How to perform a killer venue site inspection

You have done the hard work in getting your prospective client to visit your venue – now it’s time to make the sale. One of the main aims of your sales activities should be to secure venue site inspections, giving you the opportunity to sell to them face to face as well as the chance to develop rapport. Performing a killer venue site inspection will make or break the sale, here’s how to ensure your site inspection stands out.

Value their time

Event organisers are busy people and this should be respected from the get go. Confirm your site inspection with client as well as advising the best places to park and how to enter the venue (attach a map if you have one). Plan your site inspection from the greeting, to the walk through, to question time and if you have advised that it is a 30 minute site inspection, do not take a minute longer.

Have fun with it

Get excited! You love your venue and have seen so many incredible events there. Your excitement about the space and what it’s capable of will be infectious. 

Presentation

Flag with your entire team what appointments you have at the venue, avoiding any situations where the space might be in bump out mode and not looking its best. Take half an hour prior to your site inspection to perform a spot check, to ensure all lights are on and some soft back ground music is playing. Set up your business cards, marketing collateral, sales tools and refreshments. Your personal presentation is also very important in helping create an excellent first impression.

Knowledge

Prepare for your appointment.  Make sure you know the details about the company and their event. Engage your client by asking where they have held their previous events, what their most memorable event was and why. 
 
If you are a sales person that sells multiple venues, ensure you are 100% across that particular venue and its specifics and capabilities. Be prepared for questions around capacities, rigging and AV capabilities, catering, access points etc.

Sell the sizzle, not the steak

If you are simply telling the client what the venue’s features are, you are not really selling. For example – the venue walls may be operable. You need to then point out the benefits of this to the client’s event, for example - the operable walls mean that we can create break out spaces for your conference as well as including a communal catering area for everyone to meet during breaks, allowing for socialising amongst your delegates. 

Paint the picture

You may be used to seeing your venue set up and styled up in many different ways, however your client won’t be. Help your client visualise their event at your venue by using visual aids such as images of past events, a show riel or floor plans. Talk your client through some different events that you have held in the past and include examples of what worked well or some events that were a little bit different/interesting to showcase your venues versatility. 

Gain commitment

If a proposal has already been given to client, now is the time to talk it through. If time permits, take a seat with client, offer refreshments and go over the proposal with them. Try to identify and resolve any issues or hesitations that they may have. It is always good to scope out when client intends to make their decision and any other pertinent information that you can record in their file, ensuring you place your follow up call on the day of their decision. Holding space tentatively will be a good sign of commitment so ensure that you have your venue availability handy so that you can place the appropriate hold.

In conclusion

The team you have on the front lines performing venue site inspections are the greatest tool in your sales arsenal. You can spend up big on your marketing, however if your staff cannot perform a killer site inspection, your sales conversions will be low. 
 
A secret shopper program, customer reviews and/or a low level of sales conversion should give you an indication of any issues present. Sit down and ask your team if they enjoy performing site inspections and ask them what areas they would like to develop it – perhaps they are excellent at painting the picture but cannot close? If issues are present, it is time to allocate funds to sales team training, ensuring that your sales team are confident in and love selling your amazing venue as well as being able to consistently close the deal. 





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Guest post by Nicole Bates | Conversion Management

Nicole Bates is Australia’s leading expert in sales and management for the meetings and events industry. Driven by a passion to help make events businesses the best they can be, Nicole founded Conversion Management. Nicole works with her clients to grab hold of their potential, to convert prospects into clients, and to help venues and suppliers transform into profitable powerhouses.