The Importance of Being Earnest
Some of you may get a good chuckle out of seeing these words come out of my mouth. I’ve been called cocky, pigheaded, egotistical, and a bunch of other words that WordPress has banned.
Come to think of it, my clients and fellow vendors would say the same… I’m aggressive, to the point, and don’t beat around the bush.
I still treat every client like they are my only ones. What say ye of yours? No matter how big our company appears to our clients, and no matter how big it will grow beyond now, we will always keep a small business mentality. Part of the reason is because I am tired of seeing large companies not care if they lose our business.
We all build rapport, but are you sincere about it? Do you STRIVE to create friendships or just a client you’re on good terms with? My clients know I am transparent and don’t beat around the bush. I am sure that has turned off a few people here and there, but it hasn’t come forth yet. However, my transparency allows me to really get to know my client and vice versa. We chat throughout the year before and after the event, crack jokes the entire time, or even hang out afterwards. At one point, I posted on my Facebook that I needed some help moving and two of my clients helped me for 10 hours without asking for a thing in return.
How far do you go? How much constant contact do you try for? Avoid automated systems and pick up the dang phone or send a text! Call them on their birthday, or if they’re sick in the hospital send your best wishes. I know things about my teacher clients that their co-workers don’t know.
I got in this business because humanity seems to suck more and more, but being a DJ is like an instant filter and I get to meet the fun people, the sort of crowd that is light in spirits and wants to have a great time. It’d be a shame not to use that position to build some new friendships! They also come with their perks… schools refer me to other schools, or they buy our crew dinner, or even go as far as to make sure we get treated like any paid guest at the dance. The same goes for weddings. I can relax and not worry about being so stuffy and professional and even crack a few dirty jokes. Want to break the ice? Wait for a “that’s what she said” moment and it’ll make things gold.
How often do you get invited to have drinks with a client after the party (wedding, corporate, etc)? I know we’re not the only ones this happens to, as I read other DJs post about it.
The golden rule really applies here: remember when you called a company and they sucked to deal with? It makes you realize why we buy online and not locally. If I could outsource my internet service to anyone else than my current provider I would; same goes for many products. Today I went to AutoZone (which I buy all my products from) freaking out because the wrong mounting caused my NEW radiator to become completely gashed. I knew I’d be out $200, but the manager said not to worry, they’re going to take care of me and call this a Mulligan. WOW!
I want to call this the Lincoln Lawyer mentality. At the end of the movie, he gives out a freebie to a big client of his. His driver looks at him odd (this was out of character) and he says not to worry, as they’ll foot it in the next bill.
Indeed, this will be true with AutoZone. I could buy my oil cheaper at Wal-Mart for the SAME BRAND but instead I will go right back to AutoZone as I have done for the last few years.
I’m not saying run your business like a charity, but remember that royalty yields loyalty. Treat your clients like they are the ONLY ones you have and they’re going to make sure you get taken care of as well. We’ve had schools cancel out small dances such as a winter dance. Should we keep the deposit? Yes. Do we? Nope… not when they book homecoming, prom, and others in between.
As a return, when I email these schools with something like “Oh, I’m so close to my sales goal, get an upgrade, please?” (and yes I have done that) they wind up getting the upgrade and a bit extra.
So make friends with your clients and not just through Facebook. Get their cell numbers and DO add them on Facebook to learn about them. Text them on holidays, their birthday, anniversary, etc.
Be transparent. You are selling yourself, so don’t front! No fake faces, facades, etc.
Your client is a human, too. Tap into their emotions and connect. Be genuine though.
Remember you will NOT click with everyone one a friendship basis and there are some people who will just remain on a business basis.
MAKE THEM LAUGH! Jessica Rabbit fell in love with Roger Rabbit because he made her laugh. People like the company of those who are humorous.
Most importantly, be yourself… don’t set off the BS meter! No one likes a fake!
Filed Under: School Dances, Weddings
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