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Rental Pro Tips + Tricks for a Smooth Initial Consultation Meeting

In most cases, consultations are the client's first contact with a representative of your rental company. The image we project and the client’s perception of our ability to provide for their event will be the key to closing the deal. So how can we make this first meeting work in our favor?

We all know that the more information our rental clients have, the easier it will be for them to decide. When a rental client is shopping around, they are essentially in the exploratory phase seeking out the information they need to help them decide on the next steps. 

But how do we know what information they need?

First, it’s important to bear in mind that you are probably scheduling appointments in one of two ways - you’re either beginning with an initial phone conversation to book, or the prospect has the ability to book with an auto-scheduler, through your site, social media or even your email signature. While both methods will work, you’ll find that the ability to schedule an appointment with one click has an appeal for those who find themselves researching after hours, or would simply prefer the ease of setting up a consult then and there. Ultimately, you have a great chance of capturing the prospect’s interest when you make it as easy as possible on them. 

Digging into the Details

Regardless of the method, you’ll want to prioritize collecting the right information so you can set yourself up for a successful initial consultation. Be sure to find out the basics to start: 

  • Who is having the event? 

  • What is the reason for the gathering? 

  • Where is the event being held? 

  • When is the event being scheduled? 

  • How many people are anticipated in attendance? 

 Then, it’s essential to dig in further to ensure a productive conversation. Additionally, by taking the time to ask a few additional questions, the prospect will know you are thorough and especially care about the details. 

If you are scheduling over the phone, take the time to engage in meaningful conversation instead of just getting the facts. An engaged couple happily sharing their wedding date with you should be met with an unmatched level of enthusiasm, as well as follow up questions such as: 

  • Have you already chosen your colors? 

  • Do you have a particular style or theme in mind? 

 With a fundraiser, you can jump right into themes but also take the time to better understand the history of the event as well as the ultimate goals of the company. 

An online scheduling app allows you to collect quite a bit of this information upfront, but if you think it may overwhelm a prospect, consider asking the basics and making a point to follow up with a call or email. Share your enthusiasm for your upcoming chat, and that you simply would like to grab more details to be as prepared as possible.   

The Day Of the Consultation: Your Focus 

Before your client arrives, you should dive a little deeper into the information provided.  

  • Have you worked at this particular venue or with any of their selected vendors before? 
  • What is the style of the wedding or the predominant colors? 
  • Are there specific policies of the venue you've had an issue with before, and were you able to adjust to help the client? 
  • Do you need to be out at a specific time after the event, or do we have a relationship with the venue to put off the pick-up and save the client a late-night fee?
  • What is their budget? How can you help them maximize it?  

 If you can show them something tangible during the meeting, that is always a great thing to plan ahead of time. For instance, as a rental company, you can pull together a few table looks based on the theme and color palette, or a florist can use some extra flowers to craft a small centerpiece for them to see. 

Most of all, aspire to have all the answers before they ask. Know what your most frequently asked questions are and have the answers that pertain to this venue, event type, or items. Try to have photos available of your previous work that aligns with their theme and overall aesthetic to put them at ease that you have executed events similar to their's before.

All these tricks will make your client feel confident that they have come to the right place and that you are more than capable of providing the event in the way they have envisioned. When we provide all the information, they will be less inclined to continue searching because we provide the answers, the product, and the service they want, and their search will be over. 

 

Lisa Krumm Anhaiser

Founder and President, LBL Event Rentals

Lisa Krumm Anhaiser, is the founder and President of LBL Event Rentals based in Houston, Texas that has been providing quality linen and event rentals to the area for over 20 years. Lisa is also a graduate of the prestigious Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with other business owners through educating via one on one consultations and speaking engagements.