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Book Events Faster through the Power of Inquiry

We all have those clients who show interest and then disappear for a while. Sometimes they come back, and other times they don’t. Closing a sale requires a strategic approach to showcase your company’s value and lead a prospect to book.

That leads to the question: how can I book events faster?

There are a number of tactics to speed up the sales process, but they all start with the systems that you already have in place. Every business should have a step-by-step method for making a sale, from the initial consultation to the signed contract.

Let’s look at some of the strategies that have helped me shorten my sales process to an average of a mere five days.

Ease of booking

Every business agreement should require a signed contract and paid retainer fee before services begin. However, if you’re expecting clients to mail a signed check and printed contract, that can turn off a lead; if nothing else, it will take extra time for your work to kick off. As a business owner, you are responsible for making the process as simple as possible. Find some programs that allow new clients to e-sign their contract and make their payment online. Sorry, but that 3% credit card fee is just the cost of doing business — adjust your prices accordingly.

Know their timeline

When you’re working with a client, things are on their timeline. They will make decisions when they are ready. However, you can still influence them to adjust their timeline if they see a choice as advantageous. Explain the steps to your booking process so they understand how it will go. Establish a firm timeline and don’t be afraid to ask when they’ll be ready to book. You need to take the driver’s seat to guide them through the process, but avoid coming across as too pushy. These are big decisions that require spending a lot of money, so you have to be fluid yet strong in your approach.

Implement soft holds

When you want to speed up a sale, you need to gently push the prospect in the right direction. A soft hold tells them that their date has been penciled in on your calendar, but will be forfeited if they don’t make a decision in a certain number of days. A gentle way to push them is to say, “The majority of our clients book within…” The deadline is up to you, but the social proof in that statement creates a sense of urgency without driving them to a competitor. I give people five days, but I’m also flexible. This deadline also gives me a touchpoint at which point I can provide the courtesy of extending the soft hold.

No matter what strategies you put into place, remember that practice makes perfect. Consistency is key in sales, so just keep doing the same things over and over again. Create a system that works for you and communicate that with new leads. The more confident you are in your process, the more your prospects will recognize the value that you hold.

Katie Easley is the owner of Kate Ryan Design, a luxury floral and event design studio based in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is also a top sales consultant in the wedding industry, specializing in prospecting and client experience.

 

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