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!

Reader’s Question: Laptops?

Q. What is your opinion on using a laptop to show a digital portfolio?

A. I love technology and use it in my business and personal life every single day. But in a sales consult, I caution about getting too techie, unless of course that is what you are selling … tech products like web design. First, technology can fail. And of course it always fails when you need it the most. Secondly, the time it takes to boot up some of your PC laptops stops the rhythm of the sales call. It’s disruptive. And finally, it becomes a natural barrier between you and the prospect. You want to have eye contact and the ability to guide the person what they are looking at. It’s not a control issue, it is keeping the prospect engaged with you.

With laptops, that is difficult. If you have a montage of photo galleries that shows off your work (photographers your photos or wedding planners, events you have produced), then consider sending a link to that gallery before the consultation. The prospect can go through it easily and at their own speed.

If you insist on using laptops (which is green friendly, and that is a positive) then use these tips.

  1. Boot up the laptop before the meeting and put it on sleep so you can easily open it up when you need to view it.
  2. Bring out the laptop only once during the consult. So be sure to know in advance when you want to work that into the conversation.
  3. If possible, physically move around to stand with your sales prospect to view the photos. This is where you can make comments and show them your work. Photographers don’t usually do this, they like to have the clients look at their work at their own speed. But I still recommend being involved and discussing your work with them, bringing out interesting points to the storyline, etc.
  4. Finally, don’t bring out 300 digital photos. Too much! and sometimes the prospect feels obligated to go through the presentation. Keep it simple and tell the story.

Have a question? Email at sh@saundrahadley.com