A band leader I know, worked steadily, for years at one of Las Vegas’ premier properties. The band leader had a superb array of musicians, did first class work, and represented the property, well. Most of the bookings came as direct referrals from the catering office.
One day, the referrals just stopped.
There was a new player in town. An agent who magically had a ‘social relationship’ with a key Catering Manager. He also had second-rate bands. Calling them bands would be kind. Often, the kind of band that has musicians introducing themselves to each other, just before the gig. If the clients only knew.
What can you do about a situation such as this? Pretty much nothing.
Here’s what you need to know to minimize getting stomped on.
- Recognize that ‘unofficial’ chains of command can be even more critical than the ‘official’ ones.
- Knowing one catering manager in an office of eight, isn’t enough. You can have a closer relationship with one person, but you need to have a relationship with everyone, and they must understand the value your service brings to them.
- Don’t be too dependent on one venue or vendor, for referrals. Diversify your networking and referral base. You’re not as vulnerable to a dramatic change due to the preferences of just one person.
- Do your public relations: When you work at a property and receive a ‘Thank You’ or evaluation from a client, send a copy to the contact from that venue. Let them see, from the client perspective, what an excellent job your company has done, at their property.
- Always work at developing new relationships. ALWAYS! Not every situation and relationship is so sinister. The reality is that people change jobs and properties, all the time. It is essential to be tuned in to the movement of people throughout the wedding community of vendors and venues, in your market.
Staying current with (or ahead of) who’s who, is a critical strategy to keep your relationships warm and toasty.
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