Are you asking enough questions during your gig negotiations?
No matter what kind of gig you are attempting to book, you will make a better deal if you ask more questions.
It’s always a thrill to receive an incoming call or email from someone who wants to book you. But, let’s not jump on board too quickly, at least not until you are satisfied that the gig is right for you. You do that by asking lots of specific questions that allow you to both understand the venue’s needs and make sure you will be placing yourself and your act in a performance situation that fits. Over time, your set of questions will become second nature to you, but if you don’t have much practice asking the right questions, then creating a list of questions and talking points to keep with you all the time, is this week’s order of business.
These questions fall into a 4 main categories:
- Info about the booker and the venue’s organization. This may include items such as booking time frames and performance schedule, the type of organization they are and the board or owner make-up and staff, possibly even budget constraints.
- Info about the performance space, technical assets, tech staff and any specific requirements you are concerned with for your act.
- Info about the community and the venue’s regular audience and how they reach out to them. What is their marketing plan and strategy for each performance and how can you integrate yourself into their existing plans easily?
- Depending on the type of event under consideration, you my need to add specific questions to deal with extra items especially if this is a benefit or fundraiser for some organization or cause. I have 7 very specific questions for this type of gig that I discuss at length in my Booking & Touring Online Course which I’ll be offering again this fall.
This week, think about all the questions you would like to know about every gig you book that fall into these categories and make your lists. The more thorough you are during each negotiation, the more prepared the venue will be to present your show well. These advance questions allow you to make a more educated response when asked about your fees and your requirements. You are better able to decide whether this is the right gig for you before you make a commitment to a bad gig or an inappropriate gig. These questions will help you arrive at the right fee rather than accepting a fee too small or too large for the venue to have a success.
Remember, this is not an interrogation, but rather a relationship building tool. You want to create a comfortable conversation where each side gains insight and information about the other. These open-ended questions are designed to allow you to exude your personality and warmth and develop their trust in you. They also permit you to understand them, their needs, their struggles and become a problem solver by helping them realize you are the right act for their venue and audience.
Are you asking enough questions? The next time someone asks you for your fee, turn that into an opportunity to gather the info you need to give them an educated and appropriate answer.
Ask more questions, be better educated, be prepared to negotiate a better deal and end up with a much better gig.
Are you asking all the questions you need to negotiate better gigs?
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I can’t wait to hear about your success.
Now, Thanks to the Band Curfew from the UK for providing the Biz Booster theme Music, “Future Dance.” Check them out at http://www.curfew.co.uk
And for more career boosting tips, articles, books, resources, tele-seminars and online courses, visit me at Performingbiz.com