follow up

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!

Working a Wedding Bridal Show :: part 2

bridal show booth display
Continuing our discussion on the best practices of working a Bridal Show:
  1. Promote your blog. Remember that “Bridal Wars” giveaway I mentioned above? Well we decided to take photos of brides/friends and put it on the blog to VOTE for the best photo. Our blog traffic went through the roof that week and several months afterwards. So simple, and it totally worked. We now hear from brides that show up at our booth that they faithfully read our blog. Which is a great form of marketing for our business.
  2. Bring your Calendar. Depending on your type of wedding business it will depend on whether you will actually BOOK new clients at the show. DJ’s, bakers, some photographers and other vendors that offer package pricing can book clients at shows. As wedding planners, we do not bring one single contract to the show. We want appointments. Usually we ask the bride (if the conversation is going well) if we can contact them later to set an appointment or schedule the consult on the spot. EVERY vendor is vying for their attention so our approach is a “soft one”, not pushy at all. We ask to contact them. I will carry a notebook and may write down their name so I can flag them later for follow-up or at least remember the conversation. It’s really your choice, but I find that being respectful of them and their time is a much better approach.
  3. Discounting. Not a huge fan of this concept. For one, we have many clients that will walk through the show and come to see us. (Which is awesome, by the way. Nothing like an excited bride running up and hugging you in FRONT of other potential brides.) I would hate to see a full-priced client walk in and see a published discount. But again, for some vendors this works. If you are going to offer a show discount, be very specific with a limited time frame. I think the best way to discount is wait to send out personalized information to brides after the show when you have collected the attendee database.
  4. Show Follow-Up: We have found that direct snail mail marketing is “zzzzzzzzzzzzzz” and costly. So we use email marketing. Be sure that you have permission to email the show attendees. A good idea is to create your email campaign while you are preparing for the show. How many times are you too tired after a big bridal show or you are moving on to the next big project, that the email campaign gets lost in the shuffle. If you are interested in getting more business, be sure to have a sales “hook” in the email campaign otherwise you should simply look at it as a branding campaign.

Happy Selling!

Where are your Hot Sales leads kept?

sales board
I like to keep important information right in front of my face. Of course, I use software; but nothing beats a good ‘ole fashioned white board. I installed one in the office and it sits right in front of my desk.

Ideas, strategies, and important notes go up on the white board.

Also, our sales leads. Sure we have a database strategy to keep track of the sales leads that come in and keep track of our sales cycle such as responses, notes and scheduling dates for follow up. That stuff is automated within our company online calendar.

But I’ve found it very motivating to put potential client’s names on the white board: and track results in a modified way. This keeps them in front of my face and constant reminder to follow and close the sale.

Sure it’s a little bit of double work, but it is so satisfying to draw a line and put the word SOLD on their name. Also right under the section of potential clients is also a fabulous thank you note from a happy client. Just to remind ourselves how happy we make our clients!

How do you do it?

Happy Selling!

{update on photo: Since the photo was taken, we can add two more “SOLD” notices to it. Holla!}