Written by Marketing Manager, Julia Browne
Browsing through some articles on Event Magazine this morning, I came across one written by Michael Aldridge, General Manager for Merlin Events, questioning, "Why do clients keep their budget secret?"
The crux of the article was that it’s frustrating as a supplier if clients withhold or do not have information about their budget. If clients are open about budget then suppliers can try to provide them with a tailored quote that will meet their needs and fall within their allocated spend.
This immediately caught my eye as I, like many people, have been on both sides of this particular fence and could argue for either side. In all honesty, I am probably one of those people who in most situations involving money will play my cards very close to my chest. However, perhaps it is time that I change tactics.
Yesterday, a colleague received an enquiry from a client who had a minimal budget for a ½ day team building event. As the client was open about budget my colleague was able to tailor a number of programmes that would meet business objectives and fit within budget. With the client’s budget an off the shelf solution would really not have been suitable.
Although there is clear benefit in many cases, like the above, in being open about budget, for many buyers trust is a major concern – especially if they have a large budget. No one wants to be fleeced. However, when we provide a client with a service we would like to establish a good working relationship that will result in future business. That means not only providing a good service that has a positive impact on a client’s business but also ensuring that they get value for money (and it’s usually painfully obvious when the price does not match the service).
Even if you choose to remain careful about discussing budget with suppliers, one piece of advice would be not to be dissuaded from something if the price isn’t right. Question what can be done to reduce costs or enhance the programme so that it fits with your needs. We don’t include prices on our website as we try to tailor each of our events to the client which results in a range of costs. There are always ways to tweak events – whether it be by changing transport, venue, activities, prizes & gifts, team structure or branded clothing etc – so don’t be afraid to ask.