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In House Special Events the Real Way to Profits. New client growth, retention, and cross service utilization is at the top of every owner’s wish list as we continue into the New Year. One of the best profit centers is hosting special events within your facility. As matter of fact, I think it is in the top three most effective strategies for growth along with a consistent social media program and community networking groups and functions. They all have a direct impact on customer relationships and subsequently, profits.
Draw upon your manufacturer relationships in coordinating these events. Have their educators come in and coordinate special education along with your staff just for your clients and prospects. The event size depends completely upon man-power. If you are looking to produce sales there should never be more than 4 clients per staff member in order to focus on individualized attention and generate retail and service revenues.
Request that your manufacturer/distributor provide you with special gift bags of products for each client attending. These could be travel sizes and samples. Partner with a local restaurant/caterer for the food and beverages. You could exchange gift cards for services provided or offer to put out their marketing materials and promote their business to reduce or eliminate your investment or better yet have your vendor pay for the catering.
By now you’ve probably been invited to attend a seminar hosted by a company or a professional you know. The main objective is to consult with as many existing and potential clients as possible, at the same time. Being behind a podium gives you a unique opportunity to give a visual presentation laser-focused on your products and services along with live demos and testimonials to your target audience.
Structure your presentation to: offer solutions, tell stories about actual client situations and results, describe service/product processes, value added benefits to client, and include facts, statistics and expert quotes. Allow time for a question and answer session and for face to face networking opportunities. Provide demonstrations, pass samples, show before & after photos and have a menu of your services, brochures and incentives in an attendee bag.
Begin by putting together your invitation list…your data base of existing leads, prospects and clients, the local media and press, members of the local Chamber of Commerce and other synergistic business owners that can cross refer clients. Be sure to include several of your very satisfied clients who are willing to stand up and give personal testimony of your work.
The Event Marketing Institute shared the following information from a recent survey.
EventSpot says the following: Social media lets you get the word out early by posting a save the-date right when key details are set. If you’ve already built and published an event webpage in programs like EventSpot, link to the page from your social media networks to provide more information and future updates.
Advertise your seminar 1 month in advance via, newsletter, and signage in your business, etc. Highlight the “Breakthrough Technologies” and “Unique Benefits” in your newsletter. Feature giveaways, offers, one night only savings, free samples, gift bags and trial offers of new procedures. Bring a friend who has not been in before and receive a “mystery gift”. Plan on a 2 to 3 hour time frame.
After opening event registration, the social media component of your event can really take off. You can continually promote your event through social media with more frequent posts than you can with email. Yes, you should send email invitations to prospective attendees, with a polite follow-up as the event draws near, but with social media the rate can be a bit more frequent without irritating fans and followers. That doesn’t mean every tweet, Facebook post, or LinkedIn network update should be promoting your event. Follow an 80/20 ratio for all your social media efforts, with 80 percent of your updates focused on informational and non-sales posts, and 20 percent on straight sales and promotion. If all you do is promote your event, your fans and followers will tune you out and may stop following you all together.
An event hashtag on Twitter—is a great way to give customers a means of staying connected, while also adding a brand new level of engagement to your event strategy.
Go beyond the hashtag and engage with attendees on Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, or Instagram. With Facebook along with Instagram, you have the ability to post pictures, updates, and breaking news while it’s happening on the day of your event.
Tell the client what to expect. If there isn’t a magic wand handy give them the idea of the real results they can achieve. Quote the investment and be confident about it! People with a lack of confidence or people who truly don’t believe in your products or services don’t close sales! If your staff member thinks it’s too expensive for example they are going to “mind your client’s wallets” and not make a recommendation in the first place. All team members need to believe in the quality and experience of your service and products and that they enhance your client’s lifestyle.
Conclude your presentation with the phrase…”Your next step would be… (Give a call to action and create urgency…for all those interested in taking advantage of your Seminar Special, ask them to join you in the lobby to schedule their and invest in the service packages or promotions you are offering”.
…make your appointment tonight for the offer to be valid”.
…purchase your service series within 30 days for offer to be valid“.
…pre-book and pre-pay today and receive the retail product package special”.
Loyalty rewards programs are used by some of the most successful businesses including GNC, American Airlines, and Barnes & Noble. We do not have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to these programs. Offer clients acknowledgement and value added incentives for being your best clients and they are more likely to keep doing business with you.
VIP Programs not only create client loyalty they can be an excellent source of cash flow. Gift card companies can custom make VIP cards with your business name and logo which you then can retail to your clients. You can charge membership fees ranging from $50 -$500 per year and allow your clients special buying privileges. Some example privileges follow:
The VIP program renews annually upon each client’s enrollment date.
Upload pictures of the event Upload pictures to Facebook, Instagram or share them on Twitter and Google +. Showing how much fun people had can be a great selling tool for the next time you host the same event or something similar.
Taking steps to ensure that client loyalty is earned and not just expected, is every owner, practitioner, technician and staff member’s responsibility. Do not miss special events opportunities to enhance your business. Review and put these proven techniques into action to guarantee a successful and profitable place for everyone to work. Check out the M2 Marketing CD in our Store.
Yours in Success,