I never planned on being a sales professional.
Sales people are so maligned in our society that the “sleazy salesman” is an ugly stereotype. When I worked in sales for a health club, we weren’t even allowed to call ourselves sales staff to avoid the sleazy sales stereotype. My position was “membership coordinator.”
Yeah, my job was to “coordinate” the money in their wallets into the company’s cash register. 🙂
Sales is a dirty word.
Is it any wonder that we dread it?
Yet until a sale is made, nothing happens.
You don’t get to do what you love. You don’t get to wow the couple with the wedding of a lifetime.
The magic doesn’t happen until you book the wedding.
Whether you like it or not, if you own a wedding business, you are a sales professional. And you better get good at it if you want to stay in the game!
First order of business, stop making the mistakes you don’t realize you’re making that kill the sale.
#1 – Using the wrong name, venue or date.
This is SO easy to do when your leads come in by email.
I remember one bride who emailed us, a really warm lead, until I typed her name Beth instead of Becky. I caught my mistake on the next email, but it was too late. I’d offended her and she was gone.
If you get even one detail wrong, they’re going to assume you’ll do the same thing at the wedding.
Look out for this mistake if you copy and paste or use email templates.
Always, always, double-check the details before hitting send. Even better–read your email out loud to catch your mistakes.
#2 – Missing the little details because you’re not listening.
I always loved doing sales presentations with my husband, Jeff, because there were two of us listening. Sometimes I would catch a detail he missed, or vice versa, and if one of us about to make a critical misstep, the other could bail us out.
But it didn’t always work.
At one meeting, the bride-to-be mentioned that her father passed away. But somehow I missed it and asked her if she’d be having a dance with her father. Cringe.
You need to be actively listening to your couples, and not just with your ears.
Watch their body language, listen to the tone of voice, ask follow up questions to make sure you catch their unspoken concerns and understand their needs.
If you don’t, it can kill the sale.
#3 – Forgetting to follow up.
If you’re not following up at least 5x with every lead you get, it’s costing you money. Guaranteed.
What about those leads you meant to follow up with, but they got lost?
The email that slipped through the cracks. The phone number you scribbled down on a scrap of paper and lost (yeah, we know about that one.) The text message you forgot to return.
You don’t even know you’re making these mistakes because you forgot about them!
Create a fool-proof follow up system that tracks, follows up and books every lead.
#4 – Letting the bride/groom have control.
There’s a quick way to determine who is in control during a sales conversation. Who’s talking more?
The one talking is NOT in control. The one listening and asking questions has the reigns.
Ask good questions that lead the bride or groom through the process of identifying what they need (because they usually don’t know!) so you can first understand them, let them know you understand them and finally present yourself as the solution.
Letting a bride or groom pepper you with questions on the phone or at the meeting is a sure sign you’ve lost control.
When they ask a question, answer, then immediately redirect with a question of your own that leads them back onto the booking path.
#5 – Your price presentation lacks confidence.
Many wedding pros, especially the ones who are passionate about what they do, secretly feel insecure about their worth.
It makes sense. When what you’re selling is so deeply personal and important to you, the possibility of rejection can make you feel vulnerable.
But if you don’t believe you’re worth it, neither will the couple.
When I created my first $2,500 package, I was incredibly nervous. I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to say the words out loud!
“The Mirror Exercise” saved the day.
I wrote my new high price on a post-it note and stuck in on the mirror. Then I practiced saying to my reflection, “My name is Stephanie and it costs $2,500 to hire me.”
I practiced until I was smiling at my reflection and the words were clear and confident. Then I practiced in front of my supportive (but committed to being critical) husband and step-kids until they believed I meant it, too.
The next day, I booked my first $2,500 package.
Stop winging your pricing presentation. Have a script and practice it until it’s natural and confident.
How to Master Sales and Increase Bookings
The good news is that anyone — yes, anyone, even you! — can learn to book more weddings without being “salesy” by following a simple process.
That’s why we’re so excited to have Mitch Taylor, a Gitomer Certified Sales Advisor and veteran DJ, teach us exactly what we need to do.
Join us for our BRAND NEW workshop, “Sales For Event Pros” to learn how to master sales and increase bookings.
Here’s just some of what you’ll learn:
- The perfect answer to the question, “Why should I hire YOU?”
- The one critical step most wedding pros are missing in the sales process.
- The specific 6 step sales process Mitch used to create a six-figure wedding business in a town of only 12,000 people!
- Tricks to increase your closing ratio and better your sales skills.
- Why what you’ve been taught about how to start a sales meeting is BAD for your client – and how to fix it.
- The FIVE questions you need to ask at every meeting.
- Pick the brain of sales master who’s studied under America’s foremost authority on sales, Jeffrey Gitomer.
About the Author
Stephanie Padovani and her husband, Jeff Padovani, are the dynamic husband-wife duo behind Book More Brides, the #1 online resource for transformational marketing, business and motivational strategies for the wedding industry.
Stephanie and Jeff Padovani met and fell in love in the corporate world, and have been working together ever since. They are famous for entertaining and empowering wedding professionals with low cost, effective marketing strategies and powerful “anti-price shopper” communication techniques…that don’t require sleazy, high-pressure sales tactics or competing on price.
Want more wedding business tips? Visit BookMoreBrides.com to get your copy of the free report, “The Price Shopper Email: How to Immediately Convince Brides of Your Value So They’re Primed and Ready to Book.”
Filed Under: Business, Sales & Marketing
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