It isn't discussed enough, but people buy from people they like.
No matter what product you are selling, the first secret to success is having your prospect like you.
If I like the person who serves me at a restaurant, garage, or store. I am more likely to frequent that establishment than others. I will even pay a little more for a product, if I know the buying experience will be a pleasant one. All things being equal, I always pick to do business with people I like.
I hate Wal-Mart. I find personal service lacking and the help is often uneducated about the store's products. Too often, the help is indifferent to customer service. On the other hand, I will pay a little more for chainsaw chains at the local small engine shop because the proprietor is friendly and tells interesting stories. I enjoy my time visiting. Lowe's is cheaper, but the personal touch is lacking.
How does this all relate to magic? Simple, prospects will always hire the people they like personally, if the price is comparable.
To get the edge over your competition, you must be likable. You must make the booking process easy and enjoyable.
There are several things you can do to make this all happen. The following steps are a few of the things you will want to do to book more shows and also create repeat business.
1) Always be upbeat and enthusiastic. No one wants to deal with someone who is negative. Do not tear down the competition.
2) Be flexible. In the magic business, there are always surprises. The stage may not be right. Starting times may change. As much as possible, go with the flow. Even if it means the show is not as great as it could have been, your sponsor will appreciate your willingness and ability to overcome obstacles.
3) Return calls promptly. This alone can help you to stand out.
4) Throw in extras. Always go the extra mile. It shows your customers you appreciate their business. I prefer to buy my windshield wipers and headlights at Auto Zone. Why? Because they will install these items for me free. That little extra has won me over.
5) Always send a thank you note. Just something as small as a thank you card can go miles in getting you the repeat business. Last time I visited my mother, she showed me a thank you note the computer store sent her. She was so impressed that they would do this, she had to tell me. Get your customers talking about you.
6) Always be early. Arriving on time or even a little early tells your client you care about their business.
7) Be clean, neat and clean up after yourself. Who doesn't like this?
This is just a small list of the things you can do to set yourself apart and build long term business relationships with your customers.
If you have other ideas, please let me know. This is the second in a series of articles on sales and the entertainer.