Category Archives: Money Makers

Shhhh… secrets of selling…

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.

1 Comment

Filed under Easy & Inexpensive Tips, Money Makers

What’s your marketing plan?

Ahhhhh… marketing… fun, slick, glamorous, shiny… images of Mad Men come to my mind…

Marketing is defined as the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.  Over the week, we’ll break this down with how it relates to your wedding related service or product.  First up: Promoting!

Promoting:  What is your Promotion Strategy and how successful is it in bringing returns?

Many wedding related businesses advertise across a wide range of print and web media.  Given the social nature of our industry, networking and public relations, are also key.  But, what are those marketing methods bringing in terms of business?

Here are some questions you can ask to determine the effectiveness:

  • How do clients find you?
  • What is your best method of promotion?  (The one that leads to the greatest amount of revenue.)
  • Are you spending money on advertising that does not benefit your business?
  • How many clients who contact you make an appointment?
  • How many clients who contact you place an order?

Not so sure on some of these?  For the next month, try this:

  1. Make a sheet (spreadsheets are awesome, but pen and paper work too) that lists 4 columns:
    • client inquiry
    • referral
    • appointment
    • order
  2. Client Inquiry Column: Keep a list of every client that phones or emails you – note the date and their contact information
  3. Referral Column: In your first conversation, ask them how they found you (ad, client, other vendor, etc)
  4. Appointment: When they book their appointment – make an X under “appointment”
  5. Order: When they place an order – make an X under “order”

Keep working this tracking sheet until you have a firm understanding of your return on promotional investment.  You may find your wasting money on promotional efforts that don’t lead to any rewards.  And, you may learn that you are not maximizing certain promotional tools. Rethinking your marketing and promotional plan can be a money maker and a money saver.

1 Comment

Filed under Excercises, Market It, Money Makers, Money Savers