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KeirRoyale
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Denver, CO
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Hey everyone, first off thanks thus far for all your comments on my kids' site http://www.DenverKidMagic.com on the previous thread. This is a website I designed to target Denver area childrens' magic shows.

A few people have stated that they don't think I should list pricing on my site for my birthday party magic shows. This is something I always go back and forth on myself so I thought I would get some more feedback from the masses. (and yes I know this has been discussed here before but searching did not specifically point out anything of interest to me)

Currently I have my pricing and packaging listed (although that may change in the near future) for four different kid's birthday party magic shows.

So the question is: Should I post my pricing or not? Or should I even list the packages?

Thanks,

Keir

http://www.DenverKidMagic.com
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Hi Keir -

I tried it both ways, so I feel I've tested it and can speak with a little authority.

I had no birthday show rates online for many years, and then I had birthday show rates published online for a couple of years, and then I took the birthday show rates back off again. The only time I showed birthday show package info online was when my rates were also online.

First off, if anyone tells you that your phone will stop ringing if you publish your rates, don't listen to them. My phone still rang when my rates were online and I still booked shows. When people called about a birthday show, I knew they were ready to book. Occassionally I would get calls where people hadn't looked at the website, or couldn't find the right page on the website, so I was back at square one quoting rates.

There are 2 reasons I went back to not publishing rates:

1) One of my strengths lies in talking with people on the phone, when they call to ask about a show. I wanted to have more show inquiries. I can't claim with 100% certainty that I book more shows because of not having rates online, but I like having the incoming calls with inquiries (not just bookings). I suspect I probably book more, but like I said, I can't claim that with 100% certainty.

2) I'm a somewhat higher end performer, and I believe that some people might have looked at my rates, and then called another performer to get their information (and be quoted a lower price). When they measured someone else selling them on the phone, against me trying to sell online, it's not a fair competition. Phone quote vs. phone quote is a more even match, in my opinion. Smile

Also remember, what works for another entertainer in another market might not work for you. You might not be able to find out if it works for you or not, until you test it for yourself.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Scott Burton
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Depending upon the disparity between your corporate and kid show rates:
If you don't want your corporate prospects to see your kids show web site, then you likely REALLY don't want them to see your pricing. Since your name is still in the text of the web site, they may still find your site by searching your name. Given your circumstance, I would leave it out.
jamesbond
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I agree with Donald 100% the job of the website is to contact you - once you get them on the phone it's heck of a lot easier to sell/ answer objections provide additional solutions etc. you can never do that if you can't talk to them directly...
Ken Northridge
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Atlantic City, NJ
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Quote:
On 2010-06-18 14:09, jamesbond wrote:
the job of the website is to contact you

I am of the opinion that the job of your web site is to sell you. I’ve grown tired of talking to prospect after prospect answering the same questions (how much and are you available?).

I post both my prices and my calendar on my web site, and have on online booking form. My goal is to have an awesome web site with video, testimonials, and all the information needed to convince the prospect to book. I make it clear that they can call me, but phone calls may catch me when I’m tired or I’m not ‘on.’ My web site is always ‘on’ and is consistently well worded and doesn’t stutter.

I know there are disadvantages to this strategy. If a prospect sees that I am booked they will not call and I cannot follow up next year. I can live with that.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
jay leslie
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Southern California
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I'm with Donald but would like to take it one step further;

We produce several shows at different prices & technical requirements so it's better to field all calls and help a prospective client pick the show that will fit their needs, which is also technically possible.
Dennis Michael
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Donald is pretty much on target with what he says.

One slight disagreement. I charge higher than normal in my area, so the price shopper will call another and ask their price. The advantage he has is that he can convince the customer he is the right magician for them when, because of my price listings, I never got the call. For me, the calls fell sharply.

I am a firm believer, that you want a verbal conservation with the customer, and to ensure the higher chances of this leave the prices off the website.

I already posted my thoughts related to the packages, in another thread on your site.

Here are some additional thoughts:

It's OK to list packages if they are additional: Balloons for $25 Extra, Face Painting, etc.

It's OK if the packages are different: Hire a Clown, Hire a Magician, Etc.

Although they should be separate websites:

-Birthday Parties
-Daycare/Preschool
-School Assembly Shows
-Etc.

These are significantly different in children entertainment that they require additional package or better yet a separate web page.
Dennis Michael
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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My web site tells people that I am qualified, and an email, or phone call gives the customer the personal service that many of them are looking for. I pick up my phone on the second ring, and answer an email message, or phone message the same day.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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Quote:
On 2010-06-18 17:18, Ken Northridge wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-06-18 14:09, jamesbond wrote:
the job of the website is to contact you

I am of the opinion that the job of your web site is to sell you. I’ve grown tired of talking to prospect after prospect answering the same questions (how much and are you available?).



Sales is relationships. If you take the personal aspects out of it because you can't be bothered then don't be shocked when you end up with price shoppers who will gladly ax you for a cheaper act.

I do not like the idea of constantly having to sell and have concequently structured my career around not having to. I have simply gone after very long term gigs that do not require me to constantly sell sell sell. There are trade offs with this sort of idea such as moving to find the places and so forth, but to me it is worth it. Also I don't do the kids parties, because to me that is a market that CONSTANTLY is a moving target.

I deceided years ago that if I could make one sale, even if it took longer than normal, and have a job for weeks, months or years, I am far better off. If you don't like selling these are the markets I suggest.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
sb
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There are 2 groups of people going to your website:

1. People who know who you are, and are looking for you specifically. You have amazed them previously, you came recommended from a friend, etc. To these people your price will not matter. They want you already. They are already sold on "you". Your price on the site does not matter in this case.

2. People searching for entertainment who do not know you. This is the mom who is looking for "Denver magician", or "Denver children's entertainer", or "Denver birthday party", etc... If this person clicks on your site they will either see a price or not:

A. price is NOT the on site. If your web content is good, and you have a call to action - This should result in a phone call. You will tell them your price, but will have been able to read them a little to find out if they are "price shopping", or if they are looking for "quality, and price is of secondary concern". Again the result of not having a price on the site, should be a phone call, for you to sell them on you and your services.

B. price IS on the site. Remember, this person does not know who you are. Your price will either be:

1. Too high - If it's too high, they will think that you "overpriced", "the very best in the area, thus the high price tag", "we are just going to go to Chuckie Cheese instead". They will only call you if they think you are the best due to the high price. The other 2 scenarios will not result in a phone call.

2. Too low - If they think you are too low, they have seen prices for other entertainers already. And probably will think the others are better than you. The other performer has a higher perceived value. You will get them on the phone if they are shopping for price alone, but if they .had the other guy on the phone already, and he told him about the "goodie bags", and the "balloons", and all of the other great stuff he has they may not call you at all

3. About average (what they expected) - Again, you want them on the phone, hopefully your site compelled them enough to give you a call.


Hopefully you can sell your show better than your site can. You can tell them about all that you have to offer by interacting with them. Your site should have that info too, but by talking with them, you can overcome any concerns they have. You can make them feel at ease dealing with YOU.

I always think that having your price on your site will hurt you more than help.

If the price is there - some people will not call based on price alone. End of story. Your price may be too high, your price may be too low. Your price may not end in 99 cents, whatever.

If the price is not there - people will have to call to get a little more info, and you can sell them on the phone. Sure some people may not call because there is no price, but I bet (in the most part) they where purely price shopping.


Six of one, half a dozen of the other.....

-scott
Donald Dunphy
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Just to keep everyone thinking...

In addition to these two options:

1. publishing rates online, so you only hear from customers who are ready to book.

2. not publishing rates online, and encouraging the prospect to call.

...there is also one more option that some performers use...

3. having people email for a price quote, and you respond by email with show descriptions and rates. That response email can be a sales letter (with show info and rates) or a link to a secret page on your website (with show info and rates). Or the response email can be a series of emails / autoresponders, sometimes including party planning tips, etc.

This third approach differs slightly from the first one, in that the customer has to surrender some information (email address at the very least... often more info) before getting access to your information. They have to "raise their hand."

There are some that won't embrace approach #1, but will embrace approach #3. David Farr's Amazing System product helps performers with approach #3.

In my opinion, this option #3 kind of falls in between option #1 and #2.

- Donald

P.S. My current approach is a cross between #2 and #3. I want to talk with the prospect on the phone. After I'm done giving them all of the birthday show information, I tell them about a secret page on my website with the show descriptions and rates. In my mind, I'm giving them the page access as a review of what I've just told them.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
iwillfoolu
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In my opinion, there is no choice to think about. I want to get my prospects information and get them on my "list". Putting my prices online would mean less people contact me which directly leads to less captures. Also, being able to talk to someone about what they want/expect and the fact that I quote rates based on a number of factors (travel, length of performance(s), etc) leaves me without a choice. My prices are not online. I might not book them this time, but I want the option of piching them again in the future.
Magician and Balloon Twister
New York Magicians
Magician New York
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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If you publish your prices on line how the heck are you going to get the gut feeling that this customer is prepared to pay double your regular fee, and the last thing they want is a cheap magician?
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
sb
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The sales process is (or should be)

1. Find out their wants and needs - what is their hot button? (they want to not spend alot, they want their kid to remember their 6th birthday forever, they want their kids to be the star, they want that one trick that they saw another magician do, they want the other parents to be impressed, etc...)

2. Show how you fill those needs - how you solve their issue.


If you fill their needs, price isn't an issue.



Zig Ziglar - You Can Only Get What You Want, If You Help Enough Other People Get What They Want
Dennis Michael
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This is interesting, there are other issues also to consider.

I live in South New Jersey (not to far from where many others would say I live more near central New Jersey).

When I placed my prices on the web, I got twice as many calls from North Jersey and the New York Metro Area. The cost of living, wages, and magician fees are much higher in that area. One could say I was low-balling those magicians. I learned quickly that even if I raided my price $50, to $300, I was still under many others. Some were upset that Magicians were charging $495 - $695 for a 45 minute show.

Yes, there is traffic, bridge fares, tolls, and sometime very expensive parking, so I can understand some of those high fees.

Donald is right, in that try both for 3 - 6 months, and see if there is a difference. I like the third option, of a secret web page, or emailed PDF file with a really nice brochure, or something similar after you talked to them. It something to consider.
Dennis Michael
Ken Northridge
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Quote:
On 2010-06-19 21:08, Al Angello wrote:
If you publish your prices on line how the heck are you going to get the gut feeling that this customer is prepared to pay double your regular fee, and the last thing they want is a cheap magician?

I would never double or raise my price on a customer based on a gut feeling. IMHO that borders on dishonesty.

I know it is a common practice and is even taught by Michaeal Ammar. But I strive to treat all of my customers equally. Sure I have different price ranges, but there is clear reasoning for it, such as longer, bigger shows, etc., which is all outlined on my web site.

Its just a totally different mindset.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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I raise my prices based on distance, and number of shows in one location.
Dennis Michael
Ken Northridge
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Yes, of course, they are both legitimate and fair reasons to increase your price. And by my posting all of this on my web site, I believe it gives my prospects a sense that I am a fair and honest businessman and that I will not take advantage of them.

The only customers that I have no chance of booking with this strategy are the customers that will only pay the highest price, thinking this alone will ensure them the best quality. Most people know this is not always true.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Dennis Michael
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BTW, one can easily price them out of many jobs, as well as get booked solid as the cheapest magician on the block.

Question: If one can do five 30 minute shows a day for $135.00 each ($675) is it a good day?
Or is it better to do two 60 minute shows, for 250.00 ($500 a day)?
Dennis Michael
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Ken baby I'm just trying to give the customer what he wants, and my show is every bit as valuable as the next guys show. Several years ago an agent contact me who charged $100 for a 30 minute show and he offered me a 50/50 split, with 4 shows every Saturday, which made my $200 to $250 show a very expensive show, so it's all relative.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
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