Gig Business

How to Handle Clients Who Have Never Booked Before

By Megan Price

When you get leads on GigSalad, it’s easy to think you’re dealing with professional event planners who know all the ins and outs of booking. In actuality, many have never booked before and may need a little extra help with the process. We have some ideas to help things go smoothly for both you and your rookie client!

GigSalad has spent years perfecting our SEO game, which means most planners who find us are doing so through a Google search. They may not have community connections or referrals for the service they need, so they turn to the internet for help. Many of our users are parents, teachers, brides, or people planning a first-time event. Even to those who are professionals, using a booking platform like GigSalad may be totally new to them. Oftentimes, clients are relying on their vendor to help them through the steps since they’re usually more experienced in the process. By stepping up and assisting your client, you may secure more bookings by building rapport and trust.

Set the tone

Being a friendly face (and voice) out of the gate is an easy way to show your client that you’re happy to help. Event planning is stressful and they could be feeling overwhelmed, unsure, and nervous about booking a vendor online. Clients are more likely to book a kind vendor who has eased their fears about their big event.

โœ๏ธ Save valuable time by writing a few saved messages with warm, fuzzy intros (and hey, fun emojis) so you can quickly respond to new clients. Your friendly message could be the first one they see!

Communicate their way

While you may think a phone call is the best way to discuss an event, your client may feel differently. Ask the client how they prefer to go over details and communicate their way as often as you can. If a phone call is necessary, dispel your client’s potential fear of a “hard sell.” A quick reassurance in your messages can help with that.

๐Ÿ“ฑ With effective communication, you and your client can get on the same page and start moving toward closing the booking. Just remember that you may get a better response if you try their method. Try embracing texting, email, and instant messaging, even if it’s outside your comfort zone.

Be flexible

The event planning world never runs quite the way everyone wants, so the more flexible you can be, the better. If a client needs to get approval from a third party before booking, send them an extended quote. Rather than offering a hard price, try offering a range and let them know that you can work within their budget by removing or modifying your services. If you sense they’re stressed about a tight timeline, see about loading in earlier and coming back for the event. By offering flexible solutions, you become more valuable and will build trust and confidence in your services.

๐Ÿค— Be sure to keep your own needs in mind, too, because overextending yourself may cause internal resentment toward the client. The goal is a positive relationship and event experience for all!

Offer your expertise

As mentioned earlier, many of your GigSalad clients find you through a Google search and immediately ask for a quote. They are focused on the end result – a successful event – and don’t always know the specifics to make that happen. They may not know general pricing, how much space is needed, regulations or insurance, breaks for performers, and other logistical details. Unless you’re new to the gig game yourself, you can probably help guide them through the process.

The key here is to do it in a gentle and encouraging way. You’re teaching your client, not talking down to them. They may not realize a belly dancer can’t perform for an hour straight. Or that Santa Claus shouldn’t be seen arriving in his car out front. While these are things that those in the gig world feel are “common sense”, the layperson just doesn’t think about them. Show them that they’re booking a professional by setting correct expectations and offering guidance for making the event a success.

๐Ÿ’โ€โ™€๏ธ While other professionals may be condescending and take the attitude of “Do you know who I am?”, you can take the high road and close more bookings than your snobby competitors.

Help them book

After you’ve discussed all the details and the client is ready to book, there’s one more step where you can lend a helping hand! Familiarize yourself with the booking process from the event planner’s point of view by using our Help Center. Then if/when your client has questions, you can offer some helpful guidance. Of course, our Customer Happiness Team is available to help, too, if you both get stuck! But if you’re ready with the answer first, the booking can be closed that much faster.

๐Ÿงพ As you’re putting together your final quote, make sure your services are clear, the pricing matches what you agreed to, and the date and time are correct. An accurate and complete booking agreement is a must for a first-time, and any, client that you book with.

Always follow-up

When your first-time client has wrapped up their first successful event, you should celebrate with them! Send them a thank-you for booking you and let them know what a great time you had. The follow-up is just as important as the booking process and can help you land more repeat clients.

๐Ÿ˜Š Offering kindness and patience to first-time event planners may help you close more bookings, gain repeat clients, and educate another person on the gig world. Next time you get a lead, try investing a little bit more time with clients who have never booked before and see if these tips work for you!

  1. Fred Cavese August 24, 2021

    Great tips, but it’d really help if clients acted like they are really interested in “getting things right” before I make a firm offer via a quote. Most seem to just be casually skimming the surface of the waters and aren’t serious about having a true meeting of the minds with the prospective entertainer, to ensure the quote provided is accurate. What usually happens for me is this: Event planner sends a very sketchy request for a quote, with many missing details about the event or cryptic info that raises more questions than it answers. I need more info before I can provide a meaningful quote, so I promptly send a note, thanking the client for the inquiry and I ask for the necessary details, with an explanation of why the requested info is necessary… and I never hear back from the client. Not even a courtesy response of “Thank you, but we decided to (postpone the event) (go with someone else).” Very frustrating, and frankly, rude.

    • Megan Price August 31, 2021

      Hi Fred, that’s certainly the mystery we’re working to crack. We do our best to encourage clients to at least decline the quotes and follow up on messages, but the anonymity of the internet causes some folks to feel like they don’t need to follow through. If you have any ideas or further feedback, our Product Team would love to hear from you! Please reach out to our Customer Happiness Team to coordinate a time to speak with the Product Team, if interested. You can call us at 417-889-9909 or email us at Thank you, Fred!

  2. Sean August 24, 2021

    I haven’t had one person respond to my “friendly messages” and/or quotes. It gets discouraging after a while. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

    • Megan Price August 31, 2021

      Hi Sean, I’m sure that’s frustrating. We’d like to try and help! Our Customer Happiness Team would be happy to take a closer look at your messages and profile overall if you’d like! Just give us a call at 417-889-9909 or email us at Thanks, Sean!


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