Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby brett » Wed Oct 20, 2004 11:29 am

RE 72 hour hold:

I receive multiple calls for dates, and assume most of you do as well. Most brides dont call a DJ with the idea of booking on the spot, especially when planning more than 12 months in advance. I offer my presentation, quote them a price and simply ask them if they would like to book the date. Most respond that they need to speak with their fiance or family and are "very interested and it sounds great". I then offer them the 72 hour hold and most are quite appreciative and generally get back to me within 3-4 days with a retainer.
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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby Mark » Wed Oct 20, 2004 11:40 am

so many great ideas... the business of being a successful DJ has moved so far away from actual DJ performance that it is very hard to find the right path. I had the benefit of a second career in construction products sales and was sent to several sales training courses. I highly recommend the Dale Carnagie course. Please allow me to respond to a few previous posts..

1) The concept of "push the contract across the table and shut up" IS NOT to put undue pressure on your prospective client in a manipulative way... The reality is that we ALL present...present...present way too much. We are comfortable with our service and we enthusiastically talk... talk... talk... to get that across to the client.

The silence after the offer is made is a refreshing respite for the client to gather their thoughts and move further in the decision process. It is highly effective. It is highly respectful. They are going to spend a lot of money and want a moment to think... You will be very pleasantly surprised if you use this approach.

2) I use the 5% rule. To be the DJ that gets the decision or the call back, I only have to be 5% better than my closest competitor... 5% faster to respond to an inquiry... 5% more interested in the clients specific needs... 5% better looking brochure... 5% more courteous... get the picture ? It's not tricks or selling expertise or slick presentations... It's being a real, approachable person that uses CD's and music and professional announcing skills to help the client achieve a successful event.

Approach every client with these ideas in mind and feel confident that your price is fair because you WILL deliver on your promises. LISTEN, ASK, PRESENT, ASK FOR THE BUSINESS and enjoy success..

a quick story... I booked an $1100 wedding in 5 minutes of phone time after the bride asked me if I would play her CD's.. rather than go into a speech about how I have a great CD collection... I asked her to explain how her songs were important to the event and where they would fit in.. She said that the other DJ she was considering... refused to play her CD because if it had a scratch and skipped... he would look bad at the reception ! Where is your focus DJ's ????? $ 1100 / 4 hours / dinner / drinks (her insistence) $ 200 tip ....easy money !

Good selling,
Mark Vincent New Concepts Entertainment / So Cal.
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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby Jem-star » Wed Oct 20, 2004 11:49 am

DITTO!
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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby DJStuCrew » Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:51 pm

The main thing about a money back guarantee is that it cannot be "unconditional." If so, everyone would ask for their money back no matter how good you are!

My contract has a clause that states: "...because of the subjective nature of a DJ's performance, the CLIENT agrees that no payment shall be witheld shoud the quality of the sound or performance be in dispute."

This covers just about everything that my actual guarantee does not. In plainer words, they can't keep your final payment because they think you "sucked."

My guarentee only covers specific things:
1. That I'll be completely set up ON TIME for the event;
2. That I will not sub-contract another DJ;
3. That only professional grade commercial quality sound equipment will be provided, and that I'll have equal quality back-up gear on-site;
4. That we'll provide professional service at all times, refraining from smoking or consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs;
5. That I'll have all requested special songs for the traditional dances, such as the first dance, father/daughter, etc., assuming that they are in-print and LEGALLY available;
6. That I will handle all of the announcements and emcee duties.

Below these items are the conditions. No tricks here, just common sense stuff. For instance, to meet condition #1, I MUST have access to the venue one to two hours before the contracted start time. #2 states: "Substitution would be made ONLY in an emergency (hospitalization, etc.) and said substitute will be a member in good standing of the DJ Alliance. (See our website for details.) In such a case, the client shall receive a 25% refund within 30 days of the even if, for any reason, they are not 100% satisfied with said substitute."

The only other condition covers #6. It reads: "Unless prohibited by the venue, or if emcee duties have been delegated to another party by the CLIENT. We consider announcements OUR job!" This covers you in those rare instances where the client insists that someone else act as emcee.

The last line reads: "Failure to perform any other of the above will result in a 100% refund to the client within 30 days of the event!" (Printed in bold, of course.)

So if you think about it, the guarantee covers things that we all go to great lengths to do routinely anyway. Since I've implemented it, I've had to change nothing in the way I go about my biz. (Although I do add a few minutes to my departure time, and have never regretted it.) If a DJ isn't willing to be on time, not "bait and switch," do the announcements and have the music ready that is needed, then would YOU hire them?

Don't fear the guarantee. It's your friend.
"Support your local DJ: PARTY HARD! PARTY OFTEN!"
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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby Screamin' Scott » Wed Oct 20, 2004 3:17 pm

Everyone is on the right track. Some great Ideas out there. I like the way the money back guarantee works. I have a guy in my market that is a great guy that has to do 5 free shows a year because of his guarantee and I'm going to share what was said in the guarantee to get their money back. It must be working because he has been doing it for 5 years and does 8 weddings every Saturday night ranging form $800-$1600 depending who does the show.

Yes, Jeff I remembered you and missed you at the association meeting last night. Yes CJ...I admit I'm long winded especially when I have an important message to share. I guess that's what makes me ME! The Screamin' Scott part comes from me saying "SOMEBODY SCREAM" in the middle of my show (while standing on my speaker) right before the 5oo people scream at the top of their lungs. That's where the name came from.

Take care.

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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby JR » Wed Oct 20, 2004 3:34 pm

Screamin' Scott wrote: I have a guy in my market that is a great guy that has to do 5 free shows a year because of his guarantee and I'm going to share what was said in the guarantee to get their money back.


Please elaborate. Why/how does this guy's guarantee require him to do five free shows annually?
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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby Screamin' Scott » Wed Oct 20, 2004 4:36 pm

Hi JR,

I was really close to moving to Phoenix but last minute ended up in Tampa
in August. I have been networking with Curtis (the highest priced guy in the Phoenix market).

Russ has to give back about 5 shows a year because the Bride & Groom found small things to complain about. Russ has a TOP quality show and if I were getting married, he would be doing my wedding if I didn't own an Entertainment company.

Think about it...8 shows every Sat. night and I mean EVERY Sat, Night =
400 weddings a year just on Sat. He usually has a couple out on Fridays.
600 weddings total X $1,000 average = $600,000 a year gross.

Guess what, He is cutting down to 3 and raising his rates. next year he isn't doing any shows under $1600 on a Saturday.

Next to my company, he has the best reputation of any company out there in Madison Wisconsin but still he gives back 5 shows a year out of 600 or so (I'm guessing on how many shows he does a year but I'm sure it's around this number). You can't please everyone all the time but $5,000 out of $600,000 is nothing.

This is why with a little different wording in his guarantee, maybe he could cut from 5 shows to 1 or 2 to return.

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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby Screamin' Scott » Wed Oct 20, 2004 5:00 pm

Hi everyone,

Here are two groups everyone should be on the mailing list for The first guy has an emailing that goes out . His name is Asron Foster. He spoke at Mid-America in Louisville. His email is info@marketingforentertainers.com

Second is a guy by the name of Kyle McPeck. He offers an email daily that is motivational and gives a different perspective on things. He also offers tips on marketing and other things. His organization's contact email is kylemcpeck@tropica.com

Both of these are free and will help you not only market your company but
help you with everyday life.
TELL THEM SCREAMIN' SCOTT SENT YOU!!!!!!!

Take care,

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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby djdonny » Wed Oct 20, 2004 5:13 pm

I still have to convince my business partner about the money back guarantee. He just sees it as a opening for clients to get their money back even if everything went great.


You have to worry about that. Here in NYC I believe there would be some clients who would specifically look for that just to get a DJ for free.

I offer a conditional guarantee based on playing their music requests:

http://www.sound-sensation.com/Pages/guarantee.html
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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby JR » Wed Oct 20, 2004 5:56 pm

Hey Scott,

Screamin' Scott wrote:Russ has to give back about 5 shows a year because the Bride & Groom found small things to complain about.


So the happy couple was even happier once they found a way to use his contract against him. I understand. I do seem to remember someone else here making a comment recently (CJ I think :? ) that they'll get their money regardless, so why not give a guarantee. (or somthing to that idea)

Screamin' Scott wrote:I was really close to moving to Phoenix but last minute ended up in Tampa in August. I have been networking with Curtis (the highest priced guy in the Phoenix market).


I'm sorry I don't know Curtis (maybe I should). We only moved here this past January from New Hampshire. More of everthing here: opportunity, competition, people who don't think that we're worth what we charge, etc... We were just starting to get the business off the ground up there when we moved here. Now it's back to square-one. So far we've only been able to convert maybe 7% of our leads into contracts. Heck, raise my rates to $1k? At this point I'd be happy to raise them to $750. I know that we are worth every penny. It's just gonna be a matter of time for the consumer to make the same realization.
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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby Mark » Wed Oct 20, 2004 5:59 pm

Mark from New concepts here... this is my performance guarantee " the nature of the entertainment business is fluid and dynamic, The client agrees to immediately notify and work with our staff to resolve any misunderstandings or difficulties. No refunds are given unless the performer is a no-show or blatantly incompetent". Note the word "immediately" .

How many times have you worked as a sub-contractor, or had someone sub to you... the show went good.. no mention of any problems then the next day you get a complaint... It's too late to do anything except fork out some cash to placate a client that will never be satisfied anyway. I stand by my work and my guys... if there is and issue, the client should allow us to rectify it immediately. If not then my clause protects me from day after fussin'
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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby Screamin' Scott » Wed Oct 20, 2004 6:16 pm

JR, There are a lot more people in the Phoenix market getting $1,000+ than Tampa. I guess you can count the 1K guys in Tampa market on 1 hand. I'm hoping to change that. You should get involved in the local DJ association and you will meet some wonderful people in that market. They welcomed me with open arms (just like Tampa). They even have a hugh sound store where they hold their meetings and give big discounts on gear.

Most people are good people and wouldn't go after a company on a guarantee. You really need to pre qualify your clients with the guarantee.
If they are coming from the projects...better have a provision written into the guarantee.

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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby djmc » Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:54 am

RSEMUSIC wrote: a question what internet service: I.E. WEDJ, PRODJ, 800DISCJOCKEY, etc do you all use if any to promote that gives you the most bang for your buck.

I am curious to hear. I have been using a combination but have noticed 800DISCJOCKEY and RESPONDWEDDINGS give the most thus far.


this question probably belongs in a different thread, but here are two that I just joined recently on a trial basis:

www.professionalvendors.com (still in Beta testing, and they will upgrade your listing for free if you ask 'em!) no leads yet

www.entertainusa.com (trial offer = 5 free leads)
these guys have fantastic customer service! Within minutes of submitting a suggestion, someone called me back and then the idea was implemented in a couple of days. Got 3 leads within 10 days of signing up.....they have alot of potential once they improve their Google rankings (only a matter of time)
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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby celebrationkc » Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:20 pm

We just raised our rates to $1000 and up. We never, ever thought that we could get that here in Kansas City. Most DJ's here are getting $500 and under.

My wife reads the boards on the Knot and the brides there are constantly talking about the cheapest DJ's. We recently performed for a bride who is a knottie unknown to us. She commented on the Knot about us and that we cost more, however, were worth every penny. We've booked 4 events this past 2 weeks from the Knot boards for $1000. This from the boards that talk about a DJ for $250 and another well respected one that does $375 for 5 hours.

We were charging $795 last year, now we're looking to $1295 shortly! Since we've raised our rates, our bookings are way up!!!

Peter Merry talks about a book called Selling The Invisible by Harry Beckwith. It is available at audible.com for those who like audio books like me. In it he speaks specifically about higher prices sell better than lower prices. It really works!!!

Joe Martin
Celebration Entertainment of Kansas City
http://www.kcweddingdj.com
Vice President - Kansas City ADJA
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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby celebrationkc » Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:22 pm

We like ProDJ.com
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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby djmc » Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:28 pm

celebrationkc wrote:We like ProDJ.com


when their servers don't crash, right?
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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby celebrationkc » Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:48 pm

I'm hanging on with Ryan. I used to host other places and ProDJ seems to have quite a bit better uptime than other hosts. I think that the Webmin is the only thing that has had a problem. This to us is just a wakeup call that we need to backup ourselves also.

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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby Jem-star » Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:18 pm

celebrationkc wrote:I'm hanging on with Ryan. I used to host other places and ProDJ seems to have quite a bit better uptime than other hosts. I think that the Webmin is the only thing that has had a problem. This to us is just a wakeup call that we need to backup ourselves also.

Joe Martin

Obviously, this subject may need some discussion.

Thus, I have taken the liberty to start a new thread (with a poll) on the subject.
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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby CJ Greiner » Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:19 pm

celebrationkc wrote:I'm hanging on with Ryan. I used to host other places and ProDJ seems to have quite a bit better uptime than other hosts. I think that the Webmin is the only thing that has had a problem. This to us is just a wakeup call that we need to backup ourselves also.


I use GigBuilder by WeDJ.com, but I've heard great things (and a great amount of bragging) about DJWebmin its associated websites.

They both provide good products that allow you to manage your DJ business online and incorporate an availability checker and music database into your website.

I always heard how DJWebmin was better because of more reliable uptime -- in fact, there were lots of posts on ProDJ and they even advertised that fact everywhere.

So… the recent loss of access and data is a real slap in the face for them.

… and like everyone else, I don’t understand it. Even they don’t understand it.
The data was supposed to be backed up on a regular basis – probably nightly on-site and weekly off-site.

They have gone to great lengths to get back online, but the data for a large amount of time is simply gone. (ouch!)

Even the posts (tons of them) are missing from the ProDJ forums. That hurts too.

--------
I’m a real supporter of Ryan and the gang, so I hope they figure out a way to restore everything, and more importantly – guard from the same thing ever happening again.

There’s a post here (started by jem-star) with a poll on the DJWebmin subject:
DJ WebMin CRASH

:!: :idea:
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Re: Raising Your Rates Over the $1,000 Mark!

Postby Screamin' Scott » Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:26 pm

HI Joe,

Glad to see you followed the link I sent. Great story. Most DJ's believe they can't get it in their market. I know I believed I couldn't. Once the first person has the guts to go for it...In about a year 5 or 6 follow their lead. I'm a big time number cruncher. I am up $8,600 (after payroll to my guys) from 2 years ago....These are Jan. 1 - Oct.31 04 numbers. I crunched numbers on the plane on my way back to Florida after my gig on Sunday. The crazy part about it is Jan.1, 2002-Oct.31,2002 I did 220 shows. Jan.1,04-Oct.31,04 I will have done 101 shows.

That means I did 119 less shows but made $8,600 more over the last 2 years. Doing less shows means less advertising, less maintenance, less payroll, less music but most of all Less time and less people you need to rely upon (because nothing ever goes wrong at your show, it's always one of your guys shows)!

I'm still up for speaking at your Association meeting in Kansas City. I was asked by the president of your group. Follow up for me please.

Take care,

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