Submitted by MusikSource -
Have all of your packages and prices predetermined and WRITTEN DOWN. You can have different price levels for different types of parties, but have this predetermined and in advance. Combine popular items into packages rather than selling them ala-carte. Have packages for different combinations of service (say one price point for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah reception with a DJ, and an MC). Make additional options available as “upgrades” (such as party dancers, party motivators, props, lighting, etc.), which you should try to sell according to your feel for what the prospect wants.
Sell in packages that increase in services and dollars. A good package name is essential. Don’t use stereotypical names (gold, silver, bronze). DO use “party package”, “performance package”, etc. Keep package discounts realistic. Have a wide range of packages.
Charge MORE for overtime added on at the party. Rationale: they’re having a good time, and they want you. You’re worth it. Charge more for bigger affairs (such as weddings, Bar & Bat Mitzvahs, proms, etc.) than for smaller affairs. If you’re not losing some jobs because of price, then you’re not charging enough. You might want to charge higher prices for weekend/peak times then during the week. Charge more for proms than for a regular dance. Charge a premium for proms from mid May to mid June (especially since this is a time that is also popular for weddings). DON’T charge more for a last minute/emergency booking than you would have charged for that same booking if you got it many months in advance—the customer might pay what you ask, but will probably not give you any repeat business.
When you are turning away a lot of business because you are already booked, then it is time to raise your prices and get more money. Charging top dollar is also the best way of differentiating yourself from your less experienced or under-priced competition. The way to fight bottom-feeders isn’t to sink down into the mud with them, but to stay on top where you belong. Charging more will automatically elevate you up to the better sites, and away from those low-budget photographers and caterers whose unprofessional antics and shortcomings drive you crazy. August 1996 DJ Times—TCB Column by Karen Roy
If you want to market a new (for you) service/feature/option (which you eventually intend to be able to sell as an upgrade), try giving it away for free at a few of your key parties. Make sure you tell those clients that this is something you’re giving them for free because its new, and that it will eventually be an extra-cost add-on (so their friends won’t expect to get it for free). Choose which parties to do this for so as to expose it to referrals that will want to pay for the option.
Offer “dark time” (early setup but not playing) at half price (never for free).