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Clients come in all shapes and sizes, wants and needs, experience, objectives or no objectives, budgets or no idea of a budget.

It is the responsibility of the planner or producer to sort out what the client tells you they want, what they really want and what the best way to accomplish what your experience tells you should be done while pleasing the client.

Recently, we had a new client ask for some very simple staging, pipe and drape directly behind the stage. Before we would give a cost, we asked if we could see the space and meet with them. I think that all they expected was a price quote over the phone as this was not a huge job.

We looked at a lot of bare industrial looking walls. and suggested that for a more complete look and feel that we drape beyond the stage to cover the rest of that wall and make it one dramatic area. Client loved that idea as noone had ever thought of or done that before. We also suggested very simple uplighting to add depth. Client loved the look and received many compliments from attendees and associates in other departments.

So, rather than being an order taker and fearful of a potential client being horrified that there might be an additional, but minor cost, so often we're afraid to suggest what we know to be a good idea that will enhance an event or meeting.

So simple, yet so effective and makes you look good to your client and your client look good to the guests or the boss.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Promotional Products September 23, 2009, 2:48 pm

    Great points, you are definitely obligated to acquiesce to your clients wishes. However, you are the professional in the field and they sought out your business, so I think that you would be doing them a disservice if you didn’t voice your opinion and advice based on your expertise. You should be tactful in the way you get the point across, but I think in the long run, the client will appreciate your opinion.

  • Pat Ahaesy May 25, 2009, 1:25 am

    Brian, The key is not trying to upsell, but to recommend to your client what you know to be a good idea, whether it’s design, stagin, decor, content. Quite often, the suggestions simply save money for he client.
    The client may not take your suggestions, but at least you know that you’ve tried to use your expereince and talent to help make the event or conference better.

  • Brian McGovern May 20, 2009, 8:34 pm

    Well said. I wonder how much money I’ve left on the table, and how many events could have been better if I’d only tried to upsell and crossell more consistently. It isn’t just about make more money, it’s about creating more value.