Asking the Right Questions: How Successful AV Companies Set Themselves Apart
One way successful AV companies separate themselves from their competition is by asking the right questions.
Oftentimes, our clients don't know exactly what they need or what they're trying to accomplish when it comes to their event. Listening to them and making sure to obtain the most information during the initial interactions is key to the overall success of their business and ours.
After all, the AV provider's primary concern should be exceeding customer expectations and putting on a great event. We've found that by giving our clients personal attention and having a real conversation with them about their expectations, we're always in a better position to get them exactly what they need.
Here are some examples of questions we think every AV company should ask its clients:
1. Tell me about your event.
This isn't a question, but more an opening to get the client talking about their event. Letting the client explain their vision and their intended audience will provide the tools to start building the proposal before needing to ask any questions.
Knowing what they want and expect is the best way to start any interaction with a potential client and will get the conversation going in the right direction.
2. What aspects of your event are most important to you?
Knowing whether execution, professional techs or specific gear types are most important to the client is always valuable early on in the conversation.
To achieve the most comprehensive results, it is best to use open ended questions rather than yes/no questions. This will keep the client talking about what they envision and what they desire. Gaining this information lets the provider know what aspects of the event to focus on and gives them a better idea how to build the best possible solution.
3. What is your budget?
This question goes along with what is most important to the client. AV technology prices often have a large range, and having an idea of what the budget is will help the AV company build a solution that best fits.
Getting a budget range rather than a firm number is also helpful when trying to put together the best package for the client. If there is concern about initial pricing, a great AV provider should be a able to produce a variety of options to fit within their client's budget range and needs.
4. Have you ever done this before? What worked & what didn't?
Whether this is the client's first event or 100th, knowing this will help decide whether to go over the basics or to jump right into the specs and services that can be offered.
If they've had events in the past, knowing what worked or didn't for them also gives the provider a better idea of what to offer. This should be an opportunity to outline unique solutions and safeguards to make sure a problem they've dealt with in the past won't happen again. An AV company's strengths should shine through with examples of how they can provide valuable services that specifically cater to the client's needs.
5. Do you have multiple events like this that we could bundle together?
Knowing if this is going to be a recurring event or if there will be meetings all over the country will greatly affect the strategy for expertly fulfilling the series. A truly professional AV provider will be able to build a solution which will work for every event in every city.
There should be savings in the budget by booking multiple events and locations with a single provider. Working with one company on many locations rather than trying to book different companies in different locations will also save time and make things easier to manage. Many times clients aren't aware that they don't have to use the hotel AV and can bring in an outside provider with a single point of contact, onsite consistency, and flat-rate pricing.
6. What expectations do you have for your AV provider?
Understanding what the client sees in an AV company is essential in setting up clear expectations from the start. Knowing these expectations allows a provider to go above and beyond in their execution and services in order to make the best impression possible. It also helps everyone involved to know if there are initial expectations that cannot be met. It is far better to talk about these things in the beginning rather than letting them go until something goes wrong or the client is upset. When clear expectations are set, both parties can better work together through the whole process and ensure that the event will be a success.
Meeting Tomorrow provides the same great services in every city across the country. We're experts in nationwide AV, Technology, and Production events and we pride ourselves on flawless execution. Call us today to discuss more great ways to make your event a success!
Nicole Ottolino - National Account Executive
Jessie Guth - National Account Executive
Melissa Jones Clark - National Account Executive
Kristen Swiatek - National Account Manager
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