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FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM MAY 2010

Rick Brewer
Rick Brewer
If you have been in business for more than 5 years, I have good and bad news.
Good news first: You have successfully beat the odds for a small business. You have run the gamut that usually beats 9 out of 10 small businesses.
The bad news is there has been an influx (and frankly, these types will always keep coming) of “competitors” who have watered down the industry by making the veterans a common commodity. You will have to keep on top of and ahead of these “chuck and truck DJs” whose only advertising is Craig’s List and whose only selling proposition is low price.
By the way- staying on top of the industry news and techniques through publications like DJ News is one of the ways that sets you apart as a true professional and not just some guy with gear.
Brides are one of the most reluctant buyers out in the world today. A study floating around that a bride needs to hear about you 8 times before she will consider doing business with you. I’m not sure if that is true, but let’s pretend that half of that is true. We still need to do a lot of work to get her even to consider doing business with us, let alone signing a contract.
When our marketing works, that just gets them on the phone, to our website or through our doors, all distinct different steps in the Bridal Buying Process.
When we market to our brides, most start off with the wrong assumptions. We “assume” they want a fairy tale wedding, come to life. We “assume” that just because they are a bride and we sell the stuff she is looking for that we are an automatic match. We “assume” that she is looking for a wedding package and that 10% off is the deal that means something to her. These assumptions happen far too often and because they happen so often, a bride will dis-trust wedding vendors as a rule and trust wedding vendors as an exception. We need to take a more honest, straightforward path to help her to trust us so she can determine if we truly are or are not a match, rather than simply opting to not decide because we did not represent ourselves well enough.
You ever have this happen: A bride emails you or calls you. She has one question that s foremost to her. Can you guess what that question is? It’s a little game she likes to play called “what’s my price”. She will call up and ask “how much do you charge for __________?”. She will ask that, not knowing that we are not a common commodity, but because she only knows how to measure with one yardstick- Money. IT doesn’t help that one of the first questions we ask her is “what’s your budget?”. She is simply protecting her purse because we come off as salesman.
Here’s some ideas on how to not come off as salesman.
1. Never assume that you are an automatic match. Tell her that you are not a match for every bride. Some of you are getting a little fidgety with that statement, so let me prove my point; Are you a match if you can do only one wedding a day and you are already booked for the day she wants? No. Are you a match if she will bounce her check to you after you provide your product/service? No. Are you a match if under your judgment after the wedding, you would have gladly not made the money and would have rather stayed home because she was such a pain in the rear end ? No. Are you a match if every other vendor is a relative and you have to work five times as hard to get half the result because you are trying to make up the room that other vendors usually help with? No.
2. Don’t Assume that she is interested in your ideas of why she should do business with you. Many times, we as salespeople assume that the person buying will/won’t buy because of price, our offering, or some other feature. We could have been much more helpful if we had simply asked at the outset what was important to them. I have seen countless numbers (in fact I promise you I could fly into your city, open up any wedding magazine in your town and find someone who does this) of wedding vendors telling a bride what is important to them or what should be important to them. This bold assumption repels too many brides.
3. Don’t sell on logic, sell on emotion. An emotional bride will always put priority over budget. She will trust easier and respect you more with what you do in your profession to help her with her wedding. The logical stuff will be answered later, don’t worry. If you missed my emails on selling emotion rather than logic, check out my blog at gettingmorebrides.wordpress.com
4. Instead of telling her about your stuff, ask her about her stuff. She has a distinct image of what her wedding should be. If you ask at least twice as many questions as you answer, you will not only maintain control of the sale, but you will also get her to break down her doors of trust and allow you into her zone of truth. Let me give you an example; Think about your last big purchase. If the salesperson asked you more questions than you asked them, did they come off as the expert? What if you asked more questions, how did they come off? When salespeople asked more questions, it means that you are delving into the true needs of the consumer and you are trying to match them up with everything they need. That doesn’t mean you get in the way of the sale. If a bride is convinced of what she wants and you have offered her options, close the sale, don’t confuse her.
Marketing, when it works, gets the bride to take the next step. Getting the bride to engage with you is key, but even more paramount is getting the bride to trust you because you are not trying to steal her money and not worry about her wedding. Be more of a consultant than you are a salesperson and you will book more weddings next year.


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