We’ve talked a lot about following up with producers and clients after a show. From letters of recommendation to asking them to refer you to three of their associates, to make sure the event was well-received, you can’t lose when you touch base with someone who has hired you.
There is nothing better you can do to build your professional relationships. You will be a ray of light in the eyes of these people when they see you putting additional energy towards them even after the check has been cashed.
But today, I want to talk about another kind of follow-up.
I have done this for years, and it has earned me a lot of money over time. It’s something I did one time on a fluke, and it was instantly put into the routine (hey, we do that when jokes work, right? Why not do it in business?)
Now, this may seem somewhat contraindicated at first, but take a second to absorb it. Also, know that I have road-tested this baby, and it is guaranteed to put money in your pocket.
Follow up with producers who don’t hire you!
What? Am I out of my mind? Am I toying with you?
No… this is gold, and I’m giving it to you today, hoping that you will put it to use and see the light.
Here’s how it works.
Billy Agent calls you and puts you on hold for July 28th in Memphis. It’s for a sales meeting, and they want you for a 30-minute opener for a general session of 700 people.
OK… that’s the data.
Being the ever-efficient business person you are, you have put that on your calendar and begin your pre-booking routine. You have one. If not, we’ll cover that in another article.
Despite your best efforts, the date goes to another act. Boo Hoo… What did you learn from not getting the gig that can help you land the next one? Don’t tell me you just took it on the chin and said, “No big deal!” That’s not the correct answer. But, we’ll cover that in another article as well.
One thing you don’t do is take that hold off your calendar! That is a reminder that you must keep in place for a few reasons.
For one, it is a record of contact with that producer. You can track how often producers pitch you and what kind of return on their investment they are getting out of you. If you see that fall too low, then you will notice that they stop pitching you! Again, that will be covered in another article.
Secondly, you will follow up with that producer a few days after the gig – say July 31st, and here is how it is going to go.
Email is acceptable for this. No use investing time or money – this system is just a few hairs short of autopilot.
You are going to write this email – feel free to change the wording to match your style. This one is right from my system:
I just wanted to check in as I know you provided entertainment for the sales meeting in Memphis a few days ago. I hope the show went well and that your client was happy.
Please pitch us again to this client or anyone you know who wants proven success with corporate audiences.
Barry and Daniel
That’s it… not too complicated. You aren’t giving an immediate call-to-action or even suggesting that he should write back to you. You are checking in, being a competent business owner and a supportive colleague. There is nothing manipulative about this. You want his business to do well, so he continues to provide entertainment to events, and you are letting him know.
This kind of personal touch is unheard of in this industry. For most people, it’s giving me the gig or screw you. Seriously, you will be remembered and respected for this kind of craziness.
Last month I sent this letter to a speaker bureau with whom we had lost a date to someone else. The agent wrote back from the letter thanking me, telling me she had never received a letter like this, and put three more holds on my calendar. Do you think that quickie email was a good investment of time? I do.
There… if that idea doesn’t earn you more money than you pay for this site in a year, I’ll eat my microphone.
See you on the road.