Avoid getting flustered when asked your fee?
You’re on the phone with a prospective booker and the first thing they ask is your fee. The conversation goes something like, “So what’s it going to cost me?” And you get all, uh, um, well… and then blurt something out.
Not your finest moment as a negotiator, eh? I’ll bet you would like to avoid getting flustered when asked your fee.
Why don’t we re-frame this experience to be more under your control and a lot more professional? Let’s show them who’s got your act’s best interests and their venue’s best interests in mind and set yourself up for a successful negotiation.
The first thing on the agenda before picking up the phone to make any booking calls, is to have some sort of script or talking points. Have questions ready in advance that you need to know before quoting any fees.
You’ve done the research ahead of time and have most of the basics like seating capacity, stage size, booking season. Understand what is their program focus for this upcoming season, if it’s a performing arts center, or what their hot button issues are if it’s an elementary school, or their specific theme if it’s a festival. Those are great questions to ask to get them talking about their program or venue.
Know their ticket pricing policy if it’s not stated on their website? This is another excellent question that keeps them talking about, well, them and their program. Nice! And this is giving you insight into how to later discuss your ticket prices.
Next, get them to share something about their upcoming season’s bookings, like who have they already booked. This information will give you a better sense of whether there are any acts at your level on their schedule or if they are just booking well-known, major acts. If this is the case, you’ll be able to see if any of these acts might be perfect for you to suggest your act as an opener. All this is great information to have, before quoting any fees.
Of course you have your very own budget that you base your bottom-line fee quotes upon. And if not, why not? This is a must-have before venturing into any negotiation.
Back to the scene…
Now that you’ve had time to get to know their situation and had them talking about their season, their venue, their programming, now you can more confidently answer their question, when they ask it, “What’s your fee?”
You’ll have been able to consider their ticket pricing policy, their number of seats, whether you actually fit with their programming and can enhance their schedule and whether their venue fits within your budget needs. And now you can quote a fee, possibly a guarantee plus some percentage to help make it work for you both so you both benefit from a good crowd.
Avoid getting flustered when that dreaded but all-important question is thrown at you, “What’s your fee?” Respond with a few of your own open-ended questions and conversation movers before answering. Take charge of the negotiation. Demonstrate your professionalism and your concern for creating an event that benefits you both.
How do you handle that dreaded question, “What your fee?
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.c0m
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