Just wanted to share something that happened to me tonight, how the situation was handled, and my thoughts on the issue:
I received a call yesterday from a lady inquiring about a birthday show for her 7 year old daughter. We spoke for about 20 minutes about my show, fees, and then small talk about the circus in town, social theory, etc...The lady ended the conversation by saying "I've got the name of another local magician (who happens to be an aquantence), and I'm going to call him and get a price, and see how I feel about him...I'll be sure to call and let you know my decision either way."
We Hung up.
Tonight, I received the call back from the lady who said "Okay, I called the other magician, and I really enjoyed talking to you a whole lot more, and after reviewing your website, I'd like to go with you, but he cut his price back to $50 less than yours for my husband...and since I liked you more, I decided to give you the opportunity to do the show for the same price that he quoted"
ok...this is RUDE on more levels than one.
1st- It's perfectly fine for a client to "shop around" for the entertainer she/he believes will be the best for her/his event...but it is RUDE to play price haggle games. It really irked me when she said she'd give me the "opportunity" to do the show for the same price he quoted. I have enough shows and calls to keep income flowing and shows moving...I don't need her pathetic "Opportunity"
2nd- It's rude for a fellow entertainer to undercut somebody else's price in desperation to make a quick buck and gain a show.
I simply followed up with "Well ma'am, I appreciate your conversation and inquiry, but I simply can't cut my price. I've been performing for years, I have a well developed and excellent quality show, and I don't feel that I should have to cut my price in order to gain this booking and your business. I hope the other guy does a great show for your event, and I wish your daughter a very happy birthday! Please feel free to call me if you need anything further."
Now, my message to you up an coming folks...DON'T cut prices of performers in your area in desperation to gain a show and a quick buck...it only causes hard feelings and burns bridges with people that can help you through referral and substitutions.
If anyone finds themselves in this situation, please don't get mad and piss off the person...be professional and kind in your response. Always make yourself esteem'd and don't haggle with tightwads! If you cut your price back, you are bowing down to the demands of the client and undercutting your own self. It is your duty to come across as professional as possible so that when they hang up that phone...they at least think to themselves "WOW...he was very confident about his show...maybe it would be best to go with him". It all boils down to "Quality vs Quantity" folks. Sure. they can always get somebody else for cheaper, but they're going to be missing out on something much better...all for a lousy $50...A professional shouldn't have to cut their prices in order to satisfy a potential client as long as they have something great to offer. "Don't negotiate with Terrorists"!!!