With nearly one million visitors to Eventective per month, you might think your subscription is as simple as “Sign-up-and-watch-the-leads-pour-in”. While it’s true that Eventective subscribers see nearly eight times the engagement through their paid listing, that alone can’t turn those leads into customers—only you can do that. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Sales 102: Prospecting on the Internet will help manage your expectations and optimize your lead buying experience with your Eventective subscription.
What you’ll learn:
- What your prospects want from you
- How likely they are to respond to you
- Which leads are worth pursuing
In Sales 101: What Selling Really Means, we established the five critical traits every successful salesperson needs. Now it’s time to determine which leads are worth your time and energy to pursue, so you can put those five traits to work!
Internet leads are a special breed of customer. They aren’t committed to a particular venue or caterer until they’ve had the chance to view the competition—and with the internet, they have the chance to compare dozens of competitors easily.
Do you remember Michelle? She’s the twenty-something from one town over who’s getting married next fall. All she knows is that she wants her wedding to be in a barn, so she does what anyone recently engaged would do—grabs her laptop, curls up on the couch, and searches: Barn Wedding Venues.
While that’s convenient for anyone planning an event or meeting, you need to be prepared for this kind of window shopping when you’re managing your Eventective listing—and that’s what this course is designed to do. It will set your expectations, and then help you work within those parameters to make the most out of your subscription.
What Do Your Prospects Want?
When Michelle is scrolling through search results, she’s going to virtually visit any venue that catches her eye (which is why we stress the importance of good photos in your listing). But what’s it take for Michelle to send you an email and ask if you’re available on September 30th?
The most important thing to know is that all your internet prospects are price shopping. Because they are often unaware of the actual cost, they use the internet to price shop, and even if the view at sunset catches Michelle’s eye, her number one concern is, “How much is this going to cost?”
This is true for the Michelles of the world, and this is especially true for our Eventective planners: In a recent poll, customers told us that cost/pricing was the #1 preferred method to filter search results by—and that’s for any business, not just venues. Whether a customer is booking a florist or a corporate meeting, cost is their number one concern.
Market Event and Meeting Packages
Even more than pricing alone, our customers told us that amenities and package inclusions are the #1 detail that venues should provide upfront. That’s why we offer a feature encouraging you to provide pricing information upfront, enabling you to market your event spaces and services in the form of packages. By including priced packages in your listing, you will receive more direct, qualified leads! Because Michelle already knows your rates—and exactly what comes included—she’ll be more interested in the services you offer and the value you can bring to her wedding.
A package can be as simple as a meeting room for four hours, or describe more services such as event space, food, and beverage. Be creative and offer packages for different event types, time periods, and price points. If you’re a caterer, maybe you’ll want to include a mid-week discount. Or as a DJ, perhaps smaller events require less equipment, so you factor that into your packages.
Promoting and selling packages on your listing complements your other sales and marketing efforts. If you are responding to leads, send a link to your packages on your website or Eventective.
Overall, listings with packages receive triple the views from planners because it provides the information they want up front—if Michelle can’t find your prices, she’s just going to move on to the next venue on her list. Plus, packages give you the ability to market your services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Because they don’t need to talk to you to get information from you, you don’t have to worry about missing the opportunity.
Persistence Is Key
You’ll often hear that converting leads into sales is a numbers game—and it’s true! Responding to and following up with leads is a time-consuming process, and you should be prepared to put in that time if you want to close the sales. Because planners won’t commit to you until they can confirm that you fit their needs—and there are others vying for their attention—it is important to anticipate a high non-response rate for internet leads.
In today’s market, it takes 6-8 touches to reach a prospect. What do we mean by “touches”? Those include any phone calls, emails, voicemails, articles of interest, or communication through your referral sources. Most often people want to get to know you first through multiple avenues before they are willing to have a conversation with you—so don’t be worried if Michelle doesn’t respond to you after one email or a single follow-up voicemail. Chances are, it will take a few more interactions before she’s ready to book with you.
On top of that, 80% percent of calls go to voicemail and 90% of first-time voicemails aren’t answered! That means if you call 100 different Michelles, only 20 of them will answer. And the other 80 Michelles who didn’t pick up? Only 8 of them will call you back if it was their first time hearing from you! (This is why we’re going to tell you how to leave a killer voicemail in Sales 201…)
Prospecting on the internet isn’t for the faint of heart, but there is a silver lining. If you follow up with a web lead within 5 minutes, you are 9 times more likely to convert them. We know it’s important for you to see those leads right when they come in—that’s why your Eventective subscription will email you as soon as your lead comes in. We don’t want you to miss a single one!
Even after working leads, there are always going to be planners who don’t respond. Don’t get discouraged when this happens; treat every lead as though it could turn into a sale—and if it doesn’t, tackle the next one. As an added bonus for our Annual Subscribers, we offer a refund for every lead that is non-responsive, with no planner activity 12 days after the lead purchase date.
Evaluating Lead Potential
Given the difficult nature of lead conversion, it’s clear that not every lead deserves the time and money it will take to make the sale. How do you decide that Michelle is worth the money and time to pursue? When selecting a lead, keep in mind whether the lead matches the client profile in your market.
For example, you are a DJ who specializes in high-end weddings, and you receive a lead with a budget of $500. Unless there are other compelling reasons to buy the lead, if you are working in a market area that provides platinum weddings and demands high prices, the leads you pursue should match that.
Or let’s say that you are located in a resort area and you know that, in your marketplace, the average bride or event planner can’t get away with less than $50 per plate. If you see an event for 200 people with a catering budget of $1,000, there is a misalignment. The client may have mistyped or miscalculated, but it still may not be something you are willing to follow up on.
It’s good to also be aware of what messages Michelle might be giving that aren’t so obvious. Some cautionary phrases to look for are, “Our event is on a tight budget.” This should be a clear sign that Michelle is price shopping. Or if she says, “We are looking for the best deal and we can do a lot of it ourselves,” Michelle could just be pumping you for information, with no real intention to buy.
It may still be worthwhile to purchase the lead and determine how much they are trying to do themselves, but no matter what, remember to look at the lead clearly and do not respond to every lead just because it is a date that is going to fill your calendar. And if you’re still not sure if you should pursue the lead, check out some other compelling reasons you might want to consider.
You’ve seen the numbers, and heard from the customers themselves. Now it’s your turn to give them exactly what they want:
- Clear pricing up front
- Packages with added features
From there, carefully select the leads that fit your market–and then don’t be afraid to pursue them! Remember that it can take up to eight points of contact before you make a sale.
If you need access to your account, have questions or would like help setting up packages, please contact us.
What’s next: Sales 201: The Art of the Follow-up
 Source: TeleNet and Ovation Sales Group
 Source: Source: RingLead
 Source: Source: InsideSales.com