As 2011 winds down to a close, many of us in the event meeting services business are busy calling, emailing, and direct mailing prospects trying to book business for 2012. We often engage in a flurry of activity in hopes that we will get a few face-to-face meetings that will ultimately lead to some business.
Here are some business tips that have been around for a long time but are always good reminders as we ramp up our sales efforts during the next few weeks.
Tip #1: Figure Out Your Ratios
Take a day to inventory your sales success rate. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- How many emails/phone calls/letters does it take to get an appointment?
- How many appointments end in closing the sale?
- How many new clients do you want or need next year?
Here’s an example:
- 100 phone calls gets you
- 10 appointments of which win you
- 1 sale. So if your goal is
- 12 new clients in 2012, you need to make 1,000 phone calls during the year!
Tip #2: People Buy from People
If your organization provides corporate audio visual equipment and you have the name and telephone number of a meeting planner, don’t start off your telephone conversation as a "talking brochure". First, make certain you have the right person in the organization and ask some thoughtful, intelligent, insightful questions. Second, ask if this a good time to talk and be respectful of their time. Lastly, remember you aren’t calling on IBM, you are calling on Mary Smith who happens to work at IBM.
Tip #3: Assume They Will Say Yes, But Be Prepared if They Say No
How many times do you expect a "no" when you ask for the appointment? But what if they say yes? When you are making that call, assume they will want to meet with you. When they say no, it is usually 1 of 4 reasons:
- They already are working with an event services company and are not looking to change
- They don’t have the time to meet with you because of deadlines at work
- They aren’t the right person or
- They have heard about or used your company and it was not a good experience
If it is #1, keep trying back because personnel changes and company opinions change. If it is #2, ask if there is a better time to call back and honor that time, #3 ask for the right person and #4 requires more questions and the ability to fix the problem.
Tip #4: Confirm, Call, and Respect Their Time
People’s lives are busier than ever so it is best to confirm your appointment 24-hours in advance. Best case they will be impressed with your professionalism, worst case they will want to move your appointment. But whatever the outcome, it will save you time and frustration by making that confirmation call.
Call if you are running even 1 minute late. Let them know your time of arrival and ask if that is okay. Apologize for any inconvenience it may cause them and let them know it is okay to reschedule. 9 times out of 10 they will be glad you called and still honor the appointment.
If you tell the prospect you are only going to take 30 minutes of their time, respect that limit. Don’t try to make it longer, unless you are reading it is okay with them. If there is any question, simply ask, "Mary, I see I have taken up the 30 minutes we agreed upon, is it alright if we keep talking or do you want continue this at another time?"
AV Event Solutions, a California meeting equipment provider, has an account executive team that is ready and willing to provide state-of-the-art AV rentals to meet your needs. Give them a call today to learn more about their products and services!