Are you aware of the difference between an inquiry vs an offer?
Have you ever had this happen to you?
You get a call from a venue who is all excited about the possibility of booking you for an event. You discuss the date, the price and a bunch of other details. It’s looking great and you think, “What a wonderful way to start the day?”
A few days pass, then a week, then a few weeks, and you don’t hear anything more from the person, so you give them a call. And now you begin to get the run-around and the delay tactics. You begin to hear, ”I’m not sure when we’ll be able to confirm this.”
Now that sure date, seems to be slipping off the old calendar.
This was, after all, only an inquiry. This was not something to be counted on, as good as it seemed, in the beginning.
How to Turn an Inquiry into an Offer
There were two things that you could have done on that first call to turn this from an inquiry into an offer.
- Since you discussed dates, fees and other details, you could have placed a hold on the play date with a deadline for confirmation. Once the deadline was up, then you were no longer obligated to hold the date. This could push them along to getting their act together to confirm the date in question. It would also give you a time frame during which to get back to them. You could give them little incentives to confirm the date, reminding them the deadline is fast approaching. This also frees you up to find new opportunities, in case it doesn’t come through. It’s more systematic rather than emotional. You are more in control of the outcome, rather than relying on them and waiting.
- Or, you could simply set a date for a return call during which time they agree they will have an answer for you.
I like the first one better, as it removes the possibility of dragging out the process. If they are unable to confirm when you get together on the agreed upon date, you can say you need to move on or give another, much shorter deadline.
An offer, on the other hand, is a solid confirmation of fees, dates, and other details that simply need to be agreed upon. Once agreed, the date is contracted and on the calendar as a done deal.
Don’t confuse an inquiry with an offer. Check your emotions when someone is simply inquiring about your availability. I know it might be nice to get a call from an interested buyer rather than making calls to bookers all the time. Just don’t get all wrapped up in the fantasy that it’s a booking until the offer is made and confirmed and a contract is issued.
I’d like to share my Offer Form with you which you may use to during your negotiations. As soon as you have the details set, issue your filled-out offer form which the buyer can confirm and sign. Once this is returned, you may issue your contract. Generally, an offer form comes from the buyer. Depending on who your buyers are, issuing an offer form for them to review prior to a contract, might just move the booking along in a more professional manner. They will have a chance to go over the details discussed in a less formal format.
If you need other types of contracts, riders, letters of intent or letters of confirmation, etc., please check out the Contracts Forms Packet I’ve put together for your convenience and increased professionalism as you book your gigs.
How do you handle your gig inquiries? Have you ever run into this confusion when confirming a booking?
Leave me a comment below.
I can’t wait to hear about your success.
Thanks to Carol Ehrlich for this week’s graphic image. Check out her work at v360.com
Now, Thanks to the Band Curfew from the UK for providing the Biz Booster theme Music, Future Dance.
And for more career boosting tips, articles, books, resources, tele-seminars and online courses, visit me at Performingbiz.com