How VR Will Help You Close the Sale

Say you own a gorgeous venue with the perfect garden setting for year-round events. Your website features photos prominently, but somehow, pictures don’t do it justice. Or, perhaps you’re a designer, and you’d love every single lead to experience a full-on event design to truly appreciate the value that you provide.

 While in-person walkthroughs are always a great way to immerse a prospect into the client experience, what happens if they are out-of-town and looking to you for a destination wedding? Alternatively, what if their work schedule can’t align with your open hours or they are only available to tour your event space while a private event is taking place?

 In the past, this situation could lead to a lost client. However, with virtual reality, you no longer need to rely on in-person meetings to show off the glory of your work. The use of VR will open your business up to new markets — in particular; you can now sell a better experience to destination event clients who aren’t able to be onsite until the celebration.

Virtual Reality is Here to Stay

In the events industry, VR was always a technology of the future, but no longer is it considering an “up-and-coming”novelty. An increasingly large number of venues are already using virtual reality to take their sales process to the next level and provide one-of-a-kind immersive experiences to book clients in current and new markets.

 For many, the idea of implementing virtual reality is intimidating. However, if you think about it, email and social media carried their learning curve as well — and we use those tools with ease on a daily basis now. Know that you don’t need to rush into things with VR; instead, take it slowly and get to know how you can use this new technology to meet your business needs.

Bringing VR to Your Business

VR is becoming increasingly accessible for businesses and consumers alike, and that trend will continue to rise. The photo-realistic diagramming can be viewed across multiple platforms including mobile, desktop, and VR headset. You might think that VR headsets would be a hard item to track down but they can be found at local stores like Walmart or Best Buy.  Do your research or speak with a trusted tech resource to understand how simple and efficient it is to implement and use VR technology. 

Understanding Your ROI

When it comes down to it, VR has a pretty minimal learning curve — especially as we start to see more voice-activated sets hitting the market. Many of these headsets are very affordable as well, with the basic version of the popular Oculus carrying a comfortable price tag of $200. Of course, there are higher price points for VR tools with additional features, so you can find a set that fits your needs.

When you consider the low cost and minimal time needed for training, the early data is pointing in the direction of a high ROI for VR technology. After the initial investment, the technology will last for years, and you will see your sales process reap the benefits.

Now is the time to start considering how to implement VR into your business workflow. It won’t be long until it becomes standard practice, so it’s worth taking the time now to get on board and set yourself apart from competitors.

With over 20 years of experience in the international events industry, Sandy Hammer is the co-founder and CMO of AllSeated, a collaborative network for planning events that offers tools including floorplans, 3D view, Guest List, RSVP, Seating, Timelines, Mobile Check-In and more.

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7 Ways to Get People to Like You

If people don’t like us, then we are doing something very wrong. I’ve come to learn that people either love me or hate me; there is no in-between. Part of life is knowing that there is always going to be something you can improve on. Now, in sales, you need people to like you — here are seven ways for you to do just that.

 

1. Mirroring

This is something we do both consciously and subconsciously. We mimic the body language, posture, expression, or even communication methods of the person we are talking to. It allows us to find new ways to relate to them and connect on a deeper level — in fact, there are even neurons in our brains dedicated to helping us with this.

A client will almost instantly make their mind up as to whether they like or dislike you, and a lot of this can depend on the way you are expressing yourself through body language. Not to mention that the vibes they are sending to you often get thrown back at them without you even thinking. Thus, you need to be the one leading the charge; have them mirror you.

 

2. Body Language

This is so important, especially as 70 percent of our communication is done through it. That’s a huge number, right? As a salesperson, you need to be mindful of your body language, but also of your customer’s. If they are in an unfavorable position, it likely means that they don’t like what you are talking about and you need to change the conversation. Move onto something that they are interested in, and watch to see their body language adapt.

You have to be quick on your feet with this, as it can be easy to miss and forget to read the non-verbal cues. Remember that there can be subtle differences in the body language displayed by men and women, so a little extra research won’t go amiss.

If your body language screams insecurity and a lack of confidence, people will not have faith in you, and you will lose the job. Never keep your hands behind your back, as it’s dismissive; instead, use them to emphasize points and throw in some extra passion. Let the customer know that you are confident in yourself and your products.

Here are a few quick body language pointers to give you a head start:

  • Crossed arms are a sign of discomfort. The same goes for leaning away from you.

  • Leaning back with arms and legs spread wide is a sign of comfort, but it can also be a dominant and territorial display during serious discussions.

  • Placing your hands on a surface either side of you is a sign of confidence and authority.

  • Placing your hands on your hips with your legs spread shows that you are ready for action.

  • Hands resting together with the fingertips touching tends to suggest confidence and power.

  • Fiddling with hair, jewelry, or anything, is a sign of discomfort, doubt, and insecurity.

  • Bobbing a crossed leg up and down while sitting tends to show discomfort.

  • Pointing a foot upwards while talking is usually a good sign.

There are loads of other examples of body language, but these are the basics that you absolutely need to remember.

 

3. Positive Energy

If you aren’t positive, then you are going to lose work — it’s as simple as that. Take a deep breath, stand up tall, and get straight into the pitch with good thoughts for the process and outcome. Tell yourself you have the job before you even start, and the client will notice your confidence.

It links with body language because you need to further express that confidence with it. You could be an expert in your field, but no one will notice if you are carrying yourself incorrectly. Be passionate, be positive, and really show the customer what you’re made of.

 

4. Humor

People like it when the person they are talking to feels human. We all make jokes, and I am a master of throwing them into my pitches and seminars. Let people know who you are and don’t be afraid to show off that sense of humor. Of course, keep things tame, but you need to let customers relate to you.

 

5. Vulnerability

This is something that people love, so you need to be willing to be an open book. Being vulnerable is the act of willingly showing up, even with no guarantees. Vulnerability is a human trait that we all seem to respond to, and your potential customers are no different. Putting yourself out there, even when there is nothing to gain, is a great way to display just how motivated and devoted you are.

 

6. Mindset 

Your mindset is so important — I can’t emphasize this enough. If you’re saying that you can’t do something or if you give up easily, this needs to change. Success truly is a matter of mindset. If you have a negative outlook, you are far less likely to succeed.

You need to be looking for opportunities and approaching them with positivity. Act as though you have the job before you’ve even pitched. A proper mindset will be noticed by a customer, just as a poor one will. Sales aren’t just about technique; it is also about your confidence and the way you see yourself in business.

 

7. Commonality

This is all about finding something you and your customer share. It’s not always easy, but the best way to do it is with a good old-fashioned research session. Look them up on social media, visit their website, and find out everything you can to relate to them better. Doing your homework looks good on you. It shows that you care, but it also means you have gone the extra mile to impress buyers and let them know they are worth your time.

Getting people to like you isn’t as easy as clicking your fingers. You must put in effort. By following these seven simple steps, you will be well on your way to becoming better liked, and even more confident. Just watch those new clients roll in. 

With 30 years of experience owning event planning, high-end catering, and design and décor companies, Meryl Snow is on a mission to help businesses get on their own path to success. As a Senior Consultant & Sales Trainer for SnowStorm Solutions, Meryl travels throughout North America training clients in the areas of sales, marketing, design, and branding. She speaks with groups from the heart with warmth and knowledge, and covers the funny side of life and business.

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4 Strategies to Upsell Effectively

Upselling is an art that marries psychology with sales strategies in order to elevate your client experience and boost your bottom line. By communicating the competitive uniqueness and value that you bring to the table, you can guide clients in the direction of adding on services and products that will take their celebration to the next level.

In fact, upselling boosts sales by 20 to 42 percent on average and all it takes is some simple coaching and careful positioning.

Sound like it’s worth a try? Try out some of these techniques to improve sales of add-on services and products.

Get to the point

One of the easiest and most effective upselling strategies is to simply plug in upgraded options on your proposal. Prospects are already interested in what you have to offer, so all it takes is a few sentences at the end about how you can go above and beyond their expectations. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated; in fact, it can even be as simple as showing signature drink options or an upgraded hors d’oeuvres menu. On average, one out of every four clients will jump on the offer, so it’s well worth the minimal effort of adding to your proposal.

Let your environment do the work

If your client meetings usually take place in your office, take some time to strategically place some samples of upgraded products throughout the space. Give them a tour of your place and let them discover the pieces that speak to them the most — something will likely catch their eye and pique their interest.

Likewise, displaying good quality photos that show off your upgraded services and products in action is another useful strategy. Put an iPad on loop, leave out a photo album, or hang up some framed photos behind your desk to add a discreet plug to every meeting.

Share similar client stories

Take a page out of Amazon’s book and share your own version of “customers who bought this also bought this.” Previous event experiences speak volumes and can present new ideas for clients. Start by having a few anonymous proposals on hand that shows off a full event’s order. Include some photos for an extra punch and you’ll surely see a significant rise in sales.

Show off the latest styles

As you’re browsing the latest trends and shopping for new products, don’t be afraid to shoot some ideas over to your clients and let them you know thought of them first. Not only will it show that their event is always on your mind, but they will likely be open to the suggestion of something unique and different from what’s been done in the past.   

Upselling can be mutually beneficial for both you and the client, but it’s important to tread carefully and avoid coming across as insincere. Keep your offers simple to prevent overwhelming decisions, and always know when a client really means no. The goal is to meet the client’s needs and highlight choices that will escalate their event, not to sell more stuff and make more money. Your sales efforts have to be in the genuine interest of your clients or else you risk losing your client’s respect and damaging the experience.

With nearly 30 years in the special event and catering industry, Meryl Snow is the co-founder of Feastivities Events and the creator of The Triangle Method.  As a Senior Consultant for Certified Catering Consultants, Meryl travels throughout North America training clients in the areas of sales, marketing, design and branding to help businesses get on their own path to success.

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WeddingIQ welcomes guest posts from wedding professionals and industry experts on all topics relevant to running a wedding business. Please review our guest contributor guidelines and email us with your submissions!


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Tips for Making the Sale With Add-Ons

Tips for Making the Sale With Add-Ons

Even if you’re satisfied with the numbers you’re making, chances are you wouldn’t be one to say ‘no’ to an extra boost of revenue. (Believe it or not, ten out of ten entrepreneurs would like to increase their earnings!)

If you haven’t considered building in ‘add-ons’ to your business, then it’s time to rethink your business structure. More often than not, engaged couples are in need of standard décor items for their wedding day – think candles, linens, or even boutique candy favors. By upselling these types of products, you can not only make more money, but you’ll also be saving your clients the time and effort of buying them from a brick-and-mortar store. (Not to mention the savings, but we’ll get to that!)

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Training Your Staff to Make the Sale

Training Your Staff to Make the Sale

As a small business owner, there will come a time when you need to share the wealth when it comes to sales. Whether you want to take on more clients or you simply want to delegate the sales process to free up some time for yourself, it’s key to instill your sales processes and procedures on your team.

By training each staff member the same way across the board, you can ensure that every prospective client is being treated in the same manner. This is essential for staying true to your brand, which isn’t just about colors and logos but speaks to client experience as well.

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