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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Pet peeve (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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jay leslie
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V.I.P.
Southern California
9488 Posts

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Ok, So you field a call and you're booked. You give the people someone else's number and then the question... "just so I know, for next time (Like they're actually starting a file) For next time, what's your hourly rate?"

We all know that don't want MY hourly rate but to use it to compare to the next call.

I usually pick a number out of the air that will make the other guy look good... so then the follow-up question (which is a waste of my time because I'm already booked and they're never going to call me back) They follow up with "And what do you do for that show?"

So... I used to sit and answer, when I was a younger man. I thought it was polite. Now I know from hundreds of calls that people NEVER start the conversation with "I got your number last year and you were booked so I kept it in my wallet till now, hoping you were available" .

Now... if I'm booked and they want information I just tell them that I'm retiring in a month... that usually stops them from taking another 5 minutes asking questions about something they will never buy. I mean, what can they possibly say " O.K. then, please tell me what you would have done for us?"

I also told them I has several shows which are outlined on the web site - same thing "While I have you on the phone, would you tell me what kind of costume you wear? and is your show appropriate for my audience?
Seriously, what difference does it make what WE do if we are booked? They just want to use us for information.
- -

That's my pet peeve. But enough about mine.
jay leslie
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V.I.P.
Southern California
9488 Posts

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What's yours?

Come-on, you've got to have something different, don't you?
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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There is one question that I never know how to answer.

"hi I'm looking for a magician to do my daughters birthday party. What kind of magic do you do"?

I don't know what they are looking for, nor do I have a good answer for that stupid question. I could say "good magic", "appropriate magic", or "childrens magic". I usually say audience participation, or funny magic, because I have always tried to be original, and not be pigeon holed.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
jay leslie
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V.I.P.
Southern California
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I ask how old they are. Then tell them why the show is good for that age.

But you're right Al, are you going to list the names of the tricks... "Yes madam, I have a great sucker trick where I lead the kids down the garden path then pull the rug out from under them..." • It's sometimes better to say WHY the kids like the show (and your personality) then WHAT tricks your doing. • Kind of like asking someone on a date, You just tell them that no matter where you go, their going to have a great time because you're together (then you go play miniature golf or shoot pool).

One lady called and asked if I was doing HARD magic or SOFT magic because the other magician will do SOFT magic which is "Nicer". I explained that I have 30 credits in developmental Psych and did 5000 shows at an amusement park and it didn't even phase her... That I went through an audition process where the bosses saw hundreds of magicians ... That I have two hundred letters of recommendations from schools.... But all she wanted to hear was that I did SOFT magic (whatever that is) She was just worried the magician might light one of the children on fire or chase them around with a chain saw. lol
Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1800 Posts

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Here's mine. I explain my shows and my pricing and the person (usually a woman because I do a lot of birthday parties) says I'll call you tomorrow and let you know what I decided. Then, she never calls back. I know it means they're not booking it but at least call back if you say you're going to.

Equally annoying is to have a phone message to call someone about a show. You call them and get their answering machine so you leave a message about the best time to reach you. They don't call back so you leave another message and they never call back! How hard is it to say they don't need you. People are so afraid that it will get confrontational when they reject you.

I used to work as an entertainment agent and the owner of the agency had a favorite saying. "My favorite answer is yes. My second favorite answer is no."
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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I don't do bunnies, birds, puppets, balloons, goodie bags, or theme parties. That's what I don't do, but what I do fits into no caragory. I try to do jaw dropping funny magic, but that is a magicians trem, and means nothing to the customer.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
RebelEntertainer
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John Abrams
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Hey Jay,

Here's mine...

At library shows, why do parents insist on having their 3yr old and under sit by themselves in the very front row? Even after I politely mention how loud and crazy the show gets, and suggest a little further back my be a bit more comfortable. Can you say "Waaaaaaahhhhhh!!!"

Oh yeah, and Al, I love the "What kind of magic do you do?" That's a classic.

John Abrams
Rebel Entertainer and guy that does soft magic, hard magic and everything in between
RebelEntertainer
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John Abrams
73 Posts

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Oh, here's another one that I get occasionally. Since one of my shows is listed as Animal Magic (and always specifically states that it's a magic show), here's the occasional call.

"Uhh.. Hello. My cat died. Can I bring him in?"

I honestly get this call a couple of times a year.

Maybe this has nothing to do with clients calling, but you could classify it as a Pet Peeve.

John Abrams
Rebel Entertainer and guy that has nothing to do with dead cats
Benji Bruce
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Special user
930 Posts

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I've never had someone do that to me but I'm sure if it happened I would probably quote a really high price since it doesn't matter. And they might go around telling people I charge 3 or 4 times what I normally which would increase perceived value Smile

Not too long ago I was doing a strolling function for an association and this lady asked for my card and then says, "Do you do kid shows?" I said no...and she replies, "Oh...you haven't reached that level yet!!!" And she was dead serious. I couldn't help but laugh Smile
Donald Dunphy
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Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7377 Posts

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Jay -

I have found that another way to deal with persistent people who want price, when you are booked, is to say something along the lines of: "I'd be happy to give you ALL of the information about my shows and fees for XYZ event. I'll also need to ask you a few questions about your event. This will take about 10 minutes. Do you have the time now?"

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Mystical Matthew
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Elite user
468 Posts

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Yesterday a woman told me my pricing was outrageous because I wouldn't do a full stage show for $50.
jay leslie
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V.I.P.
Southern California
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Donald - I used that too. Then they'd get exasperated and push me for a quick price and would get off the phone frustrated - I don't want either of us to be upset when the call is over. Now that I'm retiring, in a month, there's no argument and no need to contine with the charade.

I'm waiting for someone to call in a year and ask how my retirement is going - then I can tell them great, I took magic-up as a hobby.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
So what's your pet peeve?
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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Jay
Why are you retireing? When I started out my show was 80% juggling, and 20% magic. Twenty two years later it is 20% juggling, and 80% magic, so it is apparent that I am slowing down, but I love the action, and I won't stop performing until my doctor, or my wife tells me that it is time to stop.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
jay leslie
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V.I.P.
Southern California
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I'm retiring so I don't have to answer questions from people who will never book me. But if I'm not booked then ... I'm still in business.

If you go to a clothing store that's out of business, you won't need their business hours or to know what sizes they carry or what their return policy is... Same here. If I'm booked and the non-potential customer starts asking questions.... then I'm retiring!

Pet peeves.... everyone.
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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Oh I see. I have a similar policy with rude people. If you can't talk cival to me over the phone then there is no amount of money that will entice me to visit your house. When I am treated poorly over the phone my price usually jumps $500
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Donald Dunphy
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Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7377 Posts

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Another thing I've done (when not available but they want the price), is mention that any price quotes I give are only good if you book within the next 60 days. I also put this "condition" on my rates sheet, when I mail an information kit.

A pet peeve of mine was mentioned by Michael Messing, where they don't let you know one way or the other (and usually it ends up they changed their mind about booking you), especially when they ask you to hold a date and time. I tell them clearly that I only hold a date and time for 24 hours, but they need to let me know either way. 3 days go by and they don't call me back. I will likely have tried to call them again after 48 hours. Tell me no or tell me yes, or communicate with me in some way.

One more pet peeve of mine is when customers, and even some long term clients, are pokey about signing and sending back the contract. I get concerned that they are going to misplace it.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
MikeClay
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Special user
Atlanta GA
737 Posts

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Event Planners who call wanting you for holidays (because we have heard your the best balloon guy around) and want to pay me less than 1/3rd of my rate then when I say no thank you.

They want to give me flack about the economy and how I have to drop my prices, to which I answer..

Umm, I am staying booked and am refering gigs to others weekly, I am actually thinking about raising my prices.. and on a Holiday I will never LOWER my rate

3 of them I have hung up on because they just won't give up that I need to do their event at a lower price. (guess they should stop promising things to clients without knowing the price first)

but yeah I don't mind price shopping parents as much as the price haggling event planners
MikeHMagic
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Inner circle
1007 Posts

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I don't have pet peeves, just a bucket of crap that ticks me off...and on that note...
I love the ones that call on Tuesday night for a show that Saturday, they say they will call back in 15 minutes, than call back on Friday night, and say "Hi, remember we talked the other day about the show tomorrow? I need you."
Mike "Gus" Harvatt
"Bullwinkle that trick never works."
Alikzam
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Elite user
433 Posts

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In response to Jay's original post.

Usually when the caller asks those questions they've never hired an entertainer before. They have no idea what types of shows are available, or what the price range is. Its our job to educate them on the value we are providing for their event.

When somebody asks for my rate, and I know that they're just going to use that information for their next call, I give them a price RANGE. Usually the other entertainer will fall somewhere in that range if they offer something comparable, and also it protects me from having them call back next year quoting my old rate.
Mary Mowder
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Inner circle
Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
3645 Posts

Profile of Mary Mowder
I dislike being asked to work for free by T.V. Stations local fairs and Community Events, especially around the Holidays. The Charities always try to guilt me into it.

They always say I'll get great exposure (as a loser who works for free).

When I used to say yes I was always treated horribly, no parking, no announcements or personalized mention in event programs and bad performing situations like next to bounce house or a rock band.

Now I call the Charities I want to help and if they need me I tell them what my needs are.

- Mary Mowder
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