As a consumer there are key characteristics I look for when working with a company. I need to feel a genuine connection with the salesperson and get the impression they have an interest in helping me, rather than feeling like I’m an inconvenience and that I am not worth their time. They should have confidence and knowledge in their product and the ability to make sure I get the right products, rather than just looking to sell me everything including items I do not need. Lastly, they should be offering a consistent process so I feel they are reliable These criteria can be applied to the event industry and can either make a client stick with you or head back to Google to find the next supplier.
The three key components of customer service are connection, confidence and consistency. Breaking it down to these three key components gives us a specific direction and areas to focus our efforts on. Let’s dive in!
I have found when working with clients on their events, fostering a connection has been key to creating a loyal customer. This all starts by listening to what they are looking for, asking the right questions and finding common ground. When a potential client calls, they are likely in the beginning stages of planning an important life event. With all the normal hustle and bustle of the event industry, it is easy to want to get through calls quickly to get to the next. It may be efficient to take 10 quick calls without forming a connection and quickly jotting down what they are asking for and nothing more. However, chances are you will never hear back from these people. Alternatively, you can dedicate double the time and effort to five calls and ensure you close those sales by listening, assisting and connecting. These are important conversations to them and while you may be juggling 20 clients at the same time, they deserve your undivided attention and efforts. It is obvious when speaking to someone on the phone if they are rushing, distracted or uninterested in your conversation. Putting in that extra little bit of effort will help foster a relationship with them, earning their trust and business.
Do you have the confidence as a salesperson to ask for the sale? This goes beyond simply taking down their details, emailing them the quote and never hearing back from them again. This involves following up with them and having a conversation, asking them if anything is holding them back or if they would like to lock in the order now. Sometimes, it’s a matter of one item being more expensive than what someone else is offering, and they are likely not comparing apples to apples, or may be not looking at the whole picture.
Having the confidence in your ability as an adviser, the products you are selling and the support your company offers, will come through and reassure the customer they are making the right decision by deciding to work with you.
This goes beyond just getting back to someone when you said you would. This means consistently showing up as a support system for this client and their event. It is also having them know they can count on you. This may look like recommending items you think will help them host a successful event, following up with your clients after they have received their rentals or after their event has ended. How can you use your experience to possibly help them avoid missing something or overlooking an important component to their event? Clients always remember what you did for them to help them in a pinch, but even more so, what you did to help them avoid it altogether. By consistently showing up for your client, you will be sure to be the first call for their next event.
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