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Insights from virtual events buyers

by EN

Raoul Monks from Flume Sales Training leads the charge for sales excellence in the global events industry.

This crisis continues with even more events cancelled or postponed.

Many sales teams are having to be creative with virtual alternatives but they’re finding it hard. Right now, the key to success is a deep understanding of clients and how they’re making decisions. It’s this that will enable salespeople to adapt their approach and make it easier for the client to say ‘yes’.

At Flume, we’ve formed a steering group of media and events buyers so that we can equip salespeople with new, high-impact sales approaches. Here are three insights that buyers have shared with us around how they make decisions regarding virtual events, along with their implications for salespeople and some top tips:

1. “Why can’t we do this ourselves?”

Buyers know that organising their own in-person event would be tough, but when it comes to virtual events, they’re not so sure. When approached regarding a virtual event, the first question they ask themselves is: “Why can’t we do this ourselves?” To address this, salespeople need to minimise the perceived time and effort that the client will need to commit to, maximise the value they will gain, and show how they will be able to execute the event better than the client ever could.

2. “Is this going to be any good?”

There are tons of virtual events out there right now and lots of them aren’t very good. They can be created for the wrong reasons; the content may be weak, and the execution poor. Many of the buyers that we spoke to felt that they’d been burnt over the last six months, so their default position is to be sceptical.

When considering an event, they want to know that they can trust the organiser, that the event is being set up in the right way and that it’s going to be a high-quality product. Salespeople need to have these concerns top-of-mind and do everything they can to address them.

3. “Great reporting is table stakes”

Buyers told us that salespeople are increasingly using improved reporting as justification for higher prices. This doesn’t work for them. For buyers, being able to prove ROI is so vital now that reporting is no longer a ‘nice to have’ that’s worth paying more for- it’s a minimum requirement. Salespeople need to give buyers confidence around reporting, but they shouldn’t look to it as a means to increase yield.

Here are three tips on how to make it easier for clients to say ‘yes’ to your virtual events:

• Give the client compelling reasons why they can’t do what you can do. These could include:
– The quality and size of your audience
– Your experience, brand and expertise
– Your ability to frame commercial content in an engaging way

• Work really hard to show them that you’re going to provide a quality product:
– Give them the confidence that this event isn’t a money grab but has been designed for the right reasons and has a clear purpose
– Use testimonials to build social proof
– Go in hard on your focus on providing them with ROI. Make sure all of your tools and processes are built around this single cause

• Justify pricing around value not functionality
– Understand what really represents value for your client
– Focus on ‘why’ they need your solution rather than ‘what’ you can offer
– Teach them about your audience in a way that leads them to prioritize your event

Events sales is going to stay challenging for a while but those salespeople who have a deep understanding of their clients will be the ones that succeed.

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