By Elisabeth Scott Daley, WED®, ABC™ – “A Passion for Performance”
Planning a wedding is a huge undertaking! The budget alone whether it’s $5,000 or $50,000 is generally the MOST money anyone will pay for a single event in his or her lives…EVER!
Imagine this. You are working a minimum wage job, so a $5,000 wedding means 15 weeks income. Think about this before you scoff at such a “small” budget.
If you’ve purchased a home or a car, remember how scary it was to sign all those documents at the closing? Now multiply that anxiety times 10 and you can empathize with the amount of stress that your clients are feeling.
Brides and Grooms want the perfect party and just like any teenager hosting their first soiree, there is a fear that no one will come, and that the party will be a big dud.
When planning a special event, every personal insecurity they thought was long gone along with every uncomfortable family dynamic they wish they could avoid and ignore gets compounded by the overwhelming anxiety of financing this once in a lifetime event.
Understanding Your Clients Fears
As wedding professionals we MUST understand these fears in order to guide our clients through the storm of budgeting and planning. Remember, they just want to have a great party and not go broke in the process.
Unfortunately, many don’t realize that a Bad, Bad DJ can and will destroy EVERYTHING! They foolishly believe that no one could be THAT bad. (Guess they haven’t been on YouTube much.)
A beautiful chair cover can hide an ugly chair, but it can’t hide the fact that their DJ is a bumbling idiot.
It’s All About The Love
Mark Ferrell tells us to “feel the love” and it’s all about “love,” which is true. However, I think we need to go further. We need to “feel their pain” and we need to understand their “fear.”
Because before they can “trust” you enough to “love” you, they must first believe in their hearts that you understand them. And here’s the thing…you actually do have to “care,” not just “act” like you care.
Why? Because if you are playing the deception game just to get a sale, then there is a special place in hell for you, right there next to the guy who says “all the right things” at the bar just to get the girl in bed only to disappear the next day.
As a professional wedding entertainer you must cultivate a relationship with your clients, not go after as many one-night stands as you can get!
The Conversation Almost Always Begins with Price
Sure, it’s tough to cultivate a relationship when the conversation almost always begins with price but it can be done. You just have to know what and to whom you are selling.
You could follow Walmart’s business model and have highly competitive prices and make money on the volume. You could follow the automobile industry’s business model and add expensive “bells and whistles” to improve the bottom line. (In our industry it’s cool things like lighting, video, giveaways and dancers.) Finally, if you are really talented and people are clamoring for your service, you become a luxury item that people demand on their special day – that will always work!
Creating A Relationship
No matter what your approach is to sales, you have to create a relationship. The bottom line is to know your offerings inside and out, and sell them honestly. Do this consistently and your business will thrive.