New Clients New Solutions
The conversation from lead to client is fraught with hidden paths and dangers, losing leads at the conversation stage is heartbreaking. It means that you've managed to manoeuvre around enough no's that you're talking. The sale is done, but your mouth (my mouth) gets in the way.
Donald Trump may not have wrote a single word in Art of the Deal but the premise is right, there is an art to closing. An art that all small business need to master as soon as they can. For us we know that if we can get someone in the room, start making music, we will be fine, but the conversation comes first.
The idea is to leave the conversation with the artist happy to pay you to help them complete their goal. So with what seemed to be a 50-50 completely unpredictable rate of success, I had to look into what unique opportunities we could provide for the client.
So how do you create desire in a potential client?
We are not Abbey Rd or Dr Dre, we don't have the history or equipment to create that desire for us. For us that comes into helping the clients help themselves.
The new client mentioned in the title is a great example of this. He wanted us to mix his 3 track EP. Here are some of the problems: he did not have the budget to afford us; he was self- producing and had all the equipment he needed; this wasn't his normal genre and was unsure if he would release.
I needed a strategy that would help him past these hurdles, the solution to the first problem was simple, we could offer a small discount, not down to his budget, but low enough to allow him to stretch up to us, and still be worth our while. A fair compromise was called for. Now this number that we offered was still double his quoted budget so we needed to add more value, and this is key, it cannot be false value, a cut and paste cheatsheet, for example, it has to be something unique and honest. For us that was his music, it's so well written and performed, so we have done the simple thing of listening and critiquing his proposed songs for free. Sounds, arrangements the lot, why, because we wanted him to have the best songs possible even if he decided to work with another group.
This honesty in our approach is what created the desire in him to work with us, and it was our pleasure. Unfortunately, the songs haven't been released yet so I can't share them but they're really good. And he was a pleasure to work with.
Working for a client.
From these past failures and now more common successes we have learnt a massive lesson. If we don't feel we have something honest and unique to add to clients journey, then we are probably the wrong people. To say goodbye to clients, to money, when we are deep in the first steps of a business is scary. Really scary. Although I think it's necessary for long term success. Myself and the rest of the team we had to take a step back and make sure that the reason we are here, the music, is always first in our decisions. We have day jobs for the bills.
The power to say no and choose when to be flexible is a powerful one, wield with care.