Is your pricing and service structure working against you?

April 13, 2009 by Andy Ebon

confused-brideWedding vendors are often frustrated that brides don’t appreciate the value of their services. Ultimately, aside from ‘customer service,’ there are three major factors that come into play.

  • Hours of service
  • Price for product/service
  • The quality of the result

One major problem is the tradition of how pricing is presented. Often, particularly for entertainment, photography, videography, the pricing presented to the prospect is based on ‘time in direct contact with the client.’

That method, while customary in the wedding industry, understates the time directly serving any single client, not to mention their share of overall service and time from your business.

Until I went through the process of being a groom, I never realized how much time a videographer or photographer spent, after the wedding, before presenting the final result. Contracts for services show beginning and end times at the event, but I’ve never seen an informational description of how much time is spent in post-production, for example.

When a prospect doesn’t know how many hours it takes to edit one hour of raw footage from one camera, it’s hard for her to understand why the price is $4000 rather than $1000. Hours are tangible measure of your effort. The result is more subjective.

It is not sufficient to show a prospect a video, reference letters on your wall, headshots of DJs, and expect them to magically understand the degree of difficulty. If one doesn’t explain the situational differences in equipment, lighting, personal, and other behind-the-scenes-efforts, then you are just hoping that the client figures it out. That’s not good enough.

A DJ entertainment service prices itself for a specific number of hours of performance. Travel and set up are typically not shown, unless the event is outside the local market area.

What effect might it have if proposals and contracts had a simple ‘informational statement’ that indicated a list of additional tasks associated with the event that do not happen during the precise reception time frame? Effective implementation includes discussing the total scope of your service with the client, including a summary of those points, in your proposal, and briefly including it in (or as an attachment) to  your agreement.

Maybe this should be an industry-wide standard for wedding marketers? What would change in the process of selling if every prospect understood you total measure of service, and its impact on the final result for the bride?

I know, I’m turning the pricing and selling approach on its ear. Maybe it’s time we do that.

I invite your specific comments, and how you think this might apply within your slice of the wedding industry.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority

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Andy Ebon Andy Ebon (78 Posts)

Keith Alan has been in the DJ biz since 1975, started hosting weddings in 1982 and went full-time in 1993. While personally hosting over 60 weddings a year on the weekends, his mid-week programs generate income through out the year. Young children and seniors are the strong points of the business. Outside of the weddings division of Keith Alan Productions, Keith’s summer program, Campardy™ has grown from 1 event in 2000, to 75 events within a 6 week window! Keith is busy with game shows, trivia, photo booths and extreme bingo the other 46 weeks of the year.


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