Shocking Secret Shopper Results Reveal Wedding Pro Fails

April 9, 2014 by Stephanie and Jeff Padovani

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It’s official: your follow up sucks and it’s costing you business.

Most wedding pros SAY they follow up multiple times. They SAY they respond quickly. They say, “I’ve tried everything and nothing works to get a response!”

You’re probably guilty of one of the 7 embarrassing reasons why the bride blew you off.

Here are the shocking results of the “secret shopper” experiments when our friends went undercover to find out how wedding pros really act when it comes to follow up.

DJ Secret Shopper Results

  • 25% did NOT respond within 24 hours.
  • 33% did NOT answer the initial question in the email.
  • 57% did NOT deliver any meaningful information about why their business was different

“I think it says a lot about the opportunities that are out there for a wedding vendor who is willing to 1) respond promptly, 2) listen to their customer and 3) provide meaningful information.” – Anonymous Shopper

But wait! It gets worse…

Wedding Photographer Shopper Results

Tobin Poppenberg of Bride Magnet shopped dozens of wedding photographers in different markets to find out what the customer experience would be like for him if he were the groom or bride to be.

He wanted to know:

  • How quickly would they respond?
  • What would they say?
  • Would they follow up?

Here were the results:

  • Average response time = 24 hours Some photographers took an entire week to respond!
  • Nearly ALL the responses had typos or spelling errors. Hint: this makes you look really unprofessional.  And ignorant.
  • Only 1 out of 5 photographers sent a second follow up email.

“They were generic, inauthentic, rushed, overly salesy, overly curt, and in general, they just didn’t seem like they were written by a human…they were just a vehicle for giving the price…They lack the essential stuff that distinguishes one photographer from the next.” – Tobin Poppenberg

Is it any wonder they can’t tell you apart from the cheaper competition?

You need to learn how to fix the most common follow up mistakes and get the couple to RESPOND so you can book more weddings.

The Deadly Mistakes You Make

#1 Your response is too slow.

The best time to respond to a lead is within 5 minutes. If you wait even one hour to respond, you are 21x LESS LIKELY to reach her.

Source: Kellogg’s School of Management

#2 You’re scaring them away by not paying attention, using poor grammar and sending ugly emails and marketing materials.

When a bride or groom has nothing to judge you on besides your email response, guess what they use to judge you?

When you don’t read carefully, you miss important information. The bride or groom thinks you’re ignoring their questions. You might even make the disastrous mistake of addressing the bride by the wrong name! (Don’t ask how I know this.)

This makes you look unprofessional and demonstrates a lack of attention to detail.  The assumption is that you’ll behave the same way at the wedding.

If you’re not a writer, hire someone to write a template email for you.  And use spell check!

#3 You didn’t follow up enough.

Check out these statistics from McGraw Hill…

  • 2% of sales are made on the 2nd contact
  • 5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact
  • 10% of sales are made on the 4th contact
  • 80% of sales are made on the 5th to 12th contact

“Contact” in this case means each time they are exposed to your business. A contact could be seeing your ad, meeting you at a bridal show or receiving an email from you.

If you’re not following up at least 5 times you could be missing out on 80% of your potential sales!

#4 Your response is BORING.

You responded with an email that begins with, “Congratulations on your engagement!” and looks exactly like the other (unbearably) boring emails from your competitors sitting in her inbox.

Be interesting! Make her laugh.  Get her talking about herself. Show your personality and stand out.

If you want brides and grooms to respond, you have to do something DIFFERENT. Now.

Want to Learn More Disastrous Mistakes to Avoid?

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Watch this video to learn the 10 Fatal Follow Up Myths That Are Killing Your Wedding Business!

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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.”

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Stephanie and Jeff Padovani Stephanie and Jeff Padovani (152 Posts)

Stephanie Padovani and her husband, Jeff, are the dynamic husband-wife duo behind Book More Brides, the #1 marketing resource for for the wedding industry. Visit BookMoreBrides.com/mb to learn, “21 Must Have FREE Tools to Turbo Charge Your Wedding Business.”


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