where’s the sizzle?


It’s been a minute …

I’d give excuses, but I hate excuses. Also, I like to follow Scott Stratten’s philosophy on blogging. Blog when you have something to say, not to a set schedule.

So, I’ve been thinking and listening to others in the industry. The latest buzz is delivering “the experience” to your clients. What that experience entails, is for you to define. And I AGREE, with so many options for brides and reduced budgets there has to be something more for them. They have the experience and they tell 10 friends and so on. Referrals = business.

The challenge in my mind is how to sell “the experience”. You know, telling them you will “treat them like a king and queen” or “go the extra mile” or you give “110% at your weddings” (please quit saying those cliche comments) isn’t really going to cut it.

I’ve been looking at my own wedding planning company, we excel at delivering “the beef”. We’re solid, we do a good job, we make our clients laugh, we clean up their mistakes, etc. The “sizzle”, or the “experience” is something that we need to work on.

So this is what we are going to do:

  1. We’re going to revisit at our branding to ensure that we are delivering a consistent message or our USP.
  2. We’re going to look at our processes from the first phone call or email from a prospect all the way to the Monday after the bride/groom got married. Where can we add the sizzle?
  3. Then we are going to readdress the sales consult and how we can add in more of the sizzzzzz and still keep the beef.

Are you following me? Or now, are you just hungry like I am? I am hungry. I’m hungry for business!!!! Are you?

What are your strategies, what new things have you implemented? Would love to hear from you!

Happy Selling!

business tips from Charlie Sheen…


You should all know that Charlie Sheen is my new homeboy. Ok, I know that some of you are thinking:

“Saundra, have you lost your mind?”

“I’m so sick of seeing this guy on TV.”

“Poor Charlie, I feel sorry for him and his addiction. How can you make fun of him?”

I’ll address each one of those points. 1. No, I have not lost my mind, in fact I have learned a great deal from Charlie as you will see below. 2. I understand. But it has increased my mood tremendously as the gas prices skyrocket and the Middle East is collapsing. 3. I do not feel sorry for Charlie, one bit. His over-privileged and indulgent lifestyle has led him to having only one-brain cell left. He is loving this attention and he shall have it. I only feel sorry for: his kids and the people on the TV show who are now unemployed.

Now, there is always an opportunity to learn. Right?

This is what Charlie Sheen has taught me:

  1. You really aren’t a rockstar. It’s great to be pumped up and feel good about yourself. And we all have some rockstar moments. But let’s keep things real and remind yourself that you are not the most important person in the room. Or in the world.
  2. Relationships are everything. Charlie believes that we (everyone in the world BUT him) cannot “process him with a normal brain”. When running your own business you definitely need help. And of course the ability for other people to “understand you” is a plus as well. Charlie is all alone. He’s ostracized his team (cast members and production team of Two and a Half Men), his publicist quit, who knows how his personal relationship is with family or his ex-wives. Well, he does have the “two goddesses” that live with him, but when the cocaine dries up so will they. Back to the point: you know it takes a team of professionals to pull off a great event and peers to help you when you need it.
  3. Incoherent blabbering is not sellable. Really Charlie, you should have listened to my advice and embraced more silence during your interview. From what I can tell, he babbled like a brook and said nothing of real substance. Don’t do that with your clients or at sales consults.
  4. Airing your dirty laundry doesn’t make  you “real”, in many cases, it proves you are crazy. Hmph. Don’t need to add much here. Although a few Facebook statuses that I recently read from other vendors do come to mind….
  5. Perception becomes reality. If Charlie ever pulls through this, can any of us look at him again (in movies or on TV) without thinking of this interview and crazy lifestyle? It was okay when it was “just reported” that he was wrecking a hotel room on drugs and hookers. But now, to have him blatantly in our faces exposing himself with all kinds of crazy … it is permanently etched into my brain. (Again, thanks Charlie for the smiles.) So I ask you… have you acted crazy in your professional life? YELLED at other vendors instead of managing the conflict? Acted overly dramatic towards a situation? Managed a situation poorly? Everyone that saw you do this…. it’s etched in their brains forever as well.
  6. Don’t envy those that are at the TOP of their game. And Charlie was at the top! “Most highly paid actor and top-rated sitcom in the country.” People dream of having an opportunity for that type of fame and money. But when you aren’t grounded inside, when you don’t have the attitude and love for yourself… it can quickly fall. Don’t be envious of other peer professionals that are doing well or who are on an industry TV show or received exposure in print media. You never know what is going on with them behind closed doors. Just sayin’.

Charlie Sheen, you are special. And I hope that you will especially get some help. Thanks again for the inspiration!

Happy Selling!

10 things that your potential clients won’t tell you…

You’ve spent a lot of time and energy honing your consultation presentation. You’ve read the sales books, received feedback, read this sales blog and many others.

But have you ever wanted to know what the bride and groom REALLY think after your consult? I know, because I’ve asked!!!

Here are some REAL ISSUES that bother your potential clients, but they don’t have the guts to tell you. This is from their perspective:

  1. You talked TOO MUCH. You talked about every bride and groom you’ve ever worked with before us. That’s all fine and dandy but we want to talk about OUR wedding.
  2. You didn’t LISTEN. We have very unique ideas about how we want our wedding to unfold, but you kept talking about how you “usually” run the wedding reception. We want it different and you didn’t even listen or give suggestions.
  3. You BUGGED the hell out of us. We don’t need an email, phone call or text every single day after we meet. It’s annoying. We know you are busy, BUT SO ARE WE. Are you that desperate for business? Cause that is what it feels like.
  4. You were UNORGANIZED. Sorry but the papers everywhere and scattered notes during our consult looked weird. Even though we talked about our wedding on the phone for 45 minutes, you acted as though we had never spoke. Were you not paying attention the first time?
  5. It was all about YOU. You named dropped like 15 times during the consult. We don’t care that you did the mayor’s daughter’s wedding 5 years ago. You talked about who knows YOU, and how YOU did this or wrote this article. We just want a spectacular wedding and we already prequalified you by looking at your website. Let’s talk more about US.
  6. You IGNORED one of us. Listen, this is OUR day…that’s why we came to the consult together. Don’t just stare at my bride and ignore me like I’m not in the room. I know, as a guy, I don’t know much about flowers, but I don’t want to feel invisible.
  7. You BAD MOUTHED other vendors. I bet you didn’t know that the caterer you just bad mouthed is my Maid of Honor’s cousin. If you think putting others down elevates yourself, you are so wrong. You just looked petty and small.
  8. You were too PUSHY. We have just started the process of planning our wedding and we feel it is important to meet with more than one vendor in each category. Any vendors that are prodding us to sign immediately will get put on the back burner. Because if we wanted to sign, we would of told you.
  9. Your proposal was NOT PROFESSIONAL. You were really nice and appeared to be have everything together, but the quote you gave us was so unprofessional. Your services will be the largest investment of our wedding and receiving an estimate of costs in a paragraph form through email is not helpful to us.
  10. You seemed DISINTERESTED. I’m sure that we are like your 5,000th potential client meeting. But this is a day that is really important to us for both emotional and financial reasons. You seemed like you were just going through the motions of the consult and honestly, came across a little burnt out. We’ve decided to go with the less experienced vendor, because at least she was really enthusiastic about our wedding.

I hope this helps you to think about what you are projecting at your consults. What are your thoughts?

happy selling!

NOW… at&t loves me and my iphone…


True Story:

We’ve been Cingular customers since 1998. Of course we all know that they were bought out by AT&T a few years ago and since then the customer service is shaky sometimes. I am NOT a fan of “monopolies” when one company has our business advertising, our land lines, and our cell phones; I think customer service wavers a bit.

Hence the one time it took me 8 months, numerous hours on the phone, speaking to so many customer service representatives across the entire country, that I lost count;  to resolve a $352 credit that was due to us. But I did it. And the drinks were ON ME that evening.

Get to the Point:

Alright, ALRIGHT!

Everyone knows that Verizon announced they can sell the iPhone 4 early this February. After that announcement (in fact only 12 hours after), I had to call AT&T on an unrelated customer service issue.

The love fest on the telephone from the customer service rep was unbelievable and left me feeling a little nauseous.

I was told REPEATEDLY:

“Thank you so much for your business”
“Thank you for your patronage and as an iPhone customer
“We value your business and thank you again, for being an AT&T customer”


I mean it’s not like every time I call they are rude, but this guy was OVER the TOP. And, pointedly singled out the fact I was an “iPhone customer” again and again.

Hmmmmmm. Feeling the heat a little AT&T?

Our Business:

So do you (and me) wait until we feel the heat to reciprocate to our clients and be grateful? Do we wait for a competitor to come into the market to stir it up or are we continuing to build client relations and loyalty?

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Trust me… this was an “aha moment” for me as well. I love to sell. I love to plan. But the extra touches for client relations sometimes can lost in the daily grind.

Time to step up our game!

Happy Selling!

get real sales tip :: bridal shows

It’s BRIDAL SHOW season! yup yup yup!

So here are two quick get real sales tips regarding working your bridal show. You’ll want to watch, because when I say “get real”, that is exactly what I mean.

Big thanks to #HusbandWonder who bought me a tripod for Christmas. A much needed gift.

Now if he can just purchase the “soft Barbra Streisand lens” for my camera…. my life would be complete.

ps Let me know what you think AND … what do you see that happens at bridal shows? This should be interesting….

happy selling!