Avoid these mistakes with your pricing strategy
When you sit down to work every day and build your dream business in the wedding industry, you might think the key is to simply start checking things off the list. Reply to your new inquiries (check). Do your bookkeeping for the month (done). Confirm who is on the schedule to help you work next week’s wedding (on the list). But, while getting all of your tasks done and making even the smallest steps is forward progress, part of your success rests on the things you don’t do just as much as the things you do do. Namely, that you don’t fall prey to major mistakes and set yourself back by making them.
One of the areas we see wedding pros making mistakes is pricing, and today, we wanted to help you kick these bad habits to the curb. From key pricing strategies you’re getting wrong to communication techniques that could use some cleaning up, today is the day you correct your course. Read on to learn about the top mistakes you might be making and then make a plan to level up your pricing and sales process.
You don’t set your prices for profit
Pricing your services can be hard (it’s hard to put a value on your time after all). But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do the work. All too often, we hear about or see pros setting prices to their service packages without having done any due diligence or even just charging what their competition is. And, while this might feel like the easy way to get a price out there, it certainly doesn’t put you in the position to run a profitable business.
Your prices shouldn’t just cover the time you spend actively working on your couples’ weddings; rather, your prices need to cover all of your business expenses. From your operating expenses and taxes to your salary requirements, if you don’t sit down to calculate what it costs you to keep the doors open, you can’t accurately price your services.
You’re talking about price at the wrong time
A great salesperson knows when to talk about pricing, and because a lot of wedding pros don’t particularly like this part of being a business owner, they mistime the pricing talk. And the bottom line here is that you’re likely waiting too long to talk numbers. The fact of the matter is, 82% of couples told us that seeing a vendor’s pricing was the most important thing when it comes to deciding whether or not to inquire. So, if your pricing is not listed on your Storefronts and website, you’re talking about your pricing at the wrong time.
It’s not clear why your services cost what they do
We’re not talking about telling couples what it costs to operate your business with this one—but we are telling you to be crystal clear about what they get and how it benefits them. When couples are researching their potential vendors and scheduling consultations with them, what they are looking for is an understanding as to how what they are going to pay you (their investment) will pay dividends (an amazing wedding). And, typically, the pro who does the best job at this will get asked for a contract.
Pro-tip: Want a crash course in pricing? Be sure to read these pricing do’s and don’ts.
You don’t give people options
One of the ways wedding pros (of every vendor type) tries to make couples feel special during the sales process is by presenting them with a custom quote. And you spend a lot of time putting these together. But, if in your attempt to put together a custom proposal you don’t propose a choice, it’s time to rethink your approach. Giving couples options in the sales process is a great way to make them feel like they are in more control as opposed to not. So, when you give them options to pick from (3 is the sweet spot), you’re creating a space where they can choose what fits their budget best and maybe even spring for a higher priced package than you thought they would.
You don’t ever negotiate
You are certainly worth every dollar your couples spend on your services, but when push comes to shove, isn’t 95% of your booking better than 0% of it? Now, we don’t mean you should encourage or even entertain a negotiation of your prices with every client, but sometimes you shouldn’t let your ego get in the way of a great booking.
Pro-tip: You don’t have to discount your prices when you negotiate; you can upgrade a package with a bonus instead.
You haven’t changed your rates in years
The bottom line? If you want to make more, you have to charge more! And there are more than a few reasons you should be reviewing and raising your pricing every year—which we hope you’re doing and, if not, you’ll start.
Have more questions about pricing your services? Be sure to read this piece by sales and pricing expert, Sam Jacobson, next to get his must-read pricing tips for wedding pros.
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