You are talking with a potential client.
The show would be perfect for you and you really could use the cash.
Then they say: “You are too expensive.”
There could be many reasons this sentence comes out of the client’s mouth. Maybe they aren’t sure if you are right for their event and are looking for a way out.
Maybe they are trying to get you to come down in price because they can’t see the value of having you over another entertainer.
Or quite possibly, they don’t have your fee in the budget.
So how do you deal with that statement in a manner that could possibly save the booking, or at least leave you in good standing with the potential client?
First – do not immediately drop your fee.
That is an amateur move and makes you look hungry.
When I am hit with that statement, one of my favorite lines is: “Compared to what?”
That throws the other person off base. They need to provide an answer.
If they are comparing you to another entertainer you will have some very useful knowledge. I always love it when they come back with something like: “Well we talked to a magician who does more time and even floats a woman in the air! Plus he is about half your price!”
My response here is, “You are comparing an apple to an orange. I won’t bad mouth another entertainer, but I’d look into their credentials. With me, you are getting an international entertainer who specializes in wowing audiences and keeping the laughs rolling at events just like yours. I’m proven in this setting and will make certain your people walk away with a positive attitude about your event. A magician can purchase a magic trick on line and do it the next day because most tricks are self-working. So it is important to know that I’ve spent years working at my craft and that experience comes at a cost.”
Now obviously, you shouldn’t use those exact words because our experience and type of booking will be different. But it does provide an outline for writing this type of response yourself.
Writing? Sure, think of every possible objection to your act. Create a response that makes that concern seem trivial. Show the prospect you are on top of things by knowing your value.
You do so much more than just a show!
They may just say: “Sorry, we don’t have that in the budget.”
In this case, I ask them what their budget is. (Yes, they will usually tell you.)
If the budget is reasonable, don’t jump on it. Tell them that the fee would obviously impact the program, but that you would be happy to create a proposal for their consideration.
Once off the phone, think about added value for you. Can you video the show and use the footage in a demo clip with their guests visible? Can you get your name on any advertising? What other ways could you benefit? Business cards on tables? Free ad in their program?
Can you shorten the length of performance? (Yes and you should.) You could use only one puppet instead of two, etc. etc.
Then go back with their price and say, “This is what I can do for you.”
What you can do for them. You are working with them. You are trying to help them have a great evening of entertainment within their budget confines.
In some cases, you just have to tell them, “I’m sorry, my act isn’t the right fit for everyone. Maybe we could work together next time you have a larger budget.”
Then don’t give up on that next time.
Physically mail them with a thank you card for thinking about your act. Say you are sorry it didn’t work out but you wish them the best with their event!
Next, schedule an email to go out a few days following their event. (That way you don’t have to think about it later.) My email is:
I just saw on my calendar that your event was on: (date). Hoping everything went great and your guests had an incredible time!
You aren’t selling here – you are showing genuine interest in their event and it is all about them. Not you!
Then finally I schedule another email to go out the following year about a week before they called me. That says:
Last year we talked about your (event) and I wanted to check back and see if you were planning another. Would love to work with you if you have the budget!
In this last email you are asking for the sale.
I use a site called LetterMeLater for these emails. You can also use a scheduler with some email providers including Gmail’s Boomerang.
So think about these techniques and how you could apply them to your situation. Then you will be ready the next time someone tells you “You are too expensive!”