“When someone says, ‘we’d like to move forward with you’ that’s what I thrive off of,” says Miro Diamanté, Director of Event Services for Accent Indy. And it’s easy to see why Miro hears that frequently in his role with our Indiana DMC partner.
Miro broke down his approach to sales and relationship-building during a breakout session earlier this year at the Catersource + The Special Event Conference co-located event. During the session, Miro explained their conversationalist (or “friendship-first”) approach, using an incredibly catchy pop culture hook to explain the ideas behind their successful techniques.
“My golden rule I hoped to impart to anybody is that sales is simple,” Miro said. “People want to do business with who they like. When you think about how to differentiate yourself from competitors, it really does come down to your relationships.”
While we won’t be “spilling the tea” and giving away all of Miro’s secrets here (after all, he hopes to make a return appearance at next year’s event — with wheels already turning about the pop culture icons that might make it into a 2024 slide deck), here are the “three Cs of sales” Miro presented as part of the March breakout.
The three Cs — connection, culture, and creativity — are your routes, Miro advised, to ultimate success with clients.
Four ways to start building connections
Connection refers to some of Miro’s go-to topics — food, travel, TV & movies, and music — that virtually all humans can relate to: making them perfect avenue to scratch the surface with and help remove awkwardness from a get-to-know-you conversation.
They help turn it instead into a sampling of the experience that you may have when working with Miro. Once you’ve made these initial connections, Miro said, you then have a better sense of how to present and position yourself for continued future success. (A side pro tip here for anyone looking to connect with Miro and the Accent Indy team: music and concerts — specifically Kylie Minogue — is a sure-fire “in” with Miro himself, especially if you have any details about her rumoured Vegas residency…)
Embracing positive cultural changes
Culture, Miro said, translates to the critical need to work savvily with a wide range of clients. “You don’t need to know everything, but you should know enough to be dangerous,” Miro advised during their March session (meaning stay up on what’s hot, and what’s lost its buzz).
It also means having the sensitivity to read cultural dynamics that are constantly shifting, especially as new generations enter the workforce. Miro is encouraged by larger cultural changes starting to take root across the wider DMC industry, led in part by companies not afraid to make bigger, bolder moves like Accent Indy.
Miro is also helping spark that change by making a point to do things like respectfully ask people for their pronouns when presenting or first meeting — and through their regular performances as Neon Van Ryan, a highly accomplished drag queen.
At a time when different parts of the country are putting laws in place that endanger artists like Miro, he stressed it’s more important than ever to treat performers equitably and fairly.
“Pay fairly and push clients to make openings and opportunities in their programs to bring these folks in, to be seen, and to take up space,” said Miro, making the case for more DMCs to strategically partner with suppliers that represent marginalized groups within communities, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ individuals. “And I’ll emphasize again — empower them financially!”
Creative ways to stand out
Rounding out the three Cs is “creativity.” Here, Miro used different examples to show how initial connection and cultural touchpoints can then be infused throughout the rest of an event, from crafting a standout RFP response, up to cleverly thought-out thank yous and other ways to continue strengthening relationships long after an event is over.
“Once you have a client in the door and they’ve purchased or committed to you, you then use all the tools, sparkle, and fabulousness you have to create an experience that’s going to be memorable,” Miro said.
And it’s not one-size-fits-all, Miro noted, as their final words of wisdom. To really make this approach work, it’s about finding that common ground and then working that into your own personal style, they advised.
We all like what we like — but what makes the true DMC stars shine are those who avoid “yucking others yums” and lean into what a simple conversation might spark.
Find more information here if you’re interested in working with Miro and Accent Indy for your next event — or if you’d like to learn more about Miro’s many talents, in the Network and out!