Is Your DJ Calling You During Dinner?

January 26, 2008 by Mike Walter

Everyone loves telemarketers right? Especially when they call you at dinner time or just at the climax of the movie you’re watching (and you can’t find the remote to hit “pause”) As annoying as they can be, ever think about it from this point of view: “that caller must have some thick skin!”I mean how many times an hour must that person get hung up on? Or worse, spoken to nastily? And yet here they are, on your phone line, sounding chipper and inquisitive asking for your time and attention.

Think that would make a great trait for a Mobile DJ?

I do.

People aren’t dancing? No problem, I’ll keep a smile on my face and keep trying.

Some drunk dude talks to you like you’re an idiot? No problem, I’ll smile at the next person, they’re bound to be nicer.

I happen to think a thick skin and an ability to stay positive in some adverse conditions are important qualities in a Mobile DJ. And one of the places you’ll find people with those traits are in sales. Successful salespeople anyway.

I recruited a car salesmen once. Didn’t even buy the car from him. But we got to talking on the lot and he had great communication skills (another trait you’ll find in a successful salesperson) and an upbeat personality and when I mentioned that I needed an SUV to transport all my DJ gear he said “cool!” so I gave him a business card and told him to call me. I told him he’d love the business and that he’d fit right in with my staff. He did. He worked for me for four years before he got such a big promotion at the car dealership that he couldn’t continue to give up his weekends. I’ve since bought my last two cars from him.

I guess it was a win-win.

And though I’ve never had any other success with salespeople (I’ve tried a few more times when the stars seemed to have aligned) I’ve always felt that there are numerous similarities between what makes a great sales person and what makes a great DJ. Besides the qualities I’ve already listed, sales people are normally money-motivated and they understand that there is a direct correlation between how much they work and how much they make. I like to have people on staff like that. I like my DJs to be eager for work (and eager for money) and to understand that when they do a great job and make the phones ring that they’ll get more work.

Good salespeople are also flexible. They have to be. One day they are selling widgets and the next day their company switches to gadgets. So they learn a new product line and continue selling. They also get hit with tons of objections and if they are successful they can talk their way through most of them. Again, that’s the kind of “thinking-on-the-fly” attitude that I like in my DJs. I’ve always said: “you can’t train your staff for every single scenario that they are going to meet out in the field.” I like my staff to be flexible and to be open to new things and new ideas.

So the next time the phone rings in the middle of dinner and it’s some guy trying to sell you something, why not turn the table and ask him a few questions. You just might find your next great DJ.

Till next week . . .

Mike Walter’s emceeing career began in his hometown of Queens, New York in 1984. With an eye towards radio, Mike attended Connecticut School of Broadcasting in 1988 where he was chosen from his class of 25 as “Most Likely to Succeed.” After school, Mike helped to develop a staff of DJs from 12 to over 50 by training new recruits and handling an increasingly complex schedule. In early 1993, Mike felt an increasing desire to venture out on his own and by March of that year he became a partner in a much smaller Mobile DJ company, Elite Entertainment. He quickly had an impact on the Elite staff, imposing his high standards of emceeing and DJing. Mike bought out his partner in 1998 and Elite Entertainment has continued its growth (21 emcees in 2006) and sets the standard for excellence in New Jersey. Mike has always believed in training talent from within and his message has helped show hundreds of DJs from across the country that it is possible to grow their companies without sacrificing quality.

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