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ARTICLE
By Bill Hermann.
It all started when enjoying a coffee at the breakfast table on a Sunday morning. She asked me how the wedding I had worked at the previous night had gone.

“It was OK,” I said, “but it could have been better. Everything just seemed off. The crowd was cold and it took a while to get anyone into anything.”
My wife answered, “What exactly do you mean by that?” Well, so many things had been wrong.

When I arrived, the dancefloor was in the corner, far away from the head table. Furthermore, there were tables on the dancefloor and I had to set up 20 feet from them. The guests arrived at 5pm but I didn’t start until 8pm because they had a four-hour contract and wanted me to play until midnight.

They also had me setting up at 6:30pm during dinner, which was a pain for me and the many who seemed annoyed by that. Dinner was done at 7:30pm, but I couldn’t start until they’d cleared the dancefloor, and by then (8:30pm) many people had left or were at the bar that was set up in the next room.

Then I had to wait until guests were a bit drunk and wandered in to dance – and by then there were very few people who wanted to do much more than talk or make awful requests that they didn’t dance to anyway.

The worst part was that all of this could’ve been avoided. “How could they have done that?” came the response from my wife. “Well, there were lots of things they could’ve done differently,” I said with confidence.

1. If they had paid me to set up early, I wouldn’t have annoyed anyone.

2. If they had set up the dancefloor in a central location, people would’ve been more attracted to it.

3. If they had paid for the extra time then I could’ve played music for dinner. I would have also provided my microphone for speeches, so the sound quality would be good from the beginning, instead of sounding so jarring.

4. If they had set up the room so that there were no dinner tables on the dancefloor, I could’ve started the dancing right after the speeches.

5. If they’d had the bar in the same room as the dining and dancing, the attention of the crowd wouldn’t have been divided. I mean come on, drinking and dancing go together like cheese and wine.

6. Instead of tying my hands with their long list of requests, they should have trusted me to play the songs people love to dance to. I mean, I am the professional, right?

Maureen, my beautiful wife, listened patiently while I went through all the reasons why the party didn’t go so well. When I was done, she said, “So if all these things are important to the success of you delivering a great party, why would you ever do your job without them?”

“What do you mean?” I replied. “I don’t have control over those things.” “So, when the party is bad,” she said, “your client blames all those other things and not you? If they complain, you would point out all the things that they should have done to make your job easier?”

She continued, “I’m a hairdresser and I never allow my clients to dictate how I do my job for them, when only I know how to deliver an amazing result. Only I know what tools I need, how long it will take, and the money it will take to deliver the service.”
All this made me realise that, ultimately, I am responsible for the end result, and that certain things need to be in place for that result to be 100% amazing every time. If I let my client mess those things up, it’s still me who shoulders the blame.

Ask yourself, why would you let anyone mess with what needs to be in place for you to deliver amazing results every time? Do you really think that your client, the facility, the florist, the caterer, or anyone else, knows your job better that you? Because, believe me, if you accept what they give you and the limitations they place on you, and you’re OK with the tools they make you use and you don’t object, they will still blame you.

Your clients hire you on the basis that you’re an expert. If you don’t point out the mistakes before the event, then you are responsible, as the expert, when that event goes wrong. The day after that conversation with my wife, I changed everything about how I deal with my clients, my colleagues, and my business.

Oh yeah, and I doubled my fees as well.

That was over 20 years ago. Since then I have built a professional business – Bill Hermann Entertainment – that is unrivaled in its professionalism and talent, and charges a premium fee that I could never have imagined back then.

I have also built a training and coaching business – The Entertainment Experience – that travels the world to teach, coach and encourage DJs to see their potential and help them evolve to levels they didn’t know possible. And to think it all began with a lesson from my hairdresser.

Bill Hermann is returning to London with The Entertainment Experience Workshop October 15 and 16, right after Photo Booth Expo London 2024.

For more info or to talk to Bill about being a part of this rare appearance go to:
entertainment-experience.com/uk2024
The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 125, Pages 62-63.
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