Here’s the misconception about millennials that I keep hearing from DJs: they have a bad rep for not wanting to make personal connections, they prefer text and email to face-time, etc.
But the truth is they just don’t want to waste their time.
And it isn’t just millennials — it’s everyone! I’ll admit that I no longer answer unknown numbers on my phone, and I can’t blame anyone else for doing the same. I’ve lost so many hours (dare I say days) to being pulled into long conversations when I’m trying to book other gigs. The phone has become a dangerous thing, and I’m not going to agree to a meeting with someone if I’m not sure it’s worth my time.
I actually require a phone call as part of my sales process
So, yes, email and text are king right now for showing somebody that you’re worth their time.
So as DJs, how do we handle that? We keep it brief. If I send someone an inquiry and get a response the length of a novel, I’m going to be turned off. They might be high maintenance. I look at it like dating: we keep things short and sweet at first, and if we both like what we see and find the other person engaging, we’re willing to commit to something a bit longer.
But email and text and other technology tools have their shortcomings. There are so many tools out there aimed at helping DJs to book MORE weddings or to do LESS work on the weddings they have — but quantity is dangerous. If you automate a sales email or a response to an inquiry, prospects can smell it. If you try to plan an entire wedding using Google forms, that’s going to be a turn off. It sacrifices experiences and relationships in the process, and you’re going to miss out on HUGE opportunities to connect with clients.
I actually require a phone call as part of my sales process. It’s not immediate but something that we build to, and may typically last around 30 minutes. There are a few reasons I do this:
1. I hear the client’s expectations for their event experience, and make sure that I’m a good fit (I have examples of where I wasn’t).
2. To make sure that they are as committed and emotionally invested in the success of the event as I am (we need to be on the same team).
3. To tell them about my processes which involves a ~2 hour creative planning meeting, site visit, coordination with their other vendors, etc.
When we move to contract stage, I include a clause about required planning meetings. The truth is, most millennial and gen-z couples — and everyone, actually — LOVE it. They’re blown away that I want to get to know them so well — their story, their families, their quirks, the things I need to watch out for, their best nights ever, their horror stories. It all allows me to tell their story.
When we move to contract stage, I include a clause about required planning meetings
Those in-person experiences have brought out tears, frustrations, worries, and so many observations that have allowed me to command the emotional direction of an event in ways that have even surprised me. I realized that a failure to connect personally and emotionally and build trust is the root of any wedding disaster, any “cheesy DJ” comments we hear, or any bad reviews.
When we’ve built TRUST with the clients, that’s when our artistic selves are allowed to shine. This is where the true DJ/event-producer-high comes in for me. Through our time spent together, stories told and vulnerabilities revealed, clients ultimately learn that we have their best interests in mind. They realize we’re in this for more than a check, but in it because we LOVE creating beautiful spaces and euphoric moments– and that’s when they turn us loose.
One amazing example of this was an EDM wedding I recently performed. I had met the couple for a consultation in person (over margaritas was a bonus). They told me “we want this party to be like nothing anybody has ever seen at a wedding before. We want you to come look at the space with us, tell us what you think will make the most incredible party ever, and do it.” They had seen enough of my content to know what I was capable of. They let me work my magic from both a production and DJ perspective, and it turned out to be one of the most amazing weddings I’ve ever played.
And you can too.
The owner of DQB Entertainment in Dallas, Dan Quinn once pranked the kids in his DJ School by informing them that Marshmello and Imagine Dragons had been removed from the library.
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