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PhotobucketThe ability to read people’s character and to infer from their idiosyncrasies their paying capability is an ability worth developing if you are a magician in the Philippines like me.

I have saved time and energy focusing my marketing efforts on customers who have the means to pay for my shows rather than on customers who have the desire to hire me but don’t have the money to do it.

PhotobucketIf you ask parents, many of them keep magic shows on top of their list of gifts to the birthday child.  But let’s admit it. Magic shows don’t come cheap.  Even the cheapest acts in town are still beyond some families’ means.

So that’s where client profiling comes in handy for me. Actually it’s like detective work. If police can zero in on the usual suspects by studying their psychology (as gleaned from the manner they commit their crimes), then we magicians can also tell, with some measure of accuracy, if a prospect has the financial capacity (not only the desire) to hire our shows.

Actually, understanding a client’s means is like cold reading.

For example, from experience, I have gathered the following client profiles based on how prospects word their phone/email inquiries.
PhotobucketIf a client starts an inquiry with “How much,” as in “How much is your one-hour magic show?“, 95% she belongs to the social strata below my price range. When I tell her my rates, she will usually slink away, leaving a timid, “Okay, I will consult my husband. I’ll call you back later.” She never does.

If, after I tell the prospect my talent fee, there’s this long silence followed by stammering as if she’s speaking in tongues, 95% she will look for another type of entertainment.

If the focus of a client’s inquiry is the availability of a date, as in “Are you still available on October 11?,” 95% chances are, she is already decided to hire me, notwithstanding the price.

If a clients asks,”Do you accept engagements in the provinces, say, Pampanga?”, she is 95% interested. She is sold to my show, and the remaining talking point is just the price. That being the case, I’d launch into my sales talk, emphasizing quality rather than price of the show. In more than 60% of the times, I book this type of clients.

If a prospective client sends me a text message like, “Please call me on my landline. I want to ask you about your magic show,” 95% she can’t afford my services. I live in Cavite. She has to call me by long distance.  She doesn’t want to spend money on a long-distance call, so she tells me to call her instead. I just text her back, “Please email me your questions. I will answer them as promptly as I can.”

If a prospect prefaces her inquiry with, “I saw your website. How much are your different packages?”, 95% she is an OFW  or an immigrant in places like the US, Canada, England, Germany, Switzerland and some other rich Western counties. She is inquiring from abroad through the Internet. She plans to celebrate her child’s birthday in a grand fashion when she comes visiting the Philippines. I book 100% of such inquiries without breaking a sweat. I hope there are more of their kind.

PhotobucketIf a prospect starts her inquiry with, “Can you meet me at Anito Motel, 9PM tomorrow? I miss you,” I’m 100% sure she’s calling the wrong number.

Nobody invites me to a motel tryst, not even my wife.

Stay magical,