10 Biggest Venue Sales Challenges and How to FIX them

Ten Most Common Function, Event & Wedding Sales Challenges and Ways to Overcome them

  • Want to know the 10 Event Sales Issues preventing more sales?
  • Keen to find out ways to grow your sales?
  • Would you like to know how to FIX the sales issues?

During our work growing Function & Event Sales with Clubs, Hotels, Venues, Wedding Reception Centres, Wineries, Function Centres, Ferries and Restaurants we have commonly found the SAME THINGS preventing sales growth.

The good news is that they can be SOLVED!

Sales Challenges

We asked hundreds of Event & Function Sales Staff about their BIGGEST Sales Challenges, Frustrations and Issues at their Venue.  Below you will find some REAL quotes from Venue Staff expanding their issues and challenges.

If you want to rapidly increase your Function, Event and Wedding Sales consider resolving some of these BIG SALES ISSUES ASAP – many are training, management and sales process related!

Here are their Biggest Challenges preventing them from increasing Function and Event Sales.

CHALLENGE 1. Lack of Focus on Function & Event Sales – My Sales Time is Limited

COMMON ISSUES ABOUT TIME & SALES FOCUS

  • “Lack of Time to Sell”
  • “Low Amount of Time spent in the Functions Sales Office – Hard to followup”
  • “Busy with Venue Operations – I am NOT focussed on Sales”
  • “Table Reservations take up a lot of my time”
  • “Have to balance Sales with Function Coordinating (Delivery of Events)”
  • “No Time to do Sales when a Function Coordinator is NOT Available”
  • “Limited Availability of a function coordinator”
  • “I am busy Venue Supervising and being on a shift which interrupts sales focus”
  • “Clients are annoyed being passed from person to person”

SOLUTIONS

  1. Explain to owners & managers the benefits of time spent on Function Sales $$$ Vs Function Delivery $
  2. Clarify Your Job Description as primarily a Sales Role not as Function Delivery or a Supervisor
  3. Develop and Use Sales Automation and better Systems/Processes
  4. Better Time Management Habits – Prioritising, Efficiency & Effectiveness Tips
  5. More Training to improve sales effectiveness and confidence
  6. Make more Event sales and Get More Helpers!

CHALLENGE 2. Limited Effort on Venue Marketing to Get Leads

ISSUES RELATED TO VENUE MARKETING & LEAD GEN 

  • “Venue Website is hard to navigate and has poor functions info”
  • “Poor Organic SEO & SEM Adwords”
  • “Poor effort on Social Media”
  • “Poor focus on other types of Events – wakes, weddings, dinners”

SOLUTIONS

  1. Explain to management the importance of Webmarketing for Events & Functions $$$
  2. Meet with your venue web team to get more emphasis on Events & Functions
  3. Create more content – copywriting, photos and video for the Venue Marketing Team

CHALLENGE 3. Poor Sales Skills of Venue Sales Team

ISSUES AROUND SALES TEAM SKILLS 

  • “Lack of Confidence when Selling” ****
  • “I Lack Selling Skills” **
  • “I am not much of a salesperson”  belief”
  • “Need to Learn to close without being salesy”
  • “Don’t like appearing pushy”
  • “Need more Venue Knowledge”
  • “Need to Offer Alternatives after they have SET ideas”
  • “Other Staff are NOT prepared to sell – Walkin Enquiries & Weekends”
  • “I am scared of losing sales by offering alternatives”
  • “Sales effort consistency Issue”

SOLUTIONS

  1. Function & Event Sales Training
  2. Develop More Sales Confidence with Sales Training and Coaching
  3. Create and Implement Better Sales Processes and Automation

CHALLENGE 4. Unclear Event Sales Processes

POOR SALES PROCESS ISSUES

  • We use Manual Processes (not automated) – Diary and Paper systems
  • Not exactly sure about the sales process
  • We are Missing Function Sales Systems and sales process
  • We have Poor First Impressions for enquiries and are Not acting on it
  • I Don’t know how to approach buyers
  • I am unsure of the answers to unusual function questions
  • Understanding clients needs

SOLUTIONS

  1. Function & Event Sales Training
  2. Develop a clear & agreed Venue Sales & Marketing Strategy Plan – Read the Blog
  3. Create and Implement Better Sales Processes and Automation– Read Blogs on this Website

CHALLENGE 5. Poor Enquiry Responsiveness – Slow Response to Event Enquiries

POOR ENQUIRY HANDLING ISSUES

  • Slow Response to function enquiries **  
  • Not getting back to customer ASAP
  • Need < 24 hour reply to enquiry

SOLUTIONS

  1. Create and put more content on Website – e.g. Function Packs and Videos
  2. Automate and Systemise Enquiry Responses – use templates
  3. Consider Online Chat or Podium – Shared Mobile Phone in Functions Dept

CHALLENGE 6. Poor Enquiry & Event Follow Up

EVENT ENQUIRY ISSUES

  • No Followup being done ***
  • Don’t follow up Enough
  • If they don’t get back to me I only followup ONCE
  • Lack of followup on unresponsive enquiries
  • Following Up issues and Methods
  • Unsure of best followup options
  • Not following up more than 3 times

SOLUTIONS

  1. Sales Training on Confidence to Follow Up Enquiries and Past Event
  2. Develop a System and Process for Following Up
  3. Use Sales Automation for Enquiry Nurturing – A Follow Up System

CHALLENGE 7. Low Sales Assertiveness & Confidence – NOT Asking for the Sale

LACK OF SALES ASSERTIVENESS ISSUES

  • Don’t know how to close
  • Issues with Closing the sale
  • Not Closing on the spot– taking tentative only and waiting 3 days
  • Not pressing tentative holds enough

SOLUTIONS

  1. Coaching & Training to develop Sales Skills and boost confidence
  2. Sales Training to practice Sales process Phrases including confirming the sale (Closing)
  3. Develop More Sales Assertiveness with Coaching and Wellness

CHALLENGE 8. Limited Venue Sales Management & Clarity of Desired Outcomes

POOR SALES MANAGEMENT ISSUES

  • No Function Sales Targets
  • No Clarity of Outcomes, Responsibilities and Process **
  • Poor Staff and Sales training

SOLUTIONS

  1. Meet with management to clarify Sales Outcomes
  2. Develop a clear and Agreed Venue Strategy Plan
  3. Seek Sales Training and Consulting

CHALLENGE 9. Venue Design Problems & Issues

VENUE LIMITATION ISSUES

  • Our Venue has NO Private Spaces
  • We are a Niche Venue– we need to sell it better
  • Our Venue is NOT Weatherproof
  • Venue has Space Issues – Not able to be flexible
  • Poor flexibility of the rooms
  • Limited Venue Availability for Events – Events Conflict with our other Gigs
  • Missing Key Venue Features
  • No Parking onsite
  • Venue Size issue
  • Venue can be LOUD during site inspections

SOLUTIONS

  1. Collate event review and do Survey Clients to get feedback on your worst venue Issues (Show this to Management to make them aware)
  2. Brainstorm Ideas of LOW costs ways to overcome your Venue Challenges
  3. Meet with management with suggestions for Venue Improvement and with ROI Budget ideas to resolve them

CHALLENGE 10. Event Pricing & Value

VENUE PRICING ISSUES

  • We are Non Competitive on Pricing – “Our prices are too high”
  • Not Selling the Value
  • Seen a too expensive for smaller groups
  • We sold all our best days too cheap (Saturdays are booked out for 2 years)
  • Prospects have Budget Issues

SOLUTIONS

  1. Improve the Client Experience – add more Wow and reduce Ouch factors – Get More great Feedback and proof
  2. Learn to Sell the Value with more Proof – Photo and Testimonials
  3. Supply and Demand Pricing Strategies – Charge more for busy days,
  4. Improve Service, Sales & Marketing Effort to attract and convert better enquiries
  5. Sales Training to Develop more Sales Confidence and Assertiveness

There are MANY other Sales Challenges that can occur but these are 10 of the MOST common.

If you are struggling with Venue Sales Team Challenges have a look at the book by Siimon Reynolds called WHY PEOPLE FAIL – The 16 Obstacles to Success and How to Overcome them. 

If want ideas for any other Venue Sales Challenges that you have – Please Contact us!

ABOUT David Staughton CSP CCEO – Hospitality Expert

READ THESE BEST BLOGS RECOMMENDED FOR VENUES & HOSPITALITY

David Staughton Hospitality TrainerBig Hat Professional Services can help you grow your hospitality business and improve your Function  Event & Wedding Sales. David & Kevin can help you!

David Staughton CSP is an award-winning International keynote speaker, and experienced Small Business consultant.  With over 15 years ‘hands on’ experience in the Hospitality industry, he speaks and consults on a wide range of hospitality business improvement in the areas of sales, staffing, service and strategy.

Kevin Kosky is a skilled business communications trainer. He is a specialist on inbound phone skills, presentation skills and delivering sales presentations. Kevin is an expert teacher of face to face communication skills like sales, supervision, and presentation skills.

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This BLOG is a work in progress – If you have any suggestions please call Hospitality Expert David Staughton on 0408375100 or contact us

If you would like to improve your Venue Results or learn how to sell stacks more Functions & Events all year round come to a HOSPITALITY TRAINING WORKSHOP

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