Without fail, other tasks will distract you and get in the way of how you sell your event services.
And, without effective sales training you’re skirting around your true value as an event planner and before you realize it, the vision you had for your event business has been forgotten.
The right sales training resources give you the knowledge, experience, strategies so sales is natural and in a digestible format.
Now, unfortunately, we can’t (typically) expect instantaneous kick-ass results. But you can look at proven sales training best practices to help make sure that your set up for real success.
Your sales training should cover everything from onboarding new clients to developing your skills and setting up criteria so you can change and adapt with the market. If you can do all this, you’ll be putting together the building blocks for an unstoppable sales machine.
Sell Your Event ServicesToday’s guest is, Daniel Moskowitz, a sales expert and mentor in Boost Your Event Business.
In this training, Daniel walks you through a process to handle common client objections. Get ready to think differently about sales, how you handle rejection and ultimately, how you sell your event services.
This one skill can add bookings to your calendar and help you take better care of your clients.
No small task
So let’s take this one step at a time, starting with assessing yourself, finding the right methods for delivering your sales training, and then end with the 5 areas of sales you need to succeed.
Assess your strengthsNo matter who you are, you have your own unique strengths (and weaknesses, but we only focus on strengths). When you’re building your event business and want to sell your event services, it’s crucial to understand exactly what your strengths are.
5 questions to assess the quality of your sales process:
- What’s your value proposition?Sounds simple, but it’s surprising how hard it is to clearly explain why a prospective client should choose you over a competitor. And if you can’t do this, your chances are slim-to-none.
- Do you have a sales process in place?If you do (and you should), is it working as well as it should be? If you put more resources on it, will it grow or break from the pressure?
- What are you doing to increase your sales and close ratio?Do you have a clear plan for growth? Do you know where to go for new leads when the well runs dry?
- Are you taking advantage of market changes?It’s a changing world so are you equipped with the right sales knowledge and skills to experiment and take advantage of new sales opportunities?
- Are you the right person?You should be your greatest strength. Are you? If not, why? Is it our attitude, skills, or lack of training?
Your sales efforts will constantly evolve so this isn’t a task to do once and never look at again. So it’s wise to review these questions every six months so you’re fresh and ready for growth.
Choose sales trainingOnce you understand the quality of your sales process, look at the different ways you can implement your sales training.
There’s many options available for event planners, and no single one is right for every person. Instead, you’ll want to experiment with what is getting the best engagement and results and what works for you and your business.
For example, if you’re a new event planner, being in-person at events is a great way to build your skills and let people know you’re ready to plan their events.
As you grow, it might make sense to ask for referrals or sponsor an event.
Let’s consider sales training options:
CoursesEnrolling in an online sales course for event planners, is a great way to improve your sales skills and grow your business.
In-person workshopsIf you choose an-person workshop, select a provider that offers workshops that will be of value to you and who defines specific objectives.
ConferencesConferences are great for networking and they allow you to learn from sales experts and get a pulse on what’s coming up in your market.
Now, let’s talk about what your sales training should cover, so you can evaluate the best option(s) for you.
5 sales essentials you need to succeedEffective sales training can cover everything from how to create a sales plan to getting over your fears of rejection to handling client objections, and more.
The goal is to help you make progress and grow so you don’t feel like you’ve hit a ceiling.
Here are 6 sales essentials to sell your event services:
1. Be an effective listenerIn a nervous rush to explain the features and benefits of your event services, it’s easy to talk over your prospective clients. This is a common mistake, but once you do this you’ve lost the opportunity to make an impact and it’s very hard to recover.
Throughout the conversation, prospective clients drop hints about what they’re thinking, how they feel and what they need, so active listening is a key skill to address the problem they need you to solve.
Tip: if you need to practice, and we all do, active listening then mentally echo what the other person is saying. It’s also useful to summarize what they’ve said so you can clarify and avoid any misunderstandings.
2. Create scripts to handle common objectionsKnowledge is power and the best event planners have a solid foundation to work from.
By identifying objections that come up over and over again, you can create scripts to help you work through the issue and formulate a response for future (similar) objections.
The key is to not sound robotic, but instead the scripts should help you define your client’s fears and address the real issue(s) quickly.
Think of Serena Williams. She spends hours and hours practicing and playing tennis – everything from the basics of racket and ball handling, hitting and rebounding, so that when it’s match day, she can focus on her opponent.
In the same way, scripts help you address common client objections quickly and move onto creative ways to help your prospective client.
As part of your sales training:
- Create a list of 10 common objections you hear from prospects (like ‘it’s too expensive’ or ‘we’re happy with our current event planner’)
- Brainstorm solutions or questions to respond to these objections
- Develop short scripts, based on the above answers, so you can move past the objections.
3. Identifying the wrong clientsTime wasted chasing the wrong clients can stall your sales and ruin your business. Getting hired by large event clients can take months so it’s important to identify the wrong clients so you’re not wasting your time, giving refunds or getting bad reviews.
To help you move in the right direction and identify common red flags, here’s what to consider:
- People who get nasty during the sales process: When a prospective client hasn’t signed your event contract, there’s no reason for them to be unkind. So, if you see signs of a bad attitude early on, chances are that’s not going to change leading up to and during their event. In fact, it could get worse if there’s more pressure for them to entertain clients or their boss, etc.
- Disrespectful regarding boundaries: “Call me right now”. I need to speak to you right away”. Or emails with the subject line: EMERGENCY, it’s in your best interest to set boundaries or refer them to another planner because they’ll take up all the time you give them – including time needed for other event clients.
- Impulsive buyer: This might feel deflating or even counter-intuitive, but anyone willing to hire you before speaking to you usually doesn’t understand what they’re getting into or your value. If you run across an impulsive buyer, suggest a meeting or phone call so you can fully understand their needs (and get it in writing).
4. How to clearly articulate value to prospectsPeople buy results, not just event planning services, so nothing kills the sale or relationship faster than not showing your value.
Knowing how to clearly articulate your value, through education and storytelling, explains why your services are the only choice and allows the client to imagine themselves at the event.
Start by going through your client profiles.
Why are they good prospective clients for you?
How can you show them the value you provide?
Do you have case studies or testimonials you can use?
5. Dealing with fearTo sell your event services, sales isn’t just about getting hired but about feeling food about what you offer.
Calling or emailing strangers and asking them to hire you isn’t something we normally do, so fear is natural when you’re doing something unfamiliar. Taking time to handle that fear makes you more confident, friendly and ultimately happier.
Here’s a list of places you might feel anxious and how to address it:
- Fear of rejection:It’s natural to be afraid of rejection, but hearing ‘no’ is part of selling so don’t ignore this fear. Instead, verbalize it and get motivated to push past the rejection. In the long run, losing a few clients in order to get past the fear of rejection is worth it.
- Fear of presenting: If you’re scared of getting in front of a group of people, you might think you’re not cut out for selling your event services. By creating a script, you don’t leave much room for error. It might feel robotic at first, but once you’ve done it a few times and you’re comfortable with the content, that fear will disappear.
- Ask for the sale:Many event planners are good at small talk but can’t ask for the sale. This goes back to the fear of rejection so, instead, using a sales formula helps you get past small talk and gives you techniques to get hired.
The learning never stopsLearning to sell your event services never ends.
There are always new techniques, better scripts, new objections to overcome, new issues to address, and another competitor entering the market.
The best event planners have a drive to learn and be the best, and sales training helps get you there.
Once you’ve watched, Daniel and I would love to hear from you.
What part of our conversation most resonated with you and why?
Leave a comment below and let us know.
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