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On the Seventh Day of Selling…

On the Seventh Day of Selling my sales coach gave to me….

PAST CLIENTS

The cool thing about weddings? Everybody knows somebody who is getting married. Seriously. It’s a happy occasion and people love to talk about it.

So today, you are going to reach out to your past clients. Now if you are that Type A vendor who is always sending out mailing cards and little gems to your previous clients then you get a Gold Star. However if you have been slightly busy with your day-to-day business (keepin it real, here) then we are just going to do what we can.

Cards, email, a personal Facebook message, phone call, your direct mail software program, etc. Pick your flavor of contact.

The bottom line is: you are going to contact your top clients from the past 2-3 years. Make some kind of contact, “I’m thinking about you”, “I ran across your files in our office and it made me remember….”, “Have you heard about our new services?”

You get the picture. But this isn’t a pushy sales contact. More like you are thinking about them and then slip in something that you have been doing that is just awesome.

Because referrals, from previous clients (that may start thinking about you because you made a contact out of the blue)… is awesome.

Happy Selling!

photo: Elizabeth Vincent Photography : me sewing my bride into her gown.

On the Fifth Day of Selling…

On the Fifth Day of Selling my sales coach gave to me….

A WEBSITE REVIEW

Update your photos with new brides and grooms. Review your About page and update. Check information on your Bio to ensure accuracy. Be sure that your Contact information is clearly listed (telephone number, mailing address, email address and please, PLEASE what area of the country you are located in). Change the copyright date at the bottom to reflect the new year. Double check that your Contact Form is still working. And so on…

You’ll want to utilize the same skills you did yesterday with your website wording. Review to ensure you have action selling words and phrases that most of your potential clients use to find your site. You’ll check your Google Analytics to see what words to beef up.

Remember the ease of the navigation and content is more important than the look and feel of your site. You will be bored LONG of your marketing and branding look before your potential clients will be.

Keep things simple. Your first photos on your site should draw a person in, because you only have a couple of seconds.

For selling purposes, remember to have at least your starting prices. Statistics show that is what clients want to see.

Happy Selling!

photo: planning forever events home page

On the Second Day of Selling…

On the Second Day of Selling my sales coach gave to me…

CLARITY

Now you have cleaned your crazy office, you can now start to the real process getting prepared to sell.

First, you want to review the past. Take this time to review where your leads have come in the past 12 months. You will be able to prioritize and make a plan based on this information. For instance, I’m sure that advertising reps will be contacting you hot and heavy with the new year approaching. Now you will be able to make better informed decisions.

You’ll also review your procedures of what you do when a sales lead comes to you. This is the time where you really analyze what worked and what didn’t. You’ll want to take a good look at your closing rate. What sales did not close? Was there a common thread? Perhaps you didn’t prequalify enough and wasted your time. What worked really well and determine what didn’t work.

Take time to think about where you want your business to go. It’s hard to see past the trees sometimes.

Happy Selling!

photo: flickr twentyeight

listing your prices on your website: JUST DO IT

A huge enigma for our industry, do we publish our prices on our website?

For many of us the conundrum is three-fold.

  1. Will we lose prospective clients that would disqualify our services based on pricing alone?
  2. Will my competition know what I’m charging and under charge me?
  3. Will my peers judge me for my pricing?

Here’s the problem. As a buyer of services, I like to know what the price range is, in fact it is very frustrating not to be able to see that information. Imagine searching for houses online and not having ONE PRICE under the listing. How long would you stay on that site?

Also, clients have told vendors on “bride panels” that they want to see AT LEAST starting prices on vendor’s websites.

Let’s discuss each point above individually.

One: Pricing is a pre-qualifier for potential clients. No use in calling you Mr. Photographer if your services start at $2,500 and the bride’s ENTIRE wedding budget is $5,000. Would you even want to field that call? Heck no, waste of your time and hers.

I have “starting” pricing on my website under services. If the phones aren’t ringing, sometimes I remove it. I play around with it all the time. However, with web inquiries I will always send something out to them before I make a phone call that gives a description of our company and where our pricing starts (as we give custom proposals).

If you feel that you need to explain your packages, then your packages may be too complicated. Keep it simple.

Two: If you have ever done a bridal show, or given out a proposal, or told another vendor your pricing/services or fielded an anonymous call asking about your pricing … then your competition probably knows what you are charging.

Again, why care?

Three: Your peers are always going to talk about you. That’s what we do, especially in this industry. Forget about it. Remember we are not going to fret about what our peers charge, anymore!

Happy Selling!

Is your BRANDING stopping you?

There has been increasing discussion about branding; your company’s professional image so you may attract your target client. Very important strategic part of your business, I’m not suggesting otherwise.

However…. what happens when branding our biz becomes our obsession? Hey, this is a creative industry … we can all spend A LOT of hours lamenting over what font to use or how to round the corners of our blog photos. Or is it just me that does that?

Not having the right or perfect brand can easily become an excuse for a business owner. “I didn’t sell that new client because I didn’t buy letterpress business cards.”

Ask yourself, is it becoming an excuse for you not to move forward? To getting off your butt, heading out the door to look for new ways of networking and finding new clients?

My latest business crush has been with the UnMarketing guru Scott Straten (you should follow him on Twitter). His schtick? Stop marketing and start engaging. Isn’t that so simple?

People buy from people, not things. Especially when you are talking about the uber personal business of weddings. You will not miss your next sale because the loop on your logo isn’t perfect.

Quit worrying. Quit making excuses. Quit belaboring your branding decisions. And, in the words of a formidable brand, Just Do It!

Happy Selling!

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