A few abilities stand out as the ones that can make or break your business as a wedding professional: how skilled you are at the service you provide, how well you market your business, and how successful you are at closing a deal.
And, while we know you’re fantastic at what you do (we’ll talk about marketing another time), sales and selling may be the area where you put the least effort. Sure, you field leads, set up consultation calls, write proposals, and submit contracts—but are you just going through the motions or are you following a strategy?
This lack of focus – and maybe even lack of prowess – in the art of selling can be very limiting for a wedding business, whatever you do. It does not help, of course, that many of the things couples purchase in relation to their wedding – the dress, the rings, the venue, the catering and more – are often what they consider once in a lifetime buying decisions, making them some of the hardest customers to please.
To overcome this shortcoming, an increasing number of wedding vendors are turning to wedding sales training to help them develop the superior sales skills they need to not only close more deals but to stay ahead of their competitors.
At Pearl Lemon Sales, where we specialize in sales training, wedding sales training is a particular specialty of ours. We understand the pressures and challenges faced by those selling in the very high stakes situations wedding vendors are usually in when trying to close a sale. And we tailor our wedding sales training programs to ensure that they are ready to meet them.
Our wedding sales training – while always personalized to the individual client – begins with ensuring that students understand every phase of the wedding sales cycle, a process that is unlike any other sales journey. But what even is that? In our experience, while it will vary according to the wedding industry niche you serve, the basics break down like this:
This is where potential clients find you, therefore it’s important to have a strategy in place. The top of your sales funnel is where couples learn about you, whether it’s through your storefronts, a reference from a prior client or pro, social media, or a feature in a publication.
When a lead formally submits an inquiry to you, they go from the discovery phase to this one. And, one strategy to ensure that you close the sale as quickly as possible is to respond to their initial inquiry as soon as feasible.
This is the stage where you make your initial sales call and determine whether or not the inquiry is a qualified lead. It’s where the real selling starts, and, without formal wedding sales training, is where too many wedding vendors begin to falter, and sadly, ultimately fail.
Rather than launching into a half-baked hard sell, successful wedding salespeople concentrate on acquiring the vital information regarding the wedding as well as what will entice the couple to book them. You’ll need to make sure you’re not winging it on these calls, and have a sales plan ready with strategic questions to ensure you get the information you need.
When students participate in wedding sales training from Pearl Lemon Sales we teach them how to create sales plans that cover the questions they’ll need answered and then teach them how to ensure they ask those questions in a way that seems consultative, rather than pushy.
This is another crucial stage in the wedding sales process, since it is usually at this moment that you either succeed in directing the lead further down your sales funnel, or they abandon you and look elsewhere after seeing your formal offering.
We teach our wedding sales training students how to make a proposal that offers more than just pricing information. Wedding purchases are typically buys couples only intend to make once in a lifetime, so often price is far from their biggest concern. The best wedding sales proposals go much further than trying to compete on price, they lay out exactly why the couple should choose them over the competition.
Whether or not your potential client has questions or wants to see updates to your proposal, if you’ve gotten them this far, you’ve got yourself a serious buyer on your hands. Following up the right way, and at the right time, is another essential skill we teach during our wedding sales training sessions and one that can make or break a deal.
In the wedding industry, closing a deal entails a signed contract and a paid deposit. Furthermore, you can close a sale at any moment during the sales cycle (meaning, you may not not have to go through every phase you see here).
Often before making the close, wedding sellers need to overcome objections that have arisen in the customer’s mind. This is often where inexperienced wedding salespeople decide to back away, often because they do not know how to handle seller objections, or how to turn those objections into positives that may be the very things that get the deal done.
We teach students to never underestimate the value of a helpful approach. When handled effectively, a negative position can be transformed into one of trust and gratitude. A situation can be de-escalated and the dynamics changed simply by using the appropriate words, body language, and listening.
In addition to teaching our wedding sales training students what they should do as they move towards the close, we also help them understand, and recognize, what they should not do. In short, we hand them the tools and knowledge they need to be a better wedding salesperson, close more deals and grow their business in the way that they hope to.
Contact us today and let’s talk about just what we can do for you.