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Gary T.
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Profile of Gary T.
So I've got a restaurant in mind that I've been looking at for a while and tomorrow I'm going to make my pitch, there's only one thing I'm unsure of, the price of a magician can seem rather steep to a restaurant that doesn't normally have entertainment.

I naturally plan to offer them a free afternoon of entertainment (they're apparently only open for breakfast and lunch, they close at 2, but from what I've seen they get some a large amount of business in that time) but here's the part I can't decide on, as I plan to offer them the free gig, should I talk about my price when I make my pitch, or after the free performance?

I was thinking that perhaps it would be better to leave that off when I make my pitch and if they ask tell them we would discuss that after their free evening just to avoid them seeing it as a real expence before they've seen the performance, I feel like it would help them keep an open mind. is that good logic? or should I go ahead and discuss pricing with them right off?
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Pittsburgh, Pa
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Profile of davidpaul$
Hi Gary,
Does the restaurant know you are coming in or is this a cold call? Do you know who to talk to in advance and are they going to be there?
Do you have a portfolio of some sort with literature of what you do, benefits to the restaurant, past clients, letters of recommendation?
(Do you have a routine ready to perform if asked?)

Regarding pricing, first of all they have to interested in what you have to offer. You have to intelligently discuss what it is you do and how it could benefit THEM. (If you can't answer those questions in a confident manner as well as in terminology they understand then I would postpone contacting them) You may very well have all your ducks in a row but I mentioned it anyway.

Pricing is going to come up. The restaurants I have pitched, pricing came up AFTER we discussed and went over with the power-to-be the benefits to his/her restaurant as well as my qualifications as a professional and that his clientele would be treated as such. Other matters discussed involved the servers (waitstaff), wait times etc. etc.

This restaurant sounds like a Pancake House because of the hours you mentioned, regardless, if the food comes out quickly and they require quick turn-around, are you going to be seen as a person holding up tables?...............Anyway I'm starting to digress as there is so much you need to know and to equip yourself with to successfully book a restaurant let alone getting in to see someone with the power to hire you.

But to answer your question, if it was me, I would try and sell myself first and if they seemed interested you can talk about price.
Be open to negotiate if you feel it would be beneficial. I obtained two restaurants by cutting my price by just a little and substituted gift cards to more than make up the difference. My wife and I can eat there twice a week for free. (Well not free, it's part of the negotiation but it works for me) If they are the least bit interested you can then offer them a complimentary performance.

Make sure the decision maker or another person of clout "IS THERE" if given the opportunity. There is a whole lot more to be said on the subject but
That's what I have done.....Also did you read Christopher Lyle's (Sticky topic) at the very top of this thread?

Good Luck to you Gary..I'm sure other Restaurant workers will chime in before you head out to the restaurant tomorrow.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
Gary T.
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Profile of Gary T.
I have read the sticky but as I don't have a normal job at this moment I simply don't have the money to follow it out completely, so I modified it, rather than physically visit the restaurant I have looked them up online and viewed pictures of their dining area, I've chosen this one because out of all the privately owned restaurants I've found I've eleminated most of the others due to the type of service (lots of bbq's arround here that cook the food before it's ordered because of how long it must cook, doesn't leave any time for me to get in and get out) or because the table lay out was rediculous.

anyway as I didn't eat there and I already know it's privately owned there's really no need to call, I found the GM's name online. I've decided with this information to skip straight to the section of his sticky "the pitch" I have also been told that it's nice to order something to show you're not just attempting to make a buck off of them, so I decided I would go in and order something to eat, that way I can also see how long I have between ordering and the food coming out, and then make my pitch as is described in the sticky, with a few changes simply because I am no Christopher Lyle ha-ha. it's a small town and people around here are pretty easy going, I feel like I will have no trouble getting the first performance in since it's free.

I do not have a port-folio and quite honestly I do not have very many past clients to put in it. as for what kind of a restuarant it is, they table themselves a diner but it's got a lot of space with spaced out tables you don't normally find in a diner, and I didn't see any bar either, the food they sell is about what a diner would offer so I feel like while the wait time won't be excessively long it should be long enough for me to work.

thanks for the info though.
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Profile of Close.Up.Dave
Talk about it when they ask about it. Like you said, you don't want the price to be a turn off. But, when you go buy anything, they always charge a price for it. When is the last time that you said yes to buying something without knowing the price first?

If you can, find more restaurants to approach and don't put your whole soul into one place that may end up not even interested. That's a sure fire way to lose confidence.

Know what you are offering, be able to describe it well, don't be afraid to name your price, and network with a lot of restaurant owners. What we offer has value, but it may take you a couple of tries to find someone who sees the value. Or, some simply may be "no for now". People don't like to be sold things, but they do like to buy things.

My approach lately has been to show up casually to "introduce myself" since I am a unique business. I give them a flyer stating the service & benefits, a link to my YouTube, and offer a free trial night. I get their business card, shake their hand, and leave (I usually show them a trick too). Then, a few days later I give them a follow up phone call. All of this is done in a flexible way because you never know where the conversations will go. Its more about making the connection than it is about hard selling. They have other things to worry about and aren't in "buying mode" during the first interaction. Just what I've found to work well. Other people work differently.
Gary T.
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Profile of Gary T.
I've decided to put off the pitch till the end of the week to give me time to really get my stuff together. thanks everybody for the info!
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Profile of S2000magician
Break a leg, Gary!
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