Have you ever had people wanting a party with you but not locking in the date? They’ll say something like “I will ask my friends and get back to you” or “I need to double check with my husband before setting a date.”
I used to just leave it at that and say something like “No worries, I’ll chat to you soon” and hope to hear from them again. But they rarely got back to me with an actual date. When I followed-up with them they wouldn’t have checked with their friends or husband yet and they still couldn’t lock in a date.
It was so frustrating so I had to come up with a strategy that stopped this. Now I’m so much better at getting actual dates locked in and no more vague promises of a booking.
Let me walk you through my strategy.
The ‘lock in’ strategy for party bookings
This strategy helps you to direct the conversation, to get an actual date for your party and to keep control of your diary. So here’s how it starts:
Potential Host: I will ask my friends and get back to you
You: That’s okay lovely, but when you ask your friends if they’d like to come to a [company] party, the first thing your friends will ask is “When is it?” So let’s pencil in a date that suits you and see how you go. We can always move it if necessary.
Then you move straight into what I call the ‘choice of 2 yesses process’. This will also help you to keep the party close in your diary (the further into the future they book parties, the higher the chance of cancellations).
When you ask a question, don’t ask an open question just offer 2 options (either is a ‘yes’ for you – they don’t get offered an option to say ‘no’). So you would ask “Would you prefer a weekday or weekend?” Rather than “What’s a good time for you?“
Below is an example of how such a conversation would go:
|Would you prefer next week or the week after?||Week after|
|Would you prefer a day time or a night time?||Night time|
|Great, would you prefer the beginning or the end of the week?||End of the week|
|Would you like Thursday or Friday night?||Friday night|
|What suits you better, 7pm or 8pm?||7pm|
|Great Mary, let’s pencil in Friday the 24th at 7pm!|
It goes without saying that you want this conversation to be friendly and natural, not like an interrogation!
Once the date is ‘penciled in’ I recommend you host coach them as though the date is already confirmed. Start by posting a thank-you note in the mail.
Here’s an example of a thank-you note:
It was great to meet you last night. Thank you for booking a [company] party on Friday 24 June at 7pm – I am really looking forward to meeting your friends and an evening of fun.
Once you make this strategy your own, you’ll see that it’s easier to firm up bookings and not get vague promises that don’t actually eventuate.
If you want to read a bit more on host coaching, check out these articles:
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