The real cost


By Jessie Khoo-Gan on 31/01/2017


The ability to convert is based on your ability to tailor the suitable solutions. Be giving to establish a relationship. 

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of competitors is the key to successful negotiations. Negotiators from the sellers’ side must take keen interest in knowing what is happening in the industry through visiting news channels and frequent networking with key contacts. Equipping ourselves with knowledge will empower us to be more open during negotiations.

Knowing the buyers’ needs and what is important to them allow the negotiators to tailor the correct propositions. Every buyer has a reason to negotiate so utilise your listening skills. Knowing their reason for shortlisting your venue will give you some bargaining power. Empathising with their needs may improve your relationship with the negotiating buyer.

The audience and event objectives

Even the buyers have their customers – their audience and participants. Align yourself with the customer by understanding the experience that the buyers are creating and their event objectives. No buyer would want to compromise the experience and they know that there is only so much cost they can cut before it affects the experience.

Pricing versus budget

Negotiation is not about pricing. It is more about seeing value. Start the win-win negotiation process by respecting the buyer’s responsibility to negotiate for their business interest. After seeking understanding on why the buyer is negotiating, be open to explaining your pricing structure, constraints and how you can value add to their event. Knowing the information mentioned in the above points will empower you to do the right thing by the customer and your venue. Although it is easier said than done, always try to remain calm and professional during negotiations. Losing a deal is better than losing your energy and reputation.

Gain trust and respect

Trust and respect are two elements in relationship money can’t buy. To gain these, one must know how to break the ice when establishing relationships. Find out what matters to the client - what makes them tick, what upsets them. Get to know the client through “small talks” when meeting with them.

Never undermine any relationship especially when working with event agencies. Agencies should be treated like the extension of your sales team. Remember that one agency has access to numerous end-user clients. Event agencies are an integral part of the event puzzle as they offer services that a venue cannot offer.



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