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How do you handle scheduling?

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How do you handle scheduling?

Post by Stacia on Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:47 pm

I have a tentative booking for the 17th. The person called me on November 25th and asked to hire me for the party, I got the details and emailed her my contract and told her about the deposit and said that I don't consider it booked till I receive both. She said ok, I emailed it...haven't heard back yet. Now I've got another person trying to book a time that would overlap with the first party. I am emailing her now but I need some advice-
Should I tell her I have a tentative booking and will try to contact the first party to confirm by collecting deposit and contract and give them a deadline?
Should I just say "sorry it's booked, do you have any wiggle room on the party time?"
Should I just send her the contract and advise that someone else has already requested that time slot but hasn't sent me the deposit and contract yet and whoever gets it to me first gets the time slot?

I don't want to make either of them mad, and frankly I'd like to do both parties if possible. What would you do and why?
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Re: How do you handle scheduling?

Post by MelodyFPL on Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:05 pm

I would call the first person and tell them someone else is trying to get their slot, and do they want the slot or not? Don't leave the second person hanging too long.
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Re: How do you handle scheduling?

Post by PerfectlyPaintedFaces on Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:47 pm

I think it's important to stress "First Come, First Serve" to potential clients... to motivate them to get things done quickly! Then if they don't pay their deposit, you don't have to bother chasing them around for it... just shrug and assume they didn't care enough about booking you!

I'd say, maybe in this case, call the first woman and let her know that someone else would like her slot, and it's not yet reserved because she hasn't returned her deposit/contract and she has xx amount of time to get it to you. Then if she gets the deposit and contract to you, let the second lady know it's been booked but you'd like to paint for her and see if there is any wiggle room for time.

I'm sure a lot more people have experience in this area... but that's what I think I'd do in that situation. Smile
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Re: How do you handle scheduling?

Post by MeeMee on Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:57 pm

Tell the second person you have a tentative booking and will contact the first party to confirm by collecting deposit and contract and give them a deadline. I think it's best in the future to have a deadline on your contract to avoid having to track people down to see if they still want you at their party. Mines is seven days from verbal agreement.
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Re: How do you handle scheduling?

Post by TheGildedCat on Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:02 pm

Even better, see if both can wiggle in opposite directions on time so you can book both gigs!
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Re: How do you handle scheduling?

Post by Stacia on Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:26 pm

Ok, so I waited till the mail arrived just to make sure the contract wasn't there (it wasn't), I emailed the second person stating that I had a tentative booking from 1:30 to 2:30 but hadn't received the contract nor the deposit, said I'd call them today and give them a deadline. I also asked them if their party time is set in stone or if they have a little wiggle room and stated that I really wanted to be able to accommodate both parties.

I'm about to call the lady from the first booking in a minute...another question...how do you word it? Ugh, I'm so bad on the phone. I suppose I could start by saying that I'm not sure I got her email address right (she gave it to me over the phone, I could have spelled it wrong I guess) and wanted to make sure she received the email with the contract attached? Can you tell I often overthink things? *LOL*

I do have a deadline in my contract and it's stated that I don't consider it booked till I receive both the deposit and the contract, but I seriously think people don't really care to believe that I mean it. So frustrating! I don't wanna be a B*tch about it, because I want to make money...but I've had the whole "verbal confirmation/turn someone else away/party host cancels on me anyway/I miss out on BOTH parties" thing happen.
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Re: How do you handle scheduling?

Post by Stacia on Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:27 pm

I honestly don't know what I'd do without all of you guys...you're so dang helpful!
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Re: How do you handle scheduling?

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:36 pm

If you had a deadline to return the contract and deposit and it has past send an email telling them that as they haven't returned it they have lost their spot.

Take the other booking.

Then if they do contact you with some excuse you can tell them they can change their time and you could accommodate them, but that their booking was cancelled due to not receiving the contract by the deadline.

Don't be afraid to stick to your terms. You need to be consistent. People will eventually learn that you are a BUSINESS PERSON.


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Re: How do you handle scheduling?

Post by fpinmn on Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:55 pm

Great advice!

I'd do one last thing.
I'd send an email to client #1 and say,

Dear ________,

We have been unable to reach you. Since we haven't received your contract or deposit for the reservation you made on 11/25 for 12/17, we are figuring you have made other plans, and we have canceled your reservation.

If this is a mistake, please contact us by noon on 12/3, and we will see what time slots are still available on that date.

You were clear when you said that it's not booked until both are received. You've done a great job giving her the benefit of the doubt, and now it's time to give that time to a real client (who has 3 days to return the contract & deposit). Smile

Let us know how it turns out!
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Re: How do you handle scheduling?

Post by skjfunny on Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:48 am

Often I find artists sound as though they are on the defense. Things happen, people forget and yes they do change their mind.
It's simple, nothing to be unsure or afraid of...call her just as you would a friend. "I haven't rec'd your contract and certainly wanted to check before I book the time slot you had requested." Be warm and if she says she changed her mind wish her a happen event and let your voice be friendly....she has friends, family and co-workers that are all potential clients.
If she screwed up she will know it and appreciate your professional and friendly attitude. End it with letting her know she is welcome to call you for future events. Smile when you say it, the smile does translate in your voice. This way she has nothing to say about your attitude and will probably speak highly of you to others. Even when the client is dead wrong they will be spreading the "bad attitude" about you...it is great when you just acknowledge that you realize things happen, giving the impression you have lots of work and are not desperate or holding a grudge is great advertising. Turn the situation around so she feels good about you.
Happy gigs.........................
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Re: How do you handle scheduling?

Post by Stacia on Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:03 am

I really have learned a lot in your answers...makes me think I may tweak the wording in my contract a little. I was able to dodge a bullet on this one, I gave Client #1 a call and asked her to give me a call back...but today's mail came and the contract and deposit was there =), so I'm just hoping now that I can talk Client #2 into a different time slot.
Thanks again for all of your advice!
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Stacia

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Re: How do you handle scheduling?

Post by Psalmbook on Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:15 am

I hate to say it, but I really stick to my guns now days. A verbal, "Yes we're having the party" is not enough. I need a contract in hand w/ retainer fee or the slot is still open to another client. I make it very clear & lifes been better for it. I used to turn down clients because the person was insisting the job was still on & they just didn't have the time(more like consideration) to send out the contract & then cancel or just be unreachable the day of the gig.
I do call & contact the 1st client & make sure that they know another client is looking into their slot & my policy is to give it to the 1st person who signs the contract & pays the booking fee.
I know I sound like a big ol' meanie, but after so many unbooked weekends & wondering how I was going to put gas in the tank & feed the kids(back when the hubby was unemployed) I just didn't care.
What I learned is I have better jobs w/ more professional people most times because I stuck to my guns.
Now I do have some regular clients who I'm more lenient w/ but they've earned the privilege.
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Re: How do you handle scheduling?

Post by flopsietheclown on Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:46 am

All great advice. Have you thought of doing everything online so you're not waiting for regular mail? I know there are fees involved in online payments, but I find it much easier to let the clients do everything from their computer. Fast and very clear. In fact, I just posted about a virtual office manager program I just started using. I love the way you can organize the events and update along the way "inquiry, pending, booked, deposit needed...etc" You can send links to the client with the contract and a spot for them to approve it and send it back.
I think there is a good balance between sticking to your guns and being flexible for the clients, especially if you can wiggle one gig into two!
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Re: How do you handle scheduling?

Post by fpinmn on Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:47 am

Flopsie,
I have just started using PayPal. (I used to have my own credit card machine, but after 15 years, it finally died!) Smile
Now, my PayPal invoice also becomes a contract with all of the event details PLUS it includes the fact that payment is due in advance, that if payment isn't made by midnight when the invoice is issued, that the reservation isn't guaranteed, and that it is a non-cancelable, non-refundable reservation.

PayPal takes about 3-4% of the fee, but I've done 14 invoices in the last month, and it's really simplified things for me! (including cutting down on some paperwork.)
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