4 Ways to Build Trust in a Discovery Meeting
Getting to know your potential client’s needs is crucial if you want to convert leads at a higher rate. It helps uncover their real needs while you learn what’s important to them in the decision-making process. Perhaps just as importantly, it allows you to develop trust that will become the foundation for them to feel fully comfortable choosing your services over someone else’s at the end of the buyer’s journey.
We know that risk is one of the biggest factors when buyers make their choice for wedding service providers. Who will be the least worst decision is often more important than who they really love. Risk creeps in and takes over our fear factor, so the more trustworthy you are the less likely they’ll see you as a risk.
It’s not often that people get married on the first date. It’s almost as unlikely that you’ll book a prospective client on the first email exchange. Most people simply aren’t ready to commit after seeing only the website and reading great reviews. You’ve got to warm them up to you with small commitments before you ask them for the Big One of signing a contract and parting way with their deposit money.
Small asks are easy to introduce to the relationship. Micro-commitments are an approachable way for potential buyers to move through the buyer’s journey. These include getting a meeting on the phone, sharing information about their event with you, opening up about the challenges they’ve faced finding someone to provide what it is you do, and telling you about their priorities. Begin with these and in this order and you’re more likely to get to the next stage in the sales process: a proposal.
Go with General Questions First
Just like you wouldn’t want to ask a perfect stranger about their politics or religious viewpoints, you shouldn’t jump right in and ask potential clients about their love story or intimate details about their wedding. For you this is a commercial transaction, but for them this is a personal, emotional decision. Most people don’t want to spill the tea with someone they don’t know.
It’s okay to be basic. Ask them where they’re at in the wedding planning, or what they’ve got done so far, or where they’re getting married and why they chose that place. Get to know them outside of the wedding world by hearing about what they do for a job – one of the best pieces of information you can get from them. What ever you do, keep it PC for a while until you develop enough rapport to delve deeper.
Everyone wants to be heard. If you can make people feel heard you’re on the path to winning a ton of friends. Liking is one of the six major principles of influence, so be likable by being an incredible listener.
How do you do this over the phone? Tell them you’re going to take notes. Ask for them to clarify something they just said. Say, Tell me more! when they’re excited about something. Empathize when possible and at every opportunity. Paraphrase back to them what they just said. Ask questions and shut up to listen to what they say.
Prospective clients are interested in what you do and how well you do it. They want to know that they’re making a smart choice by selecting you as a finalist to provide wedding services. While you should be focused on uncovering their needs and actively listening while you talk in the discovery meeting, be sure to show some expertise when it seems fitting.
Showing how familiar you are with what they’re going through is a great place to start. What do you focus on? Venue, season, family dynamics, struggles, timeline, obstacles, stresses, etc. All of these are areas for you to show you know what you’re doing in what ever it is you’re providing to the couple.
Pro Tip: The Fastest Way to Build Trust
The best way to earn someone’s trust is doing what you said you’d do by when you said you’d do it. Period. Focus on following through with what you committed to and you’ll be on the path to trustworthiness.