The following post was written by WeddingWire Education Expert Andy Ebon. Andy is the Founder of Wedding University and The Wedding Marketing Blog, and is an International Public Speaker, Writer and Consultant based in Las Vegas. Andy travels across North America and beyond, presenting to Associations, Wedding Industry Conferences, Regional Gatherings, and Local Meetings.
When communicating with potential wedding clients, it’s easy to fall into the trap of giving a “pitch” to sell your services. Applying that technique may succeed from time to time, but it can easily become a crutch that is not a highly effective method of communicating or selling. Worse yet, the words “sales pitch” bring to mind the image of an unprofessional used car salesman; someone who will say anything to make the sale, whether it’s the right decision or not.
The problem with a single sales pitch is that it’s a one-way pattern of providing facts and features about your business, with little or no customer input, failing to explain specific benefits. The essence of a sales pitch can be seen in a bad print ad – you’ll see cliché phrases and hyperbole, like these examples below:
- You dream it we’ll do it
- Perfect – i.e. Your Perfect Day Starts Here
- Vague terms such as: Full Service
- A Day to Remember
- Amazing, Fabulous, Unique
- Simply The Best
Another way that the typical sales pitch is similar to a bad print ad is that you’ll often list a bunch of features which are often mostly unclear or not relevant to the prospect, such as:
- Square footage of a ballroom, rather than number of seats and dance floor capacity
- Number of songs in a music collection or repertoire, rather than process of getting client input, reading the audience, and pacing the event
- Listing of inventory items or company services, rather than understanding their needs first and making recommendations accordingly
Translated into presentation form, we find ourselves rattling off a long list of features without truly engaging the prospect. Whether at a wedding show, on the phone, or by email, this won’t be effective.
Position Your Professionalism at the Point of Sale
Instead of crafting one sales pitch and using it for every couple, I contend that these alternative, more customer-based selling approaches have the capacity to be more successful:
- Consultative selling: Listening first, then crafting your selling strategy to address their specific needs
- Identifying pain points: Anticipating and solving problems, insulating the client from unneeded anxiety and stress
Price questions aside, it’s far better to engage the prospective client by asking about their wants, needs, fears, and anxieties. Sometimes a couple will ask for a specific approach, which may seem strange to you, but is likely based on previous experiences that they may not fully understand. Learn what they want to accomplish, and you will be better able to connect with and serve them.