6 Ways to Move Buyers to the Next Stage
The buyer’s journey won’t be completed in a few steps. Wedding couples will make several micro-commitments before they say yes to your services. It’s not easy to push prospective clients off their status quo or make them feel confident in their decision to move forward with you.
Here are six things you can start putting into practice with your next inquiry:
#1 – Keep it Short
Try to make most email correspondence with potential clients under 200 words. They’re getting a ton of emails for their 9-5 job, plus trying to plan a wedding on the side. Not easy. Most wedding couples will engage 5-10 vendors and inquire with 5-10 in each category. Do the math, and you can see how much communication they’re doing with wedding vendors.
It’s easy to approach a short email on your phone. Do more than keep the overall email length short. Keep paragraphs short, too, by making them only one or two sentences long – three at tops. Use short sentences that are direct and to the point.
#2 – Make Small Asks
How many people do you know who got married on a first date? Unless you live in Las Vegas, not many. Building relationships takes time – whether you’re getting married or looking for someone to provide a service for your wedding. So start with small requests from your prospects before you make the big one: to hire you.
What are some small asks? When you email back an inquiry, start by asking for a short conversation on the phone. Begin discovery meetings with simple questions before moving on to the harder ones. Get permission to send a proposal. Ask for a follow-up appointment before getting off the phone. End every email with a question that’s easy to answer. Doing these things plays on a powerful influence principle called commitment and consistency.
#3 – Be Casual
When you’re selling to wedding clients, don’t get too serious. Most people are pretty relaxed in their communication and you should mirror this as much as you can. Don’t dumb anything down, but be more personable and less stuffy.
It’s really helpful when you’re trying to move a buyer off the status quo. “Do you want to hop on a call for a quick chat” is very different than “I’d like to meet you for a private consultation at my studio for 60-90 minutes.” What other areas can you come across more casual and approachable?
#4 – End Emails with Questions
If you can turn the inquiry process into a kind of collaboration with the buyer, then you’re going to win the business more times than not. Show them you’re on their team by working side-by-side with them to get their needs met. If you make small asks, keep it short and casual, then your communication will be short but frequent.
Encourage that even more by ending every email with a question. It subconsciously encourages them to respond to you, instead of waiting to reach out when they’re ready. It can be as simple as “What kind of questions do you have?” instead of “Let me know if you have any questions.” As always, make it easy for them to respond to what you’re asking.
#5 – Get Permission
Many buyers go into a sales situation with a defensive wall up. They don’t want to be “sold” by a snaky salesperson. I don’t blame them! Instead, find a connection, build rapport, establish trust, and then make some asks. When you get permission to do things you’re simply following up with what they’ve asked you to do.
Key points of permission are to call them, to send a proposal, to make an appointment to discuss the proposal, to check in after you’ve talked with them about the proposal, and to send more information about your services. Do this casually and in small asks, and you’ll find it easy to move them through the sales pipeline.
#6 – Make it Easy
One of the biggest challenges wedding pros face is that they aren’t willing to stretch to their buyer’s way of doing business. You have your way and you want them to fit into it nice and neat without any challenges or changes. But that’s not the best way to be a good salesperson.
Sales is all about finding how a person makes decisions and then working with them in their preferred way. Identify how they make choices, rearrange the way you work to match that, and then keep adapting along the way. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s always about them.