Tag Archives: wedding

Is the bride your ‘singular’ prospect?

prospectSelling to the bride is often the focus of wedding marketing, in general, and bridal shows, in particular.

ANSWER: Yes, BUT… that mindset is an oversimplification. And if you miss the nuance, you may lose the sale.

A BETTER QUESTION: Who is the decision-maker?

There can be multiple decision makers. People who contribute money to the wedding (parents, future in-laws, fiancee) almost always do so ‘with strings attached.’ They may be upfront about their influence. Their influence may be subconscious. Either way, it exists.

The ‘wedding process’ can become a ‘committee process.’ We recognize that as an entourage at a bridal show. There are official member of the entourage, unofficial members, and possibly hangers-on (Those who have been dragged out for the day, semi-unwilling).

All of these people may be well-meaning, but, unwittingly, they complicate the sales process… which is not good for you, or the bride.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT THIS…

Whether face-to-face at a bridal show, in an appointment at your office, on the phone or via email, it is important to identify decision-makers and influencers.

In person, at a bridal show, the bride is usually identified by a special name tag or badge. Don’t let that stop you from greeting everyone accompanying the bride, and their role in the wedding.

When setting an appointment, ascertain who the decision makers are, and make certain ALL OF THEM are present. There is nothing worse than presenting to the bride, alone, only to be told, “I have to run it by my fiancee.” 

Even if she leans toward hiring you, that can work against you. A groom will not feel the seem excitement or energy, hearing about you and your service, second-hand. A bride’s uber-excitement may even create skepticism.

Sell to both bride and groom when they are face-t0-face. It takes two people to say ‘Yes’, but only one to say, ‘No.’ Even if one member of the couple takes the lead in questions, make eye-contact with both of them… Ask a question of the more passive person.

One of my favorite strategies, when the momentum of the sale had softened, was to say… “Let me leave the two of you alone, for a few minutes, so you can talk about me, behind my back.”  Having some ‘alone time’ allows the couple to confer, and see if they are on-the-same-page. When you rejoin them, it’s not uncommon for them to say, “OK, we want to go ahead and work with you.” or ask a final question or two, that needs answering… and then firming up the booking.

Your awareness of the sales dynamics and people involved is key to process of making the appointment and closing the sale.

Andy Ebon

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog

The Show is next Friday: Start your follow up plan, TODAY!

emailOne of the most common reasons for exhibitor failure is beginning follow up with brides, after the show.

It would seem logical to do post-show follow up… well, post-show. That is both true and false.

Whether you use postcards, letters, emails or telemarketing, it’s the preparation that determines the degree of success. Many brides are not quite ready to make a buying decision on the day of bridal show, often because they are overwhelmed.

However, if you are ready to follow up, immediately after the show, you gain a tremendous advantage. There are several key points to successful follow up.

  • A message or messages that are consistent with your appeal at the show.
  • Make your message personalized.
  • Use a customized landing page on your website, tied to the bridal show.
  • Don’t let time slip away. Follow up promptly.

The scariest part is that as many as 90% of wedding show exhibitors don’t follow up at all. And many of the rest, don’t do it well.

That is an opportunity for you!

Your success in Veils, Tails, and Cocktails doesn’t just happen at the show. The bigger success happens immediately after the show. That is… if you develop a follow up plan and implement it, succinctly.

You still have some time, if you get on it, today!

Andy Ebon

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Do you know any professional fence sitters?

Fence Sitting

Fence sitting?

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.
Las Vegas Bridal Show

Veils, Tails & Cocktails March 22 at The ARIA

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.

Andy Ebon

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog