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As I mentioned, Bridal Shows are a fantastic opportunity to get in front of real prospects who may need your services. Most of the time, the girls who show up for the shows are engaged or close enough to count, so the Shows become a fantastic lead generation tool. Not all girls who show up, however, are looking for your product/service. Not all of those who are looking for your product or service would be a good match for what you do either. Use the show to be able to find those Brides who would be a good match for you and your business. Plan on getting a fraction of the Brides in attendance as appointments and then take them to the next step when they meet with you.
Typically you should come away from the show with three vital information groups. They are:
1. The appointments you have set at the show (this includes their name, wedding date, and any and all contact information-you will need emails, phone numbers, cell phone numbers and addresses to make this work to your advantage
2. The leads of Brides who have potentially filled out a paper at your booth
3. The general leads which go out to all the vendors which the Show has provided (check with your show promoter as not all shows provide these leads)
Let’s discuss what to do with these groups of information after the show is over.
First step- it is crucial that you act quickly and do not let things cool down. By acting quickly, you keep the relationship that you have made warm. Reaching out to these girls the hour after the show is a bit unreasonable, but my suggestion is within 4 days while the memories are still somewhat fresh is a good thing.
I would start with the girls who have set appointments. Start by sending them a “thank you” card. On the Thank you card (by the way, hand write it in blue ink- a little detail, but you win through the details) thank them for coming to the show and tell them you look forward to seeing them on ____ day at ____ time at ____ location. Should they have any questions between now and then, give you a call or if they are having any challenges, here is my personal cell number: (give them your cell number). This will end up acting as a reminder (a gentle reminder) as well as give them another “touch” to help build trust. Think about it- if you had an appointment with a carpet cleaning service that you met at the local home and garden show and this were done to you, you feel all warm and fuzzy about it as well. You are also giving them a gentle reminder without seeming self serving. If there was confusion (and most Brides experience confusion often throughout their engagement because they are so overwhelmed), this will either help to clear it up, give them the information to correct it, or at least put the ball in their court to solve any issues.
Make sure you know how long it takes for the post office to deliver these cards. You may want to get a head start on them by starting right after the show is done. This way, if you have an appointment scheduled for 3 days after the show, you can get the thank you card in the mail right away. Most Post Offices will deliver within one day to the same metro area, but again, check with your local people on the timing of this.
After you have gotten something in the mail to them, put something in the mail to the Brides who filled out your registration information. This also can be a “thanks for meeting us” but I would strongly advise that you link this piece to another touch that will be coming. Let me explain what I mean. You send out a card that reads, “ Thanks for spending some time with us at the show on Saturday. I will be giving you a call in the next day or 2 to let you know the outcome of the drawing you signed up for. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to call me on my personal cell (I am big about this “personal cell”- it seems like you have the key to the executive washroom when you say it like this- but be careful that this “personal cell” isn’t published all over like the web, your cards, etc… I usually have 2 numbers for this reason specifically).
After you send these out- give them a call and let them know they were 2nd place (unless they were the winner- and by the way, do your drawings live on the internet- it gives you one more chance to talk about your product or service. You can have them do a webinar type conference and before the conference begins give a 2 minute commercial). After you have called all the girls up, send out a blast email. I know you’re thinking that “Rick- I am going to look obnoxious to these girls by doing so much”. You will look obnoxious to only the ones who never intended on purchasing and only wanted to win the prize. Those who were semi-interested could be swung around if you do these steps in this manner. I have seen it work before and I know you can do it as well.
It is vitally important that you separate the girls from the different groups as you don’t want the girls who have appointments being treated like the girls who signed up for the prize and so on.
For the third group, send out a blast email first, then call, then mail those who are further interested and follow that up with a call to make sure they got what you mailed. The attention span of a stressed out overwhelmed Bride is short and by doing these steps in this manner, you will get in front of the most brides at the least cost.
These lists are very important and history has shown that 90% of the vendors will not do anything with the list. Of the 10% that do use the list, most will email only and do so in a “buy my stuff” manner that really turns off the Bride.
WHen you are able to shift through the good and bad brides, and you hit your target for appointments for the show and you successfully follow up with those brides, you increase not only your success, but your bottom line by HUGE numbers.