Expectations – how can you hit a target you can’t see?

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When you’re the customer, how do you judge whether a company, product or service has done right by you? It’s a matter of your expectations going into the encounter. Your expectations are a product of your past experiences. It’s your combined experiences with other businesses, not just in that industry, but all of your previous experiences. That means that each of us has a unique set of experiences that we use to judge our next experience. And that creates an invisible target for each business to meet or exceed.

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Stop Selling and Help Them Buy!

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If I ever write another sales book, this will likely be the title: “Stop Selling and Help Them Buy!” In many industries, businesses have to do a lot of cold calling and prospecting. You’d spend a lot of your time trying to identify people, and businesses, who might be interested in your business offers. While that’s true for corporate events, non-profit events and some others, the wedding industry is mostly a reactive industry. Sure, you have to advertise and market yourself so that you can be found, and that involves putting yourself out there where your target customers are looking. But, for most sales people in the wedding industry, the sales process starts when the email comes in, the social media message arrives, the contact form gets filled out or the phone rings (I know… if only!). Read More

It’s different, but does that make it wrong?

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I’ve been around the wedding and event industry long enough to see many different business models, from solo-preneurs (we used to call them Mom & Pop shops) to large businesses with many employees and/or locations. None of them is right for everyone. Your business model can, and likely will change throughout the life cycle of your business. I know many DJ’s, planners and photographers who started out as just them, grew to many employees and then decided to go back to just them, later in their business’ life cycle. Read More

When is a ghost, not really a ghost?

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When is a ghost, not really a ghost?

If there’s one word that keeps coming up these days it’s ‘ghosting.’ It’s when someone reaches out to you, either through your website, through an online profile (like The Knot or WeddingWire), or even through social media, and then when you reply, they seem to disappear. From my experience working with wedding and event pros, like you, there are many reasons why this might be happening. Some of them are easier to explain than others. Some of them are self-inflicted issues (yes, every so often we need to look in the mirror to find the problem).

Here are 9 possible explanations for why you might be getting ghosted, and what to do about them: Read More

How Full is Your Glass?

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There’s an old joke: The optimist sees the glass as half-full. The pessimist sees the glass as half-empty. The engineer sees the glass as twice as large as is needed for this application! I’m an optimist. I suppose I always have been and like most of you, I’ve had my share of things in my life to give pause to that attitude. I’m not a Pollyanna, someone who is blindly optimistic regardless of the situation or facts. I’m definitely a realist, but I also prefer to see, or seek the good. I prefer to look for solutions rather than to dwell on the problem. Complaining rarely fixes the problem by itself. We need action to do that.  Read More

Change your mind

You Can’t Change Someone’s Mind

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Change your mindI’m right and you’re wrong! That attitude is a recipe for disaster in business and in life. If you want to keep your significant-other happy, telling them that they’re wrong is, let’s just say, not a good plan. Similarly, if you want to keep your customers, and employees, happy, telling them they’re wrong is counter-productive. The fact is that you can’t change anyone else’s mind. It’s not yours to change. It’s theirs. What you can do is provide them with information they didn’t have, and then they may decide to come to a different conclusion. Read More

Is It Time to Raise Your Prices?

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It’s the end of wedding season and the end of the year, which means it’s also engagement season. The top 10 days to get engaged are happening NOW! That means a new crop of couples needing your services – yeah! It also means it’s a great time to take a look at the products and services you’ll be offering them – and at what prices.  Read More

Are You Starting With WHY?

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I recently finished reading (listening to) Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why. If you’re not familiar with it – or him – Simon has one of the most watched TED Talks, in which he describes “The Golden Circle”. The Golden Circle is three concentric circles: “What” – the outer circle, “How” – the middle circle, and “Why” – the inner circle.

He describes them as follows:

  • WHAT: Every organization on the planet knows WHAT they do. These are the products they sell or the services they offer.
  • HOW: Some organizations know HOW they do it. These are the things that make them special or set them apart from their competition.
  • WHY: Very few organizations know WHY they do what they do. WHY is not about making money – that’s a result. WHY is a purpose, cause, or belief. It’s the very reason your organization exists.

While our HOW is what sets us apart, our customers very often can’t see those differences. Many of the differences are intangible, so it’s not something that can be seen; rather, it’s often felt. How does it feel to do business with you? Read More

Exceeding Expectations While Flying Blind

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There are 3 possible outcomes from any interaction with a customer:

  1. Fall short of their expectations – which we know is unacceptable
  2. Meet their expectations – which is also unacceptable (more on that later)
  3. Exceed their expectations – which, of course, is the only acceptable outcome.
Why can’t we just meet their expectations?

On the surface, meeting someone’s expectations would seem to be a fine outcome. I disagree. Read More

Why Don’t They Call Me?

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I’m often asked where I get the inspiration for my books, and the simple answer is that it’s from you! I practice what I teach you, and listen to my customers and their needs. The conversations we have at conferences, on consulting calls, and on social platforms lead to my presentations and ultimately to my books. Which leads me to my latest book, and from what you tell me, my much-anticipated book, Why Don’t They Call Me? 8 Tips for converting wedding and event inquiries into sales. This topic has hit a nerve with wedding and event pros around the world. Read More

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