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As I write this article, I’m preparing for two weddings and thinking of my upcoming presentation at ARMDJ’s next week entitled “Creative Consultations – From Opening To Closing”. I’ve learned a LOT about sales over my life and was recently certified as an “ACE of SALES” by sales guru and best selling author Jeffrey Gitomer. If you think about it….we ALL are in sales, in one way or another. EVERYTHING IN LIFE is a negotiation. What you are going to have for dinner….Whom you will marry or date, Where you live, what you drive for a vehicle…heck you even negotiate with yourself whether to have that last cookie or stay up an extra hour late at night.
Why are so many of us so BAD at sales? I’ll tell you why. Because somewhere along the line we fell into the same thinking and “old sales teachings” that have been proliferated for years. First you talk to the client…then you get a meeting…then you give a pitch…then you give a close and somebody wins and somebody loses.
It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it shouldn’t be that way. Sales are simply one concept. HELP people. Your clients come to you with a problem….looking for help. The first question out of your mouth shouldn’t be “What’s your event date?”… should be “How did you hear about me?” This is your point of reference. How they heard about you determines how the rest of that conversation can go.
Let’s look at a typical initial conversation. Client calls in and you professionally answer your phone with a greeting and your business name.
Client: “Hi…this is Suzy Bride….I am looking to see if you are available for my wedding on October 23rd and what your cost is.”
You: (in your most pleasant sounding voice) “Congratulations Suzy on your engagement….Yes, I’m happy to say the 23rd of October is available…how did you hear about me?”
Client: “Oh…we heard about you from Mike at the Terrace….he said you do a really good job.”
You: “Well, it’s a pleasure working with Mike. The Terrace is a fabulous venue for your wedding day and they have great customer service (compliment her). When’s a good time for us to get together to talk about your wedding? Are days or evenings best for you?”
Now you’ve given the client a choice. People LOVE making choices and won’t tell you no if you don’t give them the opportunity to. The wrong question to ask here is “Would you like to get together for an appointment?” That’s a YES or NO question…and people will always take the easy way out. Give your clients the CHOICE to choose the best option for their event…YOU.
In your consultations, use your potential client's information to help you solve their problem and keep you on the road to the sale.

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