If there is one single gambit that will result in your making more money from self representation, it will be the ability to walk away from a booking. In fact, this is such a fundamental train of thought, calling it a gambit might not do itjustice.
Siegfried, of Siegfried and Roy, once pointed out that before you could make good money in Las Vegas, you had to look like you didn't need it If you needed the money, or if you needed the booking, it was like the kiss of death. Successful people like associating with successful people. Thafs point number one.
A second point is, that if you are truly afraid of losing this booking, you are going to build in a pricing cushion that will prevent any threat of being too expensive. You'll leave a margin between what you are willing to work for, and the upper limit of what you might be worth, just to be sure you get the booking.
Does this margin exist in your pricing now? If you had the confidence to push it, if you had conviction in your service, would you be able to charge $375 for an act you normally sell for $300? Thafs a 25% increase.
If you work on factors supporting your service, and ifyou consider ways of increasing your value, do you think they'll be able to afford $450, instead of $300? That's a 50% increase.
It might really help, if you looked i.vmi-itiilv at the clients you have talked with over the last year. How many of these shows have you lost because you were too expensive? Do 25% of the people who call you hire someone else because you were too expensive? Or are you like many, who never let someone walk away because they couldn't afford you?
One very talented friend of mine realty loves to perform. As a result, he never walks away from a booking. If they don't have his normal fee, he'll work for less. His position is, "What harm could it possibly do? I quote my fee up front, but if it is too much, 1 ask what they want to spend. It always turns out to be more than I'd make staying at home!"
It is hard to argue directly with this position. But consider the effect on your negotiating, however subtle, that would result from being more sensitive to the lower earning ranges than the upper ones. Consider the number of bookers that become aware of your lower salaries. Consider the possible future bookings that might go to others, when these particular people do come across a higher budget.
Here is another consideration. If I need the show - if I need the money, I'm going to try to book anything I can. In other words, no matter how round the hole, I can get a square peg into it if I have to.
But if I'm willing to walk away from a booking if everything isn't right for all involved, then I'm likely to come across much more professionally to the caller. If I'm willing to recommend another act "who might serve their needs, and budget, better ", don't I increase the chances for getting the fee I really deserve when the time comes for these people to increase their budget? Even if the cheaper act does a good job, don't you think the booker wonders how much better it would have been to have gotten a "really professional act"?
GAMBIT NUMBER EIGHT:
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