I won't beat around the bush: selling your service or product in a wedding industry business can be hard. And when the clients you want to work with don't seem to be the ones inquiring, or when your offerings seem to be scaring off more prospects than they're enticing, it's easy to become disillusioned. And therein begins the vicious cycle: slow sales cause a sour mindset, which results in even slower sales.
This Friday Five series post doesn't have all the answers - your business issues could be caused by any number of things, from bad branding to misguided marketing to a tarnished reputation, and fixing them probably requires real work.However, if you're feeling bored, burnt out, bitter, or just plain blue, here are five adjustments to make to your attitude before it affects your sales.
1. Stop blaming your pricing. It's true that some couples really do love your work, but they literally cannot afford you, no matter what they do. However, way more often the issue isn't so much with what you charge, but with the value of what you charge - and that latter part is based on the client's perception, not your own. Very possibly, the client just doesn't see that your service or product is worth the price, and that's something you can either choose to address by making changes to the way you present your brand and your business, or you can gripe about "cheap clients" and do nothing to take control of the problem. Also, remember that when a client tells you they didn't book you because of their budget, remember that that isn't necessarily true - it may have been for a different reason altogether, with price being a nicer, more neutral excuse. (Think about it: would you rather tell someone they were great but you couldn't afford them, or be honest that you thought they stunk and you didn't really love their work?)
2. Drop the outdated language. This is 2016. If you're still referring to grown women as "girls," if you're basing your marketing on the ridiculous cliche of little-girl-daydreaming-about-being-a-bride, if you're using heteronormative (rather than gender-neutral) language in your marketing and general conversation, I can almost guarantee that's costing you sales. You never know whom you might be offending with what you consider innocuous wording, and rarely will someone tell you - they'll just take their business, and their money, elsewhere.
3. Remember who's the boss. Please don't be one of the old-school vendors who directs every conversation to "Mom and Dad." Kyle did a great job breaking down how to address family members and other "committees" in your sales meetings, and reiterating why the couple getting married should be your number-one priority, always. On a related note, don't fall into the trap of assuming one half of the couple getting married is the only person who cares about your service.Think about this: if you're a woman and have been shopping with a man, you've likely experienced a scenario in which a salesperson directed all of his/her commentary at the male who was present, even when you were the one making the decision. Don't reenact this scenario in reverse during your wedding sales! Make no assumptions - a good rule for life as well as business, right?
4. Keep comparisons in check. Here at WeddingIQ, we're not thrilled with how the idea of healthy competition in business has been vilified. However, it does you no good to obsess over what your competitors are saying, doing or offering at any given moment. Be aware of what's going on in the market in general, but otherwise, keep your focus where it belongs - on your business, your brand, your clientele. Don't let envy and paranoia eat you alive, because they'll try.
5. Banish the bitterness. I'm blown away (and frankly, sad) at how many seasoned wedding pros have reached the point of being completely jaded about everything having to do with weddings, wedding vendors and wedding clients. I've listened to them gush hate toward everyone else in their field. I've heard them refer to their clients as "bitches" - and worse. I've heard them speak with such vitriol that I'm certain it's impossible for them to fully shut off that negativity when they're trying to sell. Most of us are capable of being pretty decent actors, and pretending we're enthusiastic and engaged when we're not, but none of us are that good. If you hate the business and hate everyone you're working with and for, I promise that message is coming through loud and clear, and it's costing you sales. And it's probably time to reconsider what your next career move should be.
Be sure to check back Monday for fresh content as we continue our February theme of sales strategies! Until then, friends!