New Dos and Don’ts to help you win more event bookings.

How to sell more group events is one of The Edge’s most requested topics. Lately, I’ve been witnessing a lot of great – and some not-so-great selling tactics out there in the wild, so I took that as a sign from the universe that it was time for a new set of event sales Dos and Don’ts. These tips are great for both inside and outside sales! Enjoy, and please let us know what you take away and what you want to learn about next!

Great selling is all about helping people connect with products and services that you believe can improve their lives. Here are ten quick ways to improve your skills when selling events (or anything else).

No. 1: Do have thick skin.

The first rule of selling is that you have to have a thick skin. While some terrific salespeople make it look easy, hearing a lot of no’s can take a toll on anyone’s confidence. Remember that you’re in this job for a reason, believe in what you’re selling, and that events at your facility are the perfect way for families and groups to create lasting memories. Try not to take rejection personally.

To help you stay positive, consider adding something to your daily routine that will help your mental game. Routines like a daily gratitude practice, exercise regimen, devotional time, mirror affirmations, funny TikTok video-watching sessions, and more can give you the motivational boost you need for a busy day selling.

No. 2: Do believe in what you’re selling. 

You have to believe in yourself, of course, and also in what you’re selling. Over time, though, it can be easy to look around the facility and only notice the flaws. Those flaws or previous service missteps can erode your confidence in the experiences that you offer. But if you don’t believe in your product, your prospect will feel that coming through, resulting in lost sales.

Is an issue holding you back from selling a high-end buyout or a family reunion? If so, try to find the root cause of the issue. Often, when you start to doubt whether or not the operations staff can deliver what you’ve promised, previously unaddressed service issues can affect your ability to sell to the next guests. It’s best to get those issues resolved quickly between the sales and operations teams. If you haven’t already done so, get together with your operations team leaders and talk through your concerns to try and work together to understand what issues came up, why they happened, and how to prevent them from happening going forward. If sales and operations aren’t on the same page, the gap just gets wider, so it’s best to deal with issues as they occur. Learn more about creating harmony between sales and operations in this blog.

No. 3: Do partner with marketing. 

When sales and marketing are in sync, magic can happen. Work with your marketing team to help you capture valuable data from your client base. Collaborating closely lets you identify key demographics, preferences, and trends among your target audience. Armed with this insight, your marketing teammates can craft tailored messaging for emails, social, and text campaigns to help create interest around your facility, which makes your job easier in the long run.

No. 4: Do ask for help when you need it. 

Even though you must have a thick skin in sales, that doesn’t mean you’re all alone. If you’re having difficulties with a particular client or getting to “yes,” you should feel comfortable asking for help. Whether you’re stuck on a tricky negotiation, need help customizing a package, or even just need a pep talk, reaching out for assistance can make a big difference in closing those deals and keeping your stress levels in check. There’s no shame in getting an assist now and again.

No. 5: Do take your cues from your prospect.

Adaptability is a must in sales, so you need to be able to think on your feet and deliver information in the way your prospect needs to receive it. Whether it’s verbal cues like hesitations or objections or non-verbal cues like body language and tone of voice, paying attention allows you to adapt your approach and better address their needs and buying styles. By listening actively and empathetically, you’ll learn everything you need to know about their needs, preferences, and priorities. Taking your cues from your prospect helps you build rapport and trust and enables you to tailor your presentation to suit their unique buying style, which is a winning combination.

No. 6: Don’t overpromise and underdeliver.

Yes, we know you’re only trying to “do right by the guest” and that you “want their day to be magical.” But sometimes, a salesperson’s enthusiasm and creativity can be difficult for the operations team to deliver. You don’t want to look bad if your facility doesn’t get it right – and – remember that your operations teammates don’t want to be left holding the bag to deliver the impossible. Don’t promise the moon if you and your team can’t deliver it. Share what your facility can provide and what makes your experience unique, and you can’t go wrong with your teammates or guests.

No. 7: Don’t miss the lessons from every conversation.

In talking with a sales trainer I know, he mentioned that a new hire was having difficulties asking for the sale. The management team was stumped because, by all accounts, the new hire had been successful in previous sales roles and presented the information beautifully in training; he just wasn’t asking for the sale when it counts. In a situation like this, my advice is to go back to what has worked in the past and try to apply those same techniques now. Think about the last time you closed a sale or when you routinely closed in a previous role. Consider:

  • What were some of the exact words you used?
  • What told you it was the right time to ask for the sale?
  • What hesitations were you looking for?
  • How did you handle objections?

Based on these answers, you can now tailor your new closing questions similarly to what has worked for you in the past. Here are some great closing questions and statements that have a high success rate and low pressure:

  • Great! It sounds like we have the perfect event all planned! All I need now to secure your date and time is a deposit of X. How would you like to take care of that?
  • What questions do you have before we finalize the details and make your deposit?
  • I can take the deposit now unless you want to add or remove anything we’ve discussed to your proposal.
  • I’m so glad we’ve gotten the chance to work on this together. You guys are going to have a great time. I’ll go ahead and take your deposit now, and you’ll be all set! Congratulations! (especially helpful when clients need reassurance)
  • Is there anything else I need to know to get this booked for you today? (this will help uncover any last-minute hesitations or objections)

There’s much to learn from “no” as well. Rejection stings, no doubt about it. But instead of dwelling on the “no,” try to find the root cause. Maybe there’s a common concern you haven’t addressed yet or something you can change about a proposal. Take the feedback from those “nos” and use it to fine-tune how you educate prospects on your facility’s experiences and make your next “yes” even sweeter.

No. 8: Don’t be afraid of your price. 

Talking about money can be awkward, but you shouldn’t avoid prices with potential clients. Your FEC’s events are worth every penny, so don’t sell yourself short! Be confident in the value you’re offering, and don’t hesitate to explain why your events are worth the investment. When clients see the incredible experiences you’re providing, they’ll understand why your prices are what they are.

No. 9: Don’t neglect follow-up.

Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong! Following up with potential clients is key to sealing the deal. The best way to secure the booking is to ask for it in the first place, but if you don’t get the close today, make sure you set a date and time with the client for follow-up. You haven’t had a successful sales conversation if you don’t have a clear next step.

If you didn’t close the sale or get a predetermined next step, all is not lost. You can restart the conversation with a friendly email, quick call, or text message (or a combination of more than one is my go-to approach!) Not only does it show you’re serious about working with them, but it also gives you another chance to address any concerns and make sure they’re happy with what you’re offering. Avoid the “just following up” subject line and consider a high-impact follow-up email. It might look like this:

Subject line: Your event date availability

Hi [Name],

I was just thinking about your group and the event we had planned. We’re so excited to welcome you all this summer and wanted to confirm your date. Our availability is becoming limited, and I don’t want you to miss out on this opportunity to reward your hardworking team!

When would be a good time to get together, maybe this afternoon at 2:45?

Call or text me at [phone number] if you need to reach me immediately.

Looking forward to chatting!


No. 10: Don’t bash the competition.

And this last “don’t” should go without saying, but whatever you do, don’t bash your competition to your prospective guests. Doing so will always make you look bad in the long run. Always.

In the same conversation with my sales trainer friend, he mentioned one of his sales reps who never shies away from asking the hard questions. He shared:

“Our rep was in a prospect’s home to provide an estimate for some foundation repair. During the conversation, the sales rep asked if they’d gotten quotes from anyone else and learned that the company’s main competitor had provided a quote and called to follow up. The sales rep said, ‘Hey, why don’t you call them now and you can ask them to compare the quotes and see what [the other company] has to say about the differences. I’ll sit quietly and be here to answer any questions afterward.’ So the prospect called the competitor who, when the competitor learned who else was being considered, proceeded to spend much of the call attacking the competition. When the prospect hung up, he turned to the sales rep and said, ‘Wow, thanks for not doing that when you came in,’ and my guy got the sale.” 

Of course, it would be rare that a situation like that would happen to you or that you’d get caught, but either way, bashing your competition is just not a good look. If the experience you provide to your guests is at the top of your game, let it do the talking for you. Speak to your facility’s strengths and unique offerings and what you sincerely believe makes your facility the right fit, and success will follow. I promise. 

What are your proven tips to win more sales? Share them with us!

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