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.
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
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
I 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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the best parts of the wedding industry is that it’s recession-resistant. Of course, the other side of that is that you need to get a new audience every year. The holidays bring many things, including the beginning of engagement season. Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day are some of the busiest days for new engagements. If that’s not a holiday gift, I don’t know what is! Read More
I’ve had a few conversations lately with wedding pros who are looking for couples who are spending more than their current customers. That’s a perfectly fine goal, that is if you’re willing to do what’s necessary to attract those customers. You can’t expect to do what you’re now doing and those higher-paying customers will miraculously appear. You have to approach this as if you were a new business because if you’re not servicing that segment of the market now, you are a new business to those other couples.
Who is your social audience? Many of us have a few different audiences for our social content: current customers, potential customers, industry contacts, family, friends, etc. Additionally, we may have many different pages and channels on which to engage with those audiences: personal pages, business pages, groups, events, etc. Before you start posting (I know it’s a little late for that for most of you) begin with which audience(s) you’re trying to reach, and then what value you’re going to provide them. If they’re not getting value from the interaction, they’re not likely to come back for more.