15 May 006. Helping Clients See Your Value
How to help clients see the need for the expense of an event planner and helping clients see your value
You are helping your client when you help them understand your value to them.
It’s really about marketing yourself to your existing client
Example from OKC – cartoon: meet Hank – he builds birdhouse and playhouses – do you want Hank to build your office building?
We are event planning professionals
There is a lot that goes into event planning. More than people think.
A lot of times our competitor is the administrative assistant that already has too much on their plate.
What are things we can do to ensure that clients see our value?
Always come prepared with an agenda.
Invite clients to your office space. Or if you don’t have a space, rent a conference room for the afternoon.
Help clients feel like they could not have done it without you.
We do not ever want to put anything on a client’s plate
Never ask a client to print something
Offer to bring lunch
Let us deliver that to you
Let us collect stuff after an event and bring return it to its right place
Develop a reputation of being educated about your profession
I know a guy mentality
Let us find someone to help you.
Example Joe found someone to replace an entertainer that cancelled at the last minute.
Take great care to build and maintain your network of event professionals
That’s part of our goal with this podcast is to strengthen our network or event professionals.
What headaches does your client have that you can take away?
Your clients are extremely busy and stretched too thin.
That’s when you come in and say, here let me do that for you.
Understand what your clients do that they love that you can help them keep doing by taking things off their plate.
Different planners will have different capabilities and specialties that they can contribute to the planning of an event.
Encourage your clients to do what they excel at.
For example the William Morris Agency http://www.wmeagency.com/ is going to be great at hiring entertainment. So you wouldn’t try to do that for them.
Your client should not be the one running for ice instead of greeting donors in the reception.
The mother of the bride should not be worrying about where the cake is instead of enjoying the special moment of their daughter’s wedding.
Take care of your clients during the event.
Keep an eye on them.
Make sure they have the food or drink they need.
Making sure they are sheltered from certain people.
Do not have a confrontation with a client at an event.
Do not give a client more information than they need during an event.
Suggest that the client take time with special people the week before the event. For example encourage the mother of the bride go out for lunch with her daughter a few days before the event. And they can do this because you are handling the details.
Let them do stuff that only they can be doing.
Looking for opportunities to help someone succeed, do better gives you value.
What gets us to where the client is saying “we couldn’t have done this without you”?
After the event it is so important that you are the one that is hauling stuff away from the event. This leaves a good taste in their mouth.
Walk your client out at the end of the evening
Congratulate your client on a great event.
Tell your client about the successes of the night.
After several things went wrong at an event, we started playing the blame game. The vendor was going to the client to tell them everything that went wrong from their perspective. And Joe wanted to get his two cents in and did that. And we ended the night telling them everything that went wrong with their event. And that was the last event we did with them. We’ve got to help our client go to sleep that night thinking that went well. Let’s make the list of things to improve next week.
Having a team really helps allows one person to protect the client and another to manage any crises that are happening backstage.
Keep things you think your client will need handy – like a pen or Ibuprofen
Pack an event box with things your clients might need the day of the event.
We’ll talk about preparing an emergency kit in a future episode.
Attitude is key
Whatever it takes attitude – Todd
Happy to help attitude – Joe
Let us take down and store that backdrop etc.
It’s a dangerous place to have the attitude of “that’s not my job”