Sales Tips to Help You Book Out Your Calendar
Out of all the skills you have as a wedding pro, a few stand out as the ones that can make or break your business: how good you are at the service you offer, how well you market your business, and how effective you are at closing a sale. And, while we know you’re great at what you do (we’ll chat about marketing another day), sales and selling might be the thing you put the least amount of energy into. Sure, you field leads, schedule consultation calls, create proposals, and send contracts—but are you simply going through the motions or is there a strategy behind your approach? So today, we wanted to help you level up when it comes to your sales skills, feel confident about what you are doing to close the sale with each lead, book out your calendar, and have a killer booking season.
Understanding the sales cycle in the wedding industry
Before we dive into sharing sales tips, we thought it important to make sure everyone is on the same page about the sales cycle you frequently see here in the wedding industry because it is different from what you might find on a general business blog. As it tends to be much shorter than in other industries, it’s imperative that you have a defined process in place that allows you to keep up with client expectations in each stage of the cycle but, the good news is, you can close a sale in any one of them!
This is the stage where potential clients are finding you, so this is closely tied to your marketing strategy. Whether couples are learning about you from your Storefronts, a referral from a past client or pro, social media or a feature in a publication, the first stage of the sales cycle is the top of your sales funnel.
A lead moves from the discovery phase to this one when they formally submit an inquiry to you. And, one way to make sure you are closing the sale faster is to make sure you are replying to their initial inquiry as quickly as possible.
This is the stage where your first sales call takes place and you are figuring out if the inquiry is, in fact, a qualified lead. You should be focused on getting the important details about the wedding as well as learning about what is going to motivate the couple to book you. Be sure that you are not winging these calls and have a prepared sales call sheet with strategic questions to make sure you collect the information you need.
This stage is an important one because it is often the point in time where you are either successful at guiding the lead further down your sales funnel or they ghost you after seeing your pricing. So, when you are preparing proposals for your potential clients, remember to not just send them information about what it costs—include information about why you are the best pro for the job!
Regardless of whether or not your potential client has questions or would like to see revisions to your proposal, if you’ve gotten them to this point, you have serious potential buyers on your hands. Always be sure to follow up within a day or two of sending the proposal, communicate what the next steps are (for you and them), and reiterate the value of what they would be getting if they work with you.
Closing a sale in the wedding industry looks like a signed contract and paid deposit. And, as we mentioned before, you can close a sale at any point in the sales cycle (meaning, you do not have to go through every phase you see here).
How to write effective sales copy
While some of the sales process happens in person or over the phone, a good amount of it takes place over email—so, being able to sell eloquently (and effectively) through a screen can be a function of how well you write sales copy. What is sales copy? It’s anything you write with the purpose of persuading someone to buy from you and here are some copywriting tips to help:
- Know who you are trying to persuade and what is going to motivate them to choose you. Since you often can have multiple people on the receiving end of your emails, it’s important to identify the decision maker and speak directly to them. All of your notes from your consultation call will come in handy here
- Use an active voice and avoid writing in a passive one. Want to learn more about the differences between the two? Grammarly has a quick article that explains it all
- Don’t bury your ask or action items! Make sure your emails are easy to read by avoiding long paragraphs and instead calling out important items in bulleted lists
- Don’t be afraid to mention your call to action more than once because people often don’t pick up on things the first time they read it
Our top sales tips to help you book more clients
Love selling? Hate selling? Somewhere in between? Regardless of where you fall on the love/hate sales spectrum, use these simple sales tips to make sure you are booking all of your qualified leads.
Focus on the value – It is important to focus on the value you add and the benefits of working with you because, if you make it about deliverables, the deciding factor will be the price.
Don’t leave things open ended – We know it can be difficult to put pressure on couples but, if you are not working to get them to sign a contract within a certain amount of time, you’re losing money. You don’t have to be salesy, but communicating deadlines can be just what you need to speed things up.
Ask for the sale – Some of you might have just cringed but oftentimes you have to ask for the sale before it ever gets offered up. Again, no need to employ aggressive sales tactics here, you can simply ask questions like, “Should I go ahead and prepare a contract for you?”
Becoming a confident sales person can take time and practice, but we know you’ll get there! If you want to learn more about sales and pricing techniques, be sure to check out all of the sales articles we have on the WeddingPro blog.
Photo Credit: Sultan Shah/shutterstock.com