By K.C. KoKoruz, “The Science of Marketing”
The sad but true part is that the first time you do almost anything in life, you aren’t very good at. Your dad put the training wheels on your bike in an effort to help you get used to the bike and also to help you learn your balance. At some point he removed them and before you know it, you were peddling on your own and despite a fall or two you were riding your bike. Over time, you learned how to ride no handed, popped a wheelie, slammed on your breaks and created the cool snake styled skid marks on the driveway or sidewalk, etc. The most important thing is that you had the time to learn these things.
Brides don’t. They have the enormous pressure of creating a one day over the top experience for both themselves and their guests. They also are doing this for the first time and don’t know what to ask, what things cost, and each bride has a different idea of what is important to them.
Let’s start at the beginning with the budget. The good and sometime bad parts of being in the wedding business is tradition. Even though we may have seen a thousand brides dance that first dance with their new husband, there is always something special about it. That’s the good part. The bad part is that a lot of brides do the same thing that someone else did, and as such they have put certain things about their wedding into a “box” with parameters and part of this is also what certain things should cost.
I like to get a good deal as much as the next guy and the thing that we need to accept is that brides will spend money on things that THEY THINK ARE IMPORTANT. Let me say that again, WHAT THEY THINK ARE IMPORTANT. It doesn’t matter how great you think you are as a DJ. It only matters how great THEY THINK YOU ARE.
Every decision we make in life is based around the pleasure it gives us, or the pain it will inflict on us. I hate going to the gym. I associate absolute boredom, pain and nasty sweat around being on a treadmill. This is painful for me while at the same time the girl next to me with the killer body sweating her ass off can’t imagine not going to the gym to keep her figure.
Everybody has a budget. Some budgets start out absolutely made up out of thin air. Some are based on statistics found on websites such as The Knot or local publications. A lot are based on what friends told them they spent. A lot are also determined on what the majority of DJs charge in a certain area. The thing to keep in mind is that if you can turn a NEED into a WANT, their budget will change. The statistics show that 45% of the brides in the US will go over their initial budget. 10 years ago there was no budget for a photo booth and up-lighting and today these have become relatively standard at weddings.
Let’s look at another industry for a minute, the tire and brake industry. These are two of the most important things that we need to have on a car yet typically when we go into a shop, the first thing we ask is what will new tires cost? What will a brake job cost? I am sure that the presidents of these companies must scratch their heads and wonder, why is it that two of the most important things on a vehicle to keep a family safe on the road have so much resistance when it comes to their price point in the market? The reason is that we very rarely shop for tires and brakes. The typical consumer doesn’t know what brake pads are made of or what the steel belt rating of one tire is over another. As a result of this, they ask what these things will cost.
With that being said, when a bride tells you that she on a budget or that she just wants to know what you cost, DON’T BE OFFENDED. We are dealing with people who have never hired a DJ before and they have a very short “training wheels” length of time to figure things out.
The problem also isn’t generally the bride. The problem is that typically most DJs don’t look significantly different from one another and so a first time client simply can’t see the difference between them. Is your marketing that different from your competition? Is your performance that different than the DJ in the next room? Is it so different that the average guest will notice?
This is where I believe you simply need to put your cards on the table and do everything possible to show the bride that you are significantly different enough to warrant that extra money and that when she invests the extra money with you, that you will insure her of an amazing wedding day. A bride’s biggest fear is that her guests will be bored and leave early.
When you email back your next bride, are you asking her questions to engage her in getting to learn about her wedding or are you simply saying “Congrats…..Here is my pricing.” If you answer all of her questions in your first email, she has no reason to continue the conversation to ever learn how much better you may actually be for her wedding.
Is your email bringing up things that she never thought about that also lead to a successful wedding as opposed to an average wedding or worse yet, a horrible wedding? Are you asking her questions to find out what about her wedding is most important to her? Are you finding out what her pain may be regarding hiring a DJ verses the pleasure of having an amazing DJ?
Are you asking any questions at all? God gave us two years and one mouth for a reason. The number one thing people like to talk about more than anything else in the world is? THEMSELVES.
Are you talking about how great you are as a DJ or are you asking them questions to allow them to talk about themselves?
Only 14% of consumers purchase based on price alone. 86% of consumers purchase based on value. Does your email back to that bride convey the value that they will receive if they have you as their entertainment?
If I gave you an example of one of my emails, you would simply copy parts of it for yourself and would never learn the most important thing which is to engage your potential customer in conversation. Take the budget and the cost of your service off of the table and get to know what your clients wants on their wedding. If you can offer them a solution that they will believe in, they will find the budget for you.
Please note that not all of them will, but you will be surprised at how many will.