Most here know that my day job is that of being a Reader; that is to say that I sit at a table and talk to folks for a small fee, typically incorporating skills and knowledge associated with the Tarot, Numerology, Palmistry, etc. An action that Corinda himself recognized as being the "epitome" of what Mentalism is and possibly the ultimate skill in our tool box.
Name any skill within the whole of magic in which you do not need to know anything else that is capable of supporting you in and of itself. . .
Even within the auspices of Mentalism most everything tracks straight back to one's skill as a Reader, even if it's just short Barnum type statements. The more studied and accomplished Mentalist realizing that he/she must understand this particular niche best because it is the money maker.
Long before Robert Nelson penned his book on doing Horoscope Parties mental performers were being invited into homes for the sake of doing Readings. Let's face it, this is the very meaning behind the term "Seance" (a gathering of people to discuss a topic of common interest) and in the 19th and early 20th centuries this was what folks frequently did in that they had no radio let alone television, the internet, and all the trappings we have today when it comes to "entertaining distraction". These simple gatherings were viewed as Parlor Musings and even "games" in some circles and almost always included things like the Ouija, Tarot or Playing Card Reading, Pendulums, Table Tipping, etc.
THE HOME PARTY format is a simple one; you have between 6 and 24 guests in most cases each of whom have paid between $25.00 and $65.00 dollars (on average. . . some Readers can demand significantly higher rates). You open the evening with a brief talk and possibly a demonstration or two that is tied to the oracle (Tarot, Numbers, Astrology, etc. ) you will be using during the personal Reading portion of the event. You then, about 20 minutes into the program, give your guests something to play with while you take one patron at a time to a secluded area for short 10-minute Readings and too, introduction to your up-sale. . . that is to say, you leave the Reading open-ended and inviting the patron to reserve time with you later in the week for a full hour session. Suddenly the few hundred you make on the party is transformed into the potential for thousands and all you are doing are Readings (see Richard Webster's HOW TO BUILD A PSYCHIC PRACTICE WITH FULL LENGTH READINGS.)
The Home Psychic Party entails other things such as Back of Room Sales (BORS) that include everything from doing Charts & Reports of clients to the sale of physical items such as books (pitch books), crystals, oils, bath salts, candles, etc. Think of it as a mystical Tupperware or Amway Party.
THE DOMINO EFFECT is what you should be able to see here; how the one small and simple service leads you to another more financially dynamic advantage but also see the promotional edge that can be found in this example; how you are generating Word of Mouth PR with each of the patrons you connect with and bring into the up-sale. But also see how there is a natural up-sale the follows that more in-depth Reading Session -- encouraging the patron to;
A.) Return in 3 Months for a Up-Date Reading
B.) Schedule their Own Home PSI Party
C.) Get Referrals from them for potential clients i.e. friends & family (usually done through coupons and gift certificates).
If you are wise you are keeping records; the names and details of each guest/patron, what you've discussed in the Reading and of course their email . . . try getting them to sign up for you monthly Newsletter.
Because when you are promoting a local show/demonstration & talk you will have a mailing list from which to pull in seats for the seats; you increase your marketing hit ratio as well as lending contrast in the mind of past Reading clients who now get to see you perform alternative demonstrations of your psychic prowess. . . this adds to your credibility in the public mind as well as the "chatter" about town by a growing base group of fans. Word of Mouth is the most powerful friend you can ask for in any business; as you gain in popularity the more you will find yourself invited to speak at functions or even asked to teach.
Most certainly! Nelson, Webster, myself and others have all written programs that the modern-Mentalist can present that deals with most everything from Astral Travel to Past Lives; classes in Crystals, Tea Leaf Reading and more! Like your Home Parties these classes deliver a tuition gain of about $50.00 average per patron with the classes being composed of about a dozen students a shot.
Are you seeing how the menial labor of doing Readings helps you create a potentially booming business? How, taking these steps early in your career, you are able to build and shift your focus from private sessions day in and day out, to scheduling seminars and group Reading programs?
Granted, I've oversimplified things in this short posting, but hopefully I've given you sufficient food for thought.
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