In Case of Emergency: Sales Discovery through Email
The best way for two humans to connect, build trust, and uncover needs is the same as we’ve been doing for 10,000 years: face-to-face around a fire outside of a cave. No, really, it’s by having a simple conversation. With everyone’s busy schedules, though, in-person is hard. Phone calls are a good way to meet the discussion needs without wasting time driving all over town.
When you’re conducting sales discovery with your event clients, you want to do everything you can to move them from email to a phone call so you can do all the things you need to do at this early stage in the sales process.
But what if they won’t get on the phone with you? I’ll give you permission to read what comes next only if you’ve:
-Responded with a short, phone-friendly email
-Told them you need to know what’s important to them before quoting prices
-Offered three different times to meet on different days
-Made it easy for them to push your phone number to call you
-Ended your email with a question like, “What works best for you?”
-Sent a follow-up email offering different times on different dates
If you’ve done ALL of these things and still no response, here’s what you do:
1) Send a third email with the subject line changed to Re: [your company name] wants to chat with you about your upcoming wedding
2) Let them know you want to get them the information they need, and if they don’t want to do by phone call you’ll do your best by email.
3) Ask them a few questions about the basics of the event (location, venue, guest count)
4) Ask them to get you caught up on where they’re at in the wedding planning process.
5) Ask them how the search for [what ever you provide] is going.
6) Ask them if what’s important to them about [what ever you provide] and why.
7) Be sure to reveal some of your personality in the voice of the email. Talk like you would (with professionalism) to a friend that’s right in front of you.
By keeping it short you’ll encourage them to start the conversation with you. These questions are easy to answer and don’t require a lot of effort on their part – and you still get great information to craft a response.
On your next email, you should give them a quick, bullet-point list of services you can offer to meet their needs, as well as a range of prices for them to consider. Let them know that you wanted to get them what they needed for a ballpark, but you still need greater detail to get them specifics on services and pricing. If they want to do that over email, still, here are the next set of questions. If they prefer, you would love to jump on a quick 10-minute call to go over.
Remember, the goal of the discovery process is more than just getting them the services and pricing they ask for. It’s to:
1) form a connection
2) build trust
3) identify where they’re at in the decision-making process
4) uncover all their needs
5) find out who’s making the decisions and how they make decisions in most areas of their life
The best way to do this is around a campfire (oh wait, that’s what I like to do). The second-best way is over the phone.
Till next time, good luck with your inquiries.