by Mike Walter
I gave a seminar the other day to my local DJ Association (The NJDJN) of which I am a proud member. The seminar is entitled “Running Your Multi-Op From the Man Who Wrote The Book” and I used this opportunity to announce that I have, in fact, actually written a book (warning: shameless plug coming). You can check out details at my new website.
After the talk I gave out evaluations and asked the 50 odd attendees to “rate” me. I also asked what their best “take away” from the seminar was and if they thought I should expand on any specific section. I was actually very surprised to read the responses and see that a few people mentioned one of the sales tips that I had thrown out. Specifically when I said: “Ask for the sale.”
Here’s My Theory
Very few of us are sales people. We are mostly entertainers who by default are forced into selling our services to our clients. In that paradigm, we are actually at a great disadvantage from most sales people. Because most sales people aren’t selling themselves. Most sales people are selling a product or service that their company is going to provide. And so when they ask for the business and get rejected, the prospect is not rejecting them they are rejecting the product or service. (I know some sales people would disagree with this but follow my logic here and you’ll see where I’m going.) But we are not only the front line sales person, we are the service at the end of the line. And so when a client says “no” to us they’ve rejected us on two levels: as a sales person and as a final product of the sale.
Don’t Come Up Short in the Sales Process
All this can be very damaging to our psyche especially when you consider that the vast majority of entertainers (myself included) have massive egos that are in place mainly to cover up our vast feelings of insecurity. I’m not trying to play pop psychologist here but the bottom line is none of us really want to be told “no, I don’t want you.” So, I think what happens is we often neglect to ask the question that could lead to that response. And in doing that, we are coming up short in the sales process.
Use Your Best Closing Line
So with all that out on the table, I will tell you, dear reader, the same thing I told a room full of my local industry peers: “ask for the sale.” At some point in the give and take of the sales process, after you have listened to the prospect and discovered exactly what their vision is for their event, and then after you’ve had a chance to make your presentation and show how you are the perfect fit for them, then you need to look them in the eye and ask for their business. Whatever your best “closing line” may be, you need to throw it out there. “Would you like to reserve the date at this time?” “So, can I draw up an agreement?” “Will that be check or credit card?” (That’s what they call an “assumptive close.”) Be willing to hear the answer we all dread (“no”) because along the way, I’m sure you’ll hear a lot more “yes’s.”
There’s a Worse Answer Than “No”
Remember the worst answer any sales person can hear isn’t “no.” It’s “maybe.” Because “maybe” means you have to follow up with this person and more time is going to be spent in the process and who knows, it may not lead to a deal anyway. “No” at least finishes the process and allows you to move on to clients who do think you are perfect for their day. But just like the hot chick in the bar, you have a much better chance of getting her number (or the sale) if you ask for it. So prepare your tenuous ego for the worst, and ask the question. Either way, “yes” or “no,” you’ll be a better sales person just for asking.
Mike Walter – Multi-Op Corner
He is also a writer for Disc Jockey News and Producer of the International DJ Expo’s “DJ of the Year” competition.
Mike is the owner of NJ’s Elite Entertainment, selected by The Knot and Modern Bride magazine as one of the country’s top entertainment companies.
Mike’s new book, Running Your Multi-Op, and his highly praised DVD set, Training Your Next Great DJ, are available at DJMikeWalter.com.
To contact him about his on-site training services or for general inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org.