique.

In addition to my above comments on new business, I'm not saying I don't get any new business from the answerphone; just not as much as I would get as if I was by the phone everyday.

George
Donald Dunphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7401 Posts

Profile of Donald Dunphy
"The money is in the phone, and I get richer and richer with every call!"

(From The Wealthy Spirit, by Chellie Campbell).

That can apply to incoming calls, as well as your outgoing calls for information gathering and selling.

There is a great thread about this on the KidAbra forum. Julian Franklin shared some excellent thoughts about why people, like Eric, choose not to answer the phone... it's more than just the appearance of being busy. And it only works if you personally are in demand. Otherwise, it costs you shows. If you are a member there, and have access, send me a PM for a link.

Here's what I posted on that thread:

I currently have my business number forwarded to my cell phone (for about 4 years now), so I can retrieve my messages quicker. The weakness is that I sometimes get dropped calls, and that makes a poor impression at times (but it's a great excuse to ask for their name and number right off the bat).

The decision about answering the phone depends upon 3 main things, I have decided:

1) Are you making the best use of your time resources?

If you have many different calls coming in during a day, then answering your phone at those random times when people call will reduce your productivity at accomplishing other tasks. You simply can't jump around with your mind totally focused on multiple tasks at once. You want to batch your tasks together. Set three or so time periods during the day when you will return calls, if you are constantly being interrupted. Now I usually get between zero and 6 calls a day, and so on certain days I feel I can afford more time to answer it then and there.

Also, you can't make yourself a slave to the phone. Too many performers jump to answer the phone and are more focused on it and other business activities than their relationships with the family, etc. They run their magic business 18 hours a day or more, 7 days a week. Not healthy. Eat dinner with your family, uninterrupted. Spend time with your friends, without answering the phone. "Turn off" your business. You need to focus on other things sometimes, and not answer the call.

2) Are you prepared to give any sales script at any time?

First off, do you have a sales presentation memorized, and can you do it anywhere you are, at any time? Or do you need the hard copy of your script in front of you? Do you have the materials with you to take notes? Can you honestly say to yourself that you are giving your customer the full attention they deserve? If you can't give them the full attention, it shows through and costs you shows, rather than benefits you to answer the phone. I can give a sales presentation at any time, but won't do it while driving, nor just before going in to a show or other appointment (might take too long, and also damages my focus), or while walking about, etc. I either do it in the privacy of sitting in my parked vehicle or at home (in my office).

3) Are you playing to your personal strengths?

One of my own personal strengths, I have found, is selling to the customer on the phone. I can answer the phone and immediately "turn on" into selling mode. Some people can't and need to be in a certain frame of mind to do it best.

And I also have found that, especially for birthday inquiries that are calling from the yellow page ads, they are looking to talk to someone live. Other customers are sometimes more patient and won't have booked someone else by the time you get back to them.

Often, they book the first person that they talk to live, providing that person does a competent presentation on the phone. So if you sell well on the phone, and most of your inquires by phone tend to book during that initial conversation, then answer it immediately if you can, and if you aren't violating the criteria above.

So, it really is a personal decision. In most cases I do answer the phone, but sometimes I purposefully don't.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Tim Hannig
View Profile
Inner circle
Chicago area
1034 Posts

Profile of Tim Hannig
Several years ago, I hired a secretary to handle the phones and paperwork. She also sends out my products to magicians. It's great that she can take care of that while I am doing shows.

So, the perception (and hopefully the truth) is that I am good enough to need a secretary and also provide professional service.
Author of PERFORM...all the stuff to think about

Over 450 pages, hardcover, full color

"I loved this book!" - Ken Weber

"4 out of 4 stars - highly recommended" - Nick Lewin

"Chock full of ideas that will make me more $$ and my shows more professional!" - Leif David

Foreword written by Joshua Jay

Tim's book and other goodies to help performers here...

[email]tim@pkshow.com[/email]
Potty the Pirate
View Profile
Inner circle
4619 Posts

Profile of Potty the Pirate
Tim, that's the best solution of all. And if a magician is lucky enough to have a wife or girlfriend who can sell shows over the phone, everyone wins! Also, a sales pitch by a third party (albeit with a strong bias) comes across very well if done effectively.
nucinud
View Profile
Inner circle
New York, New York
1296 Posts

Profile of nucinud
I always answer the phone if I can. Not answering will cost you gigs.
"We are what we pretend to be" Kurt Vonnegut, jr.



Now U C It Now U Don't

Harry Mandel

www.mandelmagic.com
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
I guess, then, I am the luckiest guy in the world. Not only does my wife run and know our magic business as well as I do myself, but she is also my partner on stage. She is an intrical part to our shows success.

She and I always answer our phone. It is actually one of our strong points, and we both feel confident to do so. We also have phone scripts that we have by our phones to help us in the event we are tired, etc. It can really help us to stay on track. I guess our philosophy is to answer the phone, talk to the prospect, and try and change that prospect into a paying customer as soon as we can.

I am also lucky that I can have her work on the business stuff that needs to get done as I am often working late hours, and we can keep on top of running our magic business the way we want it to run. I then have the luxury of being able to travel with my wife to shows and enjoy performing and sharing the magic together.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
Al Angello
View Profile
Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

Profile of Al Angello
I answer or return every call ASAP, and I fight for every booking, or I will be forced to get a DAY JOB. I believe that the hard work is done on the phone, and the job is merely harvesting the money.
Al Angello
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Danny Hustle
View Profile
Inner circle
Boston, MA USA
2393 Posts

Profile of Danny Hustle
Quote:
On 2006-11-28 21:46, Tony James wrote:
In North America, can you get birthday party work Monday to Friday?



Yes, you can! Isn't that the craziest thing! Smile I know the first time I got called for a Wednesday birthday party during a school week, I thought it was really strange. I do not book a lot of them, but perhaps 4 or 5 per month average. It is not at all unusual during school vacation weeks.

Fridays are actually pretty popular, so much so that I count them as weekend days. If I include Fridays, I am working at least another 5 or 6, as it is not unusual to do 2 birthday parties on a Friday; one at 5 p.m. and another at 7 p.m. Fridays are much more popular in the summer, and sometimes even book quicker than Saturdays.

I think it's odd too. Particularly as a parent of an 8 year old, myself. **shrug**

On the phones, I always pick up.

Best,

Dan-
Image

"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
TomBoleware
View Profile
Inner circle
Hattiesburg, Ms
2728 Posts

Profile of TomBoleware
Maybe I’m just ol' fashion, but when I call a business and nobody answers, the thought isn’t that they are working to hard too answer, but rather they are poor business people by not having someone take the time to answer the phone. If your really too busy to answer the phone, then are you to busy to do business with me?

Many already view magicians (and many other self-employed) as poor business owners anyway, and not taking care of business only helps prove them right. I see nothing wrong with giving them a number and telling them to wait, but to ignore a potential customer is not good business anyway you look at it.

I guess it comes down to how you want others to view you. As an individual, yes, it could be hard to reach you, but if you’re putting yourself out there as a business, then somebody, or at least a well thought out message on a machine, needs to be running the business all the time.

To me, not answering the phone is a lot like a business place locking the front door during business hours. Playing hard to get only works for teenage girls. Smile


Tom
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

The Daycare Magician Book
www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

Tom Boleware
www.tomboleware.com
todd75
View Profile
Inner circle
1277 Posts

Profile of todd75
I can see that this has turned into a great post, which is what I was hoping for.

I agree with what Eric and Julian both say about not answering the phone only if you are an in demand performer. Not to come off as sounding like an ego crazed person, but yes - I am in demand. However, there are those times when I just simply do not want to answer the phone because I am either doing family things with my wife and kids, working on a project, etc.

It seems to me that yellow page shoppers make up the majority of people who hang up. Like I said before - 9 times out of 10, you don't want these clients anyway because they are likely to cancel on you.

Thanks to everyone for your input!

P.S. Kyle - I am sending you something in the mail.
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
You are most welcome. Thanks, Todd. I look forward to receiving whatever it may be. It just better not be ticking when I receive it. lol

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
Danny Hustle
View Profile
Inner circle
Boston, MA USA
2393 Posts

Profile of Danny Hustle
Tom,

GREAT post. You really hit the nail on the head.

Best,

Dan-
Image

"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
todd75
View Profile
Inner circle
1277 Posts

Profile of todd75
I agree and disagree, as well!

I think that answering the phone these days can be quite a nice change. How many times do we call businesses and get one of those PRESS THIS, PRESS THIS, PRESS THIS, STAY ON HOLD, STAY ON HOLD LONGER recordings that say we are soooo important to them?

On the other hand, I think that people expect to get a recording. I know that when I am on the road and cannot get to the phone that I always return calls ASAP.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » How many answer the phone when it rings? (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2~3~4 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.25 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL