What are You Charging Now?
Are you still able to charge the same hourly VIP rate that you were using in 2007? Do you work at a club that has LOWERED dance and champagne room prices? If so, you could be selling yourself short and missing out on hard-earned profits! The problem is that once you set your price, that’s where it stays until you work up the courage to negotiate a higher rate.
It’s important that you review your rates annually to be sure you’re in line with the industry standard and the value you provide.
Unfortunately, raising your rates can be a delicate situation. Many entertainers are afraid to ask for fear of losing current clients. Others work at clubs that control the hourly rate. Be sure to check with the management and ownership of your club before you create a sticky situation. There is a fine line between negotiating your hourly rate and overcharging a customer. The following tips will help you earn more money gracefully and avoid unnecessary confrontations.
What is Everyone Else Charging?
Before you decide that you are worth $1000/hour, it’s best to see what prices the market is currently supporting. In most cities the standard lapdance is $20, and the average VIP room rate is $300/hr. What is the typical cost of these services in your city? Does the price vary from club to club in the same city? A brand new club may still building their client base, so they may advertise $10 dances…I even heard on the radio that one club in Phoenix cut the dance prices to $5!! On the other hand, an established, high profile club may be able to leverage their reputation to inflate their rates above the industry standard. Top clubs in Dallas, New York, and Las Vegas allow dancers to charge $500/hour in their VIP rooms.
One of the complaints that I hear from pretty much everyone that I talk to is that brand new entertainers who are fresh to the business are charging less and doing more. If you are a new entertainer, understand that offering a bargain price may help you sell a few dances to a cheap customer and/or get a bargain minded regular, but then you are stuck selling to that frugal regular again and again at that lower price.
A key factor in charging a higher rate than another dancer in the same club is being able to illustrate to clients that you deliver greater value than others. You are selling YOU, not just a dance. Do this by selling to him in his color, pressing his hot buttons, and having a talent.
How to Charge More
There are two important things to make this work: Timing and Positivity
Most important is timing. Be sure to address this before you give the customer a dance or sit with him in the VIP room for an hour. There is a fine line between negotiating your rate and overcharging a customer. No one appreciates a surprise at the end of the night. The easiest way to charge a higher rate is to upsell the VIP room. If your club does not have a vip room or if the customer requests that you give him a dance in a more secluded corner of the club instead of where he is currently sitting immediately explain that the associated cost involved is higher than the standard. Do not wait until after the dances or VIP hour is over and spring a price on him that is higher than what he thought he was paying. This is bad all the way around: you are being sneaky, the club looks bad, and that customer probably will never return.
Secondly, it’s is all a matter of good spin! There’s a positive way and a negative way to charge more than your competitors-and the best way to pitch it is to highlight all the benefits of working with you! Start by affirming, “I’ve always found my pricing to be quite competitive, particularly considering the level of skill, quality, and experience I offer to you. The value of my services is more than equal to my rates.” Sell your features and benefits so that it’s as plain as day that you’re well worth the money! The tone of voice you use can make or break the sale so be sure to stay upbeat and friendly while remaining firm.
How to Handle Customer Complaints
It’s inevitable at least one person will gripe, “Well… Dimples over there gave me 2 for 1.” To respond to this type of complaint, back yourself up with facts, figures, and value statements. Outline how much better you are at your craft and reference your underlying value proposition according to his color personality type.
In some cases, the bargain hunting greens simply will not be sold. At this point, decide whether or not you want his business or not. Nevertheless, don’t be afraid to encourage Red customers to shop around, either. If you’re proud of your work and you consistently deliver quality, your results should speak for themselves. That was the case with a student, who lost a RED regular to an undercutting new girl. A few weeks later, the customer called her and said: “You are totally worth the extra money, I didn’t have nearly as much fun as I do with you!”
Know what you’re worth!
It’s important to price yourself fairly and not be swayed to undercut what you’re worth when dealing with pushy or aggressive coworkers. Be confident, and outline in detail the results you will achieve, to demonstrate that you’re worth your rate-and then, be sure you deliver the goods!