While it's easy to settle in and start dancing once a customer agrees to purchase from you, with a few simple tools in your arsenal it's possible to turn their original "yes" into a series of bigger yesses that substantially add up over time.
Do you agree that if even half of your customers gave you 20-100% more than you originally asked for, you'd make more money?
So why not ask for it?
Here's just a few options that can make a significant difference in your year-end totals with some consistent practice.
5. Try Again- every customer that says no will at some point buy a dance from someone. It may not be that day, and it may not be at the time that you asked. But you can guarantee that every customer that walks through the door has bought from someone at one time or another. So why shouldn't they buy from you?
Plenty of times, customers that originally may have told you to come back later, or that they weren't interested, will be happy to buy from you later in the night. Between the last time you came by and now, he may have interacted with other dancers and decided that you offer something he wants; had more to drink and gotten comfortable in the environment; decided to do an ATM run and make more funds available for his evening out, or simply have had no one but you follow up.
The gesture of coming back can differentiate you from the dozens of dancers that may approach him without ever returning or showing further interest once they hear no for the first time. And sometimes, just that can make all the difference.
4. Ask For Tips- I've heard different philosophies on this, but mine is simple: always ask for a tip. You are not imposing, and you are not "asking for too much." Simply put, we live in a tip culture. If you go to the nail salon, to a restaurant, or to a bar you are expected to tip. This is because you're being provided a service, and there is an expectation that a reward for good service is at least 15-20% of the original price of the service.
On top of that, at most if not all clubs, you do not get to keep the total of credit card transactions, or even the total of your VIP rooms and dances. If you are expected to pay the house and then tip your support staff, you should feel comfortable asking for the same from your customers.
How to ask for tips varies greatly by dancers, but should generally be friendly, done with a smile, and without an expectation of receiving anything. To be clear: while there is a social expectation that customers should tip, you shouldn't expect a tip or damage your relationship with a customer if you do not receive one. Tips are always voluntary, and while it's fair game to ask for them, it's not fair to get upset and ruin your night over missing out on gratuities.
Plus, if a customer isn't ready to tip, it doesn't make them a bad customer, and doesn't mean they deserve to be treated poorly afterwards. Always keep your composure and kindness, and even the most conservative customers may end up giving you what you wanted for a tip as dances or as an additional room in the future.
3. A Great Attitude- This one may not look like asking for more, but believe me: without a great attitude, you are not maximizing your earning potential at any club. Customers come to clubs to be entertained and to feel wanted and appreciated; if you're not filling these basic parts of your interaction with customers, then your customers will feel no obligation towards you. And if they feel no obligation towards you, they won't be inclined to give you anything you ask for, even if it's only a dance. As a built in bonus, the more pleasant and happy to be there that you are, the more likely customers are to be friendly even when they're not interested in buying. Over time, pleasant interactions make it far more likely for you to want to close out your shifts, remain persistent, and be positive no matter what. And that part really does add up.
2. Charge for Anything (AND provide quality service to all your customers) - I'm a big fan of charging for anything that you can provide to customers; not just dances and rooms. Stay with me. Customers don't only come in for dances and rooms. Sure, that's part of it. But if you have other skills and talents that you offer, those are on the table as potential sources of income. Some potential ideas to ask customers for tips/an arranged price on include:
- Sitting and chatting
- Back and shoulder massages (if it's allowed at your club; always check with management first)
- Your amazing pole work
- Tarot card readings/ fortune telling
- Magic tricks
- pretty much any skill that you have to share, as long as it's entertaining, unique and legal.
Sometimes the most difficult customers to sell on private rooms or dances are willing to spend on skills or talents that they don't typically get exposed to at clubs. Not only does it set you apart from other dancers, it stops you from falling into a repetitive routine at your shift, and exposes you to new demographics of customers.
1. Upsell- by far the easiest way to dramatically improve your nightly earnings may be upselling. This is when you offer a higher quality, higher price product or service at the time of purchase to encourage your customer to get a better experience, and to take care of you accordingly.
While it's less challenging to simply accept when customers agree to a floor or private dance, many times the customers that are saying yes have already allotted more than what they're giving you for their nightly budget. Even customers that haven't planned on spending more can be convinced by the right description and presentation of higher end options. While this post won't delve in-depth on strategies to guide customers from an introduction into your most exclusive or expensive options (look forward to that in future posts!), just spending a bit of time writing out the answers to the following questions may help you gain confidence and craft presentations the next time you're trying to upsell.
What makes private/champagne rooms at your club better than a floor dance?
Why is getting more dances better than getting just one?
Why should a customer spend more than he planned to, even if it will financially affect him?
Why should a customer spend on you vs. anyone else at your club?
Just spending some time figuring out your answers to these can help reframe how and what you ask for every night.
Hope these were helpful. I would love to hear what you think about these strategies. Are they too much? Not enough? If you'd like to share some of your strategies for asking for more, please post below. Look forward to hearing from you!