Getting face time with senior level executives is a key part of building your business, but it's not always easy.
You have to capture their interest in the midst of other pressing issues on their plate. And that, of course, doesn't take into account the other vendors who are also pitching to them.
And even if you are able to rise through the noise and get heard - their time is limited. How do you pare your pitch down so that it's meaningful and you are remembered the next time that they need an event planner.
So how does an event planner do it?
I'll share three strategies that have helped me reach the higher ups and those with power to hire your company
1. Be prepared - Part of the challenge is being prepared. This way when the opportunity arises, you are ready to rock and roll. My recommendation is to stay atop of the industry trends. And not just the event planning industry. You need to know what pains/aches and triumphs are happening in your client's industry. So stay abreast of local and national news. Read industry trade publications. Find trade associations that they join and join them or attend events.
And this is definitely a plug for picking one niche area to focus. I can't imagine following industry trends for 10 areas!!
2. Look the part - all the time - From day one, you need to set the tone that you are to be taken seriously. So ensure that you look the part at all times and don't be afraid to develop a signature style. Laurel Touby, the founder of Mediabistro.com was known for her wild parties and feather boa. It's a good thing to have a signature style of your own.
Dress professionally, carry business cards and marketing materials that command attention and ensure everything about your personal appearance is sharp and demonstrates you are to be taken seriously.
And I can't speak enough about dressing the part all the time. I have met future clients while on the elevator, on line in the post office, or taking a casual stroll on a Sun afternoon. You never know where you'll meet people. And while I might not have on heels on all of those occasions, you can best believe I have business cards stashed in several bags, coat pockets or in the glove compartment of my car.
3. Maintain a brand of excellence - do what you say, when you say and be someone that people can depend on.
I will tell you that your name and company reputation often reach others before you do. So ensure that with every client you work with you do your absolute best job - and treat them as IF they were a senior client. You don't know who they know and if they might refer you to other bigger clients.
I've found that a casual email I share with a friend providing advice or a news clipping has reached the hands of higher ups through various email chains. You don't know who might be interested - so do your best to promote excellence in everything you do!!