Shhhh… secrets of selling…

March 17, 2009 at 5:28 pm 3 comments

In our second of three part series on Marketing, we explore the art of selling.  TheWeddingReport.com recently did a study that found that the average cost of a wedding in 2008 fell by 24%.  The wedding industry has often been touted as “recession-proof”, but this is proving to be untrue.  With today’s volatile economy, garnering sales is more important than ever.

Yesterday, we discussed promotion and the ways that a solid marketing plan can drive your sales.  Today, we are going to break down easy and inexpensive things you can do to turn an inquiry or appointment into a sale.  These are small things you can do that will tip your client into the category of “gotta have it!”

Portuguese Oil Salesman

Portuguese Oil Salesman

Here are a few creative things that help make the sale:

Give them VALUE
People aren’t as price resistant if they understand that they are getting A LOT of value for their money.  In addition to your proposal, include a punch card that details the value your business will add to their wedding experience.  The items on the punch card will give them enough information to choose you over a competitor.  Your punch card could include the following:

  • We will respond to all email inquiries within 12 hours (typical turn around for email during work hours 9-5 is 30 minutes)
  • Since 2005, our clients have rated us 4.9 out of a potential score of 5 for customer service
  • There will be no “hidden costs” in your final invoice; what you see is what you get at the time of the proposal

Your WORD
A guarantee is an assurance that you will perform as agreed upon.  In the wedding industry, brides and grooms are terrified with horror stories of vendors not delivering.  Assuage this fear by letting them know exactly where you stand.  captureplanning.com lists some helpful ways to write a guarantee.

Everyone loves a CHECKLIST
Give your clients a “checklist” of the items they’ll need to purchase from you over the next several months.  For example, if you are a photographer, some of the items that your checklist might include:

  • engagement portraits
  • boudoir session
  • rehearsal dinner session
  • wedding ceremony and reception photography
  • prints for bride and groom, families, and friends
  • photo books

(An alternative would be to provide them with the list of “shots” they’ll want to capture the year of their engagement and their wedding day.)   The expectation is rarely for them to purchase all of the items (though there is certainly nothing wrong with that!)  The expectation is that they see one additional thing on that list that they can’t live without other than the day-of wedding photos.  Alternatively calling this something other than a “checklist” can have more marketing appeal: the planner, the budgeter, the dream sheet, the wish list, etc.

Make it PRETTY
Packaging can make or break a sale.  It says everything about the service your provide, the passion you have for your product, and the care you have for your customer.  This can be as simple as tying a ribbon around your checklist (above), presenting your business card in a petal enclosure or boxing your photos in vintage wrapping paper.

Packaging all three of these together would give you client a little “gift” to take home with them.  Can you see it now?

Envision: A pretty little blue box with fuchsia ribbon that holds the secrets of your business:

  • a “punch card” that lists how the client will benefit from doing business with you
  • a guarantee statement that ensures your client can count on you, no matter what
  • a “planner” (the checklist) showing all the awesome services and products you provide
  • a business card from YOU

Do you have any secrets of selling that you want to share with us? Shoot us an email at TheSmartWeddingBiz-at-gmail.com .  If you’d like to be credited, please include your name and the name of your business.

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Entry filed under: Easy & Inexpensive Tips, Money Makers.

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