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The Production Company or The Client – Who is The Boss?

You are on your way to the celebration of a Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel but you do not have much knowledge of how to do it, and you do not know exactly what you want, so you started calling production companies…

A company representative drops you a flood of questions: How many guests? Where the meal is? When is the Aliya to the Torah? Where do you want the transport? And more and more… You are trying to answer as much as you can, and at the end of the conversation he asks: so should I send you an estimate?

You go out of the conversation when nothing is understood, the call ended without any progress and you just got confused.

The truth is that at this point you really have no answers yet, but you have a lot of questions! You do not know exactly what to ask, and you’re even a little afraid to ask… you might be thinking: Why should I ask them all the questions? They own the company, they should ask me…

So it turns out that the production company now manages the acquaintance call: asks you different questions and steers you according to its needs, instead of you leading it to suit your needs!!

In this article, I want to show you how to ask the production company the most important questions for you and your family, and how to make the production company to adapt itself to you, and not vice versa.

bar mitzvah at the kotel
Bar mitzvah at the Kotel Western Wall


Each company boasts the expertise it accumulated producing Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel on its website. But it is your job to check if they really are a company that stands behind its promises. You can lead the conversation and ask the right questions that only fit you and you must not, under any circumstances, allow the representative to take over the call and wait for a window of opportunity to insert questions.

In my experience, the production company comes to the first phone conversation with a list of questions, you answer, and then you ask to receive an estimate by email without really having some understanding or idea of ​​what you will truly get at an event and what you want to have at an event, because so far you have heard only what is offered to you.

bar mitzvah itinerary israel
Bar mitzvah ceremony at the Kotel

For example, here is a typical conversation with a customer who wants to celebrate a Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel:

1) Production: Hello
2) You: Hello, we have a Bar Mitzvah and we want to celebrate it the Kotel, how much does it cost?
1) Producer: How many people are you at the event?
2) You: I do not know.
1) Production: where you need transportation from?
2) You: We are not sure yet, possibly from the center, but maybe from the south.
1) Production: What do you want there to be at the event?
2) You: I do not know, but everything.
1) Production: Breakfast and lunch?
2) You: Yes…maybe not…
1) Production: Well, it’s something like 2,000 shekels.
2) You: Expensive. Well, send it to me by e-mail.
1) Producer: No problem. Thank you./?

bar bat mitzvah trips israel
Bar mitzvah certificate Israel

What do you say?

As you might have noticed, waste of a phone call and a waste of your time. After a round of phone calls to several more such companies, you will not receive any information and the estimates that you will receive will not be serious and will be meaningless.

The clients problem here is that he doesn’t really knows what he wants, and it is the company’s opportunity to take advantage of the situation. So come prepared.

There is a wonderful sales and negotiation technique, I call it a planned call – When your goal is to come to the conversation as prepared as you can.

What are the right questions to ask a production company?

bar mitzvah entertainment israel
Celebration bar mitzvah in Israel

Step One: Taking the Helm

At the beginning of any conversation with a production company representative, whether if it’s a meeting or a phone call, you say the following:

“To save my time and yours, I’ll ask you a few questions; (Obviously the questions need to be prepared in advance), you answer my questions, and then you ask what you want to ask. If we have chemistry in the conversation, we will move forward.

Is that ok?”

There is no right or left here. When you hear professional talk and people who know what they want, the behavior of the production company is different. You present yourself as serious and savvy, yet show respect to the production company. And most importantly, you can now ask anything you want because you already have approval and consent.

Provide the feeling that the goal is mutual and you are not on the opposite side of the representative. There is no interest to create tension in the conversation, only to take the reins.

bar mitzvah in israel cost
Bar mitzvah in Israel

Now the help is in your hands

Continuing the conversation, I call it the technique of “Yes Yes No No”. You clarify whether the representative is with you and ask him: “If you want to answer questions – I will continue to talk. If not, do not worry. You talk. Okay?”

In most cases he will answer: “It’s all right”. You took the initiative in your hands and you got respect because the other side understands that you have knowledge and understanding in productions events, and along with that you are flexible and responsive.

Before talking about asking questions, there are two important rules:

bar mitzvah in israel kotel
Bar mitzvah in Israel tours

Rule number one: I call it (pardon the expression) “a screwed up producer”:

For example, you ask what tour is worth taking if we have older guests?

He replies: I do not understand what you want, all our tours are good.

Now, do not accept that answer. It’s something that’s important for you to know, so explain to him that there are tours on foot, bus tours that don’t require a lot of walking, there are elderly people that find it difficult to walk a lot…see how he reacts. Does he know the material? Is he sensitive to your needs?

If you really get stuck with a kind of problematic producer, start thinking.

Rule number two: You are not robots!

A producer needs to understand that you ask relevant questions out of concentration and not from a book or a page. So first of all do not talk during the ride, because you do not hear well, and it hurts communication. Do not talk while you eat – it’s not very polite. And most importantly, prepare a list of questions that are important to you but don’t cling to it like it’s the Torah from Sinai. Go with it. Show you are on top of things, and that you are nobody’s sucker.

photo bar mitzvah photographer in israel
Bar mitzvah projects in Israel

Step Two: What do I actually want? Come prepared with questions and information

There are several types of questions: Information and sale. Sales Questions are the responsibility of the producer (“Do you want to add…”, “would you want to upgrade to…”). Don’t worry, he will know when to ask you what he needs. You need to focus on information questions.

Information questions examine the nature of the service. For example, when it comes to transportation: Which transportation company do you work with, what year are the buses, whether they require a full day booking, is there a drop off service…If the production company is serious, the information will be provided to you easily. These are specific questions professionals are able to answer of the top of their head. Those who are not professionals will start to stutter at this point, and you will feel it immediately.

What you need is to prepare questions like these in all fields:  Aliya to the Torah, the meal, the attractions and so on. What time is recommended to start? How many people can fit into a particular area? Why should the Aliya to the Torah precede meal? Who can help with the religious ceremony? How long is the walk from the Kotel to the restaurant? These are quite easy information questions and there is a need to ask them and to make sure you get a serious answer from someone with knowledge.

So far it seem pretty simple and I recommend not to underestimate the information questions, and make a list of important questions  because without asking them, things you do not need and do not want at the event can be pushed on you. In other words, it will help defy to you and to others exactly what you want and get the best proposal suited for you.

And what about sales questions? Don’t worry, he will ask you at the end. But that will only be after the clarification of what you want, and he understands that you cannot be fooled.

photo organisation bar mitzvah israel
Bar mitzvah tours of Israel

Step Three: "It's very important for me to know" - begin to ask…

“It is very important for me to know which transportation company you work with” – Why is it important for me? Because I want to read online comments about the company, or “I would like to know if I will find transportation by myself, can we continue or are you not interested”?

Every question has its answer, so you either get all the details or you don’t, you can also be told “We do not provide third-party contact details”, “I can’t answer that. I’ll check”. That’s fine, but you need to decide if it suits you at home.

“It’s important for me to know with what drummers band do you work with?”, “Who are the photographers?”, “Is it possible to receive or view photos or filming work from previous events?”

Demand an answer: either yes or no. You never know what the reaction would be, but that’s how you will get an impression. You are leading the conversation and you are much more confident because you know what you need.

Another important question: “does your production company have recommendations?”

It is not always as helpful as you might think, because the answer is always yes, “Of course we have recommendations, we organized many events“. Beautiful. This is the stage for asking for phone numbers, not one or two – at least ten – Of course you will not call all ten numbers, but that’s how you’ll have an overview of the company’s reliability.

photo temple israel bar mitzvah temple israel bar mitzvah
Israel themed bar mitzvah

Step Four: Budget questions - how much does it cost?

This is the ultimate question of production – cost, because that is what determines whether you should even continue the conversation.

You ask: “Can you direct me to more or less what the cost of production is? 100 NIS, 1000 NIS or 10000 NIS?”

This is a question that many customers do not always want to ask, preferring to receive the estimated price by email. You might think it’s not right to ask over the phone, but if you do not ask the question, you will not know what the boundaries of production are because any normal company has several packages to offers: from cheap to expensive.

Sometimes when you ask about the budget – you can get negative or evasive answers. For example: “No, you tell me what your budget is”. This is also okay, go with the flow and do the calculations of who to move forward with – at home.

Planning bar mitzvah in Israel

Step Five: Do not pressure me - what I want and what I do not want

After you got an idea of ​​what more or less the production costs are, start asking questions about what the production will include and what service you get in return for the payment.

One might ask this: “What, in your opinion, is most important for me to have at the event? The word “important” is already intriguing the producer and he understands that here he will need to give a bit of thought in order to answer.

An example of an answer: “It’s important for me to surprise you with the playing of the drums, and that during the prayer you will have a place really, really close to the partition. Another thing that is important to me is that you have a good restaurant.”

This is a good answer but its the basis for additional investigation. Do not settle for it. Ask more questions. Find out: what the company does to please you, exactly where and when do they want to enter with the drums, what is a partition – Please elaborate for me.

One can strengthen the question: “Do you have very special things?”

Example answer: “We have a red carpet and floral arrangement reception, in the puppet parade we have a Nachman puppet that no one else has, we have a scribe writing workshop with ink on parchment sheet, etc.”. Again, find out more and investigate further. See if you like it and you’re excited about it, or if it doesn’t do it for you.

One may ask the opposite question: “What do you not want or do not recommend having at the event?”

Example: “I ​​do not like parades that have just drummers, I like to add a clarinet – he adds melodies as well.”

photo bar mitzvah aliyah
Bar mitzvah facts

Step Six – Punctuality Test

Time related questions: What are the policies for the start of an event? Delay with transportation? Delay with pick up? Does the company reserve a place for the Aliya to the Torah at the Kotel? What if the event is extended? A very important issue is when will you receive the photography material? How soon will everything is ready, is it possible to get everything faster?

If you do not ask questions about punctuality, the other side will understand that you are not pressed for time and they can string you along week after week.

photo bar mitzvah album
A bar mitzvah ceremony

Step Six – Punctuality Test

Time related questions: What are the policies for the start of an event? Delay with transportation? Delay with pick up? Does the company reserve a place for the Aliya to the Torah at the Kotel? What if the event is extended? A very important issue is when will you receive the photography material? How soon will everything is ready, is it possible to get everything faster?

If you do not ask questions about punctuality, the other side will understand that you are not pressed for time and they can string you along week after week.

photo the bar mitzvah boy musical
Bar mitzvah balloons

The Final step in the conversation - Preparation for decisions

Ask: “How will the event booking process be?”, “How do we move forward to closing the deal?”

Based on the answer, you will get a general picture and derive conclusions and can sit at home and decide what you need to pay more attention to.

More good questions to ask:

“What needs to happen for me to close the deal with you?”, “What can you do for us with the price?”, “Why should I close with you, what do you have that others don’t?”

There are many more questions and options for this type of questions. There are also a million answers. This is actually the last chance the production representative has to impress you.

Give him his moment of grace.

At least now you know all the answers. What to do and where to go – this is a decision to make at home. The list of the information questions can, of course, be expanded, but you must use the influential power of the questions!

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