How to Deal with a Rush of New Clients
Dealing with new clients can be a stressful process for new event planners. You have to make a good first impression and set the foundation for a brand new business relationship. Particularly around the holidays, you might find that many new clients approach you all at once. People are planning personal and corporate events in celebration of Christmas, the New Year, and many other holidays, so it’s a busy time of year for you! Here are some ways to deal with a rush of new clients without becoming overwhelmed!
1. Budget your time and stick to a schedule
Dealing with many new clients at once means scheduling more meetings than usual. Whereas repeat clients that you’ve worked with before might not need as much consultation to learn about your pricing and services, new clients will require all of the information about what you offer for the first time. It will also be necessary for you to qualify your potential new clients to make sure that they’re serious about booking your services during this busy time, and also to confirm that you can really perform the services they’re looking for. Because of these meetings, your schedule will need to remain detailed and organized. Set a standard time frame for how long the average consultation takes, and allot that amount of time to each client. Communicate to your clients that this is the amount of time you will need for each meeting, and do your best to stick to that time frame so you don’t run over into your next new clients’ time!
2. Establish a standard contract and payment structure
You can streamline your consultation process with new clients by setting out a standard contract and payment structure or pricing plan before the start of a busy season. If you anticipate a rush of new clients around Christmas, put together an example package of commonly requested holiday party services and present that information to clients who are serious about moving forward with you. Consider setting out packages for small and large parties, and have contracts pre-formatted for each package. Include a list of bigger or more elaborate additional services that clients can choose from for an extra price. This saves you time and allows you to keep your practices and prices consistent from client to client.
3. Don’t overbook yourself
Finding yourself in high demand can be very exciting! Especially as a new event planner, experiencing a rush of new clients can make you feel tempted to take all of the business you can get your hands on. Remember, however, that any contract you take on must be fulfilled to your very best ability. You owe your clients top quality service and dedication, so be sure to follow the old “quality over quantity” rule. Your reputation will benefit more from a smaller number of parties who rave about the great service they received than it will from many different clients who were moderately happy but felt like you were rushing. It’s also your responsibility to ensure that your contract with each client doesn’t interfere with your ability to fulfill your obligations to any other client. This is particularly important if you are trying to juggle loyal repeat clients while you take on many new ones. Don’t sacrifice good business relationships for the sake of trying to take on every single client that looks your way. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t accept more clients than usual during busy holiday seasons, but remember that overbooking and having to cancel on someone is less than ideal.
4. Create a “Welcome” package
Brand new clients will need more information than those who have used your services before. You can make this process easier during busy holiday seasons by preparing a welcome package that you can give each new client and run through with them. This can include your previously mentioned standard contract, standard pricing, and pre-made holiday packages for their consideration. It can also include information about additional services you might offer, your contact information, and anything else you find yourself needing to tell the average new customer. This way, your process is streamlined and you can communicate consistent information to each new client quickly and effectively. Welcome packages will help you save time and ensure that each new client is informed, even when you’re very busy.
5. Create a “Thank You” package
Part of turning new clients into repeat clients is thanking them at the end of the contract! Even if you’re busy taking on as many new clients as you can realistically handle, you still want to make sure that each one feels as though you value their business. Consider preparing a “Thank You” package that you can distribute to each client you finish a contract with quickly and effectively.
This lets you save time spent preparing them as you go, but still gives new clients a sense that you’ve taken a moment to conclude your business with them before running immediately to the next contract. Make sure to keep your pre-made “Thank You” packages friendly and slightly personalized so that clients leave your contract on a positive note, rather than feeling as though you handed them a mass-produced thank you in favor of prioritizing new business.
Taking advantage of increased business is definitely in the best interests of a new event planner! Just make sure that you stay organized during busier times in order to avoid overbooking and disappointing people. If you can get through a busy holiday season having planned great events for not just your repeat clients, but also the many new ones who approached you, you will have more names to add to your list of solid business relationships. For more information about good business tactics for busy event planners, check out our selection of courses that include free business training!