Mark Wade Writes:


We've all read marketing books that say it is easier to keep a customer than to try and find new ones, and that is very true. However, no matter how good you are or how much the client likes you, there comes a time where they might "jump ship" and leave you for another performer. I know for me I feel let down, although I have changed my feelings over the years to come to accept it as a fact in the business world. I don't like it, but I have to accept it.
I have been working on what is called a "Win-Back" program, putting together strategies to win back lost customers. First, you have to find out why the customer left. If it was just a change at the top (whether it be a principal at a school or someone doing the booking of a banquet show, etc.) you need to know that. If it was for some other reason, you need to know that as well. Maybe (and I hate to think this..) the new boss who takes over doesn't like ventriloquists, or maybe they had a bad experience with one. Or maybe the person just doesn't like to book talent for their venue. Whatever the reason, try to find out.
If it's just because the new person doesn't know you, make yourself known with a phone call, a brochure or flyer in the mail to this person, and maybe get a recommendation about your show from someone in their industry that can vouch for you. But ALWAYS follow up! You can even design a special letter that you can send out to the lost customer asking them in a nice way to come back and give you a try. It doesn't hurt, afterall, if you don't do anything you'll still end up with nothing! You have nothing to lose!
Make a list of clients who have not used you in a while and then work through the list. Develop strategies to win them back, but by all means, try to add the personal touch by letting them hear your voice. Don't rely entirely on social media or some other electronic form of communication. The customers you can win back can make a huge difference in your business. Don't let all your hard work go to waste. Get in there and battle to reclaim your customers!


  1. Mark makes some great comments about how to keep clients, this just goes to show that just wanting to perform is totally different if one wants to make it a full time career. We must keep previous good clients and let them know we are still out there performing. This then becomes a "job" full time and the workload is endless, performing full time is a 24/7 dayjob. One has to find clients, work on a price, get details, directions, load up the car, get there early, perform, breakdown the show, schmooze with the audience, drive back home, deposit the check, write thank you note. Then 2 weeks later your bank tells you the check is no good, now you have to track down the client, explain the problem, get a new check but this time it's CASH, deposit that money in the bank and do it all over again and again and again.... It's almost june need to use that money now for mailings, business cards, new puppet, props, clothes, shoes, car repair and do it all over again and again and again.

  2. Great comments by Mark and Bob. I would go on to something else. The bad check bothers me though and would try to get paid and if not forget it until asked to do another show.