A La Carte NACE Blog
Fresh ideas and inspiration for your events.

Consultation Tips and Tricks

Consultations are where the magic happens. They present an opportunity to start creating a vision with your client and getting an idea for the direction they want to take for their celebration. For some, it may even be the first face-to-face meeting, so it also acts as a way to get to know your client, their personality, and their priorities.

Thus, it’s essential to make the most out of each consultation to ensure that you have enough information to create a detailed proposal. Here are some of our key strategies for effective meetings that have evolved over years of working with clients directly.

Be prepared

If you walk into a consultation with no preparation, you’ll end up wasting valuable time, in the beginning, getting up to speed with the client. Instead, come prepared so you can get right into things. We are always sure to check websites (for corporate clients), social media profiles, and  past event history if they are returning clients. Don’t go in blind – it’s unprofessional and inefficient. You want to be as educated as possible about the client, so you can best serve them and meet their needs.

Treat every event the same

Sure, every event is different — but you still need to walk into the consultation with the same level of respect and commitment, regardless of the occasion or budget. While corporate and social clients might present the opportunity for repeat business more than an engaged couple, you shouldn’t change your level of customer service and attentiveness. Go into consultation meetings with the same mentality and preparedness and the only differences being the questions you ask.

Make them comfortable

Nobody wants to meet with an event professional and be talked down to or upsold the entire time. Likewise, clients don’t want to be grilled about every last detail either. Be relatable and personable — don’t make it transactional. Think conversation rather than interview. Let them ask questions and feel out their personality. If they seem like they have trouble opening up, play with some ice breakers to help them feel more comfortable with you.

Get to the point

Time is money, and you want to avoid wasting someone’s time at all costs. Dig into your clients’ needs and give them an accurate representation of how you can serve them within their budget. If you find that a client is not the right fit, try to speed it up. Be honest and upfront, explaining why it’s not a good fit, and providing a referral if available. Maintain a friendly presence, but remain transparent and professional.

Follow up promptly

You need to stay top of mind if you want to close the sale, so your follow-up strategy should be prompt and effective. The times have changed and, while handwritten notes are very nice, everyone wants instant gratification these days. Thus, a follow-up email is completely acceptable. If appropriate, you can always set a gift of swatches afterward, but an email follow-up is a nice and timely gesture that keeps your consultation in mind.

With time, you will learn the tricks of the trade. You will know the right questions to ask, what people want to hear about, when to fluff up the conversation, and when to hold back. Productive consultation meetings take practice, so keep these tips in your back pocket and continue to practice your sales approach. Look at it as an opportunity to build a relationship with a client because, hopefully, you will continue working with them for years to come.

 

Heather Rouffe is the Director of Sales and Partner of Atlas Event Rental, a full-service event rental company serving the Southern Florida market for over 30 years. Atlas has locations in Miami, Palm Beach, and Martin County. Recently named one of the top 30 rental companies in the US by Special Events Magazine, Atlas provides top quality products and unparalleled customer service to each and every customer.

The following two tabs change content below.
mm
Heather Rouffe is the Director of Sales and Partner of Atlas Event Rental, a full-service event rental industry serving the Southern Florida market for over 30 years based. Recently named one of the top 30 rental companies in the US by Special Events Magazine, Atlas provides top quality merchandise and unparalleled customer service to each and every customer.
mm

Latest posts by Heather Rouffe (see all)

Post Comment

*

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com