How to Avoid “Ghosting” — Event Planner Career Tips
Picture this: a potential client calls you, brimming with energy and ideas about an event. You agree to meet with her for a client consultation. Then, after an hour of riffing off ideas about the theme and basic event components, you never hear from her again. I’m sorry to say, you’ve been professionally ghosted!
Ghosting is the ceasing of all contact in a relationship—usually without any warning. Thankfully, the more time you spend in this industry, speaking to a variety of different clients, the better you’ll be able to detect a potential ghoster. You’ll start to recognize the signs of someone who isn’t really interested in your services, and you can protect yourself from wasting your time.
Ready to jump into it? Keep reading!
Know the signs of a ghoster
Unfortunately, not all inquirers can be swayed to signing the event contract. You’ll have clients who’ll get in touch with you because they want to plan their own shindig, but don’t know where to start. They may be looking for a bit of guidance at the beginning, but fully intend on taking the reins after they have a rough outline. Unfortunately, they’re not always forthright with their intentions.
Most people who try this likely underestimate the value of an event planner. They believe they can do just as good of a job as you and thus don’t see the point in paying for your services. The issue is, they think they can swindle you of your time—but you’re wise to them! You can more-or-less figure out if they’re genuine leads just by chatting with them about their project. To help you hone your skills in detecting good clients, you need to know who your ideal client is….
Who is your ideal client?
Ask yourself who you want to work with. Ideally, if you already have a business model and brand, you’ve figured this part out. Do you like planning private parties? How about corporate retreats? What about bespoke weddings? These are just three examples of the types of events you could be planning. Logistical information such as the area you’re servicing and the typical event budget you’d like to manage also factor into your decision.
Once you know the types of events you want to plan, and who your ideal client is, you can then vet them over the phone before setting up a live consultation. Interviewing them just a little bit can help you tease out whether they’re serious about working with you.
How to turn your inquirers into paying clients
Once you know they’re a good fit, you need to connect with them. The truth of the matter is, when you deliver unparalleled client service, your clients will see the value in having you by their side during the planning process. Be friendly and professional when you engage with them. Tell them what they can expect from you and your event planning business. How can you help them turn a rudimentary plan into a fully-realized event, hitting all their objectives and goals? Starting at the event consultation, you’ll have a chance to show them why you’re the best choice.
Charge for your client consultation
This point is super important. Know your worth! You should not be offering free consultations to whoever knocks on your door. Whenever you’re contributing ideas or discussing event priorities with them, charge for your time! Even if you’re just looking at their event inspiration photos, charge!
If you’re using your knowledge to help them make a decision, you should be charging. Time is your greatest resource and you must protect it. This will allow you to offer your most well-deserving and paying clients more time and energy on their projects. Charging also allows you to avoid building any resentment that can occur when you feel a client is taking advantage of you.
How to prepare your event planning business to receive genuine leads
So how can you make things easier on yourself? Advertise as much information as possible on your event planning business’ public channels! By providing a rough guide on your website at the starting price for your event planning services, you’ll save yourself a lot of time.
Having a great portfolio, a list of your event planning certifications and accolades will show them that you’re worth your price. You’ll receive more relevant phone calls from serious inquirers than otherwise. And you’ll save your breath in going over the pricing strategy with inquirers over and over again.
Don’t be a “yes man”
Let’s be clear, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t give 110% to your event planning jobs. You should always try your best to give your clients their dream event. But not every client will be a good match for your event planning business.
Listen to your gut and remind yourself that you don’t need to say yes to every potential client. It’s okay to say no and be picky about who you work with. We know, it’s tough to turn away business when you’re just starting your event planning career—you naturally want to take every opportunity possible. But when you’re true to yourself, you’ll find yourself enjoying your work, and your clients will definitely notice!
Do you have any tips to avoid being ghosted? Share them in the comments!