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The 7 Stages to Keep in Mind for Your Client Workflow

Take a moment to consider your client experience, from initial intake to post-event communications. Do you have a streamlined process that flows naturally, or do you often find yourself playing it by ear? Having a strategic pipeline for client management ensures consistency and organization — two things that are essential for business growth.

Let’s assume that your marketing funnel is intact and the leads are flowing in. Do you know your next step? How about your next five steps? Instead of flying by the seat of your pants, understand and employ these seven stages to simplify the process for both you and your client.

  1. Prospecting
    When someone is interested in your services, your initial response acts as your first impression. This stage is for getting to know one another and determining if a potential client is a good fit for your business, as well as providing introductory information to gain the prospects’ interest. This stage is not for pushing a sale, but for pushing a meeting — you simply want to get them in the door.
  2. Interest
    Once a prospect is invested in what you have to offer, it’s time to nurture their interest to seal the deal. This is the stage where you should be strategically discussing their options to prove that their instincts were right. Ideally, this is done in an in-person consultation so you can get a good understanding of your prospect’s needs and vision, with respect to your services. Make it a goal for any prospect to leave their first meeting feeling like they’ve made progress in planning — even if they haven’t yet booked.
  3. Decision
    The decision stage is where the paperwork comes in, with your custom proposal providing all of the details of your services. Use the information you gained from the Interest stage to form a personalized offering for each prospect. Keep your proposals simple to understand with a focus on the value in your services. Once you have your proposal out, be sure to follow up and keep the process moving.
  4. Commitment
    In the Commitment stage, it’s all about getting your soon-to-be new client to sign on the dotted line and confirm that their retainer payment has been paid in full. Remember that booking a new client means turning away other leads for their date, so you’ll want to go into this stage with the confidence that they’re the right client and that your team is ready to handle their event. Be sure to have your contract looked over by an attorney or legal advisor to ensure that it’s up to par.
  5. Planning
    This is where the “real work” comes in for your new client — planning the details for their event day! Any event professional knows that the planning process starts months before the big day and there can be a lot of logistics to prepare. This stage includes activities like meeting with the client, venue walkthroughs, and technical planning and designing. While the specifics depend on the service you’re providing, one thing is always the same: this is when you do the heavy lifting to ensure that every detail is in place for the event.
  6. Execution
    The big day is here and you should be prepared with timelines, contact numbers, contingency plans, and equipment ready to go. It’s finally time to see your client’s vision come to life and, for many event pros, this is the most rewarding part of the job. Understand that time is tight and you don’t get any do-overs, so be sure to have a plan B for any situation and always bring backups. It can be stressful for clients, so do your due diligence to be an asset and provide them with everything they need.
  7. Feedback
    The event pipeline doesn’t end when the linens get packed up. If anything, the post-event period is one of the most significant stages in the growth of your business. This is when you and your team can reflect on how well your company met expectations and discuss improvements for the future. This stage should be done internally as a team meeting, as well as externally through a client survey. Feedback is what allows your business to continue growing, so avoid rushing through this stage into the next event.

By taking the strides to streamline and simplify your client workflow, you will see increased effectiveness in both your sales and planning processes. Before you know it, you will find that the stages of your pipeline become automated like clockwork, which provides a better stress-free experience for everyone involved.

 

Jake Anderson is the founder and host of EventureMind TV, a channel dedicated to providing event professionals with educational resources to develop their strategic role within a business. Anderson is also the principal of FêteTech, a business solutions company dedicated to advancing the digital world for the special events industry. He maintains a role as founding partner and strategic manager of his first company, Lighting Professors, a large-scale event lighting provider based in Central Virginia.

 

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