pricing

does offering a discount, close the deal?

….. a lot of times, the answer is NO!

You’d be surprised how many vendors offer discounts in the negotiation process or (gasp) offer it up at the client interview, and it doesn’t mean you will close the deal.

Why?

Because there are other factors involved:

Perceived value.

Experience you are bringing to the table.

Location.

Is your service/or you a perfect match for their event?

TRUE STORY (wait for it):

A prestigious venue just offered my client $5k LESS than their original proposal. This was their FIRST OFFER in negotiations. BAM! $5k right off the top.

Her thought, “Is there something wrong going on with them? Are they not solvent?”

EYE OPENING!

I’ll just end this blog post right here. ‘Nuff said.

happy selling!

real world, negotiating…

I came across this little gem on twitter and cannot remember who to credit.

The video really speaks for itself, my FAVORITE LINE is the last one.

Do any of you feel like this sometimes? Please share….

Happy Selling!

why I won’t work for free

New business is challenging in the best of circumstances and even more challenging under difficult times. But working for free or mere dollars per hour cannot be the answer in offering sustainability. Sure you have a superb wedding to showcase in your portfolio, but who cares? At the end of the day, are you even breaking even?

This blog entry will not be much of me talking to you as I’ve already covered this issue before, instead highlighting two wedding professionals who really hit the nail on the head.

Recent blog post of a 17 year, veteran wedding planner, Linnyette Richardson-Hall outlined a fabulous post of “Why I Cost So Much”. A great read and I recommend clicking on it and reading it thoroughly.

From Linnyette, I read another well-written, thought out and insightful article by another wedding planner, Shayna Walker, “Demystifying Wedding Planner Pricing”. Definitely on my top ten best reads in a long time. I highly suggest you download her open conversation on how most of us, price our services.

In the past few weeks, I turned down two weddings. One of which, due to circumstances beyond my control, I knew that I would not be able to deliver the service the bride needed. There are no do-overs in our business and having the clarity and honesty to tell a potential client, “I’m very sorry, but you need to call someone else” is difficult but in the end, the best decision for both of us.

The second one was more painful and difficult, but within negotiations I knew deeply and through personal experience that what the clients were asking for was GREAT for THEIR pocket book, but not so much for my business.

We ALL like to remove services from proposals that we are given so that they will fit within our budgets. I’m not exempt to this; I want, what I want, but at the best deal.

As the author and provider of said services, it is our job to educate our clients and prove the value of their investment and finally, knowing when to draw the line.

Happy Selling!

On the Sixth Day of Selling…

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

A BLOG REVIEW

If you were paying close attention to Fifth Day of Selling you probably thought that I accidentally left out your Blog when talking about your Website revamp.

Nope, your blog is so important (especially to us vendors who use Flash websites) that it gets its’ own personal day.

Some of you may think that just because your potential clients or current clients aren’t making comments on your blog, that mostly vendors are reading it. You are most likely very wrong.

So stop and take a fresh look at your blog. Besides the yummy goodness of free wedding information and portraits, is it really simple for the average blog reader to access your website and contact you for a prospective consult? Does it have a link that states something about your company and what services you offer?

As you know, blogs aren’t a hard selling tool. But it is still, very much, a selling tool. I’ve given plenty of sales consults where I didn’t have to spend much time talking about myself, the team or our philosophy. They already knew, by the flavor of the company blog. It’s selling you!! So be sure that if they like what they are reading, they can easily find out more about you!

Happy Selling!

ps You may want to consider your Facebook Fan page in this as well. And your Twitter page. Is it branded with your logo and photo?

photo: Social Media All Stages

On the Third Day of Selling…

On the Third of Selling my sales coach gave to me…

PRODUCTS / SERVICES

If you’re anything like me, you probably have lots of Evernote notes or emails (sent to yourself from an event) on points and tips of changes that you need to make to your services or products. There is no finite science and business is always growing and changing.

This is the time where you are going to force yourself to review your services. If you want to add something new or remove a service. You’ll also be analyzing your pricing. In some instances, perhaps raising your pricing isn’t the way to go, so perhaps reducing some of your time which in turn gives you a price increase. It’s like my favorite box of Wheat Thins. I noticed the price didn’t go up, but I am getting a smaller box and less Thins per ounce. Nice job, Nabisco.These are just suggestions, you know your market and pricing better than anyone.

This is the time to launch new things, tweak what you already do or not change a thing. At least you have taken the time to analyze it.

Happy Selling!

photo: Operational Excellence Perhaps you could look a little happier during this exercise than the angry dude above.

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