Gripe - what do you think fellow & ladies

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Raleigh
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Gripe - what do you think fellow & ladies

Postby Raleigh » July 24th, 2013, 7:55 pm

:evil: Ok....... here's the story. I do promotional mailing etc. to book shows to different market targets, nothing new on that. Anyway I had recently did a kid show mailing for my " Fun with Magic " show. So here's the gripe ....... I make my living doing shows and selling vintage & used magic and sometimes as you fellow performers know it is not always easy ! Here would be a good reason why ................ Lady called me today from a daycare here in Las Vegas, NV. She picked her 10: a.am. time and agreed to show length of 30 - 35 min. long enough for that age. Sold her with the fact I produce a live goldfish , use a parakeet, colorful backdrop, tux, real silken top hat ..... the whole nine yards. Price a very fair 185.00. That's when it turned around at the price. She stated she will have to call the guy who did the show there last year as he only charges 90.00

Anyway I know this low balling has gone on for years and is not new but still hits a nerve huh ! Back in the late 80's I used to get 125.00 - 150.00 for 30 min. birthday parties in Houston. Don't know but who would go do a show for 90.00 but an armchair magician ???? We can never fix this problem I know but damn !

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Gripe - what do you think fellow & ladies

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 24th, 2013, 8:16 pm

There are always people who will do the job for less than you. They may not do as good a job, but it's your job to convince your client of that.
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Raleigh
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Re: Gripe - what do you think fellow & ladies

Postby Raleigh » July 24th, 2013, 8:27 pm

Hi Richard, I understand you comment and agree with it. But when it comes to money it's a hard fight. I think people have to see the whole picture. I think they think, he's gonna come here and do some tricks ...... they don't see nor understand the other behind the scene stuff. Anyway I do understand there will always be the part time low baller but it's who's on the other end of the phone, I booked a birthday part a little while ago 225.00 the lady had no issue with it ... go figure. I think part of it is daycare's are cheap because it's not their kid.

Ted M
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Re: Gripe - what do you think fellow & ladies

Postby Ted M » July 25th, 2013, 11:04 pm

While researching Ben Bergor (formerly Ben Goldenberger) I stumbled across this bit on the same theme in the May 1938 issue of Genii, 75 years ago:

Just ran into the same thing that Bennie Goldenberger did, head of a committee called me and asked me what I would do a 25-minute show for them for. Told them it would be $14.00, they said they would let me know, two days later they called and said, the committee had decided not to have me. Somebody told me that another chap said, "I'll put it on for whatever you want to give me." We have our troubles here also.

- Column "From Wisconsin" by Walter the Magician, Oshkosh, WI, Genii, May 1938, p.335.

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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Gripe - what do you think fellow & ladies

Postby Bob Cunningham » July 26th, 2013, 12:01 am

I know it hurts to lose a sale. And I am not trying to be a gadfly, but isn't it both silly and myopic to complain about other magicians (competitors) lowballing your prices? Isn't this exactly how business works in every competitive field?

I am not a professional magician. I am a professional technical trainer. But like a magician I rent my time out to a variety of customers for a specific amount of money. Because I work in a competitive marketplace, daily rates for technical training can range from $300 a day to $1500 a day. Like in magic, there is a very low barrier to entry in the technical training field

Why should my client pay the full rate for the training I provide rather then a "lowball rate" that maybe 75% less than what I charge? They would be fools to pay my rate … unless I provide them with a perceived value that my competition does not! Like you, I have to persuade my client that it is in their best interest to pay my higher rate.

I do this in three ways:

First, I try to identify the felt needs all of my client. My clients are not my students - although my students are very important stakeholders. My clients are the businesses that pay for my students to receive my training. I identify what they really want.

Second, I find ways to communicate to my clients the ways in which I will meet their felt needs.

Third, I have ways to answer their objections (because real human beings always have objections when you ask them to part with money). One technique that you might use is called the "feel, felt, found, find" method of answering objections.

Perhaps you have identified that your customer's real need is not for a magic show, but rather to have the parents of the children attending this daycare center to believe that this daycare center is the best daycare that their children could possibly attend.

In this example you might say to the day care owner, "I understand how you FEEL ( wanting to pay less for a show), I have had other clients who FELT that way. However, they FOUND that by using my show the parents felt that their children were getting more education and having more fun than they thought possible in a daycare. If you will hire me, I am certain that you will FIND that parents will be even more convinced that XYZ daycare provides the best possible environment for their precious children."

Learning techniques like this won't mean you make every sale. But they will give you a fighting chance with every sale than can be made.

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Re: Gripe - what do you think fellow & ladies

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 26th, 2013, 8:16 am

Are you selling on quality or price?
Of course they can get a kid off the street with a magic kit, no insurance, no experience and no idea whether they treat their animals safely ...

Can you give them a special price for an extended performance run or schedule of appearances?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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erdnasephile
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Re: Gripe - what do you think fellow & ladies

Postby erdnasephile » July 26th, 2013, 8:30 am

Raleigh wrote:... I booked a birthday part a little while ago 225.00 the lady had no issue with it ... go figure. I think part of it is daycare's are cheap because it's not their kid.


Or, like many businesses, they may be operating on a tight budget in these challenging times.

P.T. Murphy
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Re: Gripe - what do you think fellow & ladies

Postby P.T. Murphy » July 26th, 2013, 10:11 am

As the parent of a 4 year old, I do know that day cares and preschools are on tight budgets. Many two income families are back to being one income families due to layoffs. Many of my son's friends have stopped going to daycare because their families cannot afford the cost after one of the parents has lost their jobs.
"Those who do not believe in magic
will never find it. " -Roald Dahl

Anthony Vinson
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Re: Gripe - what do you think fellow & ladies

Postby Anthony Vinson » July 26th, 2013, 10:40 am

For the past two and a half years, after being corporately downsized, I have made a decent living as a freelance trainer and entertainer (speaker and storyteller, not magician). In both markets I do my best to remain competitive, but it is a tough proposition. Even figuring out an equitable pricing structure is tricky. Early in, on the corporate trainer side, I lost jobs for bidding too low, the perception being that since I wasn’t expensive enough that I must not be that good.

The market for storytelling is even messier, what with absolutely no discernible price points and hundreds of right-brained creative types who have no idea how to sell their services. Early last year I have adopted the habit of simply asking, “What’s your budget?” If their offer is lower than I am willing to accept, I politely say so. Sometimes we end up agreeing on a price somewhere between the two, but oftentimes they say thanks and move on to the next name on their list. Recently, in my role as the director of a storytelling festival, I contacted the person acknowledged as the best in the field. After determining that the dates were open on his calendar I asked his price to appear at the 2015 event. His reply was, “Whatever you’ve budgeted.”

The business side of the show business equation pretty much sucks, but as they say, that’s just the cost of doing business.

Jim Riser
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Re: Gripe - what do you think fellow & ladies

Postby Jim Riser » July 26th, 2013, 12:43 pm

Raleigh,
Try to not make this into a personal issue. Rejection due to price is part of being in business. I receive emails all of the time asking if an item is in stock or the price for such an item. After responding to their request, I never hear from them again. I term such folks "inventory takers" and "tire kickers" and expect such behavior as it is common in all types of businesses.

Many folks work very hard for their money and must seriously evaluate how it is spent. I am the same way. Are you really any different?

A successful business behaves in the same manner. It is not personal. It is just business.
Jim

Donhdunn
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Re: Gripe - what do you think fellow & ladies

Postby Donhdunn » July 26th, 2013, 1:09 pm

Anthony Vinson, I did not know that's how Garrison Keillor sets his fee!

Anthony Vinson
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Re: Gripe - what do you think fellow & ladies

Postby Anthony Vinson » July 27th, 2013, 7:01 am

@Donhdunn - Snort! Word is that Keillor dislikes storytellers in general and has consistently declined opportunities to appear at the National Storytelling Festival. Personally I find the guy boring, even though I recognize the talent. I was referring to Donald Davis.


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