As an event planner, you will always be meeting with clients and stay in constant communication with them to ensure you deliver all their needs. As a result, polishing your client communication skills is crucial to leave a good impression and maintain your reputation in the field. Fortunately, these skills can be practiced continuously, so no worries if you feel you are still struggling with this.
Whether you are naive or experienced in the industry, you would know that your first meeting with your client can make or break your chances. Besides establishing a good connection, you should also relay your expertise and skills in the industry without overwhelming the client. If you are meeting in your office, allow your clients to take a gander at your workspace to get a better idea of your work habits. Client meetings can be daunting for any event planner, but with the right preparation and mindset, you will be able to hone your skills.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Imagine your first client meeting as your job interview. Although you do not know what exactly the clients will ask, you should have a rough idea of what to say or what they are interested in hearing. At times, you may be put under time pressure, so preparing in advance will keep you on your toes. For example, if you only have a minute to describe your work ethic, you should make sure you say what is essential. Similarly, planning ahead can also help you grind your speaking skills and figure out how you can project yourself to your client.
Listen and Take Notes
Naturally, you should be able to sell yourself and your skills to your client to convince them to book your services. However, you also want to be careful not to overwhelm your client and allow them to speak. When they do, make sure you listen carefully and take note of the important things, such as what exactly they need or expect for their event. Equally important is always to clarify any areas that haven’t been discussed. This gives you a more solid grasp of your client’s idea, as well as how you can bring it to life.
Whenever you can, try to use visuals, so your clients can better imagine the things you might be saying. Let them take a gander at some of your past venue layouts if you have any, or perhaps give some reference photos. Event planning can sometimes be quite technical, but you must make sure your client understands you. By using visuals, you can better relay the ideas that you might have and show that you value your client’s input.
Establish a Connection
In any business set-up, establishing a personal connection with clients is a must. Though your main goal is to sell your services, you have to make sure your conversation is not purely transactional to build such a connection. You do not have to overthink this as you can easily pop out a quick conversation starter from the things around you. Perhaps you can initiate by talking about the weather or some of their interests, and surely, your client will appreciate the gesture.
You can think of these ways to “break the ice” with your clients. Since you are meeting for the first time, you should make them feel comfortable about working with you. Once you successfully do this, you can proceed to talk about business matters.