FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM DECEMBER 2009
After 20 plus years in the mobile entertainment industry, I have noticed the lack of value DJs put into their products. I have seen many DJs that get too relaxed or laid back about what they do. Think about it, if someone asked you how you do a wedding, what would you say? Can you sell your service in a 10-minute phone call?
When a bride calls you, do you say something like, “We play a wide variety of music from Big-Band to Top 40, we’ll help you with all the traditional activities, and we bring cool lights?” What I mean is any good DJ can play the right music, but where is the value? To be the best entertainer you can be, you need to do more than play great music, and you need to let your customers know you do more.
This is the age-old question… how do you add value to your product?
Ever wonder what makes a $2000 wedding entertainer so much better than a $595 DJ? It’s presentation, not just a tuxedo and a Bose L1 system… it’s the presentation that starts with the sales process. Almost all DJs do bridal party introductions and garter toss, but how you sell it to the client is what makes the difference. Unfortunately, we have limited products to “sell” to our clients as DJs. Most brides and grooms don’t care about what kind of speakers you use or how powerful your amp is, so we have to find other ways to add value.
Value is defined and established at the very beginning of the sales process. Retail salespeople are pros at adding value; they make their money by “building the ticket.” Building the ticket is defined by the extras they sell you. The “extras” might be an extended warranty on your computer, protective covers for your new speakers, and having the “geek department” install the latest software that you purchased to go with your new computer. If you look closely, you will see this ticket-building process everywhere. For example, when you get your oil changed, the garage offers new belts or wipers; the restaurant provides your dessert before your check; the furniture store offers stain treatment for your new couch. These extras all have a tangible or realized value to some of us, but to others, maybe not. Any good salesperson will tell you that the way to add the extras is to “mention them early and often” in the sales process and show the product's features and benefits.
This brings us back to the original point, adding value to our entertainment product. You can sell extended sound or lighting packages, but these have limited potential. We need to sell our show. We have all heard the expression, “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” What is your sizzle?
Think about it from the other side; what sounds better to you? A DJ who says he does bridal party introductions? Or an entertainer who explains in great detail how he will get all the guests to stand up and clap their hands to the song's beat. A DJ that will amaze you as the bridal party does hands-springs and cart-wheels off the tables and builds a human pyramid on the dance floor as each couple is announced. This may be a bit extreme, but you see my point; we are creating and adding value by selling your introductions this way with some enthusiasm and excitement.
We are talking about features (the introductions) and the benefits (involving the guests and the wedding party), which all lead to a more significant, better event. I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to spend time with your clients to lay down all of the groundwork for what you will do and exactly how you will do it. This will allow the client to see the value, eliminating the room for confusion, error, and misunderstandings. As a result, everything at the event will run smoother for you and the client, making for happier clients, more referrals, and a higher asking price.
If you can sell your service in a 10-minute phone call, think about the missing details and how much money it’s costing you. Just like we talked about last month, the details are everything. When we think about it, most mobile DJs are natural entertainers and salespeople. We need to make sure we are translating that energy from the dance floor to the sales table—work on adding value to your sales presentation, and dollars to your bottom line.
Jake Palmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM DECEMBER 2009