Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Convincing Customers to Choose You: A Lesson In Sales

It can be a challenge convincing customers to use your business for their event. You try explaining that it’s not that they can’t plan an event for themselves, it’s about who they turn to when something goes wrong the day-of. But, what if that’s not enough to convince them to buy your services?

Before I was an event planner, I wore a hat and worked in a food concession trailer. I worked hard to get the customers to buy the combo deal of a turkey leg and a large lemonade for $15. But, I was never successful until I learned the secrets of selling. From then on, I could convince any customer that walked up to buy the $15 combo. Want to know how I did it? Keep reading!

Be Yourself

Sales doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Nor does it have to be an impersonal business tactic. Being successful in selling your services and talents actually requires some personality and personalization.

Let’s begin with the opening conversation between you and the client. Think of the general opener that you say: “Hi! How are you?” Pretty standard and simple phrases, right? But, what do you say after that? Is it “I’m good, thanks?” Don’t limit your conversation to just accommodation and politeness; get personable with it.

Engage in a meaningful conversation, and get to know your client more with a personal follow-up question or statement. Trust me, it will show them that you take an interest and are eager to learn more about them.

Here are some examples to get you past the monotony of the standard greeting:
  • I’m so excited to meet with you, and to learn more about the event and story.  
  • It’s Friday, and I am looking forward to the weekend. What about you? Do you have any big plans or are you chalking this one up as a relaxing weekend?
  • Oh, you’re from (insert place here). I’ve never been there and would love to go sometime. Any must see places or stops?
Use the Force, Luke!
OK, maybe don’t use the force with a lightsaber in hand, but reinforce the importance of your services. Your potential clients want to know the answer to the “what’s in it for me” (WIIFM) question. Answering this question will seal the deal every single time.
Going back to my original example of the turkey leg and lemonade, I could sell this outrageously priced combo because I provided customers the answer to the WIIFM question. If they bought a turkey leg, it had enough protein and was large enough to keep them full for the rest of the day, nixing the need for them to spend any more money on food. And, if they included the lemonade, they could get a refill the entire rest of the fair week for a smaller, more cost-effective fee. So in the end, I convinced my customers to buy the combo because it would save them money.
Let your customers know that you are on their side and are willing to help them as much as possible to secure the sale.
Ask for It
You’ll never know unless you ask, right? Well, you can apply that same principle to selling your services to your clients. You can say all the right things, but if you fail to ask for the sale, you are never going to close on the deal. Here are a few suggestions:
  • “Let’s move forward and start planning.”
  • “Ready to get started?”
  • “How about we meet again real soon and I can show you some plans I’ve put together for your event.”
Asking for the sale shouldn’t make you nervous. The best case scenario, you get a new customer. The worst, a customer could say no and gives their reasonings, which isn’t bad. If anything, you gained valuable information about what your potential clients are searching for, and you are better prepared to captivate them next time.
Selling your services and promoting your business doesn’t have to be complicated. Remember that your customers are people too , and they want to know that you have their best interest in mind. Partnering with Inspherio, the all-in-one event planning and business management program can help you convince your clients to use your services every single time.
It’s time to get going. Try our free 30-day trial today!

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