Stay in control of your provisional event bookings:
As we now move in to a new phase of corporate events and begin to see some new enquiries coming through, it’s very likely that you will receive multiple enquiries for the same date, this is especially predicted for 2021 as we catch up from events that were due to take place in 2020 as well. So, are you in total control of your provisional bookings?
It’s very easy to say yes to everything when a potential buyer calls with a new enquiry, especially when your business has experienced a short term business drought, and remember at the same time, we are in an age where you’re likely to be pitching against 3 or more other options and if this was the case you only have a 25% chance of winning that business. With these odds it pays to be firm and apply a small amount of polite pressure on the prospect, so you are ready for those other enquiries too.
Tip: Negotiation should always be a two-way thing, not just what the client wants, but something you need too, so if you do want to keep control and be ready to battle the odds this method may help:
- Give your new prospect all the information they need within your proposal. Within your proposal, as a gesture of good will, offer to hold the space for several days to give them a chance to discuss and decide. Most would say 7 - 10 days is plenty for this sort of decision in normal circumstances. Give a specific deadline time for the last day that the option will be automatically released on (say midday for example) should the prospect not confirm their requirements
- The above strategy keeps you in control so that if you were to then have a another enquiry for the same date within these 7 – 10 days you can explain to the new enquirer that you have a provisional reservation in place for another client, but this expires at midday on the ‘set date’ you have authorised. Although the new enquirer made be a little disgruntled that you don’t currently have space available for them, at least you can answer straight away when you will no and you can perhaps take their details and offer a courtesy call back to update them either way on the expiry date.
- Should your initial prospect ask for a discount which as probably know is the case more often than not and if this is something you have proven can still be profitable to your business then you should ask for something in return – that’s how negation works right. A tip is that discounts should only really be used if asked for or advertised and only if they work profitably for your business – why discount straight away when they may buy at the original asking price.
- So, if requested offer say a 10% discount of the overall costs but in return you would need confirmation with 5 days and with a minimum order of? The number of orders will be what you have proven to ensure that even with the discount you can still deliver the booking with your required level of profit.
Should you currently feel intimidated by the thought of negotiation, believe us when we say, once you’ve got into the above method of positive negotiation and controlled workflow, it will become the norm and not feel in any way awkward – after all most businesses negotiate so will tend to expect it.