This last list are things that I tried to do or mention at each site visit. Putting it in a list like this might make it look like I was quite cold and calculating in what I went through but I genuinely wasn’t (and probably couldn’t have listed these things at the time), they’re just things I note from looking back at what I did.
- Turn up on time. If the appointment was at 10am I’d be round the corner waiting at quarter to. You want these people to trust you’re going to do what you say you’re going to, the first impression should be turning up on time.
- Offer to take your shoes off (or insist on it if it’s muddy/raining). This act alone got me a couple of jobs
- Before going outside to measure up sit down with the bride & groom and ask them:
- Is there anything they definately want or don’t want? Including anything they may have experienced or seen in a marquee.
- What number of guests are there likely to be
- How formal is it?
- Do they need: dance floor, bar, pre-breakfast drinks, buffet, catering areas etc
- Once I had this information I’d go outside to measure (see part 1 from 2 weeks ago). If it wasn’t immediately obvious how and where to position the marquee then I’d ask the customer to give me 5 minutes and I’ll come back in with ideas. This just gives a bit of breathing space to gather your ideas together -preferably getting at least 2 suggestions.
- Come back in and discuss what’s possible and what options they would like to go for. If you heavily favour one particular layout then explain the reasons why you do so.
- When leaving I’d always finish by saying this quote will be typed up and be in the post first class tomorrow so you should receive it the day after. Make sure you stick to this timescale (or whatever you specify). Again it’s just doing what you say you’re going to do. These days I’d imagine people would appreciate it emailed, in which case do it asap while it’s fresh in their memory. In many cases we had clients who had accepted our quote and sent it back with a deposit before they’d even received others so don’t delay.
At the end of the day the most important points are:
- Listen, listen, listen to what the clients are telling you. Don’t try and sell them something they’ve specifically said they don’t want
- Make sure you make them feel important, not just another marquee in a long production line
- Come across in a manner that makes them trust you. Be genuine, honest and reassure them that you’ll do what you say you’re going to do.
Obviously you can pick and choose anything from these posts, I realise it can seem a lot initially but it just becomes second nature after a while. I can promise you this approach works. I wasn’t the best at putting up marquees, I wasn’t even the best at staying on ladders! (a couple of cracked ribs and broken fingers is evidence of that) but I had a pretty good record on site visits (conversion percentage was usually in the 80’s, sometimes 90’s).
Thanks for reading