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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Client dragging their feet (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Neale Bacon
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Inner circle
Burnaby BC Canada
1775 Posts

Profile of Neale Bacon
I have had a show booked for almost a month now for the 20th of September.

The client still has not returned the contract and deposit. The deadline for this is the 17th and despite repeated messages left, I have gotten no response.

I have already turned down one job waiting for the contract.

What would you do? Keep pushing or let it go?

I hate to lose the money but I hate being given the runaround and not being taken seriously even more. Smile Smile
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
Stuart Cumberland
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289 Posts

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At the risk of sounding rude, if you don't have a contract and a deposit, you don't have a booking.

Sorry for the bad news.

First order of business, next time you fax or email a contract, make sure your cover letter says "contract to be returned in XX days along with deposit or contract expires and your date will be given away"

End of story. They'll know that you are a serious businessperson if that is in the letter/contract.

If they don't send it back, send them a quick reminder that their date is going to be toast. If they don't reply, book another show.

Easy. Simple.

Don't let this happen to you again.

Blair

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Stuart Cumberland
jlibby
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I'm sorry to hear you had to turn down a gig, too. If a similar situation occurs in the future, my suggestion would be to contact the first client and give them the right of first refusal. Maybe give them 24 hours to give you a reply, otherwise they've lost the date to the 2nd client.

See ya!
Joe L.
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Jim Snack
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Blair and Joe are right on with their advice. This happens, fortunately, not often—but it does. I once almost lost two weeks of work one summer for the same reason.

The only way to protect yourself is to make sure that your client understands that the date is not taken off the market without a signed contract and deposit. If someone else calls to book the date, give them one last chance. If they don't respond, book the second show.

By the way, when you send out a contract either:
  1. Don't sign it yourself. Wait until they return it, then you sign it and send them a copy.

  2. Stipulate that it must be returned within X number of days to be valid. In other words, put a time limit on the offer. That way, you are protected in case they send it in after you have already accepted the second offer.
Jim Snack

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NJJ
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In this situation (future ones are far easier to deal with) I would call and leave a message telling them they have until 5:00 pm today to confirm or they will lose the booking.

At 5:05, call the other person.
Neale Bacon
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Burnaby BC Canada
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I guess I should have been clearer... The contract and cover letter told them I needed it signed and returned with the deposit. When I have called to give them a reminder, I get no response.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
NJJ
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Just leave a message on their machine making it clear that they have deadline.

If they fail to get back to you or get the message then that is their problem. You've done all you can.
RobertBloor
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The Socialist Republic of the USA.
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Quote:
Neale: I guess I should have been clearer... The contract and cover letter told them I needed it signed and returned with the deposit, and when I have called to give them a reminder, I get no response.

Neale, I think you were quite clear about this.

You needed it signed, with the deposit to hold the date.

Without it signed, in hand, you held the date anyway and have since lost another possible gig.

Just learn from this one. If they haven't returned your call, I'd take it as a hint they're not going to book.

Robert Bloor
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
-The Declaration of Independence
jlibby
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Here's something else I've done a couple of times concerning birthday shows: If the client doesn't return the agreement and won't return my phone calls, I'VE CANCELLED THEM.

By that I mean I've sent a short letter saying that since I haven't been able to reach them I won't be appearing at junior's b-day party after all. Actually, my thinking is that the client has changed his or her mind anyway, but this way they can't call and ask why I'm not at their house for the party. Well, I guess they could, but nobody ever did...

See ya!
Joe L.
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Stuart Cumberland
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I realized I posted similar comments previously. You might want to compare notes with my comments and others with this thread:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......4&16

BTW, the logic behind the number of days to get the contract back is this: you are "holding" the date for those days UNTIL you get their contract...in good faith. Which isn't a sales line, you are holding the date!

Remember, you have every right to make reasonable demands, and my comments in the mentioned thread will show that you can be very firm and flexible at the same time. Just make sure you agree to an agreed upon sequence of events to solidify the deal.

Joe's comments are great—about the cancellation. I issue a fax to the client that essentially says, "I haven't heard from you so your date is cancelled. If you want another date, call..." Often, this will get fence sitters calling back a.s.a.p.

Blair
Stuart Cumberland
paraguppie
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Forsyth Montana!
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Excellent topic,

I had a similiar situation about a month ago. They would return my phone calls, but I could NOT get them to sign and return the contract. They just didn't see the importance of it. As an act of good faith, I showed up when they wanted me, did the show, and they paid me. Everything went okay, it was just frustrating trying to get them to sign. In the long run it didn't matter, but they could have blown me off when I showed up. Guess I was lucky.

Keith
Check me out at www.magickeith.com
Salazar Magic
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New Jersey
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What do you all have written for your cover letters?
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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Since cover letters can vary in many different ways, I will mentioned the different types of letters that I use myself in hope that this may give some of you an idea of what has worked for me in the past.

The first "letter" that I use is my lead-generation letter. This is a letter that I send out to prospect clients in hopes to inform them about me, my services and the benefits my show has for solving their direct needs.

It can almost be thought of as a direct mail type of letter. The intention here is to get them interested in me and to have them contact me for further information or a possible booking. It is geared towards them taking action and I give them as many ways to do this as possible.

I always include this lead letter along with my promotional packet. This packet is a folder that has my business card, magnet card, and stationery sheets that are comprised to cover off on my bio, client listings, quotes from satisfied customers, awards and honors page as well as my flyer and a color sheet for the kids.

The letter introduces myself to the client and briefly highlights just some of the information that they will find inside the packet. It entices them to read further and gets them excited by pinpointing the benefits my show has to solving their direct needs.

The next "letter" I use is a follow-up letter. This is similar to the lead letter but it is much shorter and is sent out as a follow-up to the letters and packets I sent out a few weeks past. The goal here is to keep my name fresh in their minds and remind them of the packet they received and that my datebook is filling up fast. It encourages them to contact me and take action.

Another letter I use quite often is my confirmation letter. It is similar to a contract but is not as drawn out and detailed. I tend to use this mainly for birthday party work. It simply restates all the information that was agreed upon over the phone in regards to date, time, duration and payment. It is a follow-up to the initial phone call and helps for the client and myself to be on the same page.

I also use a very detailed two-page contract as well as a technical rider for my larger shows, or when I feel a contract is needed. It covers off on cancellation policies as well as includes a technical rider explaining the technical requirements I need to have in order to make the show run as smoothly as it can.

These are just a few of the letters I tend to use on an ongoing basis. I am sure there are many others you all use and I look forward to hearing back from you all. What letters do you use yourself and what do you have in them?
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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