Event planners are masters at adapting and changing to the crazy market dynamics every year. But if you’re struggling to land new clients, or need help finding your new way forward in 2023 sales efforts, keep reading. This is the ultimate guide for event planners who are looking for a boost in how they grow their businesses and start landing new clients at a higher rate.
Re-evaluate the Tools in Your Arsenal
Start by evaluating what client outreach tools you have in the marketing and sales arsenal. What resources do you have that work well? What tools didn’t perform? Whether you’re hoping to land your very first event client or your 1,000th, revisit these key elements which serve as the foundation for landing new clients.
A Portfolio of Success Stories: Assemble success stories wherever you can find them, reinforcing your event planning chops. A collection of testimonials on your website or a presentation portfolio of event images and videos will demonstrate your expertise. It’s the “proof” your new potential event clients will need to verify before they continue a conversation with you.
Establish New Client Goals: Don’t just cast your fishing net into the pond and hope for the best. Realistically develop your goals and objectives for new clients you hope to land each month, quarter, and for the year. With clear goals outlined, you can carve out the strategies needed to achieve them, including volume of calls, email marketing targets, and social media messaging.
Processes for Each Tool: Identify the processes with which you can execute your strategies to achieve your goals. These might include commitments to days and times reserved for drafting email campaigns or making calls. There will need to be schedules for prospect follow-ups, software to manage leads, and analytics tools for ongoing evaluation of effectiveness.
Identifying Your Dream Client
As desperate as you might feel in the moment about landing new clients, you’ll need to stop and focus. Your unique expertise will serve a precise client profile perfectly. Consider identifying who that ideal dream client really is and develop a targeting strategy to reach them. Lead with your best foot forward, showcasing your strengths with a narrowed precision. For inspiration, consider these new client characteristics that speak to your business model:
- Sort by event types, such as corporate events, weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, product launches, team meetings, virtual events, trade shows, or fundraising events.
- Sort by target decision-makers, such as PR professionals, company HR representatives, brides, parents, managers, CEOs, or marketers.
- Sort by industry, such as business segments, non-profits, family dynamics, or brand innovations.
Lead Funnels and Structural Components
With your goals in mind, your tools at hand, and your ideal client determined, you can move on to creating the structural components of your marketing and sales efforts. Lead generation, including funnels and nurturing, will work behind the scenes to always attract new potential clients to your event planning brand. Not everyone will be ready to make a decision today, but it’s your lead-gen structure of processes that will keep new prospects in “the hopper.” If you’re spending all your time chasing “yes” responses today without cultivating “yes” responses for tomorrow, you’ll experience more new client dry spells. And you’ll work twice as hard. Instead, build new client-building momentum with architecture and messaging that moves leads to prospects and prospects to clients.
Work Your Network for Leads and Testimonials
While you have your own strategies and processes in place to help land new clients, don’t forget to tap into your most powerful resource – your network. Who you know, including colleagues, friends, and past event clients, can be a huge asset in finding and attracting new clients. Create marketing efforts that include strategic relationship building and incentives for those who already know how great your services are. And always be reminding them that you’re on the hunt for new clients.
Solve Problems and Provide Value
In order to land new event clients in 2023, it’s important to understand what their pain points are. Know what their preferences are, too, including how they make decisions. Event planners might have to change how they approach new clients. And when you lead those conversations with how you can solve their problems and provide value, you’ll be their primary choice every time. Rework your elevator pitch, your web content, your email marketing sequences, and your sales scripts. Follow your ideal client’s pain and be the first solution to address those issues.
Focus on Building Relationships, Not Landing Sales
With the noisy online space, your new clients have a harder time separating relevant messages. You’ll need to find ways to make your New York event planning service stand out from the crowd. And today’s decision-makers are looking for trustworthy brands and strategic relationships to work with, which is why building relationships should be your priority. When you stop chasing the revenue of the sale and instead focus on developing and nurturing the relationships with clients, you’ll find the sales will just start coming.
As you carve out your marketing and sales strategies for landing new clients in 2023, keep this ultimate guide handy as a reference. Change how you connect and engage with your prospects. Improve your tools and processes. Redefine realistic goals and pave the road to reaching those goals. And you’ll be landing new clients all year long!
Another way to get in the room with top clients is by attending and exhibiting at The Event Planner Expo 2023. Explore opportunities to get involved, and don’t miss the #1 event planning conference of the year!