Why Not Me?
When you reply to a disco enquiry via email, there's a very good chance that
the client will have also asked for quotes from other sources too. If one of
your competitors secures the gig instead of you, what do you think? Have you
been undercut? Was the client just looking for the cheapest? Possibly, but maybe
there was another good reason...
Here at AMPdj we survey every client who submits an enquiry and we have received thousands of replies. From these, we can see that price is sometimes, but very rarely, the only deciding factor.
One of the probing questions we ask clients is: 'What influenced your decision?'. Here are some of those responses and our analysis of them...
“Lack of info in reply: some gave lots of info, others none at all except, ‘call me’”
Why would a client call you if you haven’t given them a good reason to? If you provide them with in-depth information about your service and convince them that you can provide a really exciting party, then there's a far better chance that they will call you.
“All DJs were around the same price so I chose from the websites”
The general procedure for a client is to read the email and, if that interests them, they will click through to the DJ’s website to find out more and confirm what they have read. If a DJ doesn’t have a website or somewhere to point a client, it’s as if they have an important rung of the sales ladder missing that the client needs to 'climb' before they book.
“They sent me pictures and reviews which helped me make the right choice.”
When a client clicks through to a website, they are mostly looking for evidence in the form of pictures, videos and testimonials. If you don’t have a website, there are other ways of enabling clients to see picture and videos such as directing them to Facebook, YouTube, etc. Testimonials can be incorporated within your email reply. Including these items as an attachment might seem the obvious answer but bear in mind that savvy internet users are very cautious of opening attachments because of internet 'nasties'. Also, not every computer has the necessary software installed so the client may not be able to open your attachments to view them.
“The first guy made spelling mistakes and didn't have a website. The person we chose was more professional.”
It could be argued, ‘what has my spelling ability got to do with DJing?’ When you reply to an email, the client can’t hear or see you, so they form an opinion of you from the written word. If your email contains spelling mistakes, or is grammatically incorrect with poor punctuation, it is likely they see you as someone who can’t be bothered and doesn’t pay attention to detail. A poorly written email is also difficult to read hence it is unlikely to be read all the way through. You may be the most professional DJ in your area, but if your email contains mistakes, it will be harder for you to convince the client otherwise.
“Most local to our venue, had operated at our venue before and appears to appreciate our low level requirements.”
If you have performed at a venue before, make sure you tell the client. It is very important to them and is a way of saying that you are suited to this venue and they will have a better party because you understand how the venue prefer to do things.
“He seemed nice, jolly sort of personality and understood what I wanted the party to be.” “He was really nice and helpful”
People buy people. If you come over as friendly and approachable, a client is much more likely to want you at their party. An important part of the marketing process is building up a good rapport with your client. You need them to like you.
“The range in prices (£65 - £280) made me worry that the cheapest would be rubbish, and the most expensive just way more professional than needed for a 10 year old party (I might consider them for an 18th or 21st).”
Perceived value is a major influence when choosing to buy, or not as the case may be. If you are too cheap, discerning clients will think you only charge that amount because you’re not worth more. On the other hand, it is very easy to price yourself out of the market. If your fee is a lot higher than your competitors, you will need to convince the client that they will get more and have a much better party if they choose you.
“I did not go for the cheapest quote, I was influenced more by the email received as it seemed more friendly and professional.”
This demonstrates again the importance of a well written email. Members of AMPdj can use our free support service to have their email checked and ‘tweaked’ so that it is of the highest standard of written English and comes over as professional.
“Out of the two that I have chosen to look further into, basically because their email correspondence was directed more to me, because of their experience and because of their explanation of their services, was better than some.”
A long email isn’t enough; it has to be relevant to the client you are answering. Be sure to use the ‘so what’ method. Every time you say what you do, include an explanation of how this will benefit the client and make the party better. It is these details that will make you stand out from the crowd.
“...email wording and services offered”
When you reply to an enquiry, you never really know what the client is looking for and what will tick their boxes. The more detail you include, the better the chance of hitting on the one thing that tips the balance in your favour. It could be something small like being sympathetic to volume, or being a specialist in a particular genre…. You just never know sometimes.
“I wanted 90s indie music and he listed the most bands I used to listen to! This was more important than price.”
Always look at the enquiry closely and match your response to what they are looking for. If they are enquiring for a wedding, it’s not advisable to talk about other types of functions you do; keep it relevant.
“We wanted an ‘entertainer’ not just a DJ, and he fitted that request.”
There is a market for all types of DJs; from those who let the music do the talking to being an entertainer and instigating the fun using a microphone. Make it clear in your email response which type of DJ you are. This important point is often omitted from a response because the DJ is trying to be everything for everyone. A client is far more attracted to a DJ who has a particular style and specialises in one thing rather than a ‘Jack of all Trades’. You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but you will tick the box more times than not.
“Influenced by the way the DJ came across in the email, the look of their website and past feedback”
This response demonstrates the actual thought process of the majority of clients; interested in what is said in the email, check that this is substantiated by the website, then backed up by what other clients have to say about this DJ.
“Feedback from other customers on their website and the proactive response from the DJ”
Never underestimate the power of testimonials from previous clients. Also, communication is key. We’ve all dealt with the frustration of waiting for a reply or finding it difficult to get hold of someone. The easier you make it for clients to correspond, the more professional you will appear.
“When I spoke to the person he was very friendly and was able to understand my needs. Nothing was too much trouble”
Your personality is as important as your DJ skills. It doesn’t matter how advanced your mixing skills are, if the client doesn’t like you, they are very unlikely to book you.
“I had 3 replies. Two decent and one with a just a price and nothing else so didn’t bother about him.”
The price is very rarely the only deciding factor for clients. When a client asks for a quote, what they are really saying is, ‘what can you do to make my party a success and how much will it cost’.
“I was surprised how many either did not list prices or did not have a web site to look at.”
Even if the price isn’t the most important thing for the client, they still want to know if you are within their budget. If you have a complicated pricing policy, try to give at least a parameter or list the options with their relevant prices. We also know that in many, many cases a client will increase their initial budget if the DJ they like ticks all the other boxes.
“Testimonials; website with photos; personal letter from DJ; professional looking set up. DJ seemed genuine, friendly and professional”
This comment, provided by one client, could easily be used as an ideal check list for your email response.
In this modern world, email has become the most common form of communication. Therefore it is imperative to get it right first time and give a lasting, positive impression to a potential client.
Any AMPdj member who would like their email critiquing (for free as a benefit of membership) can send it to sandy (at) ampdj.co.uk. We make sure that each email is unique to that member and reflects their service. Non-members can also avail of this service for £25.00.
Till next time
Sandy, Paul and the team at AMPdj
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