It's not all about listening….

As DJs we try to stress the importance of our presence for a bride and groom, for them to be  a guest at their own reception. To be able to sit back and relax as we – the DJ / MC – make sure that everything is perfect.
A while back, I got the privilege of requesting a wedding planners meeting with a bride, several of the vendors made the meeting and that gave me a great opportunity to see how other vendors interacted with the bride, The first thing I noticed was each had a vision for the brides special day, The photographer saw one thing, while the videographer saw another, while the bride had another vision. But the only one talking was the bride. The vendors were agreeing with whatever she wanted, and didn’t give back any feedback. As I watched I started to realize that these vendors were saying yes to everything, that they could match exactly what the bride wanted. After the wedding, I learned that they only fulfilled about 60% of what the bride asked for, why didn’t they say anything at the meeting? Simple they just listened, they didn’t offer advice, they didn’t offer their knowledge.
For a true vision to occur the bride and the vendor have to take turns speaking and listening. In the early stages of the process the vendor should do most of the listening but at various points it becomes our turn to educate the bride about how we can help them. Speech is the tool of your trade. Speech is what your customers do to let you into their world and speech is how you shape the customers’ perception of you and what you can do to fulfill their dreams. The best tool you have is your words. What comes out of your mouth determines your success or failure. If this weren’t  true everyone could send out brochures and power point presentations and make six figures.
Once you have prepared, asked your questions and listened to the answers your bride gives you then the task remains to use that knowledge to tailor what you say.
Jeffery Gitomer said it best “asking smart questions and doing lots of listening gives us a competitive advantage only if we then combine what we’ve learned with persuasive presentation skills and communicate a solution that the prospect decides will improve their situation.”
Therefore, we must be able to communicate these things to the bride in an effective and organized way. First because they expect that from us and second because it is impossible to realize someone’s dream without providing the bride with logical and persuasive reasons why they should trust us.
So by all means ask questions, gather information and look for problems that you can solve. But when you’re done asking questions and listening make sure you know how to lay out a persuasive case for your solution…and start talking.
One of the best ways that I have found to learn how to talk to my clients is my own education. The more you know, the more you can speak about. I recommend going to one of the upcoming DJ conferences.  The Armsdj show in June or The Las Vegas DJ show in September, or pick up any one of Jeffery Gitomers books on selling. Remember its not all about listening, you have to know how to give that knowledge back to your client.