6.4 The Follow Through
The last component of stage work we’ll go over is tools to translate all the work you did on stage into sales. While your stage tips can certainly supplement your income, if your club relies heavily on dance and VIP sales to up your numbers then taking action before and after your stage performance can boost the returns you see from your performance. Here are some ways to get it done:
Build up connections. More often than not, when you see a customer tipping an entertainer a lot on stage it’s because she’s already taken some time to build up a relationship with that customer and an expectation that he will be tipping her. If you have a quality customer that you’re sitting with, asking them to “make it rain” or “Take care of me” on stage, can often inspire some money flow. Don’t feel embarrassed or self-conscious to ask. If you’re sitting there and he’s paying for your company, then throwing money on stage should be a no-brainer.
However, asking for stage tips isn’t just for the quality customers. If someone refuses to buy a dance from you, tells you they’re not ready yet, or simply sits around the club drinking beer all night then compel them to tip you on stage. That may mean walking up to them before you go up and saying “hey, I noticed you’ve been looking at me all night. If you’re ready to do something about it I’ll be putting on a great stage performance next. I’d love it if you tipped me when I was up there.” It could also mean offering tipping on stage as an alternative to getting a dance. For example: “I understand you’re not ready for a dance right now. In a few songs I’ll be on stage, so look out for me. It would be really fun if you came to check in; I’ll make it even better than a lap dance.” Especially if the night is slow, building up a stage crowd can make you the equivalent of your time in dances and potentially much more than that.
Finally, a huge part of getting tipped on stage is how you interact with customers when you’re not on stage. While the occasional jerkoff may deserve your most angry vitriol, for the most part treating customers with kindness, respect and positivity whether they buy or not will affect how much they want to tip you on stage. If you walk around the club mean mugging and ignoring customers, and then get on stage and give your best Ms. Universe grin, don’t be surprised if they aren’t tipping.
Introduce yourself. If a customer gets up and sits at he stage just to tip you he’s giving you a strong signal that he’s interested in purchasing. Don’t just dance far away from him or stay at the top of the pole. Come down, dance in front of him, and take a second to say hello. I usually go with something like “Thanks for coming up here to keep me company! I’m Carmen. Once I’m done up here, I’d love to come dance for you. Would you like to meet me back at your table?” It shows appreciation, introduces the idea of buying from me, and offers the customer an out so he can go back to his table and comfortably watch if he’s not interested in sitting for a full stage show.
Use your vantage point. From the stage you can see almost every customer in the club. If you are paying attention you can collect important cues about who may be a good person to approach, who is paying attention to you, and what groups are short on entertainers or saturated with too many of them.
Stay focused. If you can keep up the idea that you’re excited, entertained, and entertaining you will find customers you never expected to be interested in you. But it largely depends on how much effort you’re willing to give them. If you use stage sets to goof off, those customers will move on to someone else that is giving them the fantasy they showed up to purchase.
And After Stage
Say Thank You. Everyone who tipped you should get a thank you. Even if it was a dollar, you never know who is ready and willing to buy more, and stopping to say thank you can be a really simple transition into a sale. Just ask that customer if he’s interested in getting a dance, or simply join them for a little bit and build up to a sale. They’ve already made the first move. I’ll usually go by customers in the order of their tips; highest tippers get my attention first, and I’ll work my way down while closing sales along the way.
Use your Intel. You just got to look all around the club, so make use of that information! Where were the groups with the most expensive bottles? Where is the single guy who’s looking around for an entertainer? Where is the bachelor party that’s been getting dances all night? Pick your poison, and make your move.
Hit Reset. Before going back on the floor, take a few deep breaths, recenter on your intention for being at work and develop a plan of action. Stage sets can be really useful constants for measuring your time at work, your current hourly rate (money earned divided by time spent at work), and a reminder to get back to your purpose. Just by mentally connecting stage sets with a “reset button,” they can become a great benchmark for your nightly success.
Now that we’ve gone over stage sets, let’s take on what to do when the unexpected happens: we’re going into troubleshooting mode.