The DJ Interview - Meeting your DJ company for the first time. 5 must know pointers


At first you started gathering information on DJ companies. Then, from the responses you received you eliminated the ones that made you cringe and short-listed the ones you thought you'd like to meet. Now, you're making appointments to do so.

These are all logical first steps - steps we recommend.

When it comes to meeting the DJ here are five things you must know going in:

1. Your first impression will tell you a lot about the company you'll be working with. 

You've heard the saying, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Well, it's true. I'll give you an example.

I recently had to look into some U.S. tax scenarios. My accountant is great, but doesn't really do U.S. taxes. I called upon my father who knew a guy who knew a guy and we emailed to a U.S. tax accountant who we were to meet with. I emailed a couple times, phoned once and the person we'd be dealing with was pleasant and helpful.

When I arranged a time to meet at the office, the person I'd been speaking to on the phone informed me he couldn't make it, but one of the girls from the office would be there to help. I and my Canadian accountant went down to their office for our scheduled appointment.

Perhaps I should have called first to confirm, but when we arrived, no one was there. We assumed perhaps they'd gone for lunch, so my accountant and I did the same. We returned about 45 minutes later and still no one. We waited about 5 minutes and they all arrived from their group office from a lunch with puzzled looks on their faces.

I thought, alright not the end of the world. Everyone forgets or loses track of an appointment from time to time. But this girl had no idea we were coming. That was just the start.

She opened the office door and the smell of cats hit us like a ton of bricks.

I guess the owner is a cat phenom and there were maybe five or six cats in his office (which looked like an episode or hoarders) and the entire place stunk as a result. The office was a mess and it was evident either their clients never came there and didn't know, or they simply didn't care.

We conducted our meeting. Afterwards, in the parking lot, my Canadian accountant was shocked but reaffirmed that they'd had a reputation of doing good work.We could look elsewhere, but it was up to me.

I swore to my Canadian accountant that as long as I never had to step foot inside that office again, I might consider them. They might be the best U.S. tax service in Edmonton, but I'll never forget that first impression as long as I'm using them -- should I choose to.

This is true for any service, especially DJ's. Do they need to be in suit? Not necessarily as I tell my clients I like to wear comfortable clothing during the week and dress the part on weekends. But, they should be put together.

If they meet you in a parking lot, a dingy van and/ordon't keep good care of their office or themselves, what would make you think they'd keep good care of the equipment they use at your event. If it seems off at first glance, it's probably off.

2. While you are interviewing them, they are interviewing you  -- or at least they should be. 

We don't take on every client that comes asking. Some clients are red flags, some don't have the budget, some aren't a suitable match for the type of services we offer and some you can tell from the very start will be impossible to please.

While the point of a couple meeting these companies is to see if you like them and have a good feel, the company in turn should be feeling out what you want to do and being honest if they can't or aren't willing to do it.

Single-op DJ's could take on a client that fits better. Multi-op DJ companies can't afford bad or negative feedback. We can't take on everyone. It's not personal, it's just smart business.

3. Does the DJ company focus on themselves or their competition?

It's not a question that out of the ordinary. Clients will often ask what we know about so-and-so or this company versus that company. They honestly believe that we'll tell them everything we know based on our history or rumors and speculation to either confirm their suspicions or convince them otherwise.

Some companies will do that. They'll spend every minute of their consultation trying to tell why not to choose someone else, instead of focusing on their services and what they can offer. Perhaps they think if they scare you into thinking everyone else is garbage, you'll select them because at least they aren't awful at what they do.

Is that really how you want to hire your DJ?  Instead of because they are the best option, you choose them because they aren't the worst?

If the company you're sitting with gets into a drawn-out story about another company and how bad they are, consider that a warning sign that perhaps there is an agenda there.

4. How eager are they to sign you up right now?

There will be a fine line between pressure sales and a company who doesn't care to earn your business. We offer incentives for clients who are ready to book us now. Not incentives that in the grand scheme of your wedding or event will make or break you, but incentives that for those who are comfortable with our company, can see a bonus or a thank you for allowing us to add another client and know our schedule of events even farther in advance.

Have you ever sat with a company that won't let you leave though? A company that says, "hey, we'll book up if you don't take it now" or "I'll give you this price to sign up today"...

Good companies will fill the dates, even if it isn't you that hires them. Make sure you know the difference between a thank you deal and a gotta get that client now deal.

5. Is everything well laid out, in writing and official?

I'm not going to get into detail on the importance of getting a contract, putting the terms in writing and paying a deposit with the company you choose., If you don't do this, even if you've never shopped for these services before, you should probably know better.

Keep these things in mind when you meet with your DJ company and you'll find the meetings a lot more informative, less painful and less stressful. You'll undoubtedly find a good match for you and your guests.