Glad to hear you implemented that, but dont you think it'd be better and seem more vendor friendly and less shady if we didnt have to click through things to find those details. It should be right there easy to see, next to the lead at all times. Also, feel free to read my earlier message, but to charge a vendor such a high fee for a contact alone is ridiculous, unless it is just a few bucks. There are 3 different companies that i've seen with 3 very different business structures and they are all successful and work. Central Casting or maybe it's actors access or both, are closest to your structure, except they only charge a few bucks for each person to submit to the request and even offer a monthly fee to vendors who want to submit to unlimited amount of leads. Other than that the other two companies with great structures are Gigmasters and The Knot. I definatey have my preference but each of those companies seems to be doing it right and i think it'd be great your thumbtack to look into those to get some better ideas Percentages from closed leads makes more sense to me.
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I have quite a few thoughts, but will mention my experiences with another comany to easier explain. We are the #1 Wedding, Folk and Private event band in Philly according to Gigmasters. Gigmasters alone has been able to keep my wife and I, along with our band members, employed full time as musicians. Anyway, I bring that up for a few reasons. 1) We have succeeded at using their system and would have loved to continue using your system as well, but the price you guys charge for just one message being sent between a potential client and a vendor is ridiculous. It doesnt take into account that clients shop around. We paid $50 just to have a client ask us a few questions and then never return our messages most likely do to finding another band. We understand that we wont always get booked and that's ok but paying $50 or anywhere close to that just to asnwer someones question is crazy. So after that 1 instance I cut my losses and wrote thumbtack off. 2) Since the price you guys charge always changes, there is no way of knowing what im about to spend until it's too late, plus it's a great way to swidle businesses out of money. We should definitely know what we're going to be charged per lead before we contact potential clients and had i known how unreasonable the cost was "per lead" i would have never done it. I figured if i wrote my budget was $100 a week that maybe i'd get 10 or so leads, i didnt think that i'd get one at $50. 3) the thing that many other companies do is either charge a monthy fee to vendors for listing on their site or just take a reasonable percentage of the total vendors are making. To ensure that bands pay through their site and dont work around it, these companies do two very smart and helpful things. 1) They give incentives (like raising vendors higher in searches based off total sales) so the more you make for yourself and the site, the higher you are in the cient search. 2) They also give clients the ability to pay through their site, so clients can pay credit card directly over the site which gives clients extra assurances and keeps vendors from paying a merchant fee if clients we're to just pay them directly. Anyway, as im sure you can tell im not fond of your current system and feel that it really puts business owners in a bad position to lose money for likely no reward. I truly thing you should look into the major booking sites (The Knot, Wedding Wire, Gigmasters & even GigSalad) to get a better idea of systems that are beneificial to clients and vendors alike. My Two favortie business structures BTW are Gigmasters & GigSalad. Anyway, hope that's helpful. Feel free to get in touch for any clarification or questions. - Tino
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