Just Say No

July 13, 2016 by Robert Lindquist

Just_Say_NoDo you know what one of our biggest problems is? We (at least many of us) are just to darn good natured. And, you know something else, We can also be extremely competitive—never wanting to lose a single booking to another DJ.

Separately, these two traits are very positive. Everyone like a person with a sunny attitude. On the competitive side, every booking is cash in the bank, and potential future bookings.

To succeed in your quest to consistently grow your business, your eye must be steadily focused on increasing revenue year after year. Unfortunately, regardless how hard you try, business runs in often unpredictable and unexplainable cycles, so while most of your years may be growth years, you may also have a few clinkers when you just weren’t able to exceed the number of bookings you did the year prior.

So the temptation is to take every booking that comes your way—even when when your gut tells you to just say NO. Most of clients are good people who appreciate what we do. But there are a few who will intentionally (or maybe unintentionally) “work the system.”

Customer service? Or Just plain being taken advantage of?

It starts with a phone call or email. Someone is looking for a DJ for an event in the near, often very near, future. You have the date open and, because you’d rather work than sit home and wish you were working, you are willing to bend a little to see their budget. The prospective client explains that it’s just a four hour (let’s say 7-11) party for about 90 people. So you cut them a special rate and they agree.

After the deposit (or full payment) arrives, they start changing the game. “We don’t want music till 7, but we need the DJ set up by 5 PM.”  A red flag, but being the job is already booked, you agree. Next, they “request” that the DJ play some background music during dinner as “They are going to be there anyway.” So before you know it, they have you, or one of your DJs, working a 6 or 7 hour job for the price of a discounted four hours. They will share that information when they pass along your contact information to their friends—when someone they have referred calls, they will be expecting the same deal.

The bottom line is, there are times when you just have to say, “I can’t do that for the price I quoted.”

What if they walk?

What if they do. They won’t get very far. They’ll either settle for a lower priced option and get an inferior DJ, or they’ll go with one of your competitors who doesn’t cave on the price and learn that good DJs aren’t cheap.

Nobody likes to turn down work, but if your goal is to operate a DJ service for a living, step one one is knowing when to say no to those who don’t respect the time and money you have invested in your business.

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Robert Lindquist Robert Lindquist (23 Posts)

Robert Lindquist has been involved in the DJ profession since 1967, when he built a make-shift sound system from spare parts in order to provide music for a birthday party. From that point on, he supplemented his day-jobs in radio, TV and advertising by DJ’ing in clubs and for weddings and corporate events. In 1987, he was encouraged to share his DJ experience in writing, which led to the release of “Spinnin’” at the initial DJ Times Expo in Atlantic City.Recognizing the need for a publication dedicated to Mobile DJs, he created Mobile Beat “The DJ magazine” in 1990. In addition to still being a sound tech and DJ/MC for weddings, he is a producer of video content writes for several audio publications and blogs. He is also a partner in Las Vegas based Level 11 Media, which maintains several Web sites and digital publications for musicians and touring sound engineers and is an IMDb listed actor and voice talent.


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