The Top 10 Mistakes that Exotic Dancers Make in Their Clubs
Jan 1 2012
Exotic Dancers are certainly a special group of ladies! You work so hard every night — hoping that you can make something of your life, provide for yourself and a family, pay your way through school, fund a business or other hobbies, and ultimately– you want to be someone. In my previous post entitled, How to Decide Whether or Not You Should Become an Exotic Dancer, I talked about some of the pitfalls and pros of the trade and how to steer clear of making the most common mistakes that most strippers make.
This post adds to the concept of avoiding mistakes to make your career much more profitable. Night after night during my exotic dancing career I saw entertainers making the following 10 mistakes and it hit them right where it counts every time – their pocket book! They would go home broke, frustrated, or knowing they could have done way better. However, they kept repeating their mistakes not knowing what they were doing wrong.
Without further ado, you will find the top 10 mistakes that entertainers make below. I’ve committed my fair share of these myself and I am resolutely determined to help YOU to avoid the following heartache that will make you unsatisfied with your career and make your club want to fire you!
1. Don’t talk about yourself and your problems with customers. The customer wants a fantasy experience of admiration, fun and erotic appeal. Your customers don’t pay a cover charge, rack up a drink tab, and purchase lap dances to hear about more problems! They have enough of those already! They come to a club to escape reality and find an attractive lady to talk to and interact with who is somewhat intelligent, happy, and maintains a sense of humor!
The Solution: Do a voluntary exercise –find a customer, go up to them and introduce yourself with a firm handshake and eye contact, and then sit there with that customer and find out about THEM. Get THE CUSTOMER talking by asking them questions. Then watch the dollars come in as the cares of the world are washed away by you instead of being enlarged by you! It’s a tough nut to break but if you are willing to take the risk to break or avoid bad habits the results will be life changing for you. I’ve personally witnessed the transformation many times.
2. Don’t dance to music that you like with no regard to what the customer wants to hear. Just because a song has great dance-ability and it’s in the latest platinum album that you’ve purchased doesn’t mean that your customers have the same taste as you. And it doesn’t mean that they will even sit there and continue listening, drinking, and buying lap dances if the music to their ears sounds more like noise. Also, slow songs with no excitement and rhythm are more likely to make your patrons fall asleep than be turned on!
The Solution: Most men in their 30’s and 40’s like music from the 1980’s and older men with money often like to hear classic rock tunes. Many clubs play some techno remixes, which also works well to keep the energy up. Ethnicities present will determine much of the style of music. You will get tipped more on stage if you ask your customer what type of music they like and ask them what song they would like to hear. Then, you can communicate with the DJ and everyone makes more money!
3. Don’t wait until the last minute to show up to work when you can arrive early and create a much more profitable evening. Have you ever found yourself strolling into work right at the cut-off when your house fee is the most expensive!? By doing this you are rushing yourself to “hurry and make money,” so you aren’t in the hole from your house fee, and you’re not laying a proper foundation for the evening by getting some early-bird lap dances under your belt, which will give you the confidence you need to not stress about the money so much and in turn, you make more money overall!
The Solution: The key for you to maximize your profits on this matter is for you to show up sometime around or before 6pm! You will continue to make less than $500 per night unless you put in more hours and take advantage of some of the clients that frequent your club during the day AND at night. It is great for your club too because the more entertainers you have that work earlier, the more customers you will eventually have in the earlier hours buying from you. It’s a win-win!
4. Some entertainers don’t care about a customer after they get a few dances out of him. These ladies don’t see the trees as a forest. Meaning – all they care about is paying their rent next week and making that quick buck tonight. They don’t understand the value of a patron over the lifetime of their career. This causes tens of thousands of dollars if not millions to be left on the table.
The Solution: Develop regular clientele and engage your customers as a business relationship. It’s ok for you to up sell! Once a customer buys something from you they are 5x more likely than a non-buying customer to buy something again either right then or in the future! If you learned a few sales skills you could easily turn a one-lap dance customer into a multiple-hour VIP customer bringing in big money for everyone.
5. Would YOU tip a grumpy dancer who never smiles? This is a huge mistake that many entertainers make – not smiling on stage! Or EVER! They look so serious and seductive that they forget to add some bounce and charisma to their step, which is what men love the MOST!
The Solution: MAKE YOURSELF laugh! Think about everyone in his or her underwear! Or think about a funny or dirty joke while you are dancing so you at least grin more! Sometimes you just need a good stand-up comedy to watch on Netflix and then you can go into work happier!
6. “I OWN MY CUSTOMERS AND THEY ARE MINE!” So many dancers think that their customers are theirs ONLY instead of belonging to the club. If anyone else so much as LOOKS at their customer, they are in a cat fight in the dressing room before you know it! They have spent so much time with this customer – how dare that customer come into the club one day and want a dance from someone else!
The Solution: I usually have to use case studies for my ladies to help them understand that no one wins with this mentality. One of them is: The first dancer will lose that customer because it will come across as needy and ruin the fantasy, the second dancer won’t be able to make as much money as she could have because the customer will have this scenario in the back of his mind, the club will obviously lose a patron – and in the end the customer is the one who suffers because his needs aren’t being met, which is why he is there in the first place! He will then become a patron of the competing club in your area, and you will probably get fired if you caused too much of a hubbub!
7. Two Words: Cut Throat. Many entertainers view their fellow dancers as competition that must be stifled. This is similar to most “commission sales jobs” in the “Real World” so you have to have the stomach for that kind of sales environment to be successful in a sales job in or out of the club.
They think other dancers are taking away their potential money and so they won’t help the newbies, they’ll also take a customer that is talking with another dancer (a BIG no-no), and I’ve even seen some exotic dancers steal another entertainer’s money!
The Solution: Make a point to introduce yourself to everyone and develop a culture of unity and family in your club where everyone looks out for one another. To make friends you have to be a friend – but keep it professional. We don’t live in a communist country where there are only so many slices of the pie for making money, we live in America where the sky is the limit and free market capitalism makes your money earning potential infinite!
8. More Money for Pandering? There are a group of entertainers that think that they will make more money if they take the “easy way.” They say that if you’ve been in the business long enough, you learn that doing sexual favors is the only way to stay afloat, and that “everyone is doing it” behind the curtains!
The Solution: Stay away from those dancers and report them to management! Not only does pandering cheapen an entertainer’s position for making money, it is illegal in most states and gives our industry a bad reputation. Every club owner I have talked to will fire a dancer on the spot if they are caught doing this. Ladies, sexual favors are NO way to run a successful exotic dancing business! You are selling the FANTASY, and when it becomes a reality you’re defeating the purpose of doing what you do – classy, fun, clean entertainment.
9. Most entertainers do not tip out the DJ, House Mom, Bouncers, and waitresses/bartenders appropriately. If your club participates in “tipping out,” you know this to be true. Too many times dancers will make $800 (for example) and only tip their bouncer around $10 or less! They feel that they “earned” all of their money by themselves – so they are going to keep it!
The Solution: Smart entertainers know that cultivating a good relationship with their bouncers and other staff will help them to find high paying customers. Personally, I have made tens of thousands of dollars because of this single solitary issue. My bouncers knew I was going to take very good care of them if they sent the high rollers my way – which usually involved lots of champagne, liquor, and sales for the club and myself! This is just one example of many case studies as to how a dancer and a club profit much more off of a tip-out system that works in everyone’s favor!
10. Late Night Binge at Waffle House! This comes with the territory of working all evening to find yourself starving and hungry – with your local breakfast diner being the only restaurant open! So many entertainers and club-goers for that matter find themselves stumbling and drooling into these places and eating everything in sight. What a way to add those inches to your midsection and chase those customers away!
The Solution: Have healthy but energizing snacks for yourself in the dressing room. This does not include candy bars and potato chips. You need low-sugar protein bars, fruit and veggie snacks with some complex carbs in the mix so you have stamina to dance on and off stage. If you have a kitchen in your club, the chefs could whip up something filling but healthy for you so you have a hot meal and energy to last all evening. If you let your appetite go until you are starving you will just end up getting sugar cravings and eating everything in sight. Keep your body physically sexy by developing healthy habits for yourself at the club!