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Should Recommendations Be Paid For?


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The owner of a wedding venue I was booked at last year was very complimentary at the end of the evening. I sent him a brochure a few days later.

 

A couple of weeks ago he phoned and asked if I would like to be a recommended supplier. I said yes.

 

He recommended me to 2 couples (that I know about). I'm seeing one couple next weekend and I saw the other at the venue last weekend. They booked.

 

When they had gone the owner asked for a percentage of my fee for recommending me.

 

A recommendation is not the same as a booking provided by an agent because there is no booking until I close the deal with the prospective clients, often by going to see them. I then have to issue all the paperwork etc. In addition the recommender will do it confident that a good service will be provided.

 

I agreed a percentage I thought reasonable.

 

What do you think would be reasonable?

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i dont agree with the owner taking a cut. ive no problem with venues arranging weddings and charging clients one price and giving me less as theyre doing the promotional work.

 

I would have thought having you working there as a top dj that the owner wants there would be reward enough for him as it helps his venue look better and gets it a better reputation, and as a result more bookings in the future.

 

its a bit cheeky him asking for a cut in my opinion, but if its a nice venue you enjoy doing then it may be worth it (and you can convince him otherwise in the meantime).

www.sparklingdiscos.co.uk

www.sparklingdancefloors.co.uk

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The only figure I would think reasonable would be 0%.

 

 

I'm a DJ based in Northern Ireland with nearly 10 years' experience offering a range of services. Including club residencies, karaoke, pub quizzes, specialised wedding service, Master of Ceremonies, Compere, Night at the Races and much more.

 

 

 

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This is a really difficult area. I'd be happy to give a venue £50 for a £400 booking IF they were getting me regular work (maybe at least one a month). I work for an agent occasionally - he takes 17% and he doesn't get me particularly well priced work.

 

At the end of the day it's personal choice, if it's a venue you want to work at then finding a win-win resolution is the only thing that matters.

 

Good luck with it.

Paul The Party DJ

Mobile Disco and Wedding Specialist Southampton & The New Forest

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Interesting points.

 

I'm recommended at another venue - a smart hotel - because the functions manager is impressed with my attitude and the level of service I give including the fact that, unlike some operators he has mentioned, I don't turn up without enough time to spare! There is no question of any payment for recommendations. Nor should there be in my opinion.

 

The situation is different in the scenario I mentioned. The venue is a barn and under the current licence, the owner can host only 14 weddings in a year. He has applied for a licence to run as many as he likes and is awaiting the outcome. He also has plans to extend and improve his venue so that he can host conferences and other events as well as weddings.

 

I read the situation as him needing every penny he can get. He recommends caterers, taxi firms and one other DJ and I'm guessing they all give him something. Certainly he said the other DJ does. I also read it that he needs good people to recommend (to keep a good reputation) as much as he needs money.

 

I agreed to a very small percentage (half the figure he mentioned for the other DJ) because it could be a good investment although my gut reaction would normally be to say no.

 

A few years ago a the manager of a venue at which I got quite a few wedding gigs was impressed with the way I did things and I gave her some brochures which, I assume, she gave out to brides and grooms.

 

Subsequently she asked for a fee for recommending me, suggesting I increase my price to cover the fee. I refused.

 

I haven't had a booking there for at least 3 years.

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A few years ago a the manager of a venue at which I got quite a few wedding gigs was impressed with the way I did things and I gave her some brochures which, I assume, she gave out to brides and grooms.

 

Subsequently she asked for a fee for recommending me, suggesting I increase my price to cover the fee. I refused.

 

I haven't had a booking there for at least 3 years.

 

Thats the problem and considering some of your other recent posts,IMO, you did the only thing you could by agreeing to a cut however its the way he did it is bang out of order.

 

If he had come to you in the first place and was honest about his intentions that would have been different.

 

Bite the bullet im afraid especially if you are getting a comfortable fee

 

 

 

Richmond Karaoke & Disco - Professional Mobile Disco Service For North Yorkshire - www.rkdisco.co.uk

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now that you have that deal I personally would stipulate that it is totally confidential between you and him and that no other parties should know the details and specifics of the arrangement.

 

When I do pub gigs i do regular work at low rates i tell the bar owners that part of our agreement is never to tell clients what they pay me as the rates for a function are very different this is to protect my livelihood.

 

If the barn guy starts bragging he gets x from you and tries a price war then the situation can get sticky so confidentiality would be important to me , how you enforce that apart from a verbal promise i don't know.

 

I have never been in that exact position so I am guessing you did the best you could and probably the right decision , you haven't been in this business as long as you have and at the top of our game without making the right decisions , if I am half as successful I'll be happy.

 

on the positive side a new venue a new opportunity and a possible area of growth so all good , i would personally call that a result

Rob Star Entertainments
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landline 0161 265 3421
Mobile: 0777 99 777 26

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Wow great question and great timing.

 

I am really not in favor of percentages, but I do have a couple of venues who sell me a past of a package. I believe both venues charge more for the DJ, that they pay me. But they both pay me my full rate, and I really care to know what they charge. At both venues, brides are given a couple of DJs to choose from, and told to interview. But once a bride decides, they book through the venue and I get paid by the venue. I am booked by the venue and paid by the venue.

 

But here is where it gets interesting. I got an email today requesting a quote for a wedding at one of the venues. The client tells me she got a recommendation for a friend who’s wedding I did last year and not from the venue. I guess my quote will be $$$ less that the venues quote. That should be interesting.

 

Back to Spinner original post, I guess these are my thoughts

 

1. My fee is my fee, if a venue wants to sell me at a marked up price, OK

2. I dont think its a problem offering a percentage, if it works for you. We all need to work.

3. Many of the other vendors in our industry do offer incentive, why not DJs

4. I do not have any Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays free in the summer, so I dont offer any discounts or percentages. However if someone could find me some bookings in the week, Id be willing to talk. As I say, we all need to work, and it comes down to supply and demand.

 

Great Subject

Edited by Derek Paul

Derek Tarpey

Lake DJ

California

www.LakeDJ.Com

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Basically it's a backhander! I don't like the practice at all, if another DJ offers them more of a cut they're likely to drop you in favour of them. And I wonder if it goes through the books or straight into a back pocket - does anyone who has to do this get a receipt?

 

If they hold you in such high regard they should be aware it's good for their business to have a quality DJ to recommend without the need for any fee to change hands.

 

But in the real world unfortunately it's something we have to consider playing along with or lose bookings!

 

I'd have more respect if they said it was an admin fee for processing (i.e. filing) your PLI and PAT!

 

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Basically it's a backhander! I don't like the practice at all, if another DJ offers them more of a cut they're likely to drop you in favour of them. And I wonder if it goes through the books or straight into a back pocket - does anyone who has to do this get a receipt?

 

 

Just what I was thinking this afternoon. It's open to corruption because someone offering a bigger backhander could be recommended over someone better but not prepared to pay so much.

 

Don't forget though that supermarkets charge manufacturers for providing a prominent shelf position. Isn't that similar?

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The important thing is to keep it as confidential between you and the venue whatever the agreement is.

 

There is a venue local to me that charges £400 for their "house DJ" - they give the DJ £260. Now that's what I call wrong!

 

 

Paul The Party DJ

Mobile Disco and Wedding Specialist Southampton & The New Forest

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£50 from a £400 gig every month seems reasonable enough I suppose.

 

 

£20 is reasonable in my opinion.

 

£50 is 12.5% - close to what an agent would charge for getting the booking, issuing all the paperwork, collecting the money, etc. etc., all the things that the "recommended" DJ would have to do himself since he still has to sell his service to the prospective client.

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I wish my agent only took 12% and could get me £400 bookings!

 

80% of the time I take direct bookings, I only work through the agent when it's a block booking - that's club work or a DeVere that books exclusively through him.

 

Are there agents that only charge 12%?

Paul The Party DJ

Mobile Disco and Wedding Specialist Southampton & The New Forest

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The figure was 12.5% not 12% and is close to the 15% charged by the agents I work with occasionally.

 

I can get the £400 bookings myself.

 

Sorry - as I believe the young people say - my bad (12/12.5%)

 

 

 

Paul The Party DJ

Mobile Disco and Wedding Specialist Southampton & The New Forest

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The need to use an agent only comes from the apathy to go out and do your own marketing and advertising.

 

If you think that 12% - 15% is bad, hire a PR / Marketing company to get you work :D

 

Seriously its a small price to pay for the hours of leg work that 'you' aren't willing to put in yourself.

 

At the end of the day if you are happy with the Agents fee less 12% - 15% in commission then get out there and market yourself, and get the booking from the client before they find the agent, after all, your fee is always going to be 12% - 15% less than the agents' quote anyway, so what are you waiting for? :D

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If you think that 12% - 15% is bad, hire a PR / Marketing company to get you work :D

 

Seriously its a small price to pay for the hours of leg work that 'you' aren't willing to put in yourself.

 

 

No-one said 12-15% was bad as an agent's fee.

 

This wasn't about agent's fees per se.

 

It was about the suggestion that 12.5% is a fair price to pay for a recommendation - not a booking, just a recommendation.

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My comment wasn't aimed at anybody or quoting anybodies post in particular, just a general opinion.

 

Agents tend to get a bad press from Dj's and in some cases its well deserved when they either don't pay up, or are worse at running their businesses or cementing the three way paperwork than the Dj's they are supposed to represent.

 

However, there is a trend sometimes for Dj's to expect something for nothing :D , lots of talk promoting the fact that DJ's should be raising the bar and charging more and not competing constantly on price, yet when a Dj is paying out for something that philosophy isn't returned to the business they are using.

 

12% - 15% is a bargain for the services of a decent, reliable, trustworthy agent, even 25% is worthwhile if the final fee is still attractive. Anybody who has gone down the route of self promotion and secured a steady stream of work for themselves from their own sweat will know how difficult it is and how much work, time and even money has to be invested in order to reach that position and agents don't have a magic formula for getting to the point of being able to secure work for several bands and DJ's every week, when the Dj's can't secure one booking for themselves.....and yes, providing this service deserves a healthy percentage of the fee IMO.

 

As for recommendations, well that depends on whether it turned into a booking or not. Then again, also bear in mind that some companies pay big sums of money solely for lists of 'sales leads' but its down to the skills of the salespeople or the business owner to turn those cold leads into actual profit making business.

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A recommendation is worth nothing unless you get a booking out of it. Even then it is *only* a recommendation, nothing more. There are no guarantees, etc...

 

Cheers,

 

David

DJ David Graham

Tel: 01204 537716 / 01942 418415

Email: hello@djgraham.co.uk

FB: http://facebook.com/djdavidgraham

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A recommendation is worth nothing unless you get a booking out of it. Even then it is *only* a recommendation, nothing more. There are no guarantees, etc...

 

Pretty much the same as paying to advertise in the local paper then?, or the Yellow Pages? or a Wedding Directory? or a DJ comparison site? - they take your money and nothing is guaranteed?. Tell me the methods of advertising that are?

 

At the end of the day, if somebody recommends you, and the person actually rings you, then they have done their job and earned their 'commission' - its not their fault that you didn't manage to hook the client and secure the booking :D

 

If you pay to reply to a requirement on Goodparty and the client never gets back to you, do you get the fee back?. Didn't think so :devil:

 

Personally, i'd prefer to pay an agreed / negotiated commission or finders fee to a venue, which would give me targeted enquiries from clients interested in booking the venue, rather than paying to advertise in the local rag amongst plumbers, Chimney Sweeps, babysitters and used car adverts, or pay to advertise on a site with a hungry pack of DJ's intent on competing directly on price.

 

Of course, if I was paying a venue manager for the recommendation, i'd also expect some exclusivity to come with it, and thats where the negotiation comes in.

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Theres something that doesn't "quite sit right" if you are paying merely for a recomendation especially if the venue is recommending more than one service provider as the venue will be in a "win win" situation regardless of your outcome, if however they are only recommending a single service provider it may be useful especially if the overall fees are good.

 

There is a local castle that I have just started working for and they ask for 10% of our final fee, in return for this they market us in their wedding packs as exclusive service providers.

 

 

Sometimes in the pursuit of perfection one can get blinded by size.

 

If you believe you can acheive.

 

Add life to your days not days to your life.

 

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Theres something that doesn't "quite sit right" if you are paying merely for a recomendation especially if the venue is recommending more than one service provider as the venue will be in a "win win" situation regardless of your outcome, if however they are only recommending a single service provider it may be useful especially if the overall fees are good.

 

 

 

Surely the recommendation fee would only be payable if a gig was secured from it?

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