In order to be a successful business owner, you have to make sales. We don’t have to be that slimy car salesman or act like someone we are not. Let’s look at these 5 strategies for selling your wedding services.
1) Listen More Than You Talk
Encouraging potential clients to do the talking will make it much easier to sell your services. As the business owner, it is up to you to ask great questions such as finding out details about the wedding, learning how the couple met, hearing what they envision for the big day, and listening for problems they might be experiencing.
When asking questions during a consultation, keep the questions open ended so they will be encouraged to talk more. Make sure you are comfortable and relaxed which will put the couple at ease and allow them to relax as well. The more that potential clients talk to you and see that you care, the easier it will be to earn their trust.
2) Be Confident About Your Prices and Services
Many wedding planners get nervous when talking about their prices. This happens when you haven’t embraced the value and skills that you provide for couples.
When you gain confidence in your work, you’ll be able to share your prices without fear. In the meantime, this is one of those places you where you have to fake confidence until you feel it. If you are wishy washy about your prices, a potential client will quickly lose faith in your ability to be a strong event planner. Taking extra steps to be prepare for a consultation will help keep your confidence up.
It’s never ok to lie about your experience or exaggerate your skills. Not only will a client be disappointed when they learn you can’t deliver on your promises, you may find them questioning everything you do since the trust between you and the couple has been broken.
If you need guidance on pricing your wedding planning services, Pricing With Confidence: Secrets of Profitable Pricing and Services for Professional Wedding Planners is a comprehensive guide with templates and worksheets that give you the tools and information needed to confidently offer profitable and sustainable wedding planning packages and pricing.
3) Give Them a Reason to Take Action
Potential clients will take action much more quickly if they believe that your service or product is in high demand and that you are selective about who you work with. People tend to procrastinate if they think they have unlimited time to make a decision about your product or service.
In addition to showing you are particular about how many events you take and who you work with, you can include an expiration date on your contract or proposal. The expiration date can be anywhere from 3 days to two weeks, depending on your personal preference and business. Having this date also gives you a reason to follow up on the expiration date to check in with the potential client. If a client is not ready to book at that point, then their event date is no longer on-hold in your calendar and you aren’t spending additional time following up with them.
4) Take Your Time
One of the biggest mistakes that wedding pros make is rushing straight to the sales pitch during a consultation. It’s like asking someone to get married on the first date.
During a consultation, take your time getting to know the couple first. This gives them time to make a connection to you. What we do as wedding planners is such a personalized service. It’s critical that clients feel connected to and comfortable with the planner they choose to work with.
Keep in mind that there’s a fine line between eager and desperate. If you’re too eager, you will come across as desperate which tends to trigger a red flag in your prospects’ brain. Once they get that feeling, it’s nearly impossible to get them to move forward with booking.
5) Follow Up Like a Leader
It amazes me how many business owners will talk to a potential client or have a great consultation but never follow up. It isn’t up to your potential client to make the next step. Follow up, let them know how much you would like to work with them, answer their questions, and let them know what the next step is in the process.
The follow up can be as simple as sending a handwritten note or an email. If you thought of a new idea since the consultation, share it with the couple. If you found an inspiration image they may like, send it. Show potential clients that you listened to what they said and that you care.
Your first follow-up after a consultation can be as simple as this (personalized to the couple):
“Hi! Thank you again for taking the time to meet yesterday. I loved hearing how you met and the fact that you both love to kayak. I would be honored to work with both of you to create a fun and meaningful celebration. Can I answer any questions or send a contract to you for review?”
Many of us worry about “bothering” a potential client by following up too often, however, most wedding planners don’t follow up enough times with potential clients. When you receive an inquiry AND after an initial consultation, follow up a minimum of three times. Couples are often very busy and get inundated with wedding information.
If you follow these five easy ways to sell, it will be impossible for you to become that pushy, obnoxious, ultra-salesy wedding pro that nobody likes. Instead, potential clients will see you as someone who truly cares about their ideas and understands their needs, which are key factors in deciding who they choose to work with.
Want to learn more from Debbie? Visit the Planner’s Lounge website plannerslounge.com!