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So we all get faced with it. We get leads that come from many sources that don’t give us all their information. Maybe just an email address and a date. And I have a standard reply I mail out to those leads. It’s short and sweet. I attempt to contact them by phone, only to rarely get a return phone call.
Now I don’t put my price on my website. And I do that for several reasons. Not all browsers pass my velvet red rope for one, and some people with a budget in mind may go over that budget or switch things around to book me. But that doesn’t happen with just a visit to a website. It happens because of personal contact.
About 3 weeks ago, I got another email back from one of those leads, with one sentence, “how much do you charge”. I don’t know about you, but I don’t convert many emails into clients. And on that day I was probably not in the right frame of mind, and I wrote back the following email.
Dear XXX,
You asked that I don’t mail anything to you, and only email you a price. What if I were to say I cost $200, what would you think? That’s a great deal and I want him? Or maybe I was to say I cost $4000, you might think that’s out of my price range, or what makes him worth $4000, or maybe he’s out of his mind.
The truth is I could sit here and write a number down. Yet that is all that it is. Did you buy your wedding dress without first seeing it? Possibly trying it on? How about the venue, did you log onto a website and see a price and go that’s for me, without seeing it or understanding what food they have and what they layout would be? I am sure you answered no to some of those.
I am not a commodity. I don’t give people a price via email because I have no idea what they are looking for. I know nothing about your day, or if I even would want to work with you. And for me I can’t judge what kind of clients you are just thru email. The brides and grooms I work for care about every detail of their day and they care enough to know that I am not a commodity thus they will take the opportunity and time to meet with me for a no-risk consultation.
If you are looking just for price and not the experience I am NOT the DJ / MC for you and I will be happy to give you the names of several average DJs who would send you a price because all they care about is there bottom line. I care about the experience you and your guests could have for most brides and grooms on the biggest day of their lives so far.
I understand this email may rub you the wrong way. But just asking for price without meeting and knowing what you could get, rubs me the wrong way. If you want me to take you off my email list email me back “no thanks,” and we will be done, but if you are curious why I have said what I have said feel free to call me, lets make this personal, and we can discuss what your dreams are and if I can make those happen.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. And after sharing this letter with several other prominent DJ, I would have thought twice about sending that letter to anyone. The glaring reality is that I missed the mark on one of life’s golden rules.
As I pointed out in past articles I am an avid reader. And for me God generally puts a valuable life lessons in front of me through books. This learning opportunity was no different. I happen to be reading a book called “Axiom” by Bill Hybels. Bill is the senior pastor at a church in the Chicago area called Willow Creek. Willow puts on one of the best leadership conferences in the country, which I have attended about every year over the last six.
Well that night I reached Axiom #67 Always Take the High Road. Even down to Bill’s example it all rang true to me. In this case I had not taken the higher road. I had chosen to let my emotions run, and clicked send without any thoughts of how it made not only me look, but the DJ industry as a whole. For one moment I was responsible for make us look less. And it didn’t make me feel good.
So after that little read, I started to run over my inventory of life behaviors, and ran them all through the is this the higher road filter? The higher road is for the most part almost always the tougher road. I think it’s why I have chosen the low road so often. The rewards of the higher road are not always visible to us. In fact others may reap the rewards of our actions. But the cost of the lower road is far greater. Not only do we hurt ourselves, but a lot of time we affect others without them ever know it was us.
So to the DJ industry I want to say I’m sorry. I have taken the lower road to many times, and to make up for that I vow to always pause and think before I react. My future actions will bear witness to this vow.
Good Luck and Great Shows!