Have you ever been asked to bus the tables at an event you’re working, empty the trash cans, or load boxes into a client’s car?  I have.  Was it in the job description?  Of course not, at least not for the Onsite Meeting Planner that was needed for that particular med-pharma group, but I did it anyway and I’m betting you would too.  Why?  Because as planners there’s an unwritten rule that comes with the territory – “other jobs as needed”.  Let’s face it, we are the warrior worker bees that – assuming you have the right attitude and physical ability – will do whatever it takes to get the job done.  We planners are oh-so-satisfied when the job is completed and the client gives us a hearty handshake or meaningful hug and says, “You were awesome! I hope to be able to work with you on our next event!”

That’s when we have a ‘Sally Field moment’ as our sub-conscious gushes, “They like me!  They REALLY LIKE ME!” And many times it’s those small bits of acknowledgment that keeps us going long after the show-time of the daily work world ends.  But how can we keep those accolades coming time and time again?  By proving your value to each and every client, no matter what they ask of you.  (Oh, and bonus points if you do it with a smile and some enthusiasm.)

16.3.25 Making Yourself More Valuable to the ClientYou hear a lot of people asking ‘what’s your secret sauce for that success?’ now and honestly, I don’t think there’s any secret to providing good service! As temporary onsite meeting planners, we have so many opportunities to exceed our client’s expectations.  Everything we do that is NOT in the job description, but we get when we accept a program, adds value to our overall package and in the end that helps keep the client satisfied and ensures that we are hired over and over again.  Yes, it’s that simple.

So how can you add value to your next program?  For instance, do you carry a mini-tool kit with basic office essentials with you on site?  Have you ever offered to drop off a client package at your local Fed Ex on your way home from your assignment? I do and I have, and I’m confident many of you do the same and more.  In fact, I know a lot of you go above and beyond what’s required at job sites, and I would love to hear about some unusual tasks you’ve performed for clients – whether asked to do so or done voluntarily because you saw the need – that added value to your on-the-job commitment.  Please send your comments in now and keep the dialogue moving forward as we share that not-so-secret-sauce of success that makes temporary onsite meeting professionals the essential ingredient that we are.

Oh, and for the record, I think the best unsolicited deed I ever did for a client was to actually cut their food up into bite size pieces so they could still eat a decent meal while suffering through a ‘had to be here’ dinner program even though they arrived with a severely broken arm and shoulder in a huge, stiff cast.   I’m not saying that act nominated me for Sainthood, but I sure did leave knowing I had done the absolute best job I could in trying to please the client that night!

 

Terry Matthews-Lombardo is an industry veteran meeting planner, trip director, and free-lance writer who’s seen and experienced a lot of challenges – the good, bad, great and ugly – during her professional lifetime spent in this industry. Based in Orlando, FL, she’s been a proud and active member of the GCG Network of planners since 2005. You can read more by Terry on her blog Hospitality Hive.

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