In no way is this intended to be a rant, but a shared experience, because good or bad, I believe all situations have potential for teaching something. When met with an unpleasant experience, I find it therapeutic to get a sense of closure.
I was recently contacted by a young woman inquiring about my services, and the following transpired:
Hello Jane (not real name),
Thank you for considering Nameless Entertainment for your big day!
How may I be of service?
I need a price and a break down for the times needed. Thank you Jane
If I may ask, how did you hear about me? Also, without sounding too forward, what is your projected entertainment budget?
I have a great deal of respect for mine, and other people’s time, and I truly do not want to waste yours, if I do not match what you were expecting.
ABC photography. And honestly wasting time is sending e-mails back and forth. Just please give me a price sheet and break down. My budget depends on that is included so I can not answer that. I believe a DJ is what makes the wedding therefore I want a good one and a RESPECTFUL one.
My service is tailored to the requests of my clients, and the pricing is according to the amount of time needed, location, multiple set ups, and any add on services.
It is not my intention to be disrespectful, and quite honestly, when the first question is pricing, I usually do not book the event. If asking a few questions is wasting your time, I respectfully appreciate the time you have given me, and wish you well.
You may be more comfortable with someone else
Well maybe next time you should read my information before email me back. I said 6.5 hours. ceremony and reception. and I am not sure what you have to offer for “add on services”, so that is why I am asking. Maybe you COULD book people that as about pricings if one, you listened to what they ask for and two were respectful back. I will NOT give anyone a budget because the budget is based on the services. However, I do work for a catering business on the side and I will be sure to tell them about my experience! Being the “owner” you should know people what a break down of what each thing cost so they can add certain things in their budget. In my situation I was willing to spend the money for a great dj, instead you judge be and thought I was being a cheap ass. So I will spend my money else where.
In my defense, a lot of times, people just throw information at me with no particular knowledge of exact times, or direction of events. This one just happened to be on top of things, and I didn’t catch that. She also stated that she was in the service industry and I should know better to address people that way. But if she was in a similar line of work, I would have hoped she would understand the difficulty of selling services vs. goods. I once again explained to her in another e-mail, that out of 100 times I’ve heard that question, 99 will not reply back, once I’ve given a price. She just happened to be #100.
After our exchange, I really felt no party was at particular fault, the unwillingness for either of us to bend, shows what happens when two strong willed forces oppose each other. In this ever growing industry, things are not so cut and dry as “what’s your price?”
I ask specific questions to not only see if I fit a prospective clients needs and budget, but also to get an idea of how receptive they are, as I don’t see them as walking dollar signs, but as people, regular people that I might want to get to know. When you trust someone with the responsibility of a lifetime memorable event, I would hope you’d want someone that isn’t all business.
I am one of the most sincere and honest people I know in this business, and I understand trust issues. I try to be as reassuring as possible, so my potential clients don’t get that car salesman feel, like if you tell me what you have to spend, I’ll take every dime.
This person thought it best to reprimand me about my approach, but she was honestly the first one I’ve encountered, that got offended when I used this line of questioning. After it was all said and done, I apologized for offending her, but I’m sure, no matter how accommodating I was, she was convinced of bad business on my part. I even went so far as to publicly apologize on Facebook, not as an admission of guilt, but rather as an acknowledgement of our misunderstanding. I realize, I cannot be an “everyman” but booked or not, I would never want anyone to walk away with a bad taste. I truly believe, had she allowed me to call her, and explain over the phone, the situation could have been settled more amicably.
The bottom line…. We both approached the situation in a manner that was not befitting each other, and the end result is us not working together. As we all know, anything written, tends to get lost in translation, when we don’t want to write out our complete thoughts.