Sales and bookings are the lifeblood of wedding business success. Without them, we wouldn’t be a business at all.
But it’s not always easy to understand why brides and grooms choose a competitor over you.
And in a highly competitive industry like the wedding and events industries, it’s important that you’re aware of how you approach closing a sale in order to be really good at it and to continue improving and securing more bookings.
We’ve spoken to several industry experts to find out what they think helps wedding businesses like yours stand out in today’s competitive market, and what you can do to secure more bookings.
Here are 5 ways in which you can win new business and improve your sales skills…
It’s essential that you can instantly identify (and be prepared to discuss) your wedding business’ USP – your unique selling proposition.
You need to give potential clients a reason to choose you over the competition and to do this, you must have evidence to support what makes you different to everyone else.
What do couples say about you after you’ve finished working with them? What do they write in testimonials and reviews?
Be prepared to discuss your best assets and show proof of weddings you’ve worked on where these assets have come into play and made a couple overwhelmingly happy with what you’ve done for them.
It’s easy to get carried away when meeting a prospective client and to talk about all the wonderful things you could do for them.
The most powerful sales tool at your disposal is the ability to listen.
Ask open ended questions and be sure to listen to their specific needs to show that you understand that their wedding is unique to them and to show that you’re willing to tailor what you’ve done in the past to suit them and their desires for their wedding day.
Why do you charge what you charge? How highly do you value your services?
Pricing competitively is important but providing great value for the services you specialise in is the most important thing.
Of course couples will be cost conscious but this doesn’t always mean that they’ll choose the cheapest wedding supplier.
Be prepared to explain why you charge what you charge and focus on the quality of the service you provide, the value you could add and support these claims with client feedback.
Try to read prospective clients and be conscious of any buying signals they might be giving.
If they ask you about your availability for their wedding day or if they discuss their plans and reference your business specifically as being the wedding venue for them or mention you helping them with wedding planning, floral arrangements or their cake in conversations, they’re most likely ready to commit to you.
Similarly, if the couple seem disinterested or keen to wrap up the conversation, give them the space they need to reach a decision but prepare to move on to your next potential client.
It’s ok to be open about how much you’d like to work with the couple. Once you’ve reached this final stage, ask the bride and / or groom if they’d be ready to move forward and pay a deposit to secure your services.
And whilst it’s ok to let them know that you’re booking up fast, be sure not to put too much pressure on the prospective clients and make them feel forced into making a snap decision. A lot of people will feel uneasy and even a little suspicious if you focus too much on securing a deposit fast because of how busy you are.
If they choose not to pay a deposit there and then, make sure that you follow up with them after your meeting.
Approach ‘closing the sale’ with a quiet confidence in your wedding business and in your abilities as a wedding professional.
Prospective clients will pick up on how keen you are to work with them so a balance between interest, calm and professionalism is the most surefire way to impress couples and win bookings in 2018 and beyond.