Thursday, August 9, 2012
Can You Say "No" in the Events World?
Whitney Rule is a Senior Sales Associate at San Ramon Valley Conference Center in San Ramon, California. Whitney is a member of IACC's Emerging Trends Committee. With her cool conference center tips, she hopes to help you appropriately answer a client.
Saying “No” is usually the last thing Conference Centers want to say when getting a new RFP. However, due to many reasons such as lack of space or accommodations, “No” happens more in our industry than we might think. There are a couple of tools to take away the negative connotation that is associated with saying “no”.
Think about your other options, in the area or close by that could better accommodate the meeting planner. A local CVB is a great option because they can give the meeting planner a number of venues in the area. This will make it easier to say “No” because you are offering them an alternative that could end up being a better fit for them.
Here is a model that can help you say “No” without saying “No”. It is called the L.A.O Model: Listen, Analyze and Offer Alternatives.
Using these three steps when talking to potential clients for your Conference Center will not only bring customers back, but also leave them feeling satisfied because of the referral you gave them. CVBs and other venues in the area will be grateful for your referral and in turn could send CMP’s your way.
How do you help prospective clients without saying the word "no"? What advice do you have for others to kick "no" from their vocabulary?