How to Sell Event Meeting Services on Value vs. Price
Now, more than ever, the event industry is crowded with meeting planners, partners, and venues clammering for that next meeting or event. Many corporate and association planners were laid off in 2009 and ’10 only to become independent planners who now compete with event services companies like myself. At times, I feel it is a dog-eat-dog world with price being the deciding factor.

However, over the years, I have come to realize that people are willing to pay more for products and services when they think it is special or of value to them. In addition, it is all about the presentation.

Here are some great tips to sell your event services company’s offerings.

Play Up Your Strengths

  1. What makes your organization better than the competition? Know your top 5 competitors and know what you do better than them.
  2. Tell the prospect about the history of your organization. I have had many prospects tell me that it impressive that I weathered 2009 and am still a thriving business. It says something about your organization’s financial soundness.
  3. Give them success stories. Put these stories on your website and make certain you have a lot of recommendations on LinkedIn. In a face-to-face meeting, print off a few of those success stories and share them.
  4. Share a listing of clients and encourage the prospect to call them. Let your customer be your best sales person.

Exude Confidence in Your Product and Pricing Model

  1. Don’t lead with price, vacillate on price, or negotiate with yourself. Leave pricing for last. If they press you for a price, make certain you know all the ins and outs of their event before giving them a quote.
  2. Have confidence in your services and the pricing. Give the prospect a quote only after you completely understand their needs. Repeat their needs in a proposal and tell them how you are going to make their event spectacular.
  3. Remember this: it is always easier to lead with value and then give them a price. It is much more difficult, if not impossible, to lead with price and try to add value.

Emphasize Customer Service

  1. Focus on your personal touches. What ways are you going to make certain your client feels special?
  2. Provide great service to your existing clients. If you are lacking in some areas, beef it up. Do customer satisfaction surveys and target every area of your organization.
  3. After each event, send you client a personalized, handwritten note and a small token of your gratitude. If it is a large event, perhaps send them flowers or a restaurant gift card.

Market to Targets that Appreciate Value

Let’s face it, some prospects are only about price. Tom Reilly, of Tom Reilly Training, says about 1/3 of your selling base is going to be purely price driven, while the other 2/3 is open to value proposals. It is usually easy to tell who is price sensitive if they keep revolving their questions about your price and don’t answer any of your questions.

Key takeaway: Choose your prospects carefully and remember price is short-term while value is long-term.

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