Booking new business is obviously an important aspect of developing your company, but knowing what needs to be done is often easier than actually making it happen. In today’s event industry especially, costs are rising and clients are often looking for ways to cut down on their expenses. Do-it-yourself—aka DIY--has become a popular route for budget-conscious people, but it’s safe to say that some things are better left to the professionals.
While it’s one thing for a client to take on DIY favors or signage, other major services such as design, planning, catering and photography are quite an undertaking and are best done by those who specialize in such services. Regardless of your expertise, it is up to you to guide your prospects in the right direction, showing them the importance of booking professional services.
Here are some of my best practices for selling prospects who are unsure of going professional:
Explain the costs of DIY
Clients often think DIY is an easy and affordable alternative, but often it can be nearly as pricey and double the effort. Professionals have access to exclusive resources that can often save clients on the final cost of everything, whereas people are on their own if handling themselves. Similarly, the weeks leading up to the event date can be extremely busy, and it is better not to have the pressure of DIY projects. A professional can ensure that things are done as timely and cost-effective as possible.
Showcase your USP
Your USP is your unique selling point--what makes you different? What sets you apart from your competition? How does your personal experience and expertise make you the very best fit for a client’s needs? Once you have an idea of what you can offer, it’s time to work it into your selling points. Put together a portfolio that showcases your very best work and highlights what makes your company special. Graphics are important here, as it will help prospects visualize what you can do for them.
Turn to testimonials
Chances are you have some killer testimonials on your profiles of top review sites. Positive reviews are like gold, so start using them to your advantage! Pull some of the best testimonials from Yelp, WeddingWire and The Knot so you can add them to your website, as well as any marketing materials that you may have. People want to see that others had a great experience with you, so don’t be shy about showing off the kind words you have received
When it comes down to it, you should be confident about your work and your passion should shine through your words. You know how much value people can gain by bringing on your professional services, so it’s up to you to make them understand
Kim Sayatovic is the founder and chief creative officer of Belladeux Event Design, a full-service wedding and event design firm based in New Orleans.