by Mike Walter
I talk to a lot of Multi-Op owners from around the country and one of the biggest concerns I hear is the ability to sell their other DJs. Or as I call it: “selling-down.” In other words, selling DJs that are further down your booking board than the client is asking for.
Most of us got to where we are because we were DJing on our own and generating so many referrals that once our own calendars were filled, instead of turning gigs down or referring them to local friends in the business, we decided to build some depth. Then the challenge becomes, how do you get a client that really wants YOU, the owner, to really want THEM, your DJs?
I don’t claim to have the key to unlock this mystery but I will give you some pointers:
Produce Demo Videos
First, make individual video demos of everyone on your staff. The best way to do this is to get raw footage of an event from one of the videographers that you work with. Take the raw footage, pull out all the highlights of your DJ, edit them together and Voila! You should have a quick moving, ten to twelve minute demo. If you dress it up nice with an opening montage you might even have a finished product that can sell without you even being there (ie – you can mail it out to prospective clients or post it on YouTube in case you can’t meet a client face-to-face.)
If it’s impossible to get footage from one of their events, or if they are newer and just don’t have any good weddings or events coming up, an alternative way of putting a demo together is to have them work with you at an event that you are headlining. Have someone videotape the party. Then split time with your DJ, making sure that he or she is out on the dance floor in front of the camera during the really big moments of the party. Then, in post-production, just edit yourself out and create a similar ten to twelve minute demo. I have done this with many of my newer DJs and the resulting demos can be as effective as a demo from one of their own events.
Take An Annual Entertainment Team Photo
Another suggestion to help you “sell-down” is to stop putting the company’s focus solely on you. For example, when we take our annual group picture, I never sit front and center. I always just place myself somewhere in the mix. In fact we always get a chuckle about who it is each year that “owns the company” because it’s always a random thing the way we stand and who winds up front and center.
Let Prospects See Your DJs In Action
Here’s a great way to monitor whether your company’s focus is too much on you, the owner. If you’re reading this article in your office, look around. Do you have action shots on the walls? (if not, I’d ask you why you don’t but that’s a topic for another article.) How many of those action shots have you in them? If your answer is “All,” or even “The vast majority,” I urge you to get more pictures of your staff. Do the same test with your website. Do you have action shots online? Well, how many of those feature you?
Make The Most Of Your Own Reputation
I want to mention a caveat here before I move on. Unless you want to give up MCing entirely, don’t completely obliterate your image from your company’s marketing. If you do, the perception in your area will be that you are a company owner now and no longer an entertainer. So while I do suggest changing the “focus” of your company’s marketing, I also suggest that it still include you. After all, you are probably the most recognizable name and face that your company has so do not completely paint yourself into extinction.
Conduct Live Showcases
My last suggestion to you is to start showcasing. Live showcases are the perfect vehicle to “sell down.” They give you the opportunity to fill a room with perspective clients and then have every one of your MCs get on the microphone, get on the dance floor and get into their heads and hearts. At most Elite showcases, at least four or five of my MCs get more bookings than I do. And I’m fine with that. I can fill my own schedule with referrals. So if an event goes to one of my DJs, that’s fine with me, because at least it stayed in the company.
Have more recommendations for “selling down?” Share them here.
Mike Walter – “Multi-Op Corner”
|Mike Walter is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of DJ staff training and multi-system business development. 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 highly praised DVD set is available at TrainingYourNextGreatDJ.com. To contact him about his on-site training services or for general inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org. View posts by Mike|