The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » What happened, was this... » » Bad experience (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

SoCalPro
View Profile
Inner circle
Southern California
1603 Posts

Profile of SoCalPro
I get this call last month. The client wants me for her 7 and 9 year old birthday. She tells me where she is not exactly local but isn’t too far either. I give her my the spiel (I always sell the show first before giving pricing) and then I tell her that my performance fee is $250.00 (that’s right, that’s what I charge and is any locals wanna lowball me that is your problem). She them asks me is I give discounts? “Discounts for what” I ask. I then tell her that I could give her a $25.00 discount if she agrees to pay cash. She then asks me if I would accept a gas card for some of the fee. At this point I am thinking that maybe she really can’t afford me. I was wrong!!!

I gave her and her family 4 tickets to the amusement park I perform at ($48.00 value). They come see me and really like my show. I used the 7 year old on stage and he was a complete little jerk the whole routine. They book me on the spot. I call the client who again asks me if that is the best price and again asked me about the gas card. I politely tell her that I would really rather have the cash. She agreed. I fax her my performance agreement (I hate the word contract). She has problems faxing back so she has me call her husband at work. He works at a Jaguar dealership. Can you see where I am going with this???

Show day:

Get off the freeway, start heading up the street. The houses look a little run down. Ok, this may not be so bad. I start going up hill and the further up I go, the nicer the houses get. I know I made a mistake now.

I get to her house. It’s huge!!! I pull in and park. She told me 25 kids, 25 adults, give or take. There must have been 100 people there!!! She hired lifeguards for her 2 pools, had several food and beverage servers and cooks. I was ticked!!!

I get there and there was no real good location for my show so they all could see. So the husband showed me where to set up and he would have the kids sit in front of me. I reconfirmed that this is a family show and not just a kids show. He said, “ya, ok” and walked away.

Show time:

I walk around and make announcements to the adults that we are having a FAMILY show in just 10 minutes and go take their seats. I had MAYBE 12 adults watching my show. The rest, including Mr. and Mrs. Retch Bast.ard weren’t paying attention. I start the show and get the 2 birthday kids up and an adult with a tray of popcorn walks right in front of me and starts distributing. All the kids jumped up. I ask her... “ Can you wait until the show is done before you pass those out pleased”? She said, “Oh, the kids have been waiting for them, it’ll only take a minute.” What can you do.

Anyway, the 9 year old was fine but the 7 year old was his same jerky self and I wasn’t surprised. I did my show, the kids were rowdy, who was fine, and I am used to it and can handle them. The 7 year old starts throwing popcorn and stuff at me during the show.

After the show I packed up and headed out. The husband followed me out and asked.. “ That was $225 cash, right”? Yes I say and he reaches in his pocket and gives me cash. Just before I leave, he tells me that if I ever need a car or van, give him a call.

The End

There has to be a way not get burned this way in the future. That is why I was thinking about doing an Earth Google and seeing where they live. I understand that some really do need the discount (I have 2 kids of my own) but then you get people like these who just take advantage of you. That’s not right!!!

Thanks for reading. 

JIM
bcookmagic
View Profile
Elite user
seattle wa
476 Posts

Profile of bcookmagic
LOl, sorry about that man but sooner or later we all get a family like that. Brian
If your not having fun doing what your doing....dont do it!
WWW.BRIANCOOKMAGIC.COM
Stevethomas
View Profile
Inner circle
Southern U.S.A.
3730 Posts

Profile of Stevethomas
Yep..been there! One house had 2 driveways and looked like something from Disneyworld. 2 gazebos around the pool(s), waterfall leading into the pool. I should've charged more. Oh, wait...I couldn't...booked it through a NATIONAL AGENCY (who will remain nameless)..

Steve
Christopher Starr
View Profile
Inner circle
Heart of America
1851 Posts

Profile of Christopher Starr
It has been my experience that the more money a person has, the pushier they are about discounts, etc.
SoCalPro
View Profile
Inner circle
Southern California
1603 Posts

Profile of SoCalPro
Quote:
On 2007-05-09 16:32, bcookmagic wrote:
LOl, sorry about that man but sooner or later we all get a family like that. Brian


Yeah, I get these from time to time. There has to be a way to protect yourself. Smile
sibbie
View Profile
Special user
East Coast
523 Posts

Profile of sibbie
My dad has worked in sales for many many years and goriwng up (and still now) here stories about these kind of personalities. Although you can't avoid all of them at least I am much better prepared to deal with them.
Borack
View Profile
Regular user
Tampa Bay
109 Posts

Profile of Borack
He didn't get that house and his money paying retail..!!!!
MagiClyde
View Profile
Special user
Columbus, Ohio
871 Posts

Profile of MagiClyde
There's also the possibility that they have all those goodies by being in hock up to their eyeballs. They may not be trying to keep up with the Jones, but ARE the Jones!
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
Donald Dunphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7404 Posts

Profile of Donald Dunphy
Hi again Jim,

I'm not really clear if you are asking for advice, or just venting.

However, here's some of my thoughts on it, if I were in your shoes.

For birthday shows, I always get paid in cash. I tell them that when they book the show, and also in the confirmation letter, and also when calling to confirm the show a couple of days beforehand. I tell them I'll be sure to give them a receipt, because I wouldn't expect them to pay cash without a receipt. I ask for cash because a few years ago, a birthday customer bounced a cheque on me. Now, no more trust. So, always cash for birthdays. (And no discount for paying cash.) I rarely have anyone even comment about that request. It's just "my policy", and I state it matter-of-factly, not like its a special request.

I also have several fees for birthday shows, partly dependent upon the number of kids and adults at the party, and also dependent upon which package. I ask that information before quoting, and when I quote the fee, I say this is for xx amount of people at your in-home birthday party, and this fee is for yy amount of people, and this fee is for zz amount of people. I also put that in the rates sheet I send along with my info kit.

For birthdays, I always try to maintain fee integrity. Parents talk to one another -- you get birthday shows by referrals. Fee integrity means not discounting. In the very few cases I reduced a fee, I always made them give something to me in lieu of that part. For example, a testimonial letter, for the $25 off, plus they have to keep the fee confidential. (BTW, 99% of my testimonial letters are from customers who paid me my full fee, and often a tip, and then wrote a letter as well.)

I nearly always stand my ground on the fee, and sometimes they walk (I don't get the booking). The thing to learn is the attitude of that being ok, of losing the booking over the price, even if it seemed they really wanted you. It makes it easier to stand your ground on fee integrity.

Here's a classic saying:

- Some will
- Some won't
- So what?
- Who's next?

Sometimes those that seem like you are going to lose, do come back and book the show (come up with the money). That is mostly because I have sold them on me, not because I am the cheapest around. Even though you might be tempted to discount to close the sale, it is not necessary. Sometimes they will ask, but still book, even if you say no. It's ok to say no to discounts. It's because they want you / like you, so work on that part (selling / being personable).

I've encountered a family before that tried to barter a lot over the fee, and I came to their house to do the show, and it was more like a mansion. Or it's a bigger / flashier party than you expected, considering they were bartering over the fee.

Sometimes you get some who can barely afford you, and sometimes it is easy for them to afford you. But even if they can easily afford you, doesn't mean they will act like that. And also even if they can barely afford you, doesn't mean they will act like that, either.

Whether they can easily afford you or not, neither of those is important in closing the sale. It's all about how bad they want you.

- Donald

P.S. First time I ventured into this area, and Jim directed me from another area. I think I just read that I'm not supposed to give advice here, so please forgive me.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Brent McLeod
View Profile
Inner circle
New Zealand
1700 Posts

Profile of Brent McLeod
Great thread!!

Jim-I think you handled this well-put it down to experience, but you will be better in the future for it!

Donald-

Good sound advice as usual

Even in the corporate market I work Im sure weve all heard the scenario that the cheaper you charge the worse you are treated at times!!!!!
Donald Dunphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7404 Posts

Profile of Donald Dunphy
Thanks, Brent.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Justin Style
View Profile
Inner circle
2010 Posts

Profile of Justin Style
Quote:
On 2007-05-09 15:12, SoCalPro wrote:
I get this call last month. The client wants me for her 7 and 9 year old birthday. She tells me where she is not exactly local but isn’t too far either. I give her my the spiel (I always sell the show first before giving pricing) and then I tell her that my performance fee is $250.00 (that’s right, that’s what I charge and is any locals wanna lowball me that is your problem). She them asks me is I give discounts? “Discounts for what” I ask. I then tell her that I could give her a $25.00 discount if she agrees to pay cash. She then asks me if I would accept a gas card for some of the fee. At this point I am thinking that maybe she really can’t afford me. I was wrong!!!

I gave her and her family 4 tickets to the amusement park I perform at ($48.00 value). They come see me and really like my show. I used the 7 year old on stage and he was a complete little jerk the whole routine. They book me on the spot. I call the client who again asks me if that is the best price and again asked me about the gas card. I politely tell her that I would really rather have the cash. She agreed. I fax her my performance agreement (I hate the word contract). She has problems faxing back so she has me call her husband at work. He works at a Jaguar dealership. Can you see where I am going with this???

Show day:

Get off the freeway, start heading up the street. The houses look a little run down. Ok, this may not be so bad. I start going up hill and the further up I go, the nicer the houses get. I know I made a mistake now.

I get to her house. It’s huge!!! I pull in and park. She told me 25 kids, 25 adults, give or take. There must have been 100 people there!!! She hired lifeguards for her 2 pools, had several food and beverage servers and cooks. I was ticked!!!

I get there and there was no real good location for my show so they all could see. So the husband showed me where to set up and he would have the kids sit in front of me. I reconfirmed that this is a family show and not just a kids show. He said, “ya, ok” and walked away.

Show time:

I walk around and make announcements to the adults that we are having a FAMILY show in just 10 minutes and go take their seats. I had MAYBE 12 adults watching my show. The rest, including Mr. and Mrs. Retch Bast.ard weren’t paying attention. I start the show and get the 2 birthday kids up and an adult with a tray of popcorn walks right in front of me and starts distributing. All the kids jumped up. I ask her... “ Can you wait until the show is done before you pass those out pleased”? She said, “Oh, the kids have been waiting for them, it’ll only take a minute.” What can you do.

Anyway, the 9 year old was fine but the 7 year old was his same jerky self and I wasn’t surprised. I did my show, the kids were rowdy, who was fine, and I am used to it and can handle them. The 7 year old starts throwing popcorn and stuff at me during the show.

After the show I packed up and headed out. The husband followed me out and asked.. “ That was $225 cash, right”? Yes I say and he reaches in his pocket and gives me cash. Just before I leave, he tells me that if I ever need a car or van, give him a call.

The End

There has to be a way not get burned this way in the future. That is why I was thinking about doing an Earth Google and seeing where they live. I understand that some really do need the discount (I have 2 kids of my own) but then you get people like these who just take advantage of you. That’s not right!!!

Thanks for reading. 

JIM

LOl! Funny Story!

But.



You had no control from the very beginning. So many mishaps along the way, I just don't have time right now to get into all of them.

However, the most important thing is to make sure you have everything in writing. You need to spell out everything. Make sure you cross all your T's and dot all your “i's”. The other thing is even though you have a plan as to what you want to do, you need to be flexible and go with the flow. You're there to serve their needs and sometimes they just don't care.

Don't worry, learn from this one (as you should from every one) and move on. Take more time to write it all down on paper. I've worked in production at major music concerts. You should see the Artist' Rider. It lists everything they desire. This way when they get to the venue, it's laid out to their exact specifications. In the end, this makes everyone’s life easier.

Good luck...
zimsalabim
View Profile
Special user
Orlando Floirda USA
518 Posts

Profile of zimsalabim
Let me see you gave a 25.00 discount to the client you cgave them tickets to the amusment park you work at teh booked you and and paid you at the end in cash as you requested. Oh and one of the Brithday kids was a little pain. Lets see you didn't feel you got enough for the gig. But you did get what you asked for under the terms that you asked. Ok I fail to see how you got burned. If your rate is 250.00 how does it change just because they live in better neighborhood or drive a farrari or whatever? Just my 2 cents The show is the same for all. The price should be too don't you think.
Joe Zimmer

"The Second Greatest Magician in the World"

Who is the Greatest? Everybody else! Borrowed with respect from the late Great Eddie Fechter Owner of the Forks Hotel

Zimsalabim

Orlando Florida
freefallillusion1
View Profile
Elite user
Cincinnati, OH
447 Posts

Profile of freefallillusion1
I've had this happen a lot more with shows I booked through agencies. In those cases, it's the agency that handles the details and a lot gets lost in the translation. I had one show where I got there and the parents asked if I wanted to use a microphone attached to a small karaoke machine so that I could be heard better. This was in a small basement for about 15 kids so I explained that it wouldn't be necessary, and that I had to have my hands free anyway. Well, as I'm setting up, the birthday kid takes a seat directly behind me. I smile and tell him that he won't be able to see anything, that he'll want to sit up front. I might as well have been talking to a brick wall. The kid stares blankly at me and repeats his firm position that he's GOING to sit here. After politely asking a zillion more times, I all but have to finally move the kid myself. So... the show begins. The birthday kid's rudeness should have clued me in to how his parents act in real life, because it quickly became apparent that I should have taken the karaoke machine and "lost the batteries" or something. The Father (who had been drinking all day) had gotten the microphone. There he is, yelling in the back of the room, and I'm now trying to be heard amongst his repeated amplified yells of "HEYYYYYYYY JIMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!". I also spent the entire show wrestling the birthday kid away from the spot he originally wanted, because that's where all my props now happen to be and he's deciding he wants to be an instant magician (or prop thief).

This was one of those shows where you chalk it up to experience. It's discouraging but at least you know that they don't usually go this way.

Phil
Stevethomas
View Profile
Inner circle
Southern U.S.A.
3730 Posts

Profile of Stevethomas
But...did the HUGE check clear?

Steve
rossmacrae
View Profile
Inner circle
Arlington, Virginia
2432 Posts

Profile of rossmacrae
There were about six places in the lead-up that would have made me say "I think I'm polishing my car that day, sorry but I'm not available."
ssucahyo
View Profile
Inner circle
indonesia
1940 Posts

Profile of ssucahyo
Thanks for sharing your intersting story......!!!!!

CC.
Creator of the "High Voltage Gimmick" and Shaman's spirit table
https://youtu.be/Rlgl4CzUa98

IG: @affordable_illusions_magic
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » What happened, was this... » » Bad experience (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.31 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