I-800 numbers.....a dilema!

Discuss the art of Children's Entertainment with your fellow performers.

Postby Jolly Roger » 01/22/09 01:19 AM

I am curious as the whether many of you children's entertainers who do library and school shows out of your local dialing area have a 1-800 number? Do you consider it an advantage, or a waste of money? Could it also be a hindrance, as the client may presume you live miles away, and would therefore be reluctant to book? JR
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Postby Dan Wolfe » 01/22/09 08:22 AM

For 15 years I traveled all over the U.S. doing kid's shows and never had an 800 number. My mailings included reply postcards that required the sender to add their own postage.

In my experience, if a potential client is too cheap to pay for a stamp or a phone call, they'll probably choke when I tell them my fee.

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Postby Dave Shepherd » 01/22/09 09:13 AM

I think in this day of free long distance in cell phone and landline phone plans, the cost of an 800 number is hard to justify.

I'm with Dan: if somebody won't use a couple of their cell phone minutes to call you, they will not pay what you have to charge.
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Postby NCMarsh » 01/22/09 01:51 PM

I have found an 800 number to be effective from the image/branding side. People assume its expensive (it isn't: my bill is $15 a month), and it projects an image of success/credibility/stability. It's one of the little things that says "this guy knows what he's doing" that make the sale easier. So it has been worth it to me on that end.

The same thing is true of reply cards/SASE's. It isn't about the .42 cents they save, its about the convenience to them of being able to just put it in the mail box. Its one of the little details that shows them that you are focused on making their life easier, focused on their needs.

Now, if you are doing direct mail with reply cards; the postage on the reply dramatically raises the cost of the whole mailing. You would have to get, in my view, better than twice the response rate to justify the cost (because you could be using that same postage to reach twice the number of prospects, which would equal twice the response rate) But for contracts and and testimonial letter requests, I've always provided postage.

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Postby Doc Dixon » 01/22/09 03:41 PM

One big advantage of an 800#: When you move, it moves with you.

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Postby Gordon Meyer » 01/22/09 08:55 PM

One advantage of an 800 number is that it obfuscates your location. I live downtown and will seek out businesses, even those that come to my home, that aren't in the suburbs because they might be too expensive (travel fees) or unreliable (traffic delays.)
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Postby Jack Turk » 01/23/09 06:28 PM

I personally like using an 800 number just for the
fact of positioning. I also got a vanity number
that I use for my birthday party shows. 1-888-89-PARTY.

The service I use and recommend is very price competitive
and it's called Kall8.

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Postby Ken Northridge » 02/14/09 11:02 AM

I got an 800 number primarily for schools because at the time, many schools were not allowed to make long distance calls. My thought was to make it as easy as possible for my client to say yes.

I do beleive things are changing and 800 numbers are much less important. Most people have cell phones today with lots of minutes and no long distance fees. Take those same schools for example, long distance fees are not a problem anymore because most teachers, pricipals, etc. will call me right from their personal cell phones.

So, Mr. Roger, I think you ask a very good question. I am considering doing away with my 800 number.
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Postby Paulleemagic » 03/01/11 11:56 PM

I had my office number changed to a cell phone now my office rings in my pocket.

You will always OWN your cell number & change it to any carrier you want

Best of luck.
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