After many years of working in the live event and event rental industry, one of the most important things I’ve learned is this: times are constantly changing and the typical ways of engaging with repeat event rental customers aren’t as effective as they use to be. With so many new and exciting ways to deliver a unique sales experience, here are a couple of tricks I’ve collected along the way to help keep your business top of mind.
Surprise your clients with goodies
Everyone loves receiving an unexpected package full of goodies on their desk. Get creative and hand-deliver branded gifts like cookies, candles, or even a charcuterie board with a handwritten note to your top customers. Not only does this count as an incognito sales call, but it’s also an easy - and fun - way to stay top of mind and in touch with your customers throughout the year.
Create non-sales related touchpoints with loyal clients
The good ol’ days of making cold calls are fading into the background, and now more than ever, customers are often more receptive to businesses that work to form a real connection with their clients. Instead of only reaching to rental clients when you want their business, try giving them a call or sending an email to check in and say hello. These check-ins are the perfect time to make a personal connection, no agenda needed, to help your customers know you value them outside of your contractual agreements.
*PRO-TIP: Pay close attention to personal details your client shares with you during your interactions. Add these "fun facts” to your customer database so the next time you touch base with your client, John Smith, you’ll remember he recently went on a family vacation and loves to talk sports.
Connect with them on social media
Take your relationships to the next level - go beyond phone calls or emails by connecting with your top customers and following their business pages on social sites like LinkedIn. This gives you another opportunity to engage with them outside of traditional methods of communication and keep your brand at the forefront of their minds. It also shows them you are interested in supporting their work and company.
Think outside of the box... by delivering the box!
Bring the showroom to the people! Try creating an unconventional customer interaction by bringing a showroom in a box truck to your client's place of business. This is by far one of my favorite ways to engage with customers because it's so easy to use your own resources to create a mini showroom experience. Load your box truck up with your latest event rental equipment or newest feature items and invite them in for a tour.
*PRO-TIP: When you make stops in your showroom box truck, be sure to pack some light refreshments for your guests. This will take the experience to the next level while you chat with your existing (and hopefully some new) clients!
Host a hybrid launch party or event
If the pandemic taught us one thing, it’s that virtual meetings and events can be much more meaningful than we ever thought before. Consider having a hybrid event, including an in-person gathering with a virtual element, to show off your latest event rental equipment. All you have to do is plan your in-person event, set up a Zoom call or host a Facebook/Instagram Live, and present your showroom to those joining you both physically and virtually. This quick and efficient opportunity lets you connect with customers and fans, answer questions, share ideas, and be present, regardless of where folks are joining you from. If you haven’t purchased new inventory, a hybrid event is still a fun way to remind customers of your business and to show creative ways to utilize your existing inventory.
Regardless of the engagement route you choose, showing up consistently is what matters most. As life normalizes and folks are ready to host events again, challenge yourself to get creative with your clients and show them they mean more than money to you. It will make all the difference!
Do you have creative ways you’ve engaged with your rental customers? Share them in the comments!