Being able to convince someone of your professionalism over the phone is an essential part of being a good musician. In fact, on Encore we’ve found that musicians who get clients on the phone are over 10% more likely to convert bookings than musicians who just message clients.
Drawing from the Encore Bookings team’s extensive experience in client calls, we’ve put together a list of our top tips to help you convert your phone conversations into bookings.
If you follow all seven, you’ll be well on the way to winning more work.
- Understand how call requests work on Encore
- Introduce yourself and make it clear why you’re calling
- Understand the client’s vision for their event
- Address their concerns
- Confirm all the details verbally
- End with a clear call to action
- Send a follow-up message
1. Understand how call requests work on Encore
On Encore, phone numbers are shared between clients and musicians as soon as the booking has been made. But we also have a built-in call request feature which allows clients to send you their phone number before the booking is confirmed without compromising the security of their contact details.
Though we’ve made this process as simple as possible, it’s important that you understand how this works so you can assist the client if they run into any difficulties.
Here’s how it works:
- The client sends a call request from their Enquiry page by clicking the “Request call” button on your application.
- You receive an email notification including their phone number and a time when they’ll be free for a call.
- You call the client at their requested time and discuss the details of the booking.
- You follow up with a message to the client through Encore to make sure any spoken agreements are recorded and the client knows how to proceed next.
2. Introduce yourself and make it clear why you’re calling
People often need reminding of what’s going on when they pick up the phone.
Treat your calls like meetings, introducing yourself, making it clear what the agenda is, and taking the lead in driving the conversation forward like a meeting chairperson.
- You should start your call by confirming their availability to talk and outlining the reason for calling. If the person at the other end of the line is busy trying to cook dinner for their kids, they’re unlikely to be fully committed to the conversation. E.g. “Hi Jeremy, John from The Beatles here. is now still an OK time to chat about the enquiry you made with us through Encore?”
- Once this is confirmed, you should thank them for their interest and give them an outline of what will be discussed on the call. “Thanks again for expressing your interest in booking the group – from what I’ve read about your event so far I think we’d be a great fit! If you could start by explaining a bit more about your plan for the event, I’ll then be able to provide a few more specific details about what we might be able to provide.”
3. Understand the client’s vision for their event
Before you confirm the nitty-gritty details of the booking, try to understand the client’s vision for the event. Why are they booking musicians in the first place? What kind of atmosphere are they trying to create? What made them choose your act in particular?
The client may be booking music for the first time, so beginning with broader questions means you’re more likely to get a useful response than hitting them with the specifics of PA systems and set lists straight off the bat.
Consider beginning with questions like:
- What’s your vision for your event? What would your perfect event look like?
- What kind of atmosphere/vibe would you like the music to create at your event?
- Just out of interest, was there something in particular about our profile which interested you? A particular song or showreel perhaps that sparked your interest?
4. Address their concerns
Booking musicians can be an unnerving experience for clients, particularly if they are unfamiliar with live music or are parting with large sums of cash. Use your judgement and aim to preempt any particular worries they might have.
For example, a typical concern for clients is whether they can be sure you’ll provide the right atmosphere for their event without seeing you perform live in advance. You could answer with:
- Subtly use examples of social proof. “I know you might be concerned about not hearing the band beforehand, but we’ve played live for x famous person and they loved it.”
- Give an account of a recent similar event you played at that went brilliantly. Paint a picture of how your performance will transform their event. “We performed at a wedding just last weekend and the dance floor was completely full for a solid 4 hours!”
5. Confirm all the details verbally
Even if you’ve laid out exactly what the client is getting in touch cover note and messages beforehand, it’s good practice to confirm the details of your booking over the phone. Again, this builds trust and shows the client that you’re serious about carrying out this booking.
If there is more information you need from the client, take the lead in asking for for the specifics. You should know:
- When you should set up
- If there’s parking
- If there’s a PA/piano at the venue
- Who your point of contact is on the day
- If food/drink is provided
- If the client has any song requests
- Which outfit you’ll perform in
- Exact set timings
Don’t forget to allow the client to do the same by making space to ask if they have any questions for you.
6. End with a clear call to action
A call to action is a phrase found at the end of a piece of written or spoken communication which tells the recipient what to do next. You should be familiar from the previous blogs on cover notes and messages, that calls to action are essential for improving your conversion rate with clients.
Towards the end of the call, you should take the lead by letting the client know what is happening next.
- If you’re ready to be booked.
- “If you’re happy there’s nothing further to discuss, the next step is to go to your Encore enquiry page and click the ‘Book now’ button next to my profile.”
- If there are still details to be confirmed before the booking can take place.
- “Thanks for the call. I’ll double check about the PA situation and get back to you by Encore message within the next 48 hours – then we can take it from there”.
- If you find out that the booking can’t go ahead.
- “Unfortunately, it looks like we won’t be able to provide that service. I’m going to withdraw my application from your enquiry, but Encore has a lot of other musicians on its books so I’d recommend giving them a call to find a better-suited act. (Their number is on your enquiry page).”
7. Send a follow-up message
Whenever you take a call on Encore, you should be in the habit of sending a message immediately afterwards confirming the main details of what’s been discussed.
This is important not only because it reminds the client of what you’ve agreed during the call, but it also acts as a paper trail. This means that in the unlikely event of a dispute you have hard evidence to fall back upon about the service you agreed to provide to the client. More generally speaking, it’s also a tried and tested sales tactic which you should aim to incorporate into almost any professional communication you have.
Here’s an example:
Great to chat with you and learn a bit more about your upcoming wedding. We can’t wait to put on a brilliant show for you guys!
As discussed, we’re happy to include “Billie Jean” in our set list and will be bringing our own PA system.
The next step is for you to click “Book Now” on your Enquiry page. You can find a handy guide here if you get stuck.
Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions 🙂
That brings us to the end of our client communication series. If you haven’t read them already, check out other guides here:
- How to Write the Perfect Cover Note
- Closing the deal – How to Write Messages that Result in Bookings