By Stacy Zemon
Yes, you can charge more for your services. And yes, you’d better be worth it. Ultimately though, you’d better be able to prove your value to prospective clients or you won’t get your asking fee for bookings.
So just how do you prove your value?
Angel Pacanins, owner of M&A Entertainment from Albany, Texas offers some excellent “show and tell” ideas:
“I do it through high-quality pictures that I use in my presentation (I buy them from their photographers), and video reviews from our past brides. I put a lot of effort in making sure that we get video testimonials from either the bride and groom or the parents of the bride.
My auto-response to the dreaded question ‘Is there any way we can come see you work?’ is: ‘As a private event DJ I cannot justify inviting anyone to someone else’s party to audition me. I will extend the same courtesy to you at your event. I do have some video, however, that showcases me in action. Please allow me to share it with you.’ This response along with the video are never a problem, and it shows that I am a professional who cares about the events where I perform.”
It has been my experience that educating prospects is a critical part of demonstrating value. Simply put, you’ve got to explain that you offer much more than being “just” a DJ who plays music. Then you’ve got to tell them what you offer, explain why it benefits them, show examples through video, and justify the cost to their entire budget because what you do adds so much value to the overall success of their event.
Isaac Atkinson, General Manager from Good Times Entertainment in Fresno California is always delighted by these opportunities. “It’s a great feeling when you have a prospective client seated in front you (a client who supposedly understood what we’d had offer before meeting us) and their eyes light up and get big because you just taught them something that they could incorporate into their event!”
Show Video Testimonials
Showing a few video testimonials from elated prior clients is another highly effective way to prove your value. In fact, I’d recommend asking clients for video testimonials at every event and putting those videos up on your website.
Dave Ternier of Special Request Weddings in Manitoba Canada says “Experience really (only) counts when you can demonstrate it.” I agree. Here’s what he tells his clients:
“I’ve been entertaining for over twenty-five years. I’ll help with putting together a timeline of events for your reception so that everything flows smoothly. I’ll help you come up with unique ideas for your party so that things are more personal and exciting for not only you, but your family and friends as well.”
What does any of that really mean? Is that information really anything tangible for the soon-to-be-married wedding couple sitting across the table from you? Without some demonstration of what you’re saying, there may be disbelief or skepticism sitting across the table from you.
Demonstrate Everything You Say
“Unless you can find a way to demonstrate everything that you say when meeting with a wedding couple for the first time, you may or may not be working with them in the end. You may not have built enough value because really, anyone can “say” those things right? What will separate you from the DJ who can’t actually deliver on what he said he was going to, is to find ways to demonstrate, or provide real life examples, of everything you say. Everything.”
Dave goes on to say: “A lot of the time, I choose to use spoken story to demonstrate my proficiency in these different areas. I love sharing examples of moments from past weddings with newly-engaged couples because it can often demonstrate many points within one neat package. For instance, if I choose to share the story of a couple who had a really unique and fun cake cutting.”
The value of this article is that it demonstrates that there are many ways to prove your value to prospects to convert them into clients. If you incorporate the ideas expressed here into your sales techniques, then you have effectively proven your value. Never again need you be speechless when asked, “How much do you charge to DJ for four hours at an event?”.