We all love parties, whether it be a fancy wedding party or some casual get-together in Fish Hoek . If you are throwing a party in a restaurant, then you need not worry about the catering. However, if you plan to arrange a party at your house, you can well imagine how difficult it could be to cook food for 20 to 30 guests. In such a case, it is advisable that one hire a good catering service to do the job.
The typical social event professional (from wedding planners to caterers and photographers to DJ's) struggles to find new clients because they never leverage the power of relationships.
They assume that their customers are not likely to become repeat clients - and after the party's over they fail to keep in touch.
The unsuccessful event pro says, "Why should I waste my time following up with a bride after the wedding is over? It's not like she's going to hire me again any time soon."
It's this type of faulty thinking that causes many event people to fail.
The successful event business owner says, "Of course I keep in touch with my brides! They're not going to get married again soon - but they've got sisters, brothers, cousins, friends and co-workers. When I get referrals I don't have to sell hard and I don't have to deal with price shoppers."
And this applies to corporate event pros even more so!
Referrals are your easiest sales and your best customers. They trust you and they're willing to listen to your advice. They don't want to waste time shopping for price. So, are you getting enough referrals?
Here's a few ways to get more referrals - or should I say "earn more referrals" from your clients.
- Amaze Your Clients. If you want to be successful don't give them a good deal for the price, give them a remarkable deal. And then give them the very best personal service in your industry. Being good enough isn't good enough.
- Know Your Clients. Where did they grow up? When is there birthday? What college did they attend? What's their biggest passion in life? What's their favorite restaurant? Hobby? Teams? If they're a social event client - what do they do for a living and how can you help them? If they're a business client - what do they do for fun? If you don't ask it shows you don't really care.
- Connect. Use social media tools like LinkedIn with every B2B customer. Friend them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Get their email addresses. Always.
- Find Ways to Serve Them. Don't use Facebook to sell and tell - use it to listen and help. When an old client posts "I have the flu" on Facebook - pick up the phone or send a get well card. They'll be amazed... just don't stalk. That's creepy.
- Let Them Know You'd Appreciate New Business. If you always seem overworked - nobody will want to burden you with new clients. Think about it! Let your clients know you want to help there friends.
- Don't offer commissions to everyone. Yes- sometimes it helps to offer a percentage - but many times it can insult your client. If they feel you are bribing them - or exploiting their friends they won't want to refer clients to you. Use commissions with other event vendors only.
- Tell Them What Kinds of Clients You Want. Don't assume your wedding photography client knows you also do family portraits. Educate your clients about your business.
- Expand You Definitions. Are you only an A/V company or are you an event production solution? Or are you a partner in your client's success... above and beyond the event?
- Love. That's right. Love and serve your clients to the best of your ability. It will come back to you in a big way.
Growing your event business isn't that hard when you do an amazing job and love your clients. Make sure you're marketing your business in the most effective way. There are many free internet tools that make attracting more event clients easier than ever before.