What is the person on the other end really asking for?

by / Friday, 10 February 2017 / Published in Entertainment

Is this a podium on a stage, a lectern on a podium, or a lectern on a stage?

What is the person on the other end really asking for?

“Hello, Galactic Entertainment, Tanya speaking, how may I help you?”

“I would like to rent laser lights for my party.”

That one line means many things and it’s our job to figure it out without 1 – getting frustrated and hanging up on the client, 2 – having the client get frustrated and hang up on us, and finally 3- treating the client like an idiot for not knowing what we know.

It’s all about questions. Make notes so you can refer to them later in the conversation. First ask what type of event they are hosting. If it’s a wedding, chances are they don’t want the lasers that are used at an EDM festival (but you never know so don’t rule it out). Get as much information as they are ready to give you right now. If you finish the call too quickly a relationship hasn’t been created and the next person they call might close the sale before your amazing quote makes it to them.

Second, find out their budget. That way you are quoting a realistic package for them. Many potential clients are hesitant to give you an exact budget as they are scared you will just give back a quote for that exact number with no reasoning behind it. For gun-shy clients, I ask for a range and explain that if I don’t have an idea of what they are looking to spend I will either quote too low and not meet their criteria or be way over budget and have them on the floor gasping for air.

Finally, find out where their event is taking place. An afternoon bbq in a backyard is not the best venue to showcase a laser or a projector and a standard hall is too large for just 4 LED par lights to illuminate it enough for a wedding reception while the house lights are off. Is it an older venue, do they have the power to handle what the client is after? Should you schedule a site visit with the client to go over their ideas in the space.

It’s all about getting information to provide an educated, qualified quote. Calls come in because the people doing the dialing are looking for the expert or educated person to guide them and hold their hand. This is not always the case and it’s a blast working with people that know the equipment they are asking for but it’s far more common to need to take a breath, count to 3, and figure out layman terms as to why the Shure Beta52A is an integral part of the microphone package needed to amplify the kick drum that awesome band will be using during the wedding reception.