By: Tracey Manailescu
5 Tips to Turn Leads Into Clients for Your Wedding Business
It doesn’t matter if you are new to the business, or have been in the industry for a few years, everyone can use some helpful tips on bettering their business. We have had a lot of discussions within the WPIC forums about this very topic, so I thought it was fitting to write about for the blog.
There are a ton of wedding professionals out there. It can be overwhelming, and a bit daunting for couples to find the right wedding pros for their wedding. Every company has different styles, brands, and things that they are known for. We are seeing and hearing about couples approaching several planners before booking the right one for them.
So how the heck do you get a chance to show them what you are capable of, and how you are the best fit for each other?
Don’t be like the rest of them, darling. Be willing to share your advice, opinions and helpful tips with the universe. Write thoughtful articles on your blog, share tips with your followers on your social media accounts, promote or give a shout-out to a wedding industry professional that you love working with, or share a product that you think is super amazing for the wedding day. Share an invitation to a wedding open house or a wedding show. This will not stifle your business in any way, I promise! What it will do, is help potential clients get to know you a bit better and see that you are confident, connected, and a team player. This makes it easier for potential clients to want to check out your company a bit more, and then reach out to you.
Follow up with enquiries. Ugghh. This is seriously so hard to do. Approximately 50% of calls and emails from potential clients go unanswered. Why? Because it can be awkward, and you don’t want to seem pushy, or you don’t feel like you have enough experience and you think that they are just going to choose someone else anyway.
What happens when you do respond and there is no answer? As hard as it is, don’t give up after the first try. Wait a few days, and leave a voicemail. Then give it a last go with a helpful email with some information about your services and pricing or a link to a really great article that you have written, or even someone else has written that may help them in their wedding planning. Let them know that you have reached out a few times and that you would love to chat with them further by phone, email or in-person and tell them how they can contact you.
Some say that 5 times is the magic number for follow ups, while others will tell you 9 or more. I am basing my opinion on if I was on the receiving end of these follow up calls and emails, anything more then three times would get me annoyed, and possibly ticked enough to block their number or register the email as spam.
Differentiate your company from others in the wedding industry. How do you show that in your services? Having the same old wording and packages as everyone else, isn’t doing you any favours. Put a twist on the same old, same old. Remember that you are dealing with millennials 70% of the time, and millennials don’t want cookie-cutter packages. They want authentic and true-blue experiences that are created just for them. Give it to them!
Describe what you can, and will do for your couples in a story. Give examples of circumstances that have gone wrong, and how you were able to correct the situation. Tell us about the most difficult challenge that you overcame during the wedding planning process with clients and how you did it (of course only if it has a happy outcome). This humanizes you, and also shows how you can think quickly and problem-solve. Embrace what makes you special, weird and different. It really can be a good thing.
Know your value. What will you provide that makes you stand out? Are you great at budgeting with your finance background? Are you really good at vendor relationships? Spreadsheets and organizational skills? Do you thrive on conflict? Do you speak another language? Are you a true people person? Are you a certified wedding planner? Be proud of who you are and toot your own horn once in a darned while (in a non-ego maniac way please!). Stick to your morals and keep to your ethics. People really and truly do notice.
Find a social media platform that you are comfortable with and work it! Show photos of you with your clients at vendor appointments, wedding ceremony and reception details, your couples exchanging vows, photos of you setting out place cards, pinning on boutonnieres, fixing the brides dress or shoes, photos of you going over the final details with other wedding professionals involved, and your couple. There are so many choices out there for social media, but you need to find the ones that your potential clients use, and also ones that you are comfortable with and understand. Have a video or YouTube channel with tips and interviews with you showing your personality and mannerisms. Also potential clients and clients alike, want to see little glimpses into your life. Share a little. It might help you connect on a personal level which might give them that push they needed to contact you.