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All Posts By

Alan Berg

Yesterday is heavy… so, put it down!

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We were having our weekly family Zoom call today and my wife shared this saying that she saw online: “Yesterday is heavy… put it down!” What a simple and powerful phrase. It ties in well to one of my prior articles “Lessons to remember in a year to forget” and a webinar “5 Lessons Learned from a Year to Forget.” One of the lessons is that you can’t always help what happens to you, or how it makes you feel, but you can control how long you allow yourself to feel that way. We all carry around our “Victim Card”, and it’s up to us to choose when and where to take them out.

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Keep an eye on the future while taking care of the present

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It’s pretty clear that 2021 is going to be a busy year for doing weddings. The latest release of The Knot 2020 Real Weddings Study [COVID-19 Edition] shows that nearly half the weddings from 2020 were postponed, most of those to 2021. When you take all of those weddings on top of the weddings that were already scheduled for this year, it’s shaping up to be the busiest wedding year in our lifetimes, if not ever. Yeah, after last year that’s a welcome stat. The other side of that, of course, is that you now need to fulfill all of those weddings. And while that means you finally get to collect the rest of the money you’re owed from the postponed weddings, you’re also going to find yourself busier than normal.

(approx. 5-minute read)

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Do you Go With Your Gut, or are your Data-Driven? 

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Does it ‘feel’ right? Does it pass the smell-test? Do you get the warm and fuzzies? Or, do you have to have the data to support every decision? We all make decisions our own way, and not every decision is made the same way. How do you make your decisions? Do you like to do your research, map out a plan, check and recheck before acting? Or, do you jump right in because your gut tells you it’s the right thing to do? 

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Are you running a race, or running in place?

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Running a business is like running a marathon, or maybe an ultra-marathon. You need to develop the skills and stamina to keep going. Those skills are the technical skills of your craft, as well as the business skills to make it profitable and successful. Surely the current conditions have thrown a wrench into your race. And in the actual running world, even the NY City and Boston marathons have been canceled. The difference is that those canceled races will never happen. They’re not rescheduled. They will, hopefully, happen next year as originally scheduled, but this year’s races, and other major events like the South by Southwest conference, are casualties of the pandemic. Fortunately, most weddings and many social events are being postponed.

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8 Qualities of a Good Leader

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There’s a lot of discussion these days around leadership, and No, this is not a political post. Families need leadership. Schools need leadership. Religious groups need leadership. Businesses need leadership. And yes, Governments need leadership. So, what’s the difference between leadership and management?  Read More

Virtual selling in a locked-down world

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I don’t have to tell you that these are unprecedented times, you’re living through this craziness, too. Being a glass-half-full kind of guy, I like to look for the silver linings. One of the positive things that could come out of this is that many of you will become really good at selling remotely (which I prefer to call it, rather than virtual sales). And when things go to the new normal (notice I didn’t say go back to the way they were, because they’re not going to), the wedding and event pros who’ve mastered remote selling will continue to do so, rather than trying to get all or most of your customers to meet in person.  Read More

You can’t see the skies clearing with your head in the sand

You can’t see the skies clearing with your head in the sand

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You can’t see the skies clearing with your head in the sandI was interviewed the other day by a reporter for NPR (National Public Radio) and she asked me what the closest parallel to the Coronavirus crisis would be, from my over 25 years around the wedding and events industry. I thought about all of the other crises that I’ve seen come and go, from financial crises to the 9/11 tragedy, and I couldn’t think of anything that comes close to this. For me, the biggest challenge is the uncertainty of the end. With a natural disaster (hurricane, tornado, earthquakes, floods, etc.) it’s easier to see when it’s over, and you can start recovering. Sure, some take longer than others, but you can definitely feel when you’re in the recovery phase. Also, most natural disasters are localized. The results could be devastating for the people directly affected, but other areas can only empathize with what they see on TV.

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Don’t sell what they expect to get, sell your results

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When you go to a nice restaurant for the first time, do you expect good service? Of course you do. Do you expect the food to be good? Yes, or you wouldn’t have come there. When you sat down, did you expect there would be linen on the table, silverware, glasses, salt & pepper shakers, a napkin and maybe a centerpiece of some sort? Most likely you do. And when you sit at that table, do you give any thought to how the linen arrived at the restaurant, who put it on the table, who set the table and washed the glasses? No, you don’t. You just sit down on a chair that someone placed there and proceeded with your dinner experience.  

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How Top-Down Selling is Like Jenga

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I’ve been teaching and preaching Top Down Selling for years. The basic concept is simple – find out the results that the customer wants and offer them products and services that will get them there, regardless of their budget. It’s easier to work your way down in price, taking things away, than to sell your bottom service/package/product, and then try to upsell them. In theory and in practice, this works well. Explaining it hasn’t always been as easy. 

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A year of excuses or a year of priorities?

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New Year’s resolutions are doomed to fail. Now, I know that isn’t my usual glass-half-full attitude, but it’s a dose of reality. A day on our calendar is not the motivation we need to change our behavior. Gyms love getting all of the new members each January. You pay for a year of membership, or your dues every month, and their clubs are packed with hopeful resolution makers. Then, by March, they’re back to their regulars who come daily or on a regular basis. My wife used to work at a Gold’s Gym, so I know this first-hand.

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