The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » "How expensive!" (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
Mikael Eriksson
View Profile
Inner circle
None of your business
1064 Posts

Profile of Mikael Eriksson
I just received a phone call from a woman who wanted to hire me for a children's birthday party. She sounded positive until she heard my fee. She thought it was too much for half an hour and 6 children. I was a bit surprised, since my fee is much lower than some colleagues.

What do you say in a situation like this? I wanted to say, "You must be very poor if you think this is expensive." But, I didn't say it. I felt I had no good arguments, and that it might have led to an ugly discussion, so I didn't say much.

Is there any good solution/good lines in a situation like this? Preferably without being perceived as rude?
Smoke & Mirrors
View Profile
Special user
506 Posts

Profile of Smoke & Mirrors
I might have said what you did above:
"I'm a bit surprised, since my fee is much lower than some colleagues. "

That would have warned her that she likely won't find much better pricing.

Most people just don't realize what all goes into a show - 1000's of $$ worth of props, but most of all YOUR TIME.

Someone I know, when asked a price, tells them, "The show is FREE, but for me to be there will run you $200."

On a side note, why are you cheaper than others there?
Mikael Eriksson
View Profile
Inner circle
None of your business
1064 Posts

Profile of Mikael Eriksson
Thanks for your reply.

I prefer not to go into detail about why I charge what I do, since in the past, on this forum, it has led to disaster. If you are really interested, PM me, and I will reply privately.
Smoke & Mirrors
View Profile
Special user
506 Posts

Profile of Smoke & Mirrors
That's cool. Don't want to start any bad posts here, there's enough of those already.
threecardmonte
View Profile
Loyal user
278 Posts

Profile of threecardmonte
Hi Mikael,
A similar topic was discussed recently. It may give you some ideas:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......7&43

One idea is to offer different show "packages". That way, instead of them saying yes or no to your price, they are choosing between package A, B, or C. And don't tell them the price until after you have explained all the wonderful things your show includes.

Tim
Skip Way
View Profile
Inner circle
3771 Posts

Profile of Skip Way
I've generally responded by echoing their concern..."I understand how you feel that my fee may be higher than you expected. Please keep in mind that I offer a quality show, perfected over years of experience with guaranteed reliability...yada, yada, yada."

If they persist, I (personally) wouldn't offer that I'm the "cheapest act in town." In their shoes, my next thoughts would be, "Why is he the cheapest act in town? Is he even worth the money he's asking? How do I end this call?"

Since her primary concern was "It's only 6 children," my response would probably have been, "Yes, ma'am, I see what you're saying. However, we're discussing my time and experience. It takes me the same amount of time and effort to entertain your wonderful six guests as someone else's twelve or fifteen."

Try to leave it on a win-win level. "I know that once you and your children see my act, you'll love it. Aside from reducing my fee, which I believe accurately represents my worth, what can I do to earn your business?"

If they continue to resist...well, sometimes you simply have to walk away. Be polite, friendly, and supportive. Acknowledge that price is an issue and that you genuinely regret that you can't meet their needs. Encourage them to shop around. "If I can be of further service, please don't hesitate to call back. Have a great party!"

If fees are an issue, once she shops around, she'll either call back or do without.

Good luck!

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

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Ed_Millis
View Profile
Inner circle
Yuma, AZ
2286 Posts

Profile of Ed_Millis
Mikael:

I get the same situation. I also do balloon sculptures, and one of my specialties is a bouquet of flowers. No one else in my city has done them like I do, though there are good balloon workers who could if they wanted to. Yet people are constantly surprised when I name a price. But they would pay that much and more for a regular flower arrangement.

People have no concept of the value of the things we do. They see a kid's magic set in a toy shop, and think any magic for kids is cheesy and cheap. (Okay - so maybe some of what I do ~is~ cheesy and cheap! But I'm working on it!) And so they call me - they have never seen me, have never heard of me, have no idea if I'm going to be Copperfield in their living room or "Crappo the Clown", but they have already decided how much I'm worth - usually little or nothing.

Something I read on another thread really began to settle a concept for me - people treat well the things they value. If they see no value in you, they will not treat you well. And I don't want to work for them, because I refuse to be treated that way. If they've seen me perform before and have reasons why their perceived value of my services is so low, then we have a point of discussion. If they are simply convinced that I'm worth little or nothing, and they show no interest in learning why I think I'm worth more, then they are not worth my time (unless I'm just desperate for gas money!).

So I will simply say, "Thank you so much for thinking of me. I'm sorry I couldn't help you." And maybe, "Can I send you one of my brochures? Perhaps there's something else I do that can work for your next event."

Ed
Donald Dunphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7384 Posts

Profile of Donald Dunphy
Mikael -



In summary, I think it is a good idea to know how to sell your show effectively before you quote the price. Some prospects will be shocked at the price, some won't.

If they seem to see value in what you offer to them, vs. what you charge, then they will book the show. Sometimes all you need to do is ask for the booking, even if they express concern about the price.

If they don't find value, you really have 2 things you can do.

1) Work on your sales script, so it sells better (convinces them of your value). Work especially on the part before you quote the price. This is critical. If they still say, "It's more than I expected", listen to the way they said it. Sometimes they want more information, and that is when you can make an effort to convince them (talk more with them there, about their concern... tell them some testimonials from other customers... review what you are offering, aside from 30 minutes of your time... offer to mail them information... etc.). Sometimes they have already made a decision, and you won't be able to change their mind (and that is when you say, "I'm sorry that we won't be working together. Other customers seem very happy with my services, for the fee I charge. Thank you for your interest in my shows.") With experience, you can tell between the two, and then know the right thing to say.

2) Don't be concerned that every fish won't bite. Some will buy, some won't buy. Say "NEXT" in your mind. Move on to the next person. Let it go. The more desperate you are for a booking, the more it will tend to elude you. This is part of confidence (and success) in selling.

Hope that this helps.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Jeff Haas
View Profile
Special user
903 Posts

Profile of Jeff Haas
There will be some times when a potential client can't afford you.

I got a call the other day, someone had seen my show at a party, and their four-year-old had talked about it non-stop since then. They called to book me. After I gave them the price (exactly the same price I had charged the previous show), I got the response of, "I'll have to discuss this with my husband." Which is a polite way of saying no without having to say it directly to you.

I feel bad about that since she was pre-sold on it, but as Donald said, just keep going on.

Jeff
nucinud
View Profile
Inner circle
New York, New York
1296 Posts

Profile of nucinud
And then there is the potential client that calls you as an afterthought.

I got a call from a lady that wanted entertainment at a family gathering. She thought it would be a good idea to have a magician so the kids would not get bored. I told her my fee, and there was silence. So I asked, "Do you want an entertainer, or a babysitter?" She laughed and asked if I babysat. I said, "No, I entertain." She said she would think about it. I am not holding breath waiting for her to call back.

And then there was the women that called twice and asked the same questions and requested a contract twice. She also has not responded.
"We are what we pretend to be" Kurt Vonnegut, jr.



Now U C It Now U Don't

Harry Mandel

www.mandelmagic.com
kimmo
View Profile
Inner circle
Sheffield
1193 Posts

Profile of kimmo
I still get calls now and again from people who are horrified by the price and will say something like, "But I only wanted a bit of magic for the kids!!" I just politely suggest that I am perhaps not what they are looking for and get off the phone as quickly as possible. I am never rude to them, but it is sometimes quite obvious that no amount of high pressure sales techniques will convince them to book you. Let it go and move on!!

I remember being at Ian Adair's house when he got a call from someone who was clearly being rather rude about the price he'd quoted, and despite him trying to get the guy off the phone, he had chosen to try and beat Ian down on price. I watched Ian getting redder and redder in the face until he finally flipped and said in the most charming voice:

"Tell you what - perhaps you should phone 'round for a cheaper quote. Party food can be a bit expensive too, so why don't you go and root through the dustbins outside the local school for scraps to feed them on, and you could save even more money by making party hats from newspaper and streamers from toilet roll. By the way - try ringing up a taxi service and asking how much it would cost for them to drive to your house and sit outside for three hours, and then drive home - it will probably be only slightly less than I have just quoted you for a professional magic show you ignorant £$&*!!'

I was in stitches, but quite horrified about how he'd spoken to a potential client. It was only a week later he told me that the guy had hung up, and he'd just carried on talking for my benefit!!
VISIT MY ONLINE STORE!: www.kimmomagicshop.com
NEW LECTURE NOTES - SHOW US YOUR TRIX NOW AVAILABLE AS AN INSTANT DIGITAL DOWNLOAD!

Kimmo DVD available Now!
Watch the promo here!
Order your copy NOW! CLICK HERE!

ENTERTAINER,MAGICIAN AND VENTRILOQUIST'S BLOG - DON'T READ THIS...
rickmorse
View Profile
Regular user
Flushing, MI
131 Posts

Profile of rickmorse
I believe it was Dave Risley who asked (paraphrasing), "Do you try to talk your butcher into lowering the price on his prime rib? Of course not! His price is his price. It should be the same with us: our price is our price, and we have no need to explain how we arrived at the figure."
Mikael Eriksson
View Profile
Inner circle
None of your business
1064 Posts

Profile of Mikael Eriksson
Thanks for all the replies!
Neale Bacon
View Profile
Inner circle
Burnaby BC Canada
1775 Posts

Profile of Neale Bacon
I have people say, "I am paying $$$ for 45 minutes?" And I reply, "No, you are paying $$$ for 30 years of doing 45 minutes."
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
Starrpower
View Profile
Inner circle
4070 Posts

Profile of Starrpower
You can't win if you try to justify it, or make remarks like Neale's. That can be perceived as being a smart-aleck. If after your "pitch", they still think it's too high, maybe they're not a good match for you. And if you're less expensive than the competition, she may 1) come back, or 2) choose not to use a magician.

You can't win 'em all.
Cesar Munoz
View Profile
Veteran user
362 Posts

Profile of Cesar Munoz
There are a lot of great ideas on this thread. Some classics out of the sales books are:

1) Reduce It To The Ridiculous: You say your rate is low--so let's say your charging $100 (whatever the US equivalent would be).
Prospect: the price is too high.
Magician: What were you hoping to pay?
Prospect: $50
Magician: So, now you know that she would eagerly pay $50. You then proceed to explain that her daughter is only going to have a party once a year and that for an additional $50, or the equivalent of 15 cents a day, over the course of a year, she can get a really great magician. Then, ask her: Is it worth an additional 15 cents a day to have a really good magician? You've just reduced the gap between what she would willingly pay, and what you want her to pay, to 15 cents a day. Remember, you only have to "sell" the gap. If you decide to use this--have fun with it. You can't sell everybody.

2) The Shopper Stopper: Since you have already stated that you are the least expensive entertainer in your area, explain to the prospect that as far as you know, there isn't anyone else in the area that is offering the same attractive rate that you are offering. You are so confident of this, that you will match any price that she can confirm. If you raise your rates so that you are no longer the least expensive option, then you will no longer be able to use this approach.

Being the least expensive solution in a particular market is a legitimate marketing strategy, as long as you are doing it for the right reasons.

Regards,

Cesar
rickmorse
View Profile
Regular user
Flushing, MI
131 Posts

Profile of rickmorse
Quote:
On 2006-12-02 00:17, Starrpower wrote:
You can't win if you try to justify it, or make remarks like Neale's. That can be perceived as being a smart-aleck.


I disagree. Neale could also mention mommy will be paying for the time it takes him to shower, shave, drive to the show, unload, set up, do the show, pack up, wait around to be paid, drive back home, unload, and call it a day. When we go to the store to buy a pack of gum, we're not paying just for the gum: we're paying for its manufacture, packaging, advertising, and shipping, as well as the receiving store's markup, unpacking, shelving, and paying the clerk who sells it to you.
Starrpower
View Profile
Inner circle
4070 Posts

Profile of Starrpower
Rick,
What would YOU think if someone said, "You're paying me to shave and shower." I'd probably hang up on the jerk.

What you said is all true. But it's also true for all the other acts and gum manufacturers, so it's really a moot point, isn't it?

I stand by my statement that it can be PERCEIVED as a smart-aleck response. When a buyer is put into a situation in which you are trying to convince them to spend more money and come up with the type of stuff you wrote, they will definitely get defensive. They may even "shut down" and not listen to what you are saying. Those types of rationales, whether true or not, are condescending and more than a little rude.

I think Cesar is on the right track by ASKING QUESTIONS. What if you quoted $200, and they don't want to budge over $175? If you never ASK, you have no idea how close (or far apart) you may be. Until you know what you're dealing with, you can't sell against it.
Neale Bacon
View Profile
Inner circle
Burnaby BC Canada
1775 Posts

Profile of Neale Bacon
Starrpower,
I have NEVER had anyone perceive it as being a smart-aleck. It lets them know they are hiring a professional with over 30 years experience, and that's how people see it.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
Starrpower
View Profile
Inner circle
4070 Posts

Profile of Starrpower
But we don't really know another person's perception, do we?

My point wasn't aimed at you, Neale, but was more of a general observation. I don't think people really want a performer's justification for their prices; I think they just want a show that's within their budget. For the most part, they couldn't care less how long I've been performing.

"I am paying $$$ for 45 minutes?"
"No, you are paying $$$ for 30 years of doing 45 minutes."
"Well, then, I'll go find someone who's been doing this for only 10 years."
Based on your logic, Neale, if they find a guy who's been doing this 10 years instead of 30, will they get a poorer show? Or a cheaper show? Not necessarily on either count. I think this rationale makes sense to US, but for the most part doesn't mean much to a buyer. All they want is a good show within their price range.

I still think the approach Cesar suggested is best: find out how far off you are from their expectations. Without that information, what are you arguing against?

Sometimes the prospect is simply not a good match for our show and/or price. I don't think we need to worry about a comeback or justification. Sometimes people have "caviar appetites" with "french fry budgets."
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » "How expensive!" (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [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