You’ve received a juicy lead, one that will add some serious weight to your Q3 revenue. That’s only the beginning though. It’s time to convert that lead into real money. This week, Nicole Bates from Conversion Management outlines her three steps for converting event leads into bookings.
Is there a method to converting event leads? Absolutely! The underlying principle of this method is having a consistent and streamlined sales blueprint to increase your conversions.
But how do you go about creating this blueprint, or even adapting your existing blueprint? By implementing these three steps as a part of your current sales process, and monitoring the results.
Sales processes and conversions are a measurable product. By systematically implementing these tasks as a part of your current sales process, you will generate positive impacts on your sales budget.
A true sales person will be driven by results. Before you add these three steps into your sales process, make sure you have your 2017 – 2018 sales budget set (refer to previous post on setting an annual sales budget).
Step One: Details
It’s all in the details.
Understand your client’s purpose, return on investment, outcomes, goals, and aspirations.
Know what will make this event a success for them, be it a financial goal for corporate clients or an experiential goal for social clients. If you already know how to make this goal a reality, communicate this in your proposal. Keep it simple and visual.
You know your operation – you have seen it set up, designed, delivered, and styled in multiple ways, so make sure this is expressed. Your proposal should reflect what they’ve asked for, rather than a one-size-fits-all response. Remember, you are selling an experience, not just a space with a figure attached to it.
You need to strike a balance between carefully considering your proposal, and doing it in a timely manner. Chances are, your client have made the same enquiry with at least two other venues. You need to quickly make contact with the customer. Send a message via My Venuemob, or ring the client directly. Your first piece of communication doesn’t necessarily need to be a fully fleshed out proposal, but it’s important to quickly touch base with the client.
Step Two: Build a Relationship
Sales is about relationships. Build a relationship and you’ll have a valued client. One of our favourite quotes at Conversion Management is, “You don’t close a sale, you open a relationship.”
The more credibility and trust you build with your potential client, the more value to the relationship there is.
How can you build this relationship?
Ask open or leading questions to allow your client the opportunity to talk. Questions like, “Tell me about your previous events”, “Is there a particular brief you like to stick to?”, “What are your must-haves or dislikes?”
If this particular event is of significant value to your business, think about value-adds you can include as a booking incentive. Value-adds also show the extra mile you’re willing to go to make the client’s event an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.
Be creative with this concept. A cocktail on arrival offers value, but is it of considerable benefit to the client? What is something your venue can offer the client that is unique and inspiring to them? If you put some considerable thought into your value-add, thinking about the client’s benefit, a professional relationship will foster.
If your client’s proposal contains a particular spend that is of significant value to your business, be creative in your delivery. Yes, send the quote via your email or – in the case of Venuemob leads – via the Venuemob dashboard. But why not be bold and stand out? Why not also personally deliver the proposal with a signature gift? You can simply arrange to deliver and drop the proposal, without inconveniencing your client. This not only gives you another touch value with your client, but creates another opportunity for the relationship to grow.
Step Three: Listen and Ask the Right Questions
Ask your client if they have a selection criteria your venue needs to meet. When you can follow up? Who is making the decision, and when. Is there a board meeting or committee meeting you can present to?
After you’ve asked those questions, follow up – the most important aspect of your sales process must be the follow up.
Within 24 to 48 hours, you must call your client to ensure they have received the proposal, whether it’s a Venuemob event lead with a proposal via a dashboard, or your own lead. The purpose of this call is not to sell to them. Rather, it is another relationship opportunity, and an opportunity for you to demonstrate how you treat your clients. Confirm they have received your quote, and that it arrived in the right person’s My Venuemob inbox, and was delivered to correct person’s desk. During this conversation, let them know when you will call again. Set yourself a reminder to follow up on this date with them. If you commit to a client and follow through, again, it builds your credibility, establishing and fostering a professional relationship.
Conducting a sale isn’t a one-step procedure. Sales is a process. You need to follow each step diligently and methodically. Adding these three steps to your current process, and following through, will offer a significant flow-on effect to your business.
If you would like to learn more about more on the sales blueprint, get in contact with Nicole and the team from Conversion Management.
Nicole Bates is Australia’s leading expert in sales and management for the meetings and events industry. Driven by a passion to build meeting and events businesses to be the best they can be, Nicole founded Conversion Management in 2016. Through Conversion, Nicole works with her clients to seize their potential, to convert prospects into clients, and to help venues and suppliers transform into profitable powerhouses.