Cold Calling for Success: An Event Planner’s Guide to Landing Clients

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How are your cold-calling skills? Do you feel you could be landing more New York conference and event clients if you could just improve your pitch? And with all the so-called advice out there suggesting that cold-calling is dead, should you be eliminating it from your sales process altogether?

There are a lot of questions about today’s ever-changing sales techniques. And we’re here to tell you that cold-calling absolutely has a place in your process. But there’s an effective and non-effective way to conduct cold calls with new-to-you clients. Here’s the ultimate guide today’s New York event planners need to start seeing betting results and closing more deals.

Do Your Pre-Call Homework

It’s absolutely imperative that you do your pre-call homework before dialing. Know who you’re calling, their business, and their event-related problems. Do a quick Google search right before you call, too, in case your contact has recently made the news or published something worth congratulating. It’s also essential to master name pronunciations and titles before connecting with your prospects. Do your research and be prepared to engage authentically.

Stop Winging It

Event planners are masters of conversation and entertainment. But no matter how savvy you are at making small talk and delivering your sales pitch, stop winging it. Get the script together that follows the proven methods of positive conversation flow. Itemize the details you want to be able to discuss. Not preparing an outline to follow for your cold call could result in you forgetting to mention things or asking too soon for the next-step action.

Timing Matters

Be mindful of when you’re cold calling, too. Timing matters and can determine whether or not you see results with your calling efforts. Some find the most success calling on a Friday afternoon when people usually are excited about the weekend and happy to chat. Others say Friday afternoons are bad because your contacts can clock out early on Fridays. The only way to know if post-lunch calls or pre-lunch calls work best, or if Mondays are too hectic to call and Wednesday mornings are best, is to change up your timing. Try calling at different times, keeping your prospect’s schedule in mind. And definitely leave the voicemail if you miss them.

Avoid Insta-Pitches

Have you ever been surprised when you finally get someone on the phone who you’ve tried to connect with for what seems like forever? In your moment of shock, you might word-vomit your sales pitch right away, just as a reaction. Don’t worry; it happens to the best of us. But know that those insta-pitches are never effective. When you’re cold-calling, avoid jumping into your sales pitch until the conversation naturally flows in that direction. Instead, connect with your prospect as a human, demonstrating you value their time and event planning challenges. There will be ample time to pitch your services later.

Prepare for Objections

The hard truth about sales is that there will always be objections and rejections. How you prepare for those obstacles will determine whether you lose out altogether or at least position yourself for future opportunities. Prepare a full roster of core objections you hear most, like event planning budget constraints, and brainstorm for your best rebuttals. Prepare, too, for those more subtle objections, including, “I don’t have time to talk now” or “we have an event planner we work with already.” Have an arsenal of responses in front of you when you’re cold calling so you can pivot and keep those doors open for future conversations and opportunities. 

Consider these tips to help improve your cold-calling techniques. Small changes can make a big impact and help you land more New York event clients. 

Learn more about improving your sales strategies and landing new clients by attending The Event Planner Expo 2023. The official waitlist is open now, so join in and stay up to date with all the mind-blowing announcements we roll out in the coming months!


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