Relationship Building Starts With You

Party Planning Cycle in the DJ World

By Doug Sandler, “Nice Guys Finish First”

I spend a considerable amount of time retraining DJs that come to me with years of experience and hundreds of parties under their belt and they still not able to make a full-time living as a DJ or MC. Often times they will blame their market, the economic climate or pin blame to the lack of full-time earnings on the type of events they are doing. When given an opportunity to help them make their dream job of being a DJ a dream income producer of $100,000 a year or more, the training I provide always starts with a simple question. “Where do you focus your time?”

If the DJ trade shows are any indication, most people in our industry spend 95% of their time focused on bigger, louder, flashier systems. Most put big bucks into systems that blast 120 decibels, have 25,000 songs or more in their database and more LED lights than the presidential Christmas tree.  And from all the big bucks marketing dollars spent by manufacturers and distributors of DJ equipment, it seems as though they are playing to the right market. But here’s the problem, most professionals in our industry are focused on the wrong part of the event. Honestly, your customer probably does not care how big your database is, how many LED lights you have and how loud your system can get. They just want to know that you care about them. Don’t get me wrong, you have to have a good system in place to get the job done well, but as a professional, I am assuming you already knew that. But I want you to stop focusing most of your time on gear and start focusing more of your time on your customer. Many of you are creating milestone memories, and your customer needs to have someone love up on them. The one that does it best will win the most business, consistently and for the biggest dollars for many, many years to come.

Spend a moment and read, then reread the following three sentences:

  1. We usually have 6 months or more of planning time for an event that lasts 4-6 hours.
  2. You have over 100 times the amount of time to get more business, develop a better relationship and create a better income stream before the event than if you wait until event date to get referrals, repeat business and a pat on the back.
  3. Start focusing your efforts on building a relationship, providing amazing customer service and creating a positive experience for your customer that will last a lifetime and you will be rewarded with a lifetime of business.

If you are not getting referrals before you work an event or cannot recall the last time you even got a referral, you need to change your process. If you are getting inquiry calls that start with “I am having an event, how much are you?” then you need to change your business focus. If you are not 20%-30% more expensive than your competition and getting more business than you can handle, you are doing something drastically wrong. It’s time to change your focus and start working more on relationship building and less on gear building. Show your customers you care about them more than you care about your gear and your income will grow exponentially.

Relationship building starts with you and is tackled one client at a time. Start with your client list today. Reach out to your customers, put down your sales hat for a moment and find out what it is that makes your client happy, really happy. The kind of happy that makes them smile from the inside out. I promise you, once you figure that out gaining more business at a higher rate is just a step away. I’d love to hear about your victories. Email them to me at Looking forward to hearing great things.


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