SALES – some people see this as a dirty word. Or at least something they will never do! But if you own a business, work for a business or spend money in any way….then you are part of the Sales process. I wanted to take a few minutes and suggest 4 easy ways to assist you book brides.
1) DO NOT SELL VIA EMAIL! When was the last time someone emailed you information and you purchased from them right there and then? Really, think about it! I never purchase via email. I have questions, I want to know what I’m getting, I want to understand the person I’m giving my money to. If I’m not going to buy via email – then neither is a bride. When sending out information about your services – don’t try and make the sale via email. Provide information. Provide knowledgeable resources. Keep in mind that a bride is doing this for the first time (most of the time). And any help you can give her will build trust in your professionalism.
2) SPEAK TO HER ON THE PHONE! You can’t really help someone if you don’t know what they need. Sure, you know she’s getting married…but do you know what her style is, colors, theme, music taste, favorite cake flavors….do you know anything about her? Not unless you speak with her on the phone and ASK her. Take the time to call her. In fact, call her as soon as you receive her email. I know I love when someone responds quickly to me – even if she’s not available to answer the phone, the fact that you cared enough to respond quickly will set you above and beyond other vendors.
3) GIVE HER ADDITIONAL VENDOR SUGGESTIONS – If you can help her with ideas for additional vendors she may need, you are adding value to the service you provide. She will think highly of you. When you have vendor suggestions, you are now an expert in your field. You come across as someone who wants to help her. (Also, it is bad form to recommend vendors who pay you for referrals…then you are simply referring them to make a buck, and when the bride finds out – you are risking the trust she is placing in you.)
4) DO NOT JUST EMAIL PRICE LISTS – You are your own best sales person. You know what you have to offer. If a bride asks for pricing, ask her what she needs. When she simply wants to compare your pricing to someone else’s….again, ask her if she knows what she is comparing. There are some products that can simply be compared on price. Milk…is milk. I know it’s the same thing at Fry’s or Basha’s. But a DJ, Florist, Event Planner, Linen Company, Rental Company, Photographer, Venue, Caterer, Cake Designer or the number of other event vendors – we provide a product AND a service. The service we provide is different from all others….because it’s US. You can’t go to another photographer and get the same photos that I will give. You can’t go to another DJ and get the same MC and music experience. The Service that we provide is unique to us. Plus, you are more likely to book a bride when you’ve spoken with her, set an appointment and met with her, and actually know what it is she needs/wants. *This last one can be difficult…because a bride thinks that all she needs is a price. But you KNOW that she needs to speak with you in order to fully understand what you offer.
As wedding service professionals – we need to understand that there is no competition. No one can do exactly what you do. There are other businesses out there offering photography, but that’s good. I can’t shoot every wedding in Arizona. I also am not in every brides price point. Again, there needs to be variety for brides. But I do know that when someone wants to speak with me, meet with me and loves me…then they will book me to be a part of their wedding day. I hope these techniques can help you as bridal leads come your way.
Jill Smith is the co-owner of Jill Lauren Photography. She is passionate about photography, but also loves assisting business owners to become successful.