I had just finished speaking to a large group of wedding professionals in Southern California when I was approached by a well dressed woman. “I just don’t like to sell”, she said. “ I love what I do, but I don’t like being pushy”. You may be surprised how many times a similar version of these comments comes across my ears. I replied to the lady, “Is being pushy the only option”. She was a bit perplexed.

In thinking about her selling strategy, she had fallen into a major trap; she accepted what she thought about salespeople and applied the selling part of her life to herself. Fact is most of us have negative perceptions of salespeople. These negative thoughts had not only held her back, but have majorly held back her ability to provide what she sold to brides.

I asked her, “on a scale of 1-10, how do you feel about you feel about the quality of what you provide?” She responded, “a 12!”. I then asked, “How would your past clients rank you?” She said, “also a 12!”. I then asked a probing question, “then, what’s your problem?”.

Her problem had been simple; she felt that by telling someone about what she sold, she was being “salesy” or pushy. When people are reluctant to “sell” what they sell, it is usually for one of two reasons;
1) They are embarrassed about what they sell or do not fully believe in it
2) They have money issues (either related directly to what they sell or personal money challenges)

Since she was obviously proud of what she sold ( a 12 on a scale of 10- she thought she exceeded the highest standards and apparently so did her past clients), her issues went directly to the problem of money or how she perceived value/ asking people to part with their money.

In further questioning her, I found out that she had grown up relatively poor. She was a child of a single parent with multiple siblings. She went on to tell me that she could not understand how Brides could spend so much on the wedding (including what she sold- she said she had a hard time believing that people would waste so much money on that one part of their weddings which could be spent so much more productively on useful items like clothes and electric bills. She said that she didn’t understand why Brides were not more frugal, had a “nice” celebration (after all this is the course she had taken).
I went on to tell her that unless she could change her thinking (and she could; question was would she) she would be relegated to 2 bad outcomes 1) she would not make that much money 2) Brides would not be able to enjoy what she sold. Fact was, her perception simply did not matter, the only thing that mattered was the perception of the Bride (her client).

Some people feel that when they go on vacation, they should treat themselves and eat out, and splurge on drinks and more. Some people pack peanut butter sandwiches and potato chips to save money. There isn’t a right or wrong way of thinking, there are just two lines of thought. In the case of this lady, the same held true; if the Bride chose to splurge, this was her once in a lifetime opportunity to do so, or if she chose not to spend a lot of money, again, her priority, not this ladies was what mattered.

When it comes to priorities of budget, in fact, your reasons do not matter. I see this many times with other vendors as well trying to re-prioritize what matters to the Bride by telling them what they think is important. This is simply wrong and will come around and bite you, so let me use a two word sermon to instruct you if you are doing this- Stop it!

Find out what matters to a bride and use that as your measuring stick for priorities, rather than what you think should matter and you will solve this problem.

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