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How much do you charge?



 How much do you charge?

Tim Hazlewood

All too often we hear this question come from a prospective customer. It is usually the first thing out of their mouth after you have spoken the traditional "Good afternoon, Joe's Music services, How may I help you?" Tip - if you are not answering your phone this way - start from this point forward - your competition probably is.

The DJ Service industry, much like any other industry, depends on your sales technique to attract the customer to your product or service. If you immediately reply to their question with your price, you might as well kiss that client goodbye. Once you have given out your price they will not hear another word you say. At this point they have no reason to listen to your sales pitch.

There are lots of ways to avoid answering the all important question about price. Your best bet is to find out the details of the party before you quote a price. This allows you to build some confidence with the customer and find out a little more about them and what their specific concerns may be. I can remember many occasions when first starting out that got us into hot water with the price we were quoting. The bookings were usually a mile from where we could park our vehicle and involved several flights of stairs. Quoting your price up front takes away all of your opportunity to chat it up with the prospect and to find out where to focus your sales strategy.

Every prospect also wants a justification of your price whether they ask for it or not. So make sure that you have explained in detail the different types of things you can do for them before offering your quote. Place specific emphasis on their interests not yours. This means that you should be taking into account their expectations of what a DJ service should do for them rather than what you have to offer. For example, your customer may not care whatsoever that you use the latest DJ remixing station and intelligent lighting when the customer has no idea what those items are. For most events the client wants to know, how you can guarantee that you will actually show up for their event, what kinds of music you can play for them, who are your references and what can you do for them while at the event (i.e. games, interactivity, lights, Karaoke etc.). If you offer these items you had better make sure that your customer knows that you do. Your competition certainly will not tell them for you. Also let the prospect know how much experience you have. This factor more than any other will let the customer know that you have done a lot of functions similar to theirs which will help to build their confidence in you. Emphasize all of the positive aspects of your business, the biggest, the best, the most experienced etc.

Once you have determined all of the details, ask the prospect if you can send out a more detailed information package. They always say "sure, I would love that" This gives you an opportunity to get their mailing address. Then ask for their phone number so that you can call back and confirm that your package was received and answer any questions they may have. The call back is usually done within 2 weeks of the initial call. Just make sure you don't forget to do it. This can be just as bad as not showing up for an event.

By now you have gained their confidence, their address, phone number and the details of the event. You have also established a basic relationship with the prospect. If you have done your job properly, you will have a lock on the booking no matter what your price, so seize the moment and ask if you can also include a contract in the information kit.

You are just about done with your prospect now and you still have not given out a price, if they ask for one, give it to them. If not, thank them for calling, ask them to promise not to book anyone else until they have received your kit, then mail out the package and attach references to your price sheet. I can assure you they will call you back for more information or sign your contract and return it with a deposit.

This system has worked well for us over the years and for many other DJ service companies as well. Use these techniques with an ounce of discretion. Make sure that your voice feels natural and comfortable because the last thing that your customer wants to hear is another telephone solicitation.


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