Professional planners and entertainment companies are VERY important to us. We know that a lot of your business is built on year-to-year relationships, repeat business. We also know that you are in an extremely competitive industry where your repeat clients are usually more profitable and easiest to work with. They are also the target of your competitors.
We will work with you. Here’s our promise.
If we book a gig through you, we will NEVER EVER quote that client or any other planner for that gig unless we either have your written approval to do so or you fail to respond after diligent repeated attempts to reach you. We will quote that client ONLY if our serious attempts do not find you. In other words, we will protect your relationship. We will “dance with the gal what brung us. ”
If you want confirmation that we live with that policy, just ask and we will give you contact information for well-known planners, large and small, we have protected. I will have their permission to do that and the promise they will speak frankly.
For example, for three years we supplied the Santas to a high-visibility, multi-state, multi-event household-name corporation based in NYC. When booking started for the 4th season, a new person at that end client contacted us and wanted a direct quote for their season’s needs (6 Santas, each 6 hours per day, 4 days per week, for a total of 144 hours).
Instead of quoting, we contacted the planner in California through which this client usually booked us and advised them of the direct request. We learned they had not been contacted at all by the client and had not been invited into discussions for which they had been the supplier in the past. We assured them we would be declining to quote to the client.
We then contacted the client with a polite reminder that we offered booking through the planner but not directly. A few days later another event planner contacted us for what was obviously the same gig. We advised them of our policy and how it applied to this situation. They accepted our polite unwillingness with the comment that they wished everyone would act that way.
Yes, we never did book the gig. But we earned the trust of two excellent event planners, both of which are now repeat clients. Building trusted relationships sometimes takes risks. But in the long run, it is sound business.