Most Event Professionals work hard to cultivate a reliable sales funnel of good quality leads, and it can be disappointing – and confusing – when those leads don’t convert into sales. The truth is, it’s equally important to make sure you are following up on those leads effectively, and it’s not always as easy as you’d think. That’s why we’ve put together a handy little cheat sheet to help you create an ace follow up strategy for better booking.
When you receive a lead digitally, your first instinct is probably to respond via email, sit back, and wait. While this may work for a small percentage of leads, in order to improve your lead to sales ratio, it’s essential to be proactive and pursue the lead through multiple channels, multiple times.
Most people receive an unending influx of email each day, and it’s easy for one to get lost in the shuffle or overlooked. Don’t assume that a potential client isn’t interested in working with you just because you haven’t received a response. At first, it may feel uncomfortable to follow up on a digital lead on the phone or to send several follow up emails, but in reality the event planners you reach out to will appreciate your dedication and your willingness to work hard.
Pricing is Key
No matter how you price your services, it’s important to include that information in your initial follow up email. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by being coy about cost – if their budget isn’t compatible with your pricing now, it won’t be compatible five emails from now. Being upfront and unapologetic about your pricing will show that you’re honest, and you value this person’s time. Even if they can’t book you they’re more likely to recommend your services to those who can.
Say a lead comes in and the event is attached to a date on which you’ve already booked something – don’t assume that date is set in stone. Most websites require that event planners include a date for their event in order to reach out to potential venues and vendors, but that doesn’t mean there’s no wiggle room. Most event planners are more concerned about booking a great venue and awesome vendors than holding their event on a specific date. If you think you can win them over, don’t hesitate to do so.
Customer Service is Key
No matter what you do in the event planning space, there is nothing as important has high quality customer service. Every time you follow up on a lead, treat it as though it is the most important – hell, the only – event of concern. Make potential clients feel special. Always be excessively polite and don’t hesitate to position yourself as an event professional that goes above and beyond the standard call of duty to ensure that your client’s big day goes off without a hitch. Respond to questions quickly and honestly in a way that’s easy to understand. Offer to connect them with references – the happy customers you’ve worked with – or to meet with them in person. Recently a venue offered me a free night’s stay in order to check out the event space, and it took them from the bottom of my list to the very top – it’s often the little things that mean the most.
In order to make sure you’re following up on leads in the most effective way possible make sure to do the following:
- Follow up multiple times by email and phone
- Always include your pricing up front
- Don’t make assumptions – follow up on everything and ask questions later
- Offer high quality customer service