Be a Friend First and a Salesman Second

February 14, 2018 by Jordan Nelson

One of my least favorite aspects of owning my own business is having to handle my own sales calls. Many of you will most likely agree that you would rather be behind the decks that discussing price with a budget-minded mother of the bride, but the unfortunate truth is that we are usually stuck with being both a DJ and a salesman (or woman). In all reality, the sales call probably isn’t your potential client’s favorite part of event planning either. After all, they’ve already spoken with dozens of vendors and have heard every cliche sales tactic and line in the books. Luckily, over the course of my mobile DJ career, my approach to the sales call has changed along with my success in closing those sales.

All of the great DJ industry leaders preach it: “Stop talking and start listening.” Taking this advice to heart has been one of the most difficult principles for me to apply; I’m a loud person that loves to cut people off unintentionally. But I was persistent in my efforts, and little by little my sales calls evolved from me talking about my company for 10 minutes to the potential clients gushing about their event for 20 minutes. Instead of going on about my packages, lighting options, and experience, I simply asked questions and sat back. There really was nothing else to it. In lieu of talking about the number of guests, I ask them about their guests: Who are they? How do they know them? In place of asking about the location of the event, I ask about why they chose that venue and where their families are coming from to attend. Of course the logistical aspects of the event will need to be discussed, but I have learned to never begin my discussion with logistics.

Just last week a bride called and, of course, asked about pricing before anything else. While tactfully dodging the question (at first), I started a discussion about her family, her fiance, and her wedding plans, making connections to my past experiences along the way. Around a half an hour later we wrapped up our discussion with pricing, and before the call was finished she remarked “Thank you so much for asking so many questions! You’re the only DJ we have talked to that has asked us anything like that and we appreciate that you care.” You see, most people want to know you care more about them than about making a sale, and if you learn to articulate that you will be well on your way to closing more sales.

Jordan Nelson Jordan Nelson (62 Posts)

Jordan Nelson is the owner of SLC Mobile DJ in Salt Lake City, UT. A native of the tiny southern Utah town of St. George, Jordan began his mobile DJ journey as a junior in high school. After traveling to Salt Lake to attend the University of Utah, Jordan completely revamped his business and invested heavily in sales and master of ceremonies training, turning his $400/event company into a $1,500/event company in under a year at 22 years old. Jordan developed a strong passion for lighting and lighting programming during his early DJ years and has written 2 books for mobile DJs on the subjects. When he is not spending his weekends at weddings and events, you can find him at the local gun range or hiking with his beautiful wife.


Filed Under: Event DJ Tips, Mobile DJ Business, Mobile DJ Career Development