One of the most important tools in your Marketing Strategy….
About a month ago, I held a free conference call. As I do these from time to time, it is important that I speak to the needs of what the audience is there to hear rather than what I want to tell them. What I do to find out what they want to speak about is to request that when they register, that they also give me their phone numbers with the idea that I may/will call them prior to the conference call. I then will give most if not all of them a call as this is one of the best marketing tools I have available in my arsenal. Here is what happened the last time I did this; 90% of the phone calls went un-answered and un-returned.
Now I am not pretentious enough to think that everyone should/must return my calls, however these were people who had basically volunteered and reached out to me to give them some tips and advice to help them. This is very similar to what many of you experience with your Brides- they want the information that they want. Once they get it, they will not return your calls or if you are not available at the time they call, they will not return your phone calls because , like you, they are overwhelmed and very busy. Interestingly enough, the people who answered their calls live got some useful information, in fact many of them were very surprised that I would reach out to them like this.
In many instances, Brides do not want to answer your calls for one reason; you are perceived to be there to hold her down and take her money (or so she thinks). We wedding vendors can come off as “salesman” and instead of being interested in finding out whether we are a true match; we barrel ahead assuming that we are a match (or close enough of a match). We skip the step of building trust with the Bride, and simply put, you wouldn’t buy a big purchase from someone you didn’t have trust with either.
Think about the typical phone call; “Hi this is ________. I’m with ______________ (business). We provide _____________ for Brides and their weddings. We have ______________ (their stuff) ____
____________ and ________________ (more stuff) that we offer. We are offering a special deal on ______________ (their stuff) and would love to talk with you. Please call us back at (xxx) xxx-xxxx. Thanks!” How does that feel to you- remember this is coming from a total stranger who is already offering special deals (by the way- this is one reason why Brides start to look for deals).
Many times, we don’t want to initiate the call with the Bride because we can get rejected too easily . I understand that feeling. Here is something to chew on though; when it comes to Brides responding to you, some will, some won’t, so what, someone’s waiting. There are Brides out there who make a perfect match for you and your business-it is up to you to find them. There will be Brides who are perhaps stressed out who will bark at you . Try to ignore them and don’t let them ruffle you. They were not your customer before the call, they still aren’t, you haven’t lost any ground.
Depending on where you get your leads from, there are a few different approaches I would suggest. If you get your leads from your website, from a major lead source (a local bridal show, wedding magazine) or from a trusted partner (another vendor whom you share leads with) start with this:
“Hi this is (first name only). I was hoping you could help me-I can be reached at (xxx) XXX-XXXX. Thanks.”
Too many times we start blathering on about who we are and what we do and giving her way too much information that will simply turn her off before we even begin. Assuming that maybe we are a perfect match, they will never know because we took a bad approach and turned off the process too soon.
When the Bride calls back, you are being honest when you reply, “You filled out a form on my website and I was wondering…”, or “I got your name from _______ who said you were getting married and might need a _________(fill in your stuff here)- is that accurate?” You need her help to figure out if maybe you should meet. All you are doing is trying to get her to engage with you and have an interaction.
Most of your competition is not using the phone or using it wrong. If you are able to learn how to use the phone effectively in this manner, you won’t set the world on fire, but what if you were able to land 5 more weddings next year? What if you used this method and maybe 3 other methods that I teach and you land 8 more weddings- how much more would you have on your bottom line? Growing your business comes from doing better and refining what you are currently doing, not necessarily tearing everything down and building it over.
Remember – most of these Brides have never hired or bought your product/service before and they are really overwhelmed. Be there to help and give her support as opposed to treating her like she is a money tree and you are there to get her money- let your less qualified competition act like that and then when she gets your phone call, you will be much more welcome.
Until Next Week, Here’s to your Success!