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Close.Up.Dave
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Hey guys, looking for some advice on cold leads. My business has definitely been blossoming due to networking, spin off gigs, word of mouth, etc. But I'm still lacking in developing new relationships through cold leads. Most of these cold leads are organizations that I know host events, but I don't generally seem to have a foot in the door.

All I know is they host events, they can use my entertainment, and I never get too far beyond a cold call and (if I'm lucky) getting through to someone who simply wants info emailed. Sometimes these leads are recommended through people I have worked with, but these new contacts don't necessarily feel like investing their time in this new person reaching out to them, even if through a colleague.

Any advice on how I can take these leads to trusting me with the entertainment at their event? It's a general question, but I'm just curious as to how people have helped things develop between a planner that has never had experience with you before. Its tough to pick their brains and find out their needs when they don't feel like opening up. As always, all thoughts are appreciated.
charliecheckers
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Great question - one which many of us can relate to.
I will share one success I had with a local mall I thought was all but a lost cause. They hire entertainers for a summer series for 5 weeks each summer. They never responded to my mailings or messages. I was always told the person to see was unavailable to meet with me. I did remain respectfully persistent though and last spring caught a break when she hired me for a less prestigious event they have at Easter time. Based upon that performance we now have a place on their summer schedule and will perform this weekend.

Perhaps some of your cold leads would have opportunities to hire you that would be at a time or place they have not considered yet. Rather than just focus on events you know they need entertainment, consider suggesting your services for other, perhaps less prestigious events.
Mindpro
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Very good question, actually one that I think every performer that entertains for a living can relate to. After 37 years in the business, I firmly believe there is no one answer, there is no secret.

The best advice, in my opinion, is to remain consistent. The chances of you contacting them at the precise time they are trying to deal with or address their potential entertainment needs, is very rare. So the next best thing is to make sure they know who you are, and to be in front of them (top of mind awareness) when they are at the point to consider their needs for this. Make sure they know of you, know clearly what it is you offer, and how (several ways) to contact you.

If you are trying for a in person meeting, you are even greater reducing your chances. Most do not take the time or place the importance on meeting with entertainers. Especially in this current day and age with so many other professionally-accepted means and technology. They have to operate on their terms on their timetables. This means you have to operate on their terms on their time tables.

It is a process. A continuing process. Just because you are not getting a response does not mean your are not making an impression (good or bad). I just recently last year had someone contact me who had my promo FROM 1987! I was blown away. Tye had it all these years. They used to have entertainment, the company went through some changes, sales and multiple management changes. They cut out all types of events with entertainment for two decades. Recently another takeover occurred and the new management was very employee moral motivated and believed in recreational and social functions to show appreciation and bond employees, vendors, contractors and management. They pulled out a file they had kept accumulating over the years. Last year for their first event in years they called me. I was blown away as well as feeling priviledged.

Consistency prevails. This combined with allowing them to hear about you indirectly as well as your direct marketing is also important. If they see you at community events, on t.v. and radio, in the newspapers, etc. this also keeps you in front of them and adds to their continuing impressions.

There really in no secret. I do know that professional subtlety is important. If you just keep sending or blasting them something every week, month or too often it can easily have a reverse effect, turning them off to you resulting in you being deemed a nuisanse or pain in the a**.
Al Angello
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A relationship with a party planner, booking agent, event's coordinator is a lot like finding a woman in a singles bar, if you act hungry you will go home alone every time. In order for you to be to get hot they must want you, and about the only thing you can do is to constantly keep taking your game up a notch. Do better routines, funnier jokes, finer costumes, and when you are the shiniest bulb on the Christmas tree they will hunt you down.

The secret to success is to impress
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Dannydoyle
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Als analogy though not one I would have chosen is right.

Good point sir.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Al Angello
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Tricky business is always full of good marketing advise, and sometimes we do not put enough emphasis on being the best you that you can be.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Close.Up.Dave
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Quote:
On 2013-08-07 07:57, Al Angello wrote:
A relationship with a party planner, booking agent, event's coordinator is a lot like finding a woman in a singles bar, if you act hungry you will go home alone every time. In order for you to be to get hot they must want you, and about the only thing you can do is to constantly keep taking your game up a notch. Do better routines, funnier jokes, finer costumes, and when you are the shiniest bulb on the Christmas tree they will hunt you down.

The secret to success is to impress


While I agree with what you're saying, what does this have to do with developing cold leads?
Al Angello
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Any advice on how I can take these leads to trusting me with the entertainment at their event? It's a general question, but I'm just curious as to how people have helped things develop between a planner that has never had experience with you before. Its tough to pick their brains and find out their needs when they don't feel like opening up. As always, all thoughts are appreciated.

Dave
You asked how to best impress a party planner, and my post addressed your question as directly as I could.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Close.Up.Dave
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Quote:
On 2013-08-08 12:32, Al Angello wrote:
Any advice on how I can take these leads to trusting me with the entertainment at their event? It's a general question, but I'm just curious as to how people have helped things develop between a planner that has never had experience with you before. Its tough to pick their brains and find out their needs when they don't feel like opening up. As always, all thoughts are appreciated.

Dave
You asked how to best impress a party planner, and my post addressed your question as directly as I could.


I asked how to take a cold lead who has no experience using you, and nourish the relationship so they one day trust you. From what I gathered you were referring to people you already have a relationship With. Again, I liked your post, I just didn't see the relevance to the question
Dannydoyle
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Show up and do your job and all this entails.
Be on time.
Don't be a pain in the azz before you show up. Just take the gig. Be low maintenance.
Do a killer job.
Under promise and over deliver.
Dress your part.
Do such a great job the host mentions how great you were WITHOUT BEING PROMPTED TO DO SO.
It is all pretty basic stuff but since guys are performers they often let it slide.
Be flexible.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
charliecheckers
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Quote:
On 2013-08-06 20:50, Close.Up.Dave wrote:
Hey guys, looking for some advice on cold leads. My business has definitely been blossoming due to networking, spin off gigs, word of mouth, etc. But I'm still lacking in developing new relationships through cold leads. Most of these cold leads are organizations that I know host events, but I don't generally seem to have a foot in the door.

All I know is they host events, they can use my entertainment, and I never get too far beyond a cold call and (if I'm lucky) getting through to someone who simply wants info emailed. Sometimes these leads are recommended through people I have worked with, but these new contacts don't necessarily feel like investing their time in this new person reaching out to them, even if through a colleague.

Any advice on how I can take these leads to trusting me with the entertainment at their event? It's a general question, but I'm just curious as to how people have helped things

develop between a planner that has never had experience with you before. Its tough to pick their brains and find out their needs when they don't feel like opening up. As always, all thoughts are appreciated.


One other idea may be to address their needs in a more targeted way than those who currently are being hired. For example, offering a themed show for a library that ties directly to their summer reading or incorporate a golf themed show for a country club. Then advertise that offering. While I have not personally done this to address the cold lead issue, I have had great response from libraries based upon a specifically themed show. Is there specific markets you are more interested in?
Close.Up.Dave
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Quote:
On 2013-08-08 21:28, charliecheckers wrote:
Is there specific markets you are more interested in?


Most of what I target is corporate, and a lot of the in-house planners can be hard to get a hold of (they have real jobs!). This particular group of businesses I've had my eye on don't seem to hang out within the same networking groups I go to, so a cold call/email is all I've had so far. Although, the bit you mentioned about being more aligned to their needs could help. I suspect a bit of research could lead me to some answers. Thanks!
Dannydoyle
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Often it is about simple timing issues.

What I am saying is you hit the nail on the head. They have other jobs. During the rest of the year it is possible the company might have no idea who is going to do the planning or hiring. So unless you hit them in the specific time of year that they are planning, you will have very limited results.

There are requirements for how many times a year that companies meet. Each industry has its own little schedule.

You have picked a VERY tough nut to crack and this is only ONE of the reasons why.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Scott Burton
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I'm thinking that the answer to your question has to do with being interesting, remarkable, trustworthy, a good "fit" for their event, credible, a likable person, having a solid reputation...and approaching the lead in a way that is memorable so they will recall your contact when they are making such a decision.

This touches upon essentially all areas of marketing. Perhaps a good place to start is to study up on persuasion tactics, sales, and ensure that you have a good positioning strategy.

It is a general question and, while you worded it differently, can be read as "how do I get people to hire me?". That is really what this entire forum is about. I challenge you to brainstorm all of the potential areas that could help in this and where you could improve and look into each area individually.
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