Updated: Dec 10, 2019
What does E.T.C stand for, how important is it and why would you want to learn more?
The purpose of ETC Process is to increase your conversion rate in a smaller amount of time with fewer communication touch points.
Have I lost you yet? Stay with me! Let’s start with the definitions:
An enquiry is any inbound request or interest to host an event within your venue. This can come in the form of an email, phone call, your website, an Instagram DM or even a LinkedIn or Facebook request.
A tentative reservation is an internal process. Tentatives have a specific time frame attached to them and are used as a “hold” or placement on the client’s requested area of your venue. I like to use a 7-day tentative as a standard with the opportunity to extend only where feasible for the business. (Remember the purpose of this procedure is to increase conversions so constant extensions of tentatives will defeat the purpose)
A conversion calculation is quite simple – it’s the quantity of Events that book with you divided by the amount of enquiries received as a percentage. Simple maths but a very valuable tool to use to understand exactly how your team members are tracking and where the Events department are at so you can make realistic goals to increase these conversion rates. Industry standards are varied on the style of your venue and capacities to convert, however a small enquiry reporting system is all it takes to work out your venues ebs and flows, this will be enough to be able to put a good sales plan into place and a plan to increase conversions.
There are 2 things required to call an Event “Converted” – signed T&Cs and deposit collected.
(Nope a remittance advise is not a conversion – you must have the money in the bank)
It exists in every venue, however most of the time in our experience it’s quite unclear and undefined. What you’re looking for is a unified understanding in your Events department, one that is easy to report back up to Stakeholders and for each person to understand. The ideal scenario is to have no more than 5 communication touch points between initial enquiry and conversion (ETC Process is 100% reactive sales – we’ll get deeper into proactive sales in a couple of weeks). Each time it’s important to aim for a Conversion on the spot, however ideally you would like to make the process as smooth and as clear as possible for the client and the Events Department. The more you plan these steps with a couple of clear processes, an email template and a universal Tentative training, the easier each task will be in a clearly defined Sales process and you are more likely to increase your conversions. In other terms – MAKE MORE REVENUE FOR YOUR BUSINESS 😊
The ETC process is all about being the “Puppet Master and not the Puppet” Always thinking ahead, guiding the potential client through the process whilst obtaining the information the venue requires to create conversions. This small step process is integral to continue the sales converting – Event Management and Account Management are important skills to have, however for us, the ETC process is significantly more important to get right – let’s face it, if you don’t convert the sale you don’t have the chance to Account Manage or put your fantastic Event Management skills to work.
Although we build and tailor the ETC process specifically to each venue, here’s a few tips to get your venue going:
Every enquiry should be met with a phone call followed by an email (yep even if you’ve left a voicemail) Calling them and answering their queries will eliminate lost time with back and forth emails – it also give you an opportunity to qualify future answers you may need so it’s a two bird theory.
Each email should be specifically calculated and templated to the point in the sales process the client is currently at – these templates should be much longer than required so you can take out the unnecessary content and tailor specific to the client – all while giving a personalised feeling with attention to detail
Tentatives should be in place for 7 days and used as a negotiation tool upon conclusion – these are also used to ensure your follow ups are being completed at the right time
As a very general rule – if you’re finding yourself exhausting more than 6 communication touch points – it’s time to pick up the phone and invite them In, perhaps they just require some more time in venue to commit.
Most Importantly - Invest some time in really understanding just how important your venues ETC Process is. Get to know your customer journey and your initial qualification process, it’s an underutilised and invaluable tool and one which the stakeholders will really enjoy going through when you can report it correctly. For the next 2 weeks measure your conversion rates for each Event style category – Weddings, Corporate, Social, Conference, take note of your communication touch points and see if you can make some improvements.
Or – just give us a call and we can do this for you in just half a day – it’s one of our favourite things to do. Your Conversions will increase, as will your Revenue – and who can say no to that?