When the phone rings…..Tips for closing the deal and booking over the phone


By Marcela “Mama Clown” Murad

Put On A Happy Face- even over the phone!
Over the phone, you have only 3 seconds to establish great rapport. The reason for this is simply that you will not have the ability to use body language to convey your message, so you need to have a bright, cheery personality when answering the phone. Our personality and the way we come across to a prospective client is the biggest advantage we have to sell our services. Keep in mind that we are in the entertainment and party business and when the phone rings they are looking for someone with enthusiasm to add fun, color and excitement to their event.
Natalie from Faces By Sugar is always  SMILING IN EVERY PICTURE I can only imagine how sweet she sounds when clients call. I bet they can sense her smile through  the phone
Natalie from Faces By Sugar is always SMILING IN EVERY PICTURE I can only imagine how sweet she sounds when clients call. I bet they can sense her smile through the phone
How much do you charge?
Everyone is looking for the best deal. Most people do not understand the different levels of professionalism involved in our industry. Before you quote your fee, it is best to win them over first as a friend. Be friendly, respectful and smart!
Your fee can vary depending on a variety of reasons. In order to quote your customer accurately, ask a couple of questions about the event to get a better feel for pricing:
  • When is your party scheduled for?  If you are already booked or out of town, the conversation can either end here or you can continue and try to book her on a later date. If this is the case, let them know that you are not available on the requested date, but ask if you can follow up via email with more information including pictures of your work to be kept as a contact for future occasions. This is also a great opportunity to recommend another painter to hire and forward their contact information.
  • How many guests are you expecting? Knowing the number of children attending will help you to recommend the right amount of time needed to complete the job. Figure out how many faces you can reasonably paint per hour and go from there.
  • Where are you located? It is wise to charge a gas fee if the event is more than 50 miles from your home.

Let them know why you are worth your fee!

Write, memorize and practice an “elevator pitch” which is a brief, persuasive speech that is used to spark interest in what your company does. It should be interesting, memorable, and succinct. It also needs to explain what makes you – or your company unique. It could be some thing like:

I am dedicated to providing the best quality service with a smile to your  guests. I have trained with some of the best artists in our industry, attended many training events and continue to train on a daily basis as a member of Face and Body Art Television. All the makeup I use is compliant with all FDA safety standards, I carry liability insurance, and most importantly I love kids and I love my job. I will be happy to provide you samples of my work as well as references.

Booking the Gig

What you decide to charge will depend on may factors. Research the market in your area for your type of service you offer and ask around what other painters in your area are charging. Don’t be afraid to charge a higher fee if you are confident that you deserve it. For many of the best clients, higher fees mean a better product. On the other hand, try not to undercut the other artists in your area. Lowering your fees to get the job only serves to keep the going rate for everyone at a lower selling point.

Consider the cost involved in doing the job. Time- a one hour gig takes an extra hour and a half to get ready and travel back and forth to the destination, cost of products used, gas, wear and tear of your vehicle, insurance, costuming, taxes, advertising fees, website hosting and maintenance, promo materials and so on. For most painters it costs on average $50 or more, so going out for less than that means you are working at a deficit.

You may consider offering a variety of packages. If you have other skills such as airbrush tattoos, you may offer a fee for brush and sponge painting, and one for airbrush designs. Combining services like face painting and balloons is another great alternative. When choices are offered it is more than likely that the ones set on getting a bargain will go for the less expensive option, but chances are that others will book and pay more than what they were prepare to spend.

Whether you’re able to close the deal or not, the most important thing to accomplish is to hang up the phone with a smile. If they choose someone else over you and it doesn’t work out, I guarantee that they will remember your personality and friendly attitude and come back to you in the future.

Happy painting!

Marcela Murad

Leave a Reply