Event planners - tell me if this situation sounds familiar to you. It’s the end of the year, the phone is ringing, the emails are flooding your inbox, holiday parties are poppin’ and your ability to hop on a call is just a pipe dream at this point. So what do you do? Email the guest, letting them know email is best and get back to them when it is convenient for you. Well, I can tell you that the moment we dismiss a call or cringe at someone who drops in unexpectedly, the client feels it. I know this because I have been in the client’s shoes before. I’ve had planners make me feel like I was more of a nuisance than a potential customer because I did not fit into their ideal form of communication. And I get it - planners are BUSY (and often on our own islands!). However, it is crucial to reframe your mindset when it comes to communication.
Your restaurant, catering group or product will often lure guests in, but ultimately, they are buying into YOU. Are you excited for their event? Can they trust that you’re going to make them feel important and special throughout the planning process? These days, clients can always find incredible restaurants or venues to host events. However, they can’t always find good service (and that is what often leads them to book). Let your clients know that not only will they enjoy the food and beverage, but you’re going to make sure they enjoy the entire planning experience. The best way to begin this experience? Let them decide how they want to communicate.
Some people love the phone, while others prefer email. Then, there are those customers who prefer to just pop in. In order to truly catch the attention of a potential event lead, make sure you ask them how they want to communicate so that you can better assist them throughout the planning process. If they call, pick up! Most clients, I find, just want to hear a voice on the other end and make sure their party (that is VERY important them) is not in an email queue and being responded to by a robot. I don’t know about you, but those auto responses make me nervous up until I show up for the event for fear that there’s a possibility that no one knows my party is arriving (it actually happened to me a few years ago… more on that later). By letting the client know you are open to communicating the way they feel most comfortable, you allow them to connect with you the best way they know how. This is how they begin to trust that you have their best interest at heart.
Also - for the record - most clients know you are busy; you don’t have to tell them (and you absolutely should not). By showing up the way they prefer, you’re letting them feel like they are the only event you are involved with - even if they aren’t. That is exactly how successful event planners should make any potential client feel.
What type of communication do you prefer? Have you ever had an experience where a client preferred one way of communication that made you uncomfortable? If you still struggle with client relationships, you're in LUCK. I am giving out my free tutorial on beginning a beautiful client relationship when you subscribe to my site. Sign up and receive this freebie in your inbox right away!