Being a professional DJ requires a lot more than just skill on the decks, knowledge of music and a smooth mic presence. If you can’t sell your services you won’t be working.. Sales are always a challenge as each potential client has their own secret sauce when it comes to breaking through and getting them to want your services. There are certainly many ways to sell correctly but there are also ways to sell poorly and this is a story of a experience I recently had at a furniture store. I think it’s worth sharing to remind us all that you can think something but don’t ever verbalize it!
My significant other and I went to a local furniture store in New Haven Ct called Jordan’s. The salesman came over to us almost immediately and asked how he could help. I was doing some research for couches so I explained the very specific couch set I had interest in. He then proceeded to bring us over and show some pieces. At that moment he was very friendly, knowledgable and helpful. Good start!
After we looked at several options it was down to a few solid candidates. I then explained very clearly we were NOT ready to purchase but would be soon. Our goal was to find something that fit the vision, get a price so we could begin the budget process and then get a store contact to call when we were ready for the transaction. Pretty simple, right? Well…….. this was the point where I shared how we had the store card and that there were 100% clear funds available. Ooopppsss! Blood in the water
He then proceeded to start recommending we put a deposit down and put the transaction on the card in order to save the special price. I figured we could consider it and went to his terminal to get a workup going. It was at this point we noticed the price went from $2999 to $3899 with no justification of why and with a $399 protection plan added in without ever asking us if that was ok? Times 2 couches $6000 turned into $8200 just like that. So at that point I said we are going to take a walk and look at some other furniture while we discuss the purchase. He looked concerned and proceeded to follow us through the store. It felt very intrusive at this point. I was starting to get annoyed.
It was at this point I turned to him and said, “We need some privacy to have a conversation, Thankyou!” He backed off but remained following from far behind. To be honest I was going to recommend we do the deal at $6000 but when it became $8200 mysteriously I felt taken for a ride and played for a fool. NOPE! So we both decided on not committing to putting anything on the store card for now.
So, we both went over to tell our sales man that we would hold off for now but keep his card and info on file for the time we were ready. His face dropped and the smile turned into a look of agitation. He then gave the whole speall all over again. “You only have to put down $200. You can pay when you are ready! The price will go up and you are locking in at the GREAT Price now!” To which I responded, “if the price on the tag was actually the price I would have done it, but it was $2200 more and you never gave a reason why? And you added in a protection plan without ever asking if we wanted that plan. I’m sorry but we are not ready for this transaction! I told you from the beginning we were only looking and not ready to drop down cash.”
In a final desperate attempt he said, ” Look, it’s only $200 and it will help me look as if I didn’t waste my time with you here this afternoon.” My eyes opened wide and I said “thank you for your time.” We both headed for the door with me wondering if I had actually heard what I thought I heard? To summarize the errors made by this sales guy he did the following very wrong……..
- High Pressure
- Price Change Without Transparency
- Said We Wasted His Time
As DJs we must be sales people too. After digesting this experience with the furniture store I realized that it is so important we never pressure our prospective clients. We also must be transparent with rate quotes and not add on fees or go up from the original price quote once we think a booking is inevitable. But absolutely, NEVER NEVER NEVER make someone feel as if they are wasting your time! Here’s why………
Even after all this I was still considering going back in spring and contacting this sales guy for the transaction. It’s only after he made me feel we wasted his time that I ripped up his card. Sometimes, we spend a ton of time on the phone with prospects being helpful only to lose the customer to another DJ. If that happens be courteous, wish them well and don’t leave off with any negativity. Hang up the phone and scream if you must but always leave off as the professional you are. And this is because you never know! They may have a breakup with their DJ and come back to you. They might not like their DJ and refer their sister to you! Or the other DJ could back out last minute and they reach out for you to save their day!
Being a great sales person is realizing that a sale doesn’t always happen right away. How you sell today might get you the sale tomorrow.