Experiential Sales – Top Three Tips
We have many opportunities to engage with clients in the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) industry. We can connect at tradeshows, by way of office visits and at client events to name but a few but it is what we do when our clients visit us that really counts. We call this experiential sales; the process of delivering an experience to a client in order to secure the business. When our clients visit our destination, our venue or our hotel that’s when an enquiry can turn into confirmed business and in the MICE sales world, isn’t that what our ultimate objective is?
When it comes to site inspections and familiarisation trips, we’ve highlighted three tips below to help you create more successful experiential sales opportunities, which will assist in converting more businesses.
1. Put yourself in the client’s shoes
When devising your site inspection or familiarisation trip itinerary, it must be based on the enquiry the client has provided you with or if it is a familiarisation trip, it must be based on the profile of the client (for example, do they source incentive programmes predominantly or are they more meetings focused). Now that the basics are in place, a great idea when further developing the experience to be delivered is to look at it from the client’s perspective. Where have they been before they visit you and where are they going afterwards? What time of the day is the visit taking place? Have they just got off a long haul flight? By posing these questions, you are in a stronger position to create a more impactful and positive experience, which ultimately benefits you and your business.
Now that you have your experience tied down, it is time to welcome the client to your destination, hotel or venue. This initial welcome is of critical importance as it sets the tone for the entire visit and the experience you deliver. Most people have a tendency to dominate this part of the experience by talking at the client. However, it will pay dividends in the long run, if you politely ask the client if you can run through the planned itinerary, if they are happy with the plan or if they wish to alter any element of it. While this may ultimately lead to a deviation from your initial plan, don’t fret as what will unfold is something of far greater benefit to the client, which will work in your favour overall.
We’ve all been there. We have our itinerary in place and we are focused on delivering it exactly as timed. After all, we may have other people involved in the execution of the itinerary. For example, at a hotel level, your GM might be scheduled to say hello, your Executive Chef might be preparing a food and beverage experience, your Conference and Banqueting Director might be on hand to showcase the event space. While it is important to have all this in place in advance of the visit, you must never forget to observe the client. What is their body language telling you? When they speak with you, how is their tone? Based on your observations, you may provide the client with additional options, perhaps a short break to recharge before continuing or shortening a certain element of the visit that is not of critical importance to the client. While your colleagues may be a little frustrated by the changes, they will understand that it has been done in the best interest of the client and after all, isn’t that what counts the most?
By following these three tips, you will be better equipped to deliver personalised and memorable experiences to your clients with the ultimate outcome being higher conversion rates and isn’t that music to the ears of any professional MICE salesperson?!
KL Communications is a Dublin based interaction design studio specialising in branding, communications and sales. With a background in business tourism, Ken Lyons brings a fresh approach to B2B sales. To further expand the agency offering, the collaboration with Paul Condron, Creative Strategist, brings a dynamic approach to how businesses embrace creativity. By adopting a Brand Publishing mindset to communications partnered with a commitment to company culture alignment, KL Communications collaborates with businesses to transform their branding and communications activities.