Note: This is the first post in a new weekly column by the “Money Answer Man” Jerry Bazata.
In today’s economy, a competitive marketplace has emerged and become saturated with inexperienced DJs seeking to book events by undercutting other disc jockeys. This presents a frustrating challenge for professionals who understand the talent, skills, experience and tools it takes to be an accomplished entertainer and business owner. This situation is exacerbated by price-focused consumers who are likely to call and ask, “How much do you charge for your services?”
The opportunity for the true professional lies in how to change the focus from price to value when speaking with a prospective bride, parent or event planner. Here are a series of talking points that you can incorporate into a conversation. The goal? To create a value proposition that leads to your being hired and being compensated appropriately for your services.
- What to Ask and Expect from Your DJ When most people want to hire a DJ, it is their first time, so they don’t know the relevant questions to ask. When interviewing prospective entertainers for an event, knowing what to ask will help you make a well-informed decision that includes exactly what to expect so there are no unpleasant surprises on the party.
- Do you use professional DJ equipment that is neatly rack-mounted and will you have back-up equipment available on-site if something technically goes wrong? Cheap gear with dangling wires are not something anyone wants to see
- Can I see or listen to samples of you making introductions and announcements? The vocal quality and stage presence of an MC is critically important to the success of your event
- How do you work with clients to select the music?A DJ with an extensive music library can easily handle almost any song request. Let your requests be known prior to the event. Keep in mind not to treat your DJ like a jukebox operator. Part of the reason you are hiring a professional is because of his/her extensive music knowledge and programming ability.
- What sets you apart from other DJs in the area? This is an all-important opportunity to learn about a DJs talent, skills, experience and tools – the things that can make or break your event. The answer to this question should explain why this DJ perhaps charges $1,200 when another DJ you may have spoken to charges $695. Once you have narrowed your selection, schedule in-person meetings to make your final determination on the right DJ for you.
- Do you have any references I can call? Every talented and experienced DJ should have numerous references from caterers, banquet managers, event planners, florists and photographers. These folks have seen a variety of DJs over time and get to know the best ones. Most professional DJs also provide testimonials on their websites.
By taking the focus of the conversation away from price and creating an educational opportunity for a prospect, you will significant increase your ability of winning their business. If you have an effective value-based discussion, by the end of it the prospect should realize that the “How much do you charge?” question they initially asked should really have been the last question when seeking to hire a mobile DJ service.
About the “Money Answer Man”
Jerry Bazata (Maine’s DJ Jaz) has over 25 years experience as a professional DJ entertainer. His firm, J & J Marketing and Entertainment, is a leading consultant to the event planning and music industry. Jerry is a published author and recognized nationally as a respected authority on our business. To learn more about him visit www.mainediscjockey.com or email an inquiry to Jerry@mainediscjockey.com.