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Paddy
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Milford OH
1571 Posts

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Well I have been doing parties professionally for about 17 years now and today I got NAILED! Can't complain this is only the 4th time it happened. Had a party set for 1530 hrs, took me about 45 minutes to drive there. Door closed, no balloons up, doesn't look right. I knock on the door and the lady says "Didn't she call you? she cancelled the party." She then called the lady who booked us and she said "you didn't call & confirm." I reminded here that when she booked the party I told her we only call if we can not make it, (like I am in the hospital [which happened ONCE]) we don't bother you with confirmation calls."

Well I know I should get deposits but in 17 years this is the 4th time it happened.
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JoshLondonMagic
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And you still don't get deposits? You will never ever have this problem when you have $100 of someone's money. In fact they'll ensure you're well taken care of.

Josh
Josh
Gerry Walkowski
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Paddy,

I always tell folks that I will check in with them several days before their event just so they know I'll be there and to verify all the information again is 100% correct. This has saved me numerous times and you might want to give this idea some consideration.

Gerry
kazam65
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Paddy,

You say you don't want to bother someone with a confirmation call. But really...what's the bother? A client who has already hired you would very much appreciate a confirmation call. This, if nothing else, gives THEM the peace of mind that you'll be there and makes you seem more professional. If there are any last minute details, or more guests than what was once thought, etc... then it can be brought up at this time and there are no surprises on your end either.

And of course you would also find out if they had cancelled the party without your knowledge. So even without taking a deposit (which I normally don't either) this unfortunate episode would never happen again.

Good luck!
Scott Burton
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As a busy parent (I think all parents are busy by definition), I always appreciate reminder calls. There are dentist and doctor visits that I would have missed if I wasn't reminded. We signed up for 2 entertainers at the library system this year: the one we received a reminder call for we wet to and the one we didn't receive a reminder call for we missed (turned out I wrote it on the wrong day).

If you don't want to call, I suggest having a canned email that you send a couple of days in advance. Takes less than a minute and I believe it would be appreciated.
Paddy
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Milford OH
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OK! I will start a "tickle file" to call or email everyone a few days before the party to confirm.
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
Gerry Walkowski
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Paddy,

I'll tell you a funny story that happened to me just a few weeks ago.

I booked this show and although it was written on my calendar and had the client's email confirmation, for some strange reason I thought the show was on a Saturday. I was all set to show up to their house on that day just 2-3 days out from their event.

When I called the lady, she said, "Okay, I'll see you on Sunday." I didn't say anything to her at first, because I wanted to find out if she made a mistake. So while she was still on the line, I pulled out the confirmation letter and she was right - it was a Sunday show. Luckily, I didn't have any shows on that day so everything was fine on my end.

So, that's another reason why these follow-up calls are important. I also confirm the time as well as the address along with a cross street.

Gerry
TonyB2009
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I was booked to do a school on a Friday. A week before the show I got a message on my voice mail saying: Can we change the time of the show on the 18th to eleven instead of twelve? I texted back that was fine.

Unknown to me, they had also changed the day of the show from Friday the 19th to Thursday the 18th. That message - which did not mention the change of day - was their only notification to me of the change. I missed it, of course.

Luckily on the morning I got a call from the school asking me how I wanted the chairs set up. As I was about to hang up I said: See you tomorrow. That was when the penny dropped. If they hadn't called that morning, they would have got no show!
misterillusion
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Roseville, California
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This past year I was contracted to do all the "adventure clubs" for the local community. Each club called and booked me individually and each club then received an email confirmation from me requesting that the details be checked for accuracy. I showed up at one of these adventure clubs and I got a look of surprise and the comment "It is not today it is next month!" The director then admitted that she did not double check the confirmation for accuracy. I am fortunate that I was a month early.

I book shows sometimes only days in advance, and others months in advance. The shows I book only days in advance do not get a confirmation call, but the ones months in advance get a confirmation call for sure.

Charlie
May every day be magic!

http://www.misterillusion.com
Dynamike
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Eternal Order
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Professionals are non lazy to take deposits or do a confirmation call. It is more work, but it pays off.
Gleemax17
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The Netherlands
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This has happened to me too! Through the mail I received a confirmation for a performance for children. When I arrived at the location there was already another artist (cheap clown). The customer had 'forgotten' to cancel the performance and swore that she had sent an email. I have sent her a bill, but have never heard back...
Investing time and money taking legal actions were not an option, so no money for me that day.

A tip for everyone: always get a clear confirmation in an email or paper! Additionally send a reminder a few days before the party or event!
Michael Messing
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Knoxville, TN
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I showed up for a birthday party a day early! I got to the house and no one was around. I called the mom's cell phone and I figured out my error. Fortunately, it wasn't a problem to return the next day but it was a waste of my time. It was entirely my error.

I always try to call the mom three days before the show.
JoshLondonMagic
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As I read this thread I am amazed, shocked and utterly disappointed that magicians don't send email or even snail mail confirmation (but really it should be email conf. for kid shows), don't require a deposit and/or don't follow up a week to a few days before the show.

A simple CRM will fix all these problems and cost you about $12 a month (I use Zoho). It is so unprofessional to not have canned email responses when parents planning a birthday party contact you, it is even more unprofessional to not send an email confirmation and it is triple unprofessional to not make sure to confirm the booking the show is ready to go a few days before.

I understand the not accepting a deposit crowd, disagree with it because time after time we get these types of posts "I got burned and don't have a deposit," and the guy never learns from it.

But, not following up a few days before the show? This is simple business basics that shouldn't be overlooked. How can you ask professional fees and not be a professional yourself?

Before the bashing and fires begin, I urge you to look at your own business strategy for handling an inquiry. Is it as solid as it should be? If I am at an airport, coffee shop or in my office and receive an email for a simple birthday party request I am able to respond with an email that tells them if I'm available, what I need from them in order to book the show, the process of booking the show and how I will keep in contact with them. This is all done is a matter of SECONDS as it's a canned response.

Let's start taking our businesses a little more serious. How embarrassing to block time off your calendar and away from your family and show up at a party that isn't going to happen until the next day?!

Josh
Josh
Paddy
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Milford OH
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I will admit it is my fault but! 4 times in 17 years is not a bad record even if a "hot wings eating champion" thinks it's lazy.
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Quote:
On 2013-09-01 16:26, Paddy wrote:
... we don't bother you with confirmation calls."


In my opinion, making a confirmation call to a birthday show customer isn't a bother for them. It's another way to re-assure them that you are reliable, haven't forgotten the booking, remind them how the set up works, remind them how the payment works, and firm up last minute details (change in the number of kids, change in location, etc.)

I'd encourage you not to think of a confirmation call as a bother for your customer.

- Donald

P.S. In this case, the customer told you that they were expecting a call, too. So, a confirmation call is within the expectations of many birthday show customers.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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I always do confirmation calls as well as a confirmation/contract signed and approved by them that also has in it a cancelation policy. It is clearly stated to them in most all coorespondence. It is amazing how more seriously they take things when they realize you have their name signed on a contract agreement. It also shows you are not just anyone, you are a professional.

Kyle
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Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2013-09-05 15:46, Donald Dunphy wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-09-01 16:26, Paddy wrote:
... we don't bother you with confirmation calls."


In my opinion, making a confirmation call to a birthday show customer isn't a bother for them. It's another way to re-assure them that you are reliable, haven't forgotten the booking, remind them how the set up works, remind them how the payment works, and firm up last minute details (change in the number of kids, change in location, etc.)

I'd encourage you not to think of a confirmation call as a bother for your customer.

- Donald

P.S. In this case, the customer told you that they were expecting a call, too. So, a confirmation call is within the expectations of many birthday show customers.


:applause: Smile Smile
I agree Donald.
Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2013-09-05 15:58, magic4u02 wrote:
I always do confirmation calls as well as a confirmation/contract signed and approved by them that also has in it a cancelation policy. It is clearly stated to them in most all coorespondence. It is amazing how more seriously they take things when they realize you have their name signed on a contract agreement. It also shows you are not just anyone, you are a professional.

Kyle


I agree Kyle, "It also shows you are not just anyone, you are a professional." I can not understand why anyone would not understand that.
JoshLondonMagic
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I'm glad to see more chiming in and that we are on the same page. Was getti g worried there for a minute.
Josh
MichaelDouglas
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Portland, Oregon
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Paddy, I agree that only 4 issues like this in all of your performing years is a good track record.

Josh, like you, I use a crm to handle things like this and more. I've tried several and have settled on https://www.showbizcrm.com/?amigosid=5

I plug in the details of the show (they sometimes save me this step by filling out the form on my site) into Showbiz and then it fires of a performance agreement to them via email. This immediately gives them the assurance that I have the right date, time, address, price, etc. Then 3 days before the show, it automatically fires off a reminder email to them about the show's date and time and offers some helpful hints for a successful party.

The day of the show I still call them to give them the assurance that I'm on my way. After the show they get a thank you email and about 2 days later they get a "One last thing..." email asking that they give me some feedback on the show.

10 months later, it automatically sends them an email to see if they are considering live entertainment again for the next party. I love https://www.showbizcrm.com/?amigosid=5 I know that others enjoy the benefits from different CRM software.

The bottom line is to do what works best for your circumstances. I think that we all generally agree that these quick touches before the show help us and help the client to enjoy a greater level of enjoyment from the service that we offer to them.

Good luck Paddy.
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