“I want to sell without sounding sales-y.”
You’re great on the wedding day.
But what about when potential clients inquire?
How Do You Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace?
An extra-ordinary inquiry process.
It doesn’t matter how good you are on the wedding day if you can’t convince people to book you in the first place.
If you’re a wedding pro and you want to grow your business you’ve got to:
Get people to complete a contact form
Discover a client’s needs
Create a convincing proposal
Build value to justify your prices
Make it easy to book your services
Even if you’re not great at these things you’ll have to be better than everyone else your potential clients are looking at.
Especially those who are cheaper than you.
That’s when you get to charge higher prices and book more clients.
Are You Getting Ghosted?
You’ve designed a website with a focus on your portfolio and just enough words to show them who you are and why you’re different than other [fill in what services you offer]. After looking at a few galleries and reading about your pet cat, Dale, you hope visitors go to your contact page, where you’ve put a bunch of fields on the page so you can “get to know them.”
When the inquiry hits your inbox you respond with an email that based on some point of connection you saw in the contact form, then give them ALL the information about you and what you do for clients. Maybe you even attach a beautifully designed pricing guide with generic packages or a la carte options so they can pick and choose what works for them.
You end the email letting them know to get back to you with any questions.
Or Are You Scaring Your Clients?
Wondering what happened, you re-read their inquiry form and your initial response to see if you missed something or could have written it better. You wonder why they ghosted you.
You start guessing when and how you should follow up.
Maybe you ask for help from a friend who also does [fill in what services you offer], or perhaps you post something in a Facebook group asking what people think you should do.
Afraid of making (another) mistake with the follow-up you decide to a) do nothing or b) send an email asking if they got the information and to let you know if they have any questions.
Still, no response.
Now you’re left wondering where it all went wrong.
Why Your Approach Doesn’t Work (Often Enough)
What you do for your clients isn’t something that’s bought online without a conversation. At least not with any consistency. You’re gonna have to hop on a call to book the best clients at the highest rates.
Oh, sure, you might have a few clients who say they love your process, but you’ve got to listen to everyone, especially those that don’t book you.
Don’t believe me? Go look at your website analytics. (I’ll wait)
Check the past 365 days to see how many buyers visited your site. Then subtract how many clients booked in the past year. The difference between these is the number of people who did NOT like your sales process.
Now, you may hear from some people they didn’t book you because of budget (which probably isn’t true), so it’s easier to believe everyone’s saying no or ghosting you because of price.
But the issue isn’t your clients’ budget.
It’s you. It’s your sales process.
How to Create an Inquiry Experience that Gets People to Buy Your Services
Couples come to you wanting to know:
The most successful wedding pros give them this information. But first they find out where the buyer’s at in their decision-making process. Not everyone who inquires is ready for (or interested in) the answers to questions they ask.
Let me say that again, in a different way.
Don’t let first-time buyers control the experience. You’re the pro, not them. You lead the sales experience.
Do you know what you’re supposed to do when someone lands on your website? When they send in their contact form? When you hop on the phone? When you send a proposal? When they say the pricing is too high?
It’s Not Just What You Give Them, It’s Also When You Give it to Them
When most couples inquire, they probably aren’t ready for all the information you want to give them.
You know what I’m talking about….
The 3,000-word email you’ve got as a template to answer every question they might have for you. Yep. The one that takes up the entire screen on their work computer. Or 16 screens on their phone when they’re in the bathroom looking at your response.
Or that pretty 19-page PDF that you spent forever getting just right and spent hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on. (Trust me, it’s costing you way more in lost business.)
Stop trying to get married on the first date. They may fall in love at first sight with your work, but it doesn’t mean they’re ready to lock it in right away.
If you give them information at the right time in manageable amounts you’re much more likely to get another chance to talk.
And that’s the goal of the sales process: get micro-commitments to move them to the next step.
Meet Your Wedding Sales Expert
I’m an old-school influencer. Not the kind with 100k+ followers on social media. No, I have real pull with couples who’ve booked millions in wedding services from me.
These days I share sales experiences and growth strategies with event pros who are self-taught or want to level-up.
You’ll find me on speaking at The Knot World Wide, Hustle + Flow, Engage! Luxury Wedding Summit, WIPA, NACE, Evolve and other private workshops. I don’t just tell you to charge more. I actually show you how to persuade people to pay higher rates.
The approaches and tactics I share apply to all stages of success, from just starting out to the luxury market. Clients who apply my method get fees from $1k to $30k+ for services they provide.
Not All Buyers are the Same
Your clients are different from each other. Some want to be your best friend and text you at midnight for the smallest reason. Others don’t respond to your emails/texts/calls for days. Some want to talk all day about their latest and greatest idea for the wedding. Others just want the facts. If you’re good at what you do for clients you shift gears based on who they are.
So why are you treating every inquiry that comes to your inbox the same as the rest?
If you took a little time early in the inquiry process to get to know how your client needs to be treated it’d go a long way to make them feel more comfortable with you.
And that’s pretty much something no other pros are doing.
Which means if you do it you can stand out. Easily.
“Sam has the most amazing advice when it comes to pricing and creating a plan for revenue.”
- Sylvie Gil, Top Photographer Brides, Harper’s Bazaar, and Martha Stewart
“Sam’s incredible insights and very practical knowledge has been invaluable. He’s helped us shape a sales process that’s been extremely successful in the luxury market.”
- James + Schulze, Brides Magazine Best Photographers in the World
How Do You Get Better at Selling Yourself?
You’ll find lots of information and ideas and approaches on how to make more money with your event business.
Read a few book on sales, but good luck applying what you learn to the one-of-a-kind world of selling weddings.
Listen to some podcasts, but it’s hard to take away concrete information that’s practical to your business.
Go to a workshop, but you can’t transform your sales process after listening to the pricing expert talk for 30-45 minutes.
Hire a coach, but before you do ask them if they’ve got any experience working directly on what you need expertise in: WEDDING SALES.
Learn from a mentor, but see if they show you what needs to be done in your business, or are they just showing you what worked for theirs?
“Sam gave me the tactics to book more business during non-peak periods. I’ve seen huge and immediate increases in revenues using his methods.”
- Eric Kelley, Top Photographer Martha Stewart and Harper’s Bazaar
“Sam walks me through the nuts and bolts of what I need to do with my pricing and sales work. He’s made it easy to understand and use with prospective clients.”
- Jacqueline Hill, PartySlate Top 50 Event Planners
Do You Want to Make More Money?
Get a bona fide sales expert from the wedding world to train you
Use proven approaches that generate millions in sales for every field/market/segment
Learn from a teaching method that’s clear, simple, and fun
“Sam took the time to understand our business to provide the best possible advice. Our conversion rate and confidence have increased substantially.”
- Lindsey and Cherish Conklin, Le Reve Films, 2019 The Knot Pro Educators
“Sam always offers a fresh perspective on the wedding industry with actionable strategies and practices that you can implement immediately.”
- Shannon Leahy, Top Wedding Planner and Designer Harper’s Bazaar, Brides, and Martha Stewart
How Do You Want to Reach Your Goals?
Want to Know What Others are Saying about How I Grow Businesses?
“Sam brings valuable perspective to his clients through a keen understanding of all aspects of the events world. His vast experience and respected relationships within the community make him a tremendous asset for any business.”
- Kristin Banta, Top Wedding Planner California Wedding Day
“Sam is naturally personable and strategic. Working side-by-side with him on collaborative projects, I have gained great knowledge from him on the sales process that I can use for my entire career.”
- Kaleigh Wiese, 2017 The Knot Wed 100 and 2019 The Knot Pro Educator
“I left our conversations feeling super empowered and with very tactical information. I knew what my next steps were going to be to generate new business - almost like I had an inside track on my competitors.”
- Julia Wade, Photographer
“Sam is one of a kind. He listens to the concern at hand, finds a clear and concise way to offer concrete advice, and makes it easy for his clients to take what he has shared and put it into immediate action.”
- Amy Zaroff, Planner
“I always feel like I’m moving in the right direction after Sam and I talk about my business. He listens without judgement, advises with my best interests in mind based on the goals we have identified together, and gives me peace of mind that I have support whenever it is needed.”
- Jill Livingston, Eclectic Hive
“Sam is like having your own personal business therapist. He truly listens and then offers tangible advice I can implement. I know his advice is going to be backed up by years of experience and knowledge.”
- Heather Dwight, Calluna Events, Top Wedding Planner by Brides