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Test Drive

Clients are not always decisive. They want to feel like they are in control of the buying situation. Sometimes the client’s buying cycle doesn’t fit into your “ideal schedule” as a salesperson. That’s sales folks. You need to manage the process. Recognize the client wants “it” to be on their timetable rather than yours. Knowing this, smart salespeople need to try creative techniques for their customers to book sooner rather than later. Educate the customer about realistic deadlines and keep them engaged through the process so you can close the deal.

Seven Sales Ideas to Book that Business:

1. Use your event calendar

Post-COVID, customers are still trained to think there are limited dates for your venue and catering services. Understand yield management and that hot dates will go if they do not commit sooner rather than later. Make them have to have you.

2. Use supply chain scarcity

Products and services are scarce and will continue to be. In order to lock in their desired menu or date, make it clear that deadlines are established for a reason and deposits are required to guarantee client-specific wants.

3. Meet the client in person

It’s easier for a customer to stall with their decision when communicating via email if they are not as familiar with you. Put in the effort to meet them and develop a connection.

4. Ask for a minimal deposit/retainer to lock in your services

Be flexible with your contract payment terms if it means getting the commitment earlier in the buying cycle. Make the deposit payment process easy for the customer.

5. Listen to your client and what is important to them

Write down your clients hot buttons and remember them. Think of creative reasons to touch base so they know you are still responsive and “on it”. Reach out just because you can.

6. Ask your client when they plan on making a decision

Address any potential hurdles and non-guarantees if the date is later than anticipated.

7. Most Importantly, Ask What Will Make Their Decision

What are the hesitations to commit now? Develop creative ways to tackle and solve those issues now so you can get the sale and move forward.


Jennifer Perna

Jennifer Perna

Owner, Fulton Market Consulting, Chicago, IL
Jennifer Perna started Fulton Market Consulting in May 2017 after developing an event experience and sales management experience portfolio for over 25 years in the downtown Chicago catering and special events industry. Jennifer presently works with owners, managers and all team players at hospitality-related companies on increasing sales and creating business development strategies, streamlining processes for operations and event production and developing best practices for human resources and administrative management. This is especially imperative as we continue to manage a diverse and young talented pool of employees today. Jennifer brings a dynamic, approachable and relatable communication style to all levels and members...