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Selling and servicing go hand in hand

By Bob Desautels, CMP
Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association

Effective selling marries the principles of conscientious and proactive servicing to compliment all the elements that go into successfully selling a prospect on your property, special venue, or city. Meeting planners are required to call upon sources other than themselves and their sales partners to bring about favorable results for their organization's convention or special event.

Planners need, and good CSMs provide, proactive involvement to help the meeting specialist be more efficient, save time and energy, and create opportunities to reduce the cost for conducting a convention. Just as important, CSMs have special insight and knowledge of their property or city that the customer may not be aware of during the initial planning cycle. Accordingly, the CSM becomes a valuable resource as well as a needed asset to "get things done.”

Finally, an efficient, consistent and thorough convention service manager becomes the best source for a customer to consider rebooking in the future. The planning process, which in some cases lasts two years or more, allows the CSM the opportunity to establish a solid relationship with the customer. Done successfully, friendships arise, objectives are understood, and desired results attained. Oh yes, and the customer returns.

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