Trying to close the deal too soon? Booking gigs is really like selling.
That could be why so many hate to do it. Selling conjures nightmare images, scare tactics and used car lots with cigar smoking, suspender wearing salesmen. Scaaaarrry!!!! Boo!
And that’s why I teach the strategies I do, so you can take the scary out of the process and use the process to close more deals and get more great gigs. One thing you may be doing to thwart your efforts is to rush the process and try to get too close the deal way too soon.
How often have you thought, “I’m going to book some dates today” or “I’m going to book the fall or spring tour this week?” Well, it just won’t happen very often. Now I have booked an entire tour in an hour, but, that was under exceptional circumstances. That takes a major headliner to be the object of the tour, and then it might be possible.
But back to the process…
I just started reading a great book, Solution Selling by Michael T. Bosworth. And yes, he is talking mostly about corporate sales, but, that’s where I come in to transpose the information into booking speak. You know how I always talk about making “Friendly Calls” and “Referral Calls?” That is because I want you to start with the essence of an already established relationship that you can nurture and build upon without having to make that very cold call. I also have talked about understanding your prospect’s problems or situation and asking more questions about their concerns so you can be the problem solver and offer your act as part of the solution. This is all process, and the process takes some time to move through all the steps.
When you make booking calls with the expectation of actually closing the deal or booking the gig on that first call, you are most likely setting yourself up for disappointment. I’d like you to think instead of this relationship building process, giving yourself time to discover more about the person, the venue and their programming problems first. Then become the solution. You will eventually develop great long-term relationships as well as book more great gigs and close many more deals in their own good time.
So this week, examine the top five calls you were going to make and think about questions you can ask to further your understanding of their concerns and programming problems. Plan to understand them more, nurture the already started relationship or begin your relationship with some insightful questions about them, their season, their venue and begin to learn about them before you inject your needs upon them. Take these top five calls and make the call realizing you are not about to close the deal this week, but rather, find out what kinds of concerns they have when trying to sell out their shows.
Let me know how you felt creating these insightful questions and approaching your booking prospects in this way. Did it make a difference in how your prospect interacted with you? Leave your comment below.