interested to know how your playing jobs are !! where are you located ??  what type of music are you performing and finding a market for?? are you lowering your rates, or offering discounts and finding that may create an interest ??  how are you selling yourself in todays market  
                     thanks and best regards

                              paul
There are 8 comments, leave a comment.
are you asking because of the crisis?
hi chacky,

yes, i am in the process of looking and not finding it easy !!!
it's never been easy and now it's really hard.live music (especially jazz)is a hard sell. i mean a restuarant or bar doesn't really need it. most people will complain the music is to loud especailly when they hear some guys blowing over tunes they never heard of. they would rather hear their drunks friends singing karaoke then some jazzers playing all the things you are.

ok if you want to find work you have to just look. go lots of places where you think live music would work and talk with the gm or owner- you may have to go back several times because these people often aren't in or are busy. generally big coperate restuarants won't hire you. stick with independent places ( there are fewer and fewer of these places staying in bussiness) bring your demo cd and a picture- the picture is more important because most likely they won't take the time to listen to your cd. be really nice and friendly- offer to play a night for free. if i can get the "audition" i always get the gig. oh, try to invite everybody that you know to the audition. the owner will like to see that you have a following and people respond posively to your music. be very carefull with the volume. dress nice, smile a lot, greet people, if you take a break socialize a the bar. try remember everyones name including the staff and clients. i could go on and on but i go to go look for a gig! really...
paul--excellent suggestions. every point you make is important.
like all salespeople--which a musician must be to find work--forming relationships is what's crucial. it's not who you know, its who knows you. i would even go so far as to suggest to do some reading in sales techniques and negotiation--and the book 'how to win friends and influence people' by dale carnegie.
thank you so much for your feedback so far,

yes i can play,  but to sell my self is my weak link. i am tongue tied in trying to think of how to talk to owners and selling my product ????  i think that what casparus and paul had to say as far as learning some sales techniques and negotiation is right on the spot and i was hoping to open a discussion to benefit all of us !!

     best regards
                      paul
last year i sent my promoter out with a gang of cds to hit the clubs around l.a. and got zilch.

it seems the club owners want to be schmoozed by the "artist" themselves, i guess so they can brag about hanging out with the "cool" musicians.

so now i realize that i'm going to have to go out and butter them up myself.

i'm a hell of a salesman though, so i'll just have to warn them that if they don't hire me i'll refuse to play at their club.

that ought to humble them ...
thanks 7p  

  what do you say to warm them up, and how can we be better salesmen of our product ???

                          paul
pjpastir,

as any sales training will tell you "no matter what product you're pushing, you're actually selling yourself".

if you're selling your band, then you're definitely selling yourself (especially if you're the leader of the band).

people can spot a phony a mile away, so it's best to be yourself.

relax, don't act desperate or nervous (or egotistical). after a bit of small talk (compliment the owner on what a nice place they have, etc) get to the point, be friendly and courteous but also be brief.

remember that the booker has other things to do than shoot the breeze with you all day, try to keep the sales pitch under 15 minutes.

speaking of appointments, the booker should be expecting you on the day of your visit. don't drop in unannounced, set up the appointment by phone a few days in advance. set a time and be punctual!

even if you have to wait to talk to the boss, nothing looks more unprofessional than showing up late to a fixed appointment.

what you're actually doing here is applying for a job. how do you dress for a job interview? dress to impress, after all you're a somebody, an "artist" and you need to look like you know what you're doing.

try to anticipate the booker's questions (so you are prepared and limit any hemming and hawing):
- what kind of music do you play?
- how many in the band?
- have you got a following?

if you have questions for the booker, be sure to make a little list so you will walk away with all the information you need to make the event a success:
- where do we load in the gear (the front door, through the alley, up the elevator)?
- what time do the doors open so we can arrive to begin setting up?
- will i have to fill out any tax forms?
- do you want to use my standard contract or do you have one of your own? (contracts are never a bad idea, even though many bookers will say they're not necessary, i can't tell you how many times i've been fucked over by relying on a handshake and a smile)

iow, do your homework! be prepared. relax, smile and remember the abcs of sales "always be closing" - try to set the date and time right then and there while the iron is hot.

if the booker says "well, i have to check my schedule, get back with me in a week" when you phone back a week later, they'll be "unavailable to take your call" and you'll have to play phone tag for another two weeks.

close the sale today! you made the appointment, you talked turkey, so you want to cinch the deal right then and there (even if the gig isn't two months off).

when your tete-a-tete is over, leave the premises!

don't hang around and have a few beers or make chit-chat with the waitress. it gives the impression that you don't have a life.

you're a busy and sought after person who has things to do and places to be.

keep in mind that there is such a thing as "oversell", if you've set the date and the deal is clinched, don't keep telling the booker all the wonderful selling points that you memorized.

if you go on and on after having already sold them on you, you risk undoing the whole deal and they just might change their mind.
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