Lessons Learned: Susan Rosenbluth

Lessons I Have Learned:

Learn how to persuade. Most of what concert promoters do is sales. We tell the agent and manager, "Choose me over the other promoter" to get the show. We tell the potential customer, "Choose this artist’s concert to go see instead of a movie." When you use knowledge – about the artist, about the artist’s latest music, about the marketplace and how to market the concert there – in your discussions with the agent, you will succeed. I have always thought that we should be taking those sales seminars that people who sell radio and television ads take. We could learn a few things!

Treat three groups of people well: the artist and artist management team; the customers who come to the concert; and the promoter affiliates (venue administrators, media partners) who help you to make the event successful. If you please these three groups, the concerts will make money and the fourth group needed for your success, your bosses, will be happy too.

While we are talking about customers, always try to over-deliver when solving a customer’s problem or complaint; always believe that what the customer is telling you is true unless you don’t want to have that person as a customer again and you don’t care if that customer tells anyone who will listen about his problems at your event. It is better to take care of the one person out of 10 who is lying to you about a problem than it is to ignore the nine others telling the truth.

When you have made a mistake, always own up to it. Everybody makes them. When you acknowledge a mistake, you need to offer a solution and quickly resolve the issue. Always take ownership of mistakes made by people who report to you. You will get better work product from those people because of it. For example, on one show, the actual ticket prices were a dollar less than what my offer indicated that they would be; it was discovered at settlement with the artist. My box office manager made the initial mistake, and I didn’t catch it before the on-sale. I brought it to the attention of the artist representative and it was resolved that night at the show.

Be creative. We just did an engagement where it became apparent – from the video he showed the audience during the show each night – that the artist liked Pinks Hot Dogs. Our promoter rep arranged for Pinks to set up a portable hotdog stand backstage at the show on closing night. It was a big hit with the artist, artist’s crew and with the after show guests that night.