A closed mouth doesn’t get fed
I was at the library today and a neighbor approached me. He told me that he sells promotional items and was looking for an “in” to the local wedding industry. We chatted for a few minutes and figured out that I could point him in a good direction, but that it was unlikely that he and I could directly do any business. As I don’t like to give false hope and feel that being direct is better for everyone (politely though), I apologized and said that I was sorry I couldn’t give him a better answer. He replied, “No worries- a closed mouth never gets fed”. How true that was! I have always said that you should always ask. Asking doesn’t always equate to getting, but not asking does always equate to not getting.
In the Wedding world, we sometimes are shy to ask for what we really want- the sale. Let me give you a mindset and some ideas that will give you a better foundation to A) Feel absolutely in your heart that you have earned the right to ask for the sale without being pushy and B) Understand the flip side to not asking for the sale.
Years ago, I was in a sales meeting where a District manager stood up and told everyone in attendance that if we did not ask for the sale, we were cowards. Kind of harsh-wouldn’t you say?! He also said that by the fact that we were helping out these customers as “unpaid consultants” we had the right to ask for the sale.
Let’s pretend for a minute. If you go out to a car dealership tonight and want to test drive the latest and greatest new car of your dreams, take the brochures and knowingly, plan in advance, not buy. In fact, you are on the opposite end of that- you are planning on “not” buying, but just using the salesman’s time, and focus. Now back to the scenario- if you did this and you told the salesman- “Let me check on my finances and get back with you”, again, you are never intending on buying, but giving the salesman a blow off. You basically used the salesman’s time and then you lied to the salesman that you were going to check on things and get back with him. On the way home from the dealership, you unfortunately were t-boned by a semi-truck. You go to Heaven and are told that they have everything up to the last day, but have not received all the downloads on what you have done in the past 24 hours. Would you look at what you did to that poor salesman as a sin, or can you lie to a salesman and still get into Heaven?
Some times we have Brides who treat us as not only a free consultant, but also a tool to help lower their prices with the person they want to do business with (They will find out what your prices are and use them to negotiate a better price with their ”real” vendor). In those case, if we know that the Bride is never going to use you, it is essential that you get them out of your lives as soon as possible so they don’t suck the life out of you.
Most of the time, Brides simply don’t know how to buy as we would like them to. They ask questions regarding price as opposed to quality. It is important that we learn all we can to be on their side and help them buy the right person. For this reason, we must be upfront and honest in all our dealings with them. It becomes a necessary function to ask all the right questions, including asking for the sale.
Asking for the sale can be as simple as “ Are you close to making a decision and if so, are we in the running?” Again- you have earned the right to ask for the sale by taking the time out of your schedule to meet with them. I have yet to meet a wedding vendor that set up their business as a charitable organization. You are in fact in the business of weddings, not the charity of weddings. The Bride rarely ”needs” your stuff, they want it. It is okay to expect to make money in your business.
What happens when you let the Bride “not” make a decision. 9.2 out of 10 Brides who “think about it” doesn’t come back. They are moving on for one reason or another and avoiding saying “no” because it is considered rude. What is more rude- saying no so you can move on to the next Bride or you thinking that she is serious and keeping that date on your calendar only to find out too late that you cannot fill the date because it is too close.
For the next 5 Brides who say they want to “think about it” or “sleep on it” I challenge you to get a defined date of follow up within 2 weeks. She doesn’t need more time than that. By the way, if you take your time and want to think about every purchase, you will allow your Brides to do the same…..
Until Next week, Here’s to your Success!