This article was written by Rick Brewer of Wedding Business Marketing. Rick has 22+ years in marketing and selling to wedding couples and is known for his proprietary approach to the psychology of wedding buying. Rick has worked with over 2100 wedding businesses, spoken to 250 + wedding groups and regularly shares his insight on wedding industry trends and cycles.
“Nothing happens until something is sold.” – Thomas J. Watson
In over 25 years of being a salesman, sales manager and sales trainer, I run into people almost daily who say that they hate selling. While it’s fair to feel uncomfortable about being too pushy, the sales process often receives a lot more hate than it should. It’s time to stop hating sales.
Selling is a crucial element of business whether you like it or not. While you may offer the best, most perfect product or service in your category, today’s couples need to be sold. In the weddings and events industry, we especially need to be able to sell the couple on what we offer.
Many wedding businesses think that because couples need what they sell, all they have to do is hang out a sign and the business will come. You see this when people research the number of weddings a year in a given area, and assume they should easily be able to book their fair share of them simply by opening up their business. The wedding industry is not the movie Field of Dreams; if you build it, they won’t necessarily come.
Your competition is likely working harder, so you need to work harder. Your competition, most of the time, is not some evil entity down the street going head-to-head with you in back-to-back meetings. Your competition could have more employees, a bigger advertising budget or twenty more years experience than your business, but your competition could also include a novice business offering the same services for half your price. Worse still – some of your competitors could even be friends or relatives of the engaged couple. Brides and grooms today have a lot of options!
Assuming that your client will book you simply because they hear about you, or that the only way to get a signed contract is to be pushy are two bold assumptions I want to correct. First, use your marketing strategy and collateral to separate your business from the rest of the pack. Your business likely has several unique selling points which you need to use to help couples understand why you’re the best choice. Second, you need to shift from your thought process of being pushy to being helpful. Don’t sell them – help them buy.
I play a word association game when I speak live to groups. When I ask people to list the words they associate with a salesperson, I hear a lot of negative words like liar, cheat, or scoundrel. But when I ask people to list the words they associate with a consultant, I hear much different words: helpful, expert, direction.
If you make that simple shift from being a salesperson to being a consultant and start giving the information that your prospective clients are looking for rather than just telling them all about you and what you do, you will find a significant shift in your results.