Indecision, lack of clarity, waffling, fence-sitting… There are endless expressions to describe the inability to make up one’s mind.
As wedding professionals, it’s not uncommon to use such terms to describe the bride. We accuse her of not understanding the difference between price and value. Is she overwhelmed in an infinity of choices? She uses the word ‘budget’, but does she actually have one.
Yes, there are endless ways to describe a bride’s indecision. And then, when she makes a poor choice (in our mind), there is that moment when your head feels as though it’s going to explode.
But What About The Wedding Professional?
When the seller becomes the buyer, we often experience similar paralysis-by-analysis. For some unknown reason, business logic often devolves into rationalization of the highest order.
In my observation, wedding professionals have as many
reasons excuses not to participate in bridal shows as brides have to avoid finalizing a decision.
- I don’t think it’s an upscale show
- I’ll be washing my hair that night
- I’ve got a lot of bookings that weekend
- The other show is cheaper
- I don’t have enough staff available
- There are too many competitors in my category
- … blah, blah, blah…
Here’s the thing. None of these excuses or dozens of others hold water. We complain about brides and too many of us impersonate them.
We complain that too many brides buy, based on price… Then we do the same thing. When you take part in a bridal show, your return is not based on the real estate of booth space. It is based on the bridal show producer generating traffic and you, taking advantage of it.
We like brides to pay our price, but we look for a ‘good deal’ when it comes to bridal shows. If a show producer brings brides through the doors, show after show, THAT is a good deal. How you capitalize on that traffic is on you.
Beware: The New Shiny Object
Las Vegas is a gambling town and wedding business take way too many chances on untried or inconsistent wedding marketing opportunities. The closest bet on a sure thing is the consistent track record of the show producer, over time.
In Search Of The Upscale Bride
Newsflash! The upscale bride is all around you. She doesn’t wear a special badge or wear 6″ heels. She might account for 10-15% of the attendees, but she is not wearing a neon light around her forehead and could be wearing blue jeans.
The upscale bride is seeking out businesses that are distinct. Businesses that don’t have their own sign that reads ‘I’m a commodity.’
There are a few simple guidelines to bridal show success.
- Set show goals and train your staff
- Design a booth that screams your business philosophy and sets you apart from competition
- Recognize that the total traffic at a bridal show does not determine success. It is the number of appointments you make, and the subsequent sales that count.
- Not every bride is a good fit for your business. Really.
- Ask for the appointment…
- Follow up like crazy…
- Ask for the order… Recognize buying signs. You don’t have to give your whole presentation. If you’re engaged in a discussion, and listening, you’ll know when to close the sale.
If your calendar is completely booked into mid-2014, then perhaps you can justify missing Veils, Tails, and Cocktails at the Aria Hotel. If that’s not the case, you still have a little time before the show is sold out. If you wait too long, the show will be sold out.
Valentine’s Day generates an incredible amount of engagements. Those brides are ready to rock. Other brides who became engaged during the Christmas holidays haven’t made all their buying decisions. You don’t want to hear about how well it went, the Monday after the show.
If you want to meet these brides face-to-face, rather than exchange texts and emails, get off the fence and get in the game.
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog