Influence comes into play during many stages of event booking and planning. If you have ever asked for and received a referral from a current client, then you know that you have had a positive influence on that person - enough so that they feel willing to share a referral with you. And as we know, booking referral business is infinitely easier than booking a "cold" lead.
Influence also comes into play when interacting with clientele during the initial phases of booking. You inevitably come to the part of the sale where decisions have to be made. You have to close the sale. Depending on the relationship you have build throughout the sales process, your positive influence can be the difference between closing the sale and watching it walk out the door.
So, what are the best ways to build and use your positive influence in order to move your sales forward? First, remember that influence works best with people you know and who know you. Constantly try to build your "circle of influence" or client base. This does not just mean loading names and emails into a database, but actually creating a connection which leads to building a relationship with a client. Go to your best clients and vendors you work with. Ask each one for just one more lead to another client or referral to another great vendor. You have just doubled your connections. Second, it is all in the way you ask or try to influence. Asking a client who already likes you for some help in building your client base is possible when a relationship exists. People like to help other people and usually have a hard time saying "no" to this type of request. Relationships first. . . business will follow!
By: Lynne LaFond DeLuca, Sr. Vice President