Let me ask you this: if you had to guess, would you feel that your Brides would go further to gain a better result (the reward) or avoid a potential failure (the risk). Studies show and Brides confirm these studies to be true that almost 2:1 they will go and do more to avoid a failure than to gain a better result. When we apply this principle to marketing with the proper method and application, you stand to get Brides to go further in the buying process which ends up getting more Brides in front of you who will potentially buy from you.
This behavior is not necessarily isolated to weddings and brides. Let me quote a story that I read a long time ago and can’t locate the source, but… (I remember reading it in a Tony Robbins book) . In the 90’s Pacific Bell (the phone company) decided they wanted to test the behavior of their customers. Pac Bell sent out half of their customers a letter stating that if the customer did this one action that Pac Bell wanted them to do, they would save so much off of their bill. The other half of their customer list was sent a similar letter that stated differently if they did not do the one action, it would cost them so much. As you can imagine, not all responded, but the results are undeniable: 30% responded to the reward letter as opposed to 70% responding to the failure letter.
Brides are looking for quality, they are looking for the best and they want a superior experience with what you sell. When you apply this principle to them, however, the number one thing they are looking for is “avoiding”. Think about it…they want to avoid looking bad, they want to avoid losing the competition with their friends or sisters, and they want to avoid any bad experience more than they are looking for the awesome results you provide. Selling to this “avoidance” is tough.
A recent episode of the Dr. Phil show dealt with the idea of what a Bride wants in her mind: that which is “unwritten” (similar to the avoidance we just spoke about). This Bride had a drunken fiancé who drank way too much and ruined her perfect day. When asked if she had gotten over it, despite two years of constant apologies, she replied, “no”. This was her one day that she had dreamed of and he ruined. It was hard if not impossible for him to realize that he had brought about her absolute fear; embarrassment and shame on her wedding day.
I have not been a fan of selling fear when it comes to weddings. It is more productive for us to sell to the Brides hopes than to scare the hell out of her, so here is how you effectively have your cake and eat it too in this marketing scenario: Use social proof (testimonials) like crazy. Social proof is Brides who hired you, saying that you did an outstanding job. Fact is Brides trust other brides more than they trust you. The past Brides were in the position that the current Brides are and the past Brides found a solution. These bridal testimonials are one of your most effective marketing tools.
Social proof comes in three forms: Written (all the thank you cards you have in your file cabinet), Video (one of the most powerful pieces in your marketing arsenal) and Live (used specifically for Bridal shows, open houses and other in person events)
Here is where I think you should use your social proof: everywhere you can.
Use each of the three forms where you can. On your website, use video and written. In your marketing materials, use written testimonies by multiple brides. At a live event, use all three.
The key is when you show that you do what you say you will do rather that simply saying it, show wins over tell every time!