DISHIN’ WITH DANDY – by Neil Smith the Dandy DJ
The old saying is true – TIME IS MONEY! I’ll even take this a few steps further and state that time is more valuable than money. You can always make more money, but time is irreplaceable!
With this in mind, it’s not only prudent to spend your time exclusively pursuing just the exact right type of client for your business, but just as important if not more so to keep the wrong type of prospective client from unnecessarily taking up your precious, irreplaceable minutes, hours (and ultimately days and weeks!). This is not just for your benefit, but also for theirs so that they don’t waste their valuable planning time on your service if you aren’t an appropriate fit. One technique I have learned to use effectively over the years is something I like to call “SOURING THE MILK.” Please allow me to explain!
This is where you actually present your services in such a way as to make them undesirable or “distasteful” to prospective clients you most likely are not a good fit for while simultaneously making your business very attractive and exciting to the right kind of client for you!
In order for this to work, however, you’ll first need to be very, very, VERY clear on who you are as a person and as a business and you’ll need to identify exactly whom your target client is down to the smallest detail possible (where they shop, play, go to school, etc.).
One way to determine this is to review your most successful past events where you were the happiest serving, the client was the most pleased with your services and you made the best money. If you can find the type of past client where those three areas come closest to intersecting, you have just taken a huge step towards refining exactly whom your ideal client is! For me, that magic trifecta ended up being the middle-class Christian bride. For you, it could be something entirely different.
Ok, so with “MY” target client identified and me focusing like a laser on attracting the middle-class Christian bride and repelling most others, I achieved this goal very easily. I simply implemented a strict clean music policy which is stated clearly and unapologetically in all my marketing, website, contracts and live presentations. This instantly sours the milk for anyone wanting to have a super drunken wild time with uncensored music while simultaneously attracting my target client who is generally concerned about the content of what will be played in front of family and their church-going friends.
Perhaps you’re the type of entertainer that enjoys the wild and crazy parties that go into all hours of the night. In this case, you might want to take the opposite approach of what I did and bill yourself as the no-holds-barred DJ, uncensored and wild! This should, of course, attract that type of client while repelling those concerned about keeping things family-friendly for Grandma and the Kids. I think you get the idea! Identify what makes you unique and magnify that to the hilt!
Now every once in awhile, a situation will arise when a prospective client that knows you’re not a good fit for them will be trying to begrudgingly hire you anyway. Perhaps this is due to pressure from their friends and family; maybe they’re tired of searching and just want to get the entertainment aspect of the planning finished and you happen to be available and they just don’t care anymore – there could be a million reasons why someone who is not a fan of your style and policies may still be trying to hire you.
Hear me clearly on this – DO NOT TAKE THIS JOB! Odds are that the guests will end up being disappointed, the client was obviously already disappointed before even hiring you, and you may end up with a bad review (or several) that will tarnish your reputation and ultimately cost you more in lost business than you’ll physically make on this job. It’s just not worth it. Instead, serve them and guide them towards providers who will be a proper fit. Those same providers may just send some clients your way in the future for whom you can knock it out of the park!
With all of this in mind, I think we can sum it all up with the takeaways being:
#1 – Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by taking business that may ultimately harm your business
#2 – Don’t be afraid to SOUR THE MILK!