You were thrilled when you checked your Inbox to find a new potential client wants to connect to talk about hiring you to help plan their event and you scheduled a call to connect about the details…do you know what you are going to say?
Your first interaction with a new business inquiry is a make-or-break moment for that contract coming to fruition. This is your opportunity to collect information on the inquirer, get an understanding of their event plans and what services you can provide to help them and demonstrate your company’s experiences, skills and personality.
Typically these conversations flow pretty naturally so you need to be mindful that you don’t hang up without collecting all of the details you need to take the next step in the onboarding process. Here are some key areas you should make sure establish in your conversation so that you can intake this business inquiry and convert it to a contract.
What is known?
It’s hard to design a plan of action for this future business when you don’t understand the foundation they (and potentially you) are working with. Find out the basics of what is confirmed for the event and what is suspected for the event. This would include the status on venue, date, times and purpose; but, might also include more advanced details like color palettes, confirmed production vendors, entertainment and more. The answer might be “IDK” but if it’s not, you should know their current plan.
What assistance is needed?
Are they looking for full-service management? Minimal day of assistance? Somewhere in between? In your conversation get a sense for what they say they need but also the areas they seem a little fuzzy on. Clients who are not professional planners might not realize the components of event planning they should be considering passing off to your company, or they might not realize the pieces you can easily help with that will free up a lot of their time to focus on other projects. Follow the specific direction they give you on what they need help with but find ways to gently suggest that you could also help in other areas if it makes sense for them.
Who are the key personnel?
Find out who the players are on their team. Is there a board that will need to review your proposal? Will you be needed to help manage a committee? Who on their team is your point of contact? You will become more and more engrained in their team once they confirm your contract, but from the start, take note of decision makers and administrators so you can present a plan to best supplement the group.
What stage of the planning is the project in?
You might just be starting with this client but where they’re at in the planning process can vary from “a spark of imagination” to a firmly structured annual event. Click Here to learn more about the 4 Planning Stages of a New Client.
How did they find you?
Make sure to ask how this client came to your Inbox as it’s vital for growth to know which avenues of your marketing are effective. Whether from Referral or a simple Google search, by knowing where your inquiries are trending from, you can better tailor your future promotions.
The above addresses information you need to collect from your new client but you would be remiss to let communication be one-way. Even if this new inquiry was recommended your services or “seems” set on utilizing you, this is your opportunity to sell your company and close the deal. Provide background on your company, your past experience and your specialties. Explain your experience and why you are the best company to handle this project. Slide in small suggestions and references to past relevant events as examples of your creativity and ability to execute.
What could make inquiry intake event easier? You guessed it…a FREE questionnaire!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jenna Thompson
Jenna is a mountain based Yogi with a love for veggie focused foods. When she's not in Warrior Pose you can find her spending time with her Avalanche Rescue Dog Luna with a Matcha Latte in hand!