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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Stop providing a service... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dannydoyle
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There is a difference between saying thanks, and just trying to keep your name in front of them. I think people know the difference.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
BrianMillerMagic
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On 2011-03-20 11:24, Benji Bruce wrote:
Quote:
But if you're providing an experience then you do something like this:
-They call you and book you
-One week later they get an email from you with a link to a personal video that tells them they get to decide how the show goes. If they want Option A then they need to let you know asap because you will send them something in the mail. If they way Option B then they will need to ask people to take pictures of themselves to be included in the show for something special. So before your show even starts...it starts. When entertainers send a prediction in the mail they are starting the show before it really starts.
-You do your show
-At the gig, the person who hires you hears tons of feedback from you (either because they're recording it for you or you're telling the people one on one to go up and thank "John" for hiring you)
-A couple days later you send "John" an email with a link of a video that has people at the event saying, "John we loved Magician X, thanks for hiring him." And there are several people talking directly to John. It would be a video similar to this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwRuWxyF9BY
-A week later, they get personal video footage of how you had them on stage involved in one of your tricks (you get them on stage and record it just so you can send it to them) and you email them a few pictures
- etc etc

Basically, you're providing an experience. They are involved before, during, and after your show. The experience doesn't have to be something elaborate but it is an experience.


Benji, I have to disagree with you on most of this. The client has booked you, and a week later you're going to bug them with a video that they need to watch and more decisions to be made? And if they make this decision, there's even MORE stuff you're going to have them take care of? Then at the event, you're going to make your client run around with a camera?! I'm sorry, but none of these things would fly if you want to keep a client happy in any experience I've ever had running my business. Not in the corporate world, comedy clubs, casinos, theaters, restaurants, private events, etc.

If they've booked you, thank them for the booking and let them know you'll follow up to confirm close to the event. If you want video, bring someone to video you. If you want the client to hear testimonials, just do a great show. It will work itself out. And if there are decisions that your client needs to make in order for you to do the show, these are things they should be aware of BEFORE they commit to booking you - not after.

The client likely has plenty of things to deal with in their regular job not to mention their life. They don't need your "experience."
Andrew Zuber
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I have to say, I would NEVER ask a client to videotape my show. If they want to do it for themselves, that's one thing and we could discuss it, but I wouldn't dream of asking them to do it for me. How can they enjoy the performance or the event if I'm putting them to work?

I feel that the show should stand for itself. If you want a stage show, you get my stage show. If you want close up, you get close up. When I played in a band, we didn't send our record to each club we played and say "pick the songs you want to hear." If they booked us to play, we were confident enough in our abilities to put a good set list together. That's why we were booked in the first place.

Having planned events, I can say that there's a LOT more that goes into it than just booking the entertainment. They want to have the entertainer booked, and cross that item off the list so they can move onto the next thing. Too often we try and make it all about us when really we're only one aspect of it. I like to get booked, and be done with it because I know the client has other things to tend to. If I keep contacting them with more things for them to read and follow through on, it just becomes a hassle for that person.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Domino Magic
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I too disagree with Benji. I get what he's trying to do, but I don't think that is making the experience better for the client. Recently I had the experience of being a client, many times in the past couple of weeks because we just bought another house. If everyone of those vendors treated me like Benji is recommending we treat our clients, I'd never hire any of them again.

What makes the experience of hiring you better for the client? Not much to say here that hasn't already been said, especially from Danny. Make the process of hiring you easy, show up early so the client isn't worrying about you, do the best darn show you can - a show that surpasses their expectations and send them a thank you card when it's over.

So here's a twist and why Benji has it backwards. Aside from a thank you card after the show (nothing wrong with brownies), they should be coming to you with a thank you and photos/video if they happened to have someone their doing it. When we closed on this house, our real estate agent gave us a thank you gift. That was nice. But we were completely blown-away with the service she provided for us. There was no stress in buying this house because she made sure there wasn't and the day we closed, we sent her flowers. In fact we were so impressed with every vendor she lined up for us that I made sure to write a positive review for each of them on AngiesList.com.

Know matter how you look at it, the bottom line is you are providing a service. We are in the service business. Provide an excellent service and you will have clients for life.
Benji Bruce
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Quote:
On 2011-03-25 07:14, Andrew Zuber wrote:
I have to say, I would NEVER ask a client to videotape my show.


I never said anything about having a client videotape the show
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2011-03-25 07:14, Andrew Zuber wrote:
I have to say, I would NEVER ask a client to videotape my show. If they want to do it for themselves, that's one thing and we could discuss it, but I wouldn't dream of asking them to do it for me. How can they enjoy the performance or the event if I'm putting them to work?

I feel that the show should stand for itself. If you want a stage show, you get my stage show. If you want close up, you get close up. When I played in a band, we didn't send our record to each club we played and say "pick the songs you want to hear." If they booked us to play, we were confident enough in our abilities to put a good set list together. That's why we were booked in the first place.

Having planned events, I can say that there's a LOT more that goes into it than just booking the entertainment. They want to have the entertainer booked, and cross that item off the list so they can move onto the next thing. Too often we try and make it all about us when really we're only one aspect of it. I like to get booked, and be done with it because I know the client has other things to tend to. If I keep contacting them with more things for them to read and follow through on, it just becomes a hassle for that person.

YES YES YES! Sorry to yell, but yes. Simple fact is that the event is NOT ABOUT US! (sorry I yelled again but darn good points sir.) We are a simple spoke in a wheel. Book the entertainment and cross that off the list. Could not agree more. Magicians get so caught up in "running their business" or wanting to be the next marketing guru that they forget it is someone else's event.

Posted: Mar 25, 2011 11:32am
This is why most marketing approaches need to be tested over time. Decades more than months.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Donald Dunphy
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I remember one new customer this past Christmas, who booked me.

When he inquired by phone, I sent him an email with show info as a follow-up.

Then he booked.

Then I emailed him the contract and invoice, so he could get to work immediately on processing payment. I also put a hard copy of the same paperwork, into the mail. I usually only send a copy of the contract and invoice by mail, but in this case, I sent it both ways, and informed him that I was going to do that.

As it turned out, he signed the emailed copy and dropped it off at my door, before getting the hard copy in the mail.

When he got the hard copy of the contract and invoice, he called me because he was confused.

He also made the quip, "I've had to deal with less paperwork to buy a car."

Kind of funny. But also an indication that he didn't want all of the interaction. He wanted to book the show, and then see me on the show date.

"Set it and forget it", like in the tv infomercials.

Naturally, a contract and invoice was a part of the process of interaction after he booked a show. On the other hand, he made it clear that his expectations were of less interaction between the booking and the show date. He would be one of those people that wouldn't want to be bombarded with forms, calls, and videos between the time he booked and the show date.

BTW, at the show, he was very happy with my services. I got quite a few compliments.

I'm not saying that every customer is like this. But some are.

- Donald

P.S. I would never ask my customer to use my video camera to ask for testimonials (on my behalf), after the show. They have enough on their plate at the event, and that is an imposition. You are making a withdrawal from the relationship bank, not making a deposit, by that request.

Why not simply ask the audience that, if they enjoyed the show, to make sure and tell your customer (name the person)? That gets the results of the customer getting feedback from the audience members, without making any withdrawals.

Or, if you really want to video people giving compliments / feedback, then do it yourself.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
NexusMagicShop
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Post Mentalism - By Alvo Stockman is a clever and unique way to leave an unforgettable taste in your clients mouth. They will call you back.
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Howie Diddot
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Donald,

I agree with you, the person that hired you is the same person that has hired the caterers, the photographer, the band and everyone else; and is busy making sure that the event is running smoothly; at the same time being assured the president of the company his staff and everyone’s that is answers to is happy along with their families.

He has probably been at the venue since early in the morning overseeing the setup of the room and coordinating the deliveries and the decorations.

Asking him to walk around and video people to record how much they enjoyed you performing…. I think you would suffer the experience of his reply…

So if you want to send an experience, I would suggest that you hire and pay for a camera person and an interviewer, set up a backdrop and proper lighting; then the interviewer you hired can invite the attendees over to the designated location in the room to record the positive reactions of your performance, the comments of the wonderful evening they are experiencing; and what a great job the event’s coordinator(the person that hired you) has done.

At the time you interview your guest, have that guest sign a release so you can provide the experience of your performance to potential clients visiting your web site.

When you edit the videos into an exciting production complete with music and graphics and send that to the event coordinator after the event.

THAT will be an experience.
Donald Dunphy
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That's a lot of conjecture.

Until you've tried it multiple times, and really had honest feedback, you don't know if filming a video at your customer's event creates a degree of discomfort and hassle. Even if you are doing the filming / arranging for the crew. (In the case of Buzz's suggestion, adding on a backdrop and special lighting, too.)

My inkling is that it would cause discomfort in many situations (making a withdrawal from your relationship with your customer). So, I personally wouldn't do it in many situations.

Again, there is a lot of guessing at what might be a great idea. No one actually saying that they've done this hundreds of times, with all sorts of customers.

How can you talk about giving customers a great experience if you haven't proven your theories?

However, the other suggestion that I made, about asking the audience to tell your customer how they felt about the show, is tried and tested. I've done it many times.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Dannydoyle
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This is why these sorts of ideas need decades, not months to sort out!
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Benji Bruce
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I was letting everyone know what I have done in the past and have been doing more of. It recently hit me that guys like Joel Bauer provide an experience rather than just a service. Before you go to his event he sends you videos and tells you to watch them. So the experience happens before you even show up.

I saw a tv show that had some crazy restaurants. One was a spy restaurant that made it hard to even get in so you had to figure out the code and people even got lost on their way out. But the restaurant is always packed because they didn't just provide the service of food...they provided an entire experience. And that is where everything is moving towards nowadays.

The only reason I even tried the camera thing was because my camera guy couldn't go but I wanted the testimonials and knew I couldn't get them myself. So I asked the person who hired me to do it and she had fun doing it. It seemed like it gave her a reason to talk to everyone. That made me think about providing an experience rather than just a service.

So the purpose for this thread is to know what everyone else is doing to provide an experience rather than just showing up, doing a show, and leaving. If you get stuck in the same ways while business is changing then you end up like Blockbuster Smile
TomBoleware
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I like the way Danny said, "Once they are sold, they are sold." And I agree, the asking should
more or less end there. Give em all the extras you want, (extra time, gift, thank you, etc, etc)
but don't ask for more or expect anything in return.

You know, I just don't think most people like being put on the spot to give a testimonial or to
make a commercial. Or I know I don't.

When I see an advertisement loaded down with video testimonials, it makes me wonder, would I have
to give one if I bought? That really is a turn off to me. I have no problem with recommending someone
after a sale in a traditional way. But I don't like the idea of becoming a lifetime spokesperson
for someone I just meet.

I think if you really want to deliver that extra experience, you have got to make it EASY to buy.
And then after the sale, make it even EASIER to just sit back and enjoy the purchase they made.

Tom
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

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www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

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Domino Magic
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Quote:
On 2011-03-26 00:10, Benji Bruce wrote:
It recently hit me that guys like Joel Bauer provide an experience rather than just a service. Before you go to his event he sends you videos and tells you to watch them. So the experience happens before you even show up.


The difference is with Joel Bauer is you paid to be a part of that event/seminar, as did the other people who attended. You already knew who he was and basically what to expect either based on experience or his reputation. In most situations a company hires us and the people at that event don't have a say in the matter. We win them over with our show.

Quote:
On 2011-03-26 00:10, Benji Bruce wrote:
I saw a tv show that had some crazy restaurants. One was a spy restaurant that made it hard to even get in so you had to figure out the code and people even got lost on their way out. But the restaurant is always packed because they didn't just provide the service of food...they provided an entire experience. And that is where everything is moving towards nowadays.


That place is The Safe House in Milwaukee and that's not an indication where everything is moving towards nowadays because they've been doing it that way for over 30 years.

Quote:
So the purpose for this thread is to know what everyone else is doing to provide an experience rather than just showing up, doing a show, and leaving. If you get stuck in the same ways while business is changing then you end up like Blockbuster


The Blockbuster example is an exaggeration because you are underestimating the power of making it easy to do business. If you read my previous post about buying a house, my real estate agent made the process easy for us. We now own the house. The deal is over and I don't want to/need to hear from her again until I contact her to sell my other house. There is certainly more money at stake here than just booking a mentalist for a show, which is pennies compared to house.

Making it easy to do business goes very far in this world. Make it easy to buy - have a professional website with your contact information up front. Return calls and emails in a timely manner. Make the contract simple and the terms reasonable. Show up early. Do a great show. Thank the client after the show and follow up with a hand written thank you card. The basics. So simple, but yet there are so many that fail to follow those steps and aren't as successful as they could be with their business.

In my experience it really is that simple and this is from over 25 years of experience. Another real estate example. The agent who listed the house I just bought only received 50% of their commission. Why? Because I called to set up an appointment to see the house. I filled out the form on his website to contact me. He never did. We found another agent showing another home and I liked her and had her show me the house. So she made the other 50% of the original agent's commission. That guy lost literally thousands of dollars because he didn't follow the basics. He wont get to list my other house and we wont be recommending him to friends and relatives.

The average client for a company event has little experience hiring entertainment. Many times they have to put the whole thing together and we are just one more thing to deal with on their list that day. And the rest of that list has nothing to do with the event, but rather their job, their family, etc. They are just hoping they are making the right decisions so they make their co-workers and boss happy. Make that process easy for them and you are going to win more points than making them watch videos before the event and having to make yet one more decision that day.
Andrew Zuber
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To me, asking people at the event to look into a camera and talk about how much they enjoyed me seems very off putting. You're putting someone on the spot who may not want to be. That person is also going to be inclined to say good things, even if they didn't enjoy the show. It's an uncomfortable position for that person, and could be even MORE uncomfortable for the entertainer is that person has no problem being honest if they didn't like something.

I think a few written testimonials on a web site is sufficient enough. I don't need to see a video of it - again, that just becomes the performer making the event about them, rather than the event. Show up, put on an amazing show, send the host a thank you note, and let your work speak for itself. I'm all for providing a memorable experience, but asking for video testimonials isn't an experience, it's a chore for the people involved. A lot of people don't like having a camera in their face; as entertainers we sometimes forget that. Just because we enjoy the spotlight doesn't mean others do too. I don't want to perform a fantastic set, only to put a bad taste in the client's mouth by walking around asking for people to tell me how good I was afterward.

As an MBA student, I know how important the business aspect is, and SO many people fall short in that area. That said, I would spend that time after my show doing some walk around, giving individual groups more personal attention. That may I'm meeting everyone, I'm not just someone on a stage at the other end of the room, and I'm making personal connections with the people there. I think that's a better use of your time and theirs, and it leaves a good lasting impression.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Howie Diddot
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Benji;

I don’t want to upset the apple cart anymore than it already has but I am very interested in learning the reason behind your posting of a video on youtube telling Jay Leno what you will not do on his show if you appeared on it.

In your youtube video in the first 30 seconds of the video you mention that you have the ability to tell Jay the pin number for his credit card, but you “might not do that on the show”; any booker watching the video advising that you Might divulge personal information about the star of the show that he would be furious about would cross you off his list forever.

If I were producing a video to advertise myself, I would focus the attention on what I can do and point out that my performance is so unique and intriguing that everyone will be talking about me by the water cooler the next day.

I would also include a small segment of my performance to advertise my skill so the booker will have an idea of what he would be booking. Watching this video does not tell me what you do, or since I am not seeing you perform on the video, I don’t see how charming you are during your performance.

What is the approach of your marketing of the video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMp48W99Yj4&feature=related
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2011-03-26 00:10, Benji Bruce wrote:
The only reason I even tried the camera thing was because my camera guy couldn't go but I wanted the testimonials and knew I couldn't get them myself. So I asked the person who hired me to do it and she had fun doing it. It seemed like it gave her a reason to talk to everyone. That made me think about providing an experience rather than just a service.


One time that it worked out with one customer at one show. Like I said, it wouldn't work in most situations. It would cause a hassle and feel awkward -- whether you do the filming, or ask them to do the filming. Customers might be too polite to tell you so.

In my opinion, part of the reason that it worked was because your customer was a female and was social. Not all customers are female. And not all customers are social.

- Donald

P.S. Like Domino Magic said, the Joel Bauer training event, with advance training videos, is totally different than a customer paying you to do a show.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Dannydoyle
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Donald, as I said and you sort of hint at it takes DECADES of success not simply one time. That is why I have problems with blogs from kids in general who want to come off as marketing gurus. It amounts to little more than us having to grade homework.

Oh my Benji you are using the Safe House in Milwaukee as an example? WOW! Have you ever been or just know what you see on TV?

Umm the place is NOT always packed LOL. On Thursdays I think they still run comedy open mic nights and if you think they do that to PACK the place you have never been. I on the other hand HAVE because it was one of the places a guy could go to start in front of an audience for comedy clubs in that region of the country. Also a place in Wisconsin called "The Place".

Benji as was stated they have been at it for quite a long time.

Oh and let me just state categoricaly that magicians and marketing gurus OVERESTIMATE the value of testimonials.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Andrew Zuber
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Quote:
On 2011-03-26 09:08, Howie Diddot wrote:
Benji;

I don’t want to upset the apple cart anymore than it already has but I am very interested in learning the reason behind your posting of a video on youtube telling Jay Leno what you will not do on his show if you appeared on it.

In your youtube video in the first 30 seconds of the video you mention that you have the ability to tell Jay the pin number for his credit card, but you “might not do that on the show”; any booker watching the video advising that you Might divulge personal information about the star of the show that he would be furious about would cross you off his list forever.

If I were producing a video to advertise myself, I would focus the attention on what I can do and point out that my performance is so unique and intriguing that everyone will be talking about me by the water cooler the next day.

I would also include a small segment of my performance to advertise my skill so the booker will have an idea of what he would be booking. Watching this video does not tell me what you do, or since I am not seeing you perform on the video, I don’t see how charming you are during your performance.

What is the approach of your marketing of the video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMp48W99Yj4&feature=related

Having worked for The Tonight Show for several years, I can say that it's extraordinarily difficult to be booked. You have a far better chance if you are a comedian. Jay loves and respects working comedians, and you don't need to have your own HBO special for him to take interest in you. I would highly suggest aiming for humor if The Tonight Show (not The Jay Leno Show, that was a different program) is your goal.

Unfortunately it's not quite like it was in the days of Johnny Carson. Jay is a very approachable guy, but to give you an idea of how seldom we had magicians on the show, he has a regular gig on Sunday nights at the Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach. He's performing alongside magicians on nearly a weekly basis. We didn't book a single magician during my time with the show. Lots of up and coming comedians, no magicians.

Food for thought anyway. The business is harsh...I see a lot of these videos of people wanting to get on the show. I commend people for trying because it never hurts, but the chances of it panning out are extremely slim.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Benji Bruce
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The Jay Leno thing is another topic Smile
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