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Thread: The Style of Booking Wave is turning again

  1. #1
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    The Style of Booking Wave is turning again

    The last several years getting people to meet before quoting a total price was a common and very successful approach. Most booked at the meeting or a few days later despite what their planned budget was, which was most often much lower than the much higher amount they booked us for. They saw the value and realized many things they did not think of, that's why I feel it worked so great at the meetings. We had time to talk and explain things and feel their vibe when meeting. And they could size us up too.

    But, the last several months the bulk of wedding inquiries (have had lot) simply want a price and don't want to meet, they simply want to know how much is a DJ is and don't want to talk much beyond that. Most I never hear back from. Email with no phone number is becoming common.

    Have you experienced this? Any suggestions to have better success at booking the email only or brief phone call inquirer.
    Heavy weight lifter, karate, oh, I DJ too. Life is good!

  2. #2
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    It's common not to meet especially if you were recommended from a well known DJ who your currently networking with, and from a past client that recommends your service..
    They know what their getting before you get the phone call or e mail.

  3. #3
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    Yes, this is the general trend for events at average or below pricing. The high end events will still want a sit down. I did a holiday event and was contacted via email. It seemed at first that they did not need or want a sit down. However before they signed the contract they wanted to do it in person. At the meeting they had more questions.

  4. #4
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    I book around 70 events a year, avg around jsut under $3k each. I can safely say I do not attract price shoppers much, but as you can tell, times have changed and most inquiries are done through email... and with even fewer asking to meet. I adapted to this with including lots of content in my email, so that besides pricing they have pictures and videos to go through. I also try to answer as much up front in the email to stand out from others they could possibly reach out to. Most of my bookings are done entirely online, and the ones that do meet tend to meet via skype or facetime more often. Younger couples are working more, and have busier schedules than ever and don't have time to meet with every DJ they inquire about. So what do they do... they ask for pricing... why? Because they don't know what else to ask for... and that is why I include visual content and lots of literature, so that it does open the imagination and trigger questions and ideas they might not have thought to ask. After they review this info, some book on the spot, and some narrow it down to 2 or 3 that they will in fact choose to meet with. When I am within the budget of the client I have about a 90% booking rate. Often times I do get people just price shopping or looking for a deal, so when I can't meet their needs I am happy I didn't waste any more time than necessary on them.

    Another thing.. I also have my starting price on my website to try and minimize price shoppers... which of course many people find ways to overlook or ignore.

  5. #5
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    To add to the above post I made... I also invested $300 to have a graphic designer make a Pricing catalog for me that looks visually stunning, captivating, easy to read, and with lots of graphics to tie in with the services I offer.

  6. #6
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    Contact by email and/or phone alone isn't a new thing for me. I hardly ever meet in person any more. I send a detailed email including my rates to those who are asking for the information. Usually I get an email response back or perhaps a phone call to find out what the next step to get booked on my calendar.

    When I reserve a date for my services I rarey meet the client/bride until the day of her wedding or event.

    This trend is now going on about five years. Nothing new for me. My closing rate hasn't suffered by this change. Still all about the same.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mound of sound View Post
    Contact by email and/or phone alone isn't a new thing for me. I hardly ever meet in person any more. I send a detailed email including my rates to those who are asking for the information. Usually I get an email response back or perhaps a phone call to find out what the next step to get booked on my calendar.

    When I reserve a date for my services I rarey meet the client/bride until the day of her wedding or event.

    This trend is now going on about five years. Nothing new for me. My closing rate hasn't suffered by this change. Still all about the same.
    You must have market area average pricing or below that to have a great booking ratio without a meeting or even a phone call. Now if you have some very effective email lingo that sways them to book almost every time, feel welcome to show us here, or PM me if top secret
    Heavy weight lifter, karate, oh, I DJ too. Life is good!

  8. #8
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    Years ago - like 20 - the only way a potential client could "pre-see" you was at an event. So WOM was crucial and your reputation was on the line at every event. (It still is today.)

    Nowadays, any guest can shoot video of you in action and share it. And having a web site with videos is THE way to have guests "pre-see" you with no need to be at an event.

  9. #9
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    The curt, no information (e.g. date?, time?, location?, city?, country?), "How much do you charge." has been commonplace in our region for at least a half decade if not more. Controversy rages incessantly over how to respond and why. Schools of thought vary as wildly and full spectrum as does the DJ styles of the responders.

    Everybody has an opinion on how to effectively understand and reply to mellinnials and lazy arsed duffuses. Most say they hate to be sold. Apparently they'd rather be lied to or mislead. Fine. I can play the game by thinking exactly as a millennial would.

    "My prices begin at $500.00. Please call me for more information."

    Okay, my price begins $500.00 which is for one hour, local only.
    Cap Capello, Musical Host
    Celebrating 37th Year Of An Ongoing Mobile DJ Career
    Bose L1 & F1 Systems
    (518) 399-7451 EDT
    http://www.imadj.com

  10. #10
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    I've done the same but starts at $795. When they call that's for one hour, a Dj with music. Need more time, a sound system, MC, lights, travel beyond 20 miles... some get the point after that.
    Heavy weight lifter, karate, oh, I DJ too. Life is good!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockingdj View Post
    Have you experienced this? Any suggestions to have better success at booking the email only or brief phone call inquirer.
    We have added a bit more to our email replies. They are more detailed with our offerings with easy search features (bold font) for different categories

    We have also added links to video clips we post which show our services in detail.

    Seems to have worked

    Mixmaster
    Mike Miller
    "The Mixmaster"
    Mixmaster Professional DJ Services
    http://www.themixmaster.net
    http://www.facebook.com/MixmasterDJService

  12. #12
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    Depending on the type of DJ business you run I think it is very easy to simplify pricing so you can send them 95% of all your pricing info via email and be very transparent. Yes, some quotes will require some additional info which you will have to be provided, but how many factors exist that can actually change a price that is given. Obviously distance can be a factor, but your contact form online should have a spot for them to input their venue so you know it ahead of time and can account for it in your pricing. The only factors for me that change pricing are out of state venues, and not having adequate set up time which is stated in my pricing ($200 per additional employee required if 2 hours set up time not provided).

    I see all of this "pricing starts at xyz, please call for more info"... While from the clients perspective it looks like a sales technique which they don't want. Why don't you just tell them up front what a ceremony system costs, the different lighting options and their costs, travel fee (set a flat rate for certain distances), etc. I can't recall a single situation in the 200+ events I've done with "pricing catalogs". When you have so many factors that affect pricing, and the other competitor who is in the same price range and also reputable, has a more set structured pricing... you'll appear as nickel and diming to get the price tag higher. You could be the same exact price, but because of the extra price factors, you're giving a lesser product at the same price.

    I am a millennial, and when they say we don't want to be "sold" on something, it just means we want our information up front in a simplified manner, and not have to go through multiple steps to do get everything. Give the information, let me see if it is in my price range or budget or is even a service that I'd like to have, and then I'll follow up if I'd like to. The company I used to work for (I just started my own business at the start of this year for those that don't follow me on social media), has the same philosophy of trying to get the phone call and meeting before giving full pricing disclosure, and well... at the point of my leaving, their bookings had dropped 20-25% year over year since 2014... while mine have increased. It's not a bragging statement, it's just an observation at the results of 2 different methods.

  13. #13
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    Captd108, You may be a millennial but you are also obviously well educated, have an entrepreneurial spirit, and your business is on the upswing, therefore you are not typical by any means. When everything is clicking, the feeling and attitude is powerful, unswerving, and undefeatable. Good on you. Ride it while it lasts which I hope is until you retire.

    Each inquiry is a different person. We have no idea who they are, how old they are, what's their background, where they are from, ziltch, zip, nada. All I am responding to is a faceless email address with a one line question, "How much do you charge?" I answer their question with as honest an answer as possible given an inquiry with no additional intel on which to base anything else. Hopefully, from that will come a second typical reply. "What do I get for $500.00?" Aha, now Socrates kicks in with answering questions with another question from which further details are cultivated and a relationship can be built. If they don't respond even to $500.00, we are definitely not wasting each others time.

    What I disdain is the "you (business) owe me everything but I (customer) owe you nothing" lack of manners attitude and that's my personal thing.
    Cap Capello, Musical Host
    Celebrating 37th Year Of An Ongoing Mobile DJ Career
    Bose L1 & F1 Systems
    (518) 399-7451 EDT
    http://www.imadj.com

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by rockingdj View Post
    The last several years getting people to meet before quoting a total price was a common and very successful approach. Most booked at the meeting or a few days later despite what their planned budget was, which was most often much lower than the much higher amount they booked us for. They saw the value and realized many things they did not think of, that's why I feel it worked so great at the meetings. We had time to talk and explain things and feel their vibe when meeting. And they could size us up too.

    But, the last several months the bulk of wedding inquiries (have had lot) simply want a price and don't want to meet, they simply want to know how much is a DJ is and don't want to talk much beyond that. Most I never hear back from. Email with no phone number is becoming common.

    Have you experienced this? Any suggestions to have better success at booking the email only or brief phone call inquirer.
    I suspect something about how you generate leads has changed. If it is not a change you made then likely a change in some third party service your rely on. "Several months" in terms of measure is a sudden and dramatic shift - not a slow "turn" of the tide.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap View Post
    Captd108, You may be a millennial but you are also obviously well educated, have an entrepreneurial spirit, and your business is on the upswing, therefore you are not typical by any means. When everything is clicking, the feeling and attitude is powerful, unswerving, and undefeatable. Good on you. Ride it while it lasts which I hope is until you retire.

    Each inquiry is a different person. We have no idea who they are, how old they are, what's their background, where they are from, ziltch, zip, nada. All I am responding to is a faceless email address with a one line question, "How much do you charge?" I answer their question with as honest an answer as possible given an inquiry with no additional intel on which to base anything else. Hopefully, from that will come a second typical reply. "What do I get for $500.00?" Aha, now Socrates kicks in with answering questions with another question from which further details are cultivated and a relationship can be built. If they don't respond even to $500.00, we are definitely not wasting each others time.

    What I disdain is the "you (business) owe me everything but I (customer) owe you nothing" lack of manners attitude and that's my personal thing.
    While your last line is accurate for many... I find that mentality to be less common to those searching for the top tier of vendors, and more common amongst those searching low and mid tier vendors, as those types of clients are the ones that want it all for nothing and if you don't do what they want, they can find someone else. However, this behavior isn't the reason why we get the all too common "what do you charge" and lack of understanding about what goes into a quote for a particular service.

    I have a lot of friends whose families are fairly well off, and all of them when getting married would ask me "who do you recommend for xyz kind of service" and after naming a few for say videography or photography, the next question would always be... do you know how much they charge? Not do they shoot in hd, do you get copyrights to the pics, do you get one shooter or multiple, or drone footage etc... My reply would always be, "I really don't know, and that it depends on what level of service you're looking to get, as well as the date of the wedding (sundays are cheaper)" and then name a few examples of factors that would affect the price. They would be in shock and the typical reaction is wow I didn't know there was so much involved or that you could do when it comes to xyz service... but they also realized that it would be best to just contact them to get all the info. Obviously, they would email the vendor and say "Hi I want to find out information about your services and pricing". They all, for the most part, booked fairly reputable and mid to top tier vendors, but the approach was very similar.

    I guess I'm having a hard time understanding why it is so hard to give a standard pricing list and general information when being inquired about pricing. Why add multiple steps to the process. You're hoping for a second reply to give out pricing details, when by then 5 other dj's have given them full information and they're comfortable enough to move forward with one of them rather than contacting you back.

    One other thing that I am very confused with, is why don't people's websites have a contact form with all the info you require to give a quote. My contact form has name, number, email, venue, and date... from that I can easily give all info necessary. If your emails are coming from your site, you can require them to give whatever info you want to get pricing... you can even ask what services do you have interest in.... ceremony sound, lighting, monogram, etc.

  16. #16
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    Bring on the price question. It's my #1 qualifier for if we will be a fit or not.

    Gig Masters leads I simply send a "Saved Response" to, and I only change the price depending on their event location, and input the prospect's name at the beginning of the quote, and that is it. I do it through my phone, and it takes me 3 minutes.

    Once they have received my quote, I will send them a single follow up email. If no response I move on. ...I only CALL for the follow up when the event date is under 14 days out, and I want to see if I can book it since I'm still open. Wedding clients don't get a phone call unless we have scheduled the phone call. I'm to the point to where I don't chase prospects. If they want to book, they will respond to the quote/follow up email within 7 days, If no response, their lead info get's moved into a separate folder for another 30 days. At the 45 day mark the lead is deleted if they never contacted me.

    I can send an exact quote with knowing 3 simple questions

    1. Date
    2. Times needed
    3. Venue/Location.

    It's not hard to give an accurate quote these days right away.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ RickyB View Post
    Bring on the price question. It's my #1 qualifier for if we will be a fit or not.

    Gig Masters leads I simply send a "Saved Response" to, and I only change the price depending on their event location, and input the prospect's name at the beginning of the quote, and that is it. I do it through my phone, and it takes me 3 minutes.

    Once they have received my quote, I will send them a single follow up email. If no response I move on. ...I only CALL for the follow up when the event date is under 14 days out, and I want to see if I can book it since I'm still open. Wedding clients don't get a phone call unless we have scheduled the phone call. I'm to the point to where I don't chase prospects. If they want to book, they will respond to the quote/follow up email within 7 days, If no response, their lead info get's moved into a separate folder for another 30 days. At the 45 day mark the lead is deleted if they never contacted me.

    I can send an exact quote with knowing 3 simple questions

    1. Date
    2. Times needed
    3. Venue/Location.

    It's not hard to give an accurate quote these days right away.
    But if the location needs 2 or 3 setups they may not know that. Whereas other DJs throw out a price and think it's only one setup because they know none the better. Their quote comes in lower and the customer doesn't get educated on the difference and importance.

    And you know nothing if they want lighting or other special DJ offerings.
    Heavy weight lifter, karate, oh, I DJ too. Life is good!

  18. #18
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    Can't you say the following satellite locations an additional fee of $xyz. Perhaps this is a regional thing but the only additional location that could possibly exist are ceremony and cocktail hour locations which we have a set fee for and have to be on site. If they need a satellite speaker for a separate room that's essentially the same price as a cocktail hour system. And as mentioned many times... how many factors can affect your lighting prices?? Just say lighting is an additional fee and here are the lighting options we offer and the price for each lighting option.

  19. #19
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    To the consumer the confusion can come when one DJ says yes we do amazing up-lighting and that may mean 2 or 3 lights total along one little wall with cheap brand lights, because it's all they have, to the consumer they now have up-lighting. Yet, the next DJs up-lighting may mean the full room 20-40 cans. There's a big difference and if we can't talk they may not think of it and realize there is a difference. The 2 or 3 uplight DJ surely won't want to show much of what they do, they just want to say they offer it.
    Heavy weight lifter, karate, oh, I DJ too. Life is good!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by captd108 View Post
    Can't you say the following satellite locations an additional fee of $xyz. Perhaps this is a regional thing but the only additional location that could possibly exist are ceremony and cocktail hour locations which we have a set fee for and have to be on site. If they need a satellite speaker for a separate room that's essentially the same price as a cocktail hour system. And as mentioned many times... how many factors can affect your lighting prices?? Just say lighting is an additional fee and here are the lighting options we offer and the price for each lighting option.
    It's because so many DJs are still use to the old "Let's feel out the prospect first to figure out how much money they are willing to spend" before I give them a quote way of running their business.

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