Booking a Birthday Party

Booking a Birthday Party

Booking a Birthday Party. If you’re a
magician, clown, face painter, balloon twister, ventriloquist, or any other
type of family show performer; knowing how to book a birthday party over the
phone is one of the most important business skills you can have. We’re gonna
talk about that right now. [Music] When you get a call about booking a birthday party,
how you handle the call will determine if you book the gig or if it slips
through your fingers. This video will focus on what to say when you get that
call. I’m not trying to tell you everything you should know about
marketing in general. I’m going to give you five things that you can do the very
next time the phone rings to ensure that you’ll book more gigs. Stick around to
the end of the video for a bonus of three things that most performers forget
to mention that will ruin a gig. Most of the time the caller is a little bit nervous because they’ve never booked a performer and they don’t know what to expect. As soon as they tell me they’re calling
about a birthday party I say, “How fun! Sounds like you guys are gonna have a
great time. I sure hope I can be in on the fun.” To put the caller at ease ask
open-ended questions such as, “Tell me about what you have in mind.” You’ll get
the date and time and all the details you need about the party; but let the
person making the call share their excitement about the party. Don’t ever
make them feel rushed. If they sense joy and excitement from you, it’ll make them
feel at ease. This is a special once-in-a-lifetime
memory for them. You may do four birthday parties every Saturday; but this is the
only one they care about. I asked about the birthday child and then I try to
affirm the caller by acknowledging some of the things they’re excited about. If
it’s the first birthday I talk about how the whole family will have fun. For older
preschoolers I talked about how they’re beginning to form memories and how this
will be a fun memory that will last a lifetime. For school-aged kids I talked
about how they’ll enjoy it with their friends and they’ll remember this 7-year-old birthday when they’re 47-years-old. The point is focus on the caller and
their child before you focus on yourself. Try to keep everything as simple as possible. If you offer several services keep the choice
is clear and simple. Some performers like to have different packages. For example a
basic package at one price and a deluxe package at another price. How you handle the phone call is so important it’s worth your time to make
up a simple script and practice what you’ll say. I’m going to give you the
last two tips and then that bonus I promised you. But before I do that I need
your help. In the comments below tell us if you
require a signed contract for the birthday parties you do; and the pros and
cons of the way you do it. When you really think
about it you’re not selling a magic show, or face painting, or balloon twisting, or
anything like that. What you’re really selling is a fun memory that will last a
lifetime. So focus on that. I like to mention that there will be lots of
opportunities for everyone to take pictures. I talked about how the whole
group will be involved because I use lots of volunteers. I like to mention
that there’s a special trick for the birthday child where they get to dress
up in a costume and it makes great photos for the entire family. Instead of
focusing on what I offer, I instead focus on the benefits the family gets. Fun,
memories, laughter, and hassle free planning. Birthday moms and dads want to know how you’ll benefit them more than they want to know what you have to sell.
Often the caller will start out by saying, “What do you charge?” I say $20,000,000. They usually pause, then laugh, and often they relax and say
something funny back to me. I laugh with him and say no one’s ever paid that but
if just one person did I could retire. This does a couple of things. First it
lets the caller realize this is not gonna be a high-pressure sales call.
Instead they can relax and we can have fun as we talk about the party. Second it
lets me talk about the benefits they’ll get before we talk about price. After I
make the twenty-million-dollar remark, I say, “Let me tell you a little bit about
what I do and see if it’s what you’re looking for.” Letting me tell about the
benefits they’ll receive helps them. I find out where the party will be, how
long they’re planning, and any details that might affect the final quote. I don’t hard sell my services. It should be a fun, low-pressure interaction. But I know many performers who don’t ever ask for the
gig. Now hardcore salesmen would say remember ABC-Always Be Closing. But I
don’t like to operate that way. However, if I never ask for the gig
I know most of the time I won’t book the gig. After I tell them what I do I ask, “Is
that what you’re looking for?” This does a couple of things for the customer. This
gives them an opportunity to tell you other things they may need. For example
they may say, “Yeah that’s what I’m looking for; but I was also wondering if
you could… (whatever).” They get to tell you exactly what they want in a natural way.
The second thing this does is gets then saying “Yes.” This makes it much easier for them to say yes when you ask for the gig. After I make sure I’ve listened to them
and answered all their questions, I say something like, “Great let me just get
some information so that we can make this the best birthday party ever” and
then I proceed to fill out my booking sheet. I don’t say “Would you like to book
me for the party?” or anything that requires an awkward yes or no from them. By moving naturally to getting details for the party you’ll make the caller
more comfortable and you’ll book more gigs. This is when you get the deposit,
talk about the contract, or any of the things that you do to finalize gigs. Keep
these five things in mind and you’ll book more gigs. Here’s that bonus I
promised you. Here are three things that most performers forget to mention that
will ruin a gig. I asked the host to make sure that they have a place for
me to park. This is especially important if you have equipment or a sound system
to carry in. I tell the host the plane to have the show start 30-minutes after the party starts. Ask any veteran performer and they’ll tell you
about times that they had to wait around because an important guest was running
late. Starting the show 30-minutes after the party starts allows you to start on
time and end on time so that you can get to your next gig. A lot of times people think that a magic show, ventriloquist performance, or clown show
is the perfect time for kids to enjoy the refreshments. Ask any performer what happens to their show when a child spills red Kool-Aid on their party
clothes, or kids get up to get more food, or napkins, or go to the restroom. I’ve
had moms thank me for helping them with this tip as they plan their party.
Remember these three things and your gigs will be even better. If this video
helped you hit that “Like” button and be sure to subscribe and hit the bell
notification. And check out these videos that will help you be a bit

4 thoughts on “Booking a Birthday Party

  1. I don't call it a contract, I call it an agreement. I've found the parents are more at ease with that term. In the agreement, besides the usual data/time/payment, I also state that there has to a place set aside where I perform and that I'm not a babysitter, some parents must be present (but in a nicer way). I have found that some parents are reluctant to sign an agreement or contract, they just want to hire me without any formalities like an agreement. I explain the benefits for them, like if I can't show up, etc.

  2. Interesting idea. If a person wants me to sign a contract they have to provide it.
    Contracts are only good if you want to go to court.
    I am strictly a balloon twister. Kids can eat as I work if the mom wants. Mom is the boss!
    I also let her know how I accept payment.
    After I have booked the party I always says, great, I will be at, house number, from time I am booked on day and date.

  3. We don't even have a contract, but we will sign their contract if necessary. We're just a bunch of dummies, but we typically just send an invoice. I remind parents that Doug The Talking Dog will not bite children… he only bites Mommies and Daddies…. but he may try to bite the tambourines, maracas, and drumsticks that we distribute to all the children.

  4. Very nice video – all the facts presented compactly – see my coverage of some of the same issues at

    I no longer perform, but you might enjoy some of the points I hit in my vid

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