If you're in the hospitality business and you service people who are looking for lodging, food, drink, or event planning, one of your top priorities should be the happiness of your partners. You want them to feel valued, heard, and welcomed. Here are five things that you can do to help your partners feel appreciated.
1. Be Honest
One of the most important things you can do with your partners is being honest. People who are considering using your space for the first time are going to have some fears and doubts about your event management or the amenities you can provide. After all, they will appreciate the truth from the beginning, even if everything doesn't go as smoothly as planned. If things do take a turn for the worse, apologize, and offer ways to make it up to them. It is important to give your potential partners as much information as possible about your space and provide some tips and tricks that others have used.
Being honest also comes with constant communication. Your partners like to know what is going on so it is best to communicate with them as much as possible. This can be anything from phone calls to emails, to social media posts and interactions. Make sure they know that you are easy to reach.
2. Listen To Their Feedback/Needs
People love to praise businesses who do a great job and they equally love to voice their opinion about a business that were not receptive. In order to make them feel valued, listen to their feedback. If they want the room a little warmer, turn up the heat. If they need some extra chairs, bring them. They will leave your event fondly remembering all that you did for them.
You can make their event more personal by acknowledging them. This can build relationships, improve brand loyalty, and increase the chance that they will recommend you to their other business friends.
In addition to listening to their feedback, make sure you are thinking about their needs. Instead of focusing on closing the sale or booking the event, take the time to learn about what they want and need for the event they are having. What do they need from you? Ask them what they want to see, why they thought of your service, and what their end goal is. This will promote collaboration between the two of you and build trust while strengthening your relationship.
3. Be Their Note-Taker
When first meeting your potential partners or the business that wants to collaborate with you, take notes on what is important to them. If they mention that one type of chair is better than another, make a note to use the one they liked for their event. If they have some questions that you can't answer in the moment, write them down so you can follow-up with them later.
4. Offer Freebies
It is more than obvious to say that everyone loves free stuff, so why not have something to give? You don't have to break the bank, but offer up a swag bag with informational pamphlets, brochures, and something small, but useful (like a branded chap-stick, koozie, stickers, or magnets).
When people are given something for free, just for showing up right from the start, it's easy to to be more likeable. Their mood will brighten and they will be more willing to work with you and hear what you have to say.
5. Always Follow-Up
First impressions are powerful, but so are last impressions. It is key to have a great first impression, but you want to make sure that your last impression is just as good. After your partners event is concluded, make sure to follow up with them. Touch base with them after they've returned home. This could include an email thanking them for their time or a survey asking them about the different aspects of their event and what you can do to improve for next time. This will leave the door open for you to collaborate with them in the future.