We all have that friend who drives every conversation into “me, me, me”. The purpose of this is to help you realize that YOU may just be that person when it comes to your business and selling your services.
There’s nothing more annoying than having a conversation with somebody who always turns the conversation to talk about them. Think about it. Have you ever been talking with a friend about something that happened to you, or something you did, and magically it ends up always taking a 180 degree quick turn and suddenly they’re talking about them. No matter what you start in the conversation, it ends up being all about them.
As much as this annoys you, it may be something that you do all the time with your business and don’t even realize it.
Your customer already knows how good you might be, or they wouldn’t be wasting their time talking to you They’ve generally done the research and wouldn’t have called you unless they were interested in you. If they just found you in the yellow pages and are going down the list, then talking all about yourself is even more of a turn-off, and it’s likely going to end up with them hanging up and calling the next service in the list.
Bottom line is that people don’t want to hear about how great you are, but rather what you can do to make them feel good about hiring you. What can you do to solve a problem or need they have. The more you spew about your greatness, the more it may actually will make them realize they don’t want that type of person at their event.
They called you because they have a need, but they don’t really know what questions to ask, so they ask a few questions about you…but what they really want to know is how you can make them feel good about hiring you, not that you’ve done this a thousand times and are the best there’s ever been! Don’t take their questions about your service in the same sense as you being interviewed, it’s not what they’re looking for. You need to steer the customer away from “you, you, you” and make it about “them, them, them”. You may find that once you quickly redirect the questions to be about them, they’ll start to figure out what they really want to know about ‘you’.
It really comes down to listening, and not tooting your horn, thinking you’re impressing anybody, at every chance you get. You’re not impressive, plain and simple. You may even start to find out that it becomes habit, even when talking to friends and family, making you much more pleasant to talk to.
Contracts are widely used in the event booking industry. Our customer understands we have them, but do you truly understand the proper steps to take with the contract you’re sending them?
We deal with business owners every day, and they all understand they need to send a contract to the customer to secure the booking for the event. What’s surprising though, is the number of these owners who are great at the event, doing what they do best, but are completely not business-savvy.
There’s a ton of legalities with contracts, and we won’t get into them with this post, but we do need to stress the basics of HOW you should be sending that contract to the customer who is booking you. It’s not rocket science, but it is important to understand, and repeat for every client you are accepting a booking for. By following the same steps in the booking process, you will easily be able to know what stage in the booking the customer is at with you and their event. Keep in mind they are dealing with numerous vendors, and they can’t always keep all of them straight with where each of them is at.
Never, I repeat, NEVER…pre-sign a contract that you send to the customer to secure a booking. We have users ask about how to add a signature to their contract constantly, and we tell them all the same thing – “WHY??”.
Think about it. You are sending a customer a contract, with your signature only on it, agreeing that you’ll be at their event. Did you think about it, and why that is a huge no-no?
You’ve just committed yourself to the event without the customer doing the same. Even if they tell you they found somebody else, you have still legally bound yourself to it. They could decide they don’t need you, then come after you later claiming you signed a contract and never showed up, because you signed it.
It’s a “sue-happy” world, and these things happen all the time. Don’t get yourself in this situation, and it starts with an un-signed contract you send to them. Either you meet to mutually sign 2 copies, or you get their signature first, then sign and return a copy to them.
So what do we suggest for the steps you take when sending out a contract to secure a booking?
- Email the contract, or meet with the customer personally, with both signature places blank.
- When you receive the customer’s signature, return a copy that is also signed by you.
- Require a deposit or retainer when they return the contract, before you’ll sign it.
- Once you have their signature and deposit/retainer, set the booking as “confirmed”, then start the planning process (planning forms, to-do items for them, etc.)
These are steps you should take, no matter what industry you are in when dealing with a contract. When you practice this rule, you’ll always know what stage the tentative booking is at.