I was doing sales training the other day and I noticed that one of the sales reps was using the word “I” too much. I was trying to teach her to have a better digital conversation. She wanted to get the prospect on the phone, because it would be better for her to find out more about what they needed. I can’t disagree with the logic, but the reality is that if they had wanted to talk on the phone, they would have called you! So, if you hear yourself saying “Well, I’d like to schedule a time to talk with them” or “I’d like to get them in for a meeting/tour”, it’s time to pause. Read More
I was presenting at an event the other day, and I asked the group to let me know if anyone gets a new lead while we were meeting. A little while later, one gentleman told me a new lead had just come through via email. It was from a university, but a department with which he had never worked. It sounded like a referral, although they didn’t mention that in their email. As he read us all the email, it seemed as though they weren’t shopping around, rather they were checking availability and pricing.
Make their job easier
I asked what the title was of the person who sent the email, and he said she was an Executive Assistant. I suggested that, to me, it seemed as though this probably just got dropped in her lap, and the easier he makes it for her, the faster he’ll get the sale. Read More
As I travel from conference to conference, event to event, I often hear wedding pros talking about different speakers and well-known industry people. They often debate the success of that person; but, hang on – who are we to debate someone else’s success? Success, as with beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Each of us gets to define our success. For some, it’s a monetary value. For others, it’s quality time with family.
Choose your own benchmark
The key is that no one can really tell you if you’re successful, or not. Only you can determine that, using your own benchmark. A problem I see, all-too-often, is when I see someone trying to achieve what they perceive to be someone else’s success. It may be trying to do a certain number of weddings or events, or reaching a certain dollar value of sales. Read More
I’m just getting back from another successful Wedding MBA conference, and I was reflecting on the many, many conversations I had with wedding pros, like you. A common theme was that it would be so much easier if brides and grooms would just get on the phone with you. Many wedding pros were reminiscing of the days when your phones were ringing off the hook with inquiring couples – and that’s when I popped your nostalgia bubble. In the digitally connected world we live in, while there is an occasional phone inquiry, most of your initial contact comes via email, text or a contact form.
Don’t be in a rush to change the format
The mistake that I see so many of you making is to try to change from a digital conversation, to a phone call or appointment, too quickly. Had they wanted to talk on the phone, they would have called you (or asked you to call them in their message). Had they wanted to schedule an appointment (whether in person, on the phone or virtually), they would have asked for one. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to schedule a phone call or meeting, just don’t do it too quickly. Read More
If you’re like many wedding and event pros, it was your creativity that brought you into the industry, not your business acumen. To have a successful business, you need both. There are lots of hobbyists who are very creative. Once you decide to sell your products or services, you need to develop your business skills and an understanding of the many ways to measure your success. Read More
Crossword puzzles are my diversion. I do one almost every day. It’s both a brain stimulant and meditation for me. When I’m doing a puzzle my mind is focused, not wandering or multi-tasking. What’s your diversion? For some of you it’s Sudoku, or maybe a game on your phone or tablet. For others it may be yoga, or reading a book.
As my family and I live in the New York area, I get The New York Times delivered daily. I rarely get to read more than a few articles in a day, while eating breakfast, and I can get the same news on my NYTimes iPhone app. I get news alerts on my phone, so I’m up to date on the latest in world happenings. I find that reading the actual newspaper, as with reading a physical book, is a different experience than reading on a screen. Read More
I’m a happily married man. So, when something goes wrong, it’s always my fault. That may sound like a joke, but accepting responsibility when there’s a problem is a major step towards getting past it. Rather than trying to find blame, we try to find solutions. Chapter 15 of my new sales book is even titled “Do you want to be happy, or right?” I’ve often said that I’d rather be happy, and successful, than right. Proving to my wife (or a customer) that they’re wrong, never works out well. Read More
In my frequent travels, I find myself in need of transportation, either from the
airport, or from a hotel. I started wondering why I’ll go on my phone and order an Uber or Lyft car, instead of choosing to get a cab, when there are often cabs right at the airport or hotel? I could just walk outside and find a cab… but maybe I’ll find a line waiting for cabs; or maybe a hotel attendant will have to call me a cab. For me, it’s the convenience – and certainty – of knowing that I have a ride, and when it will arrive. It’s also the convenience of having the charge go right to my credit or debit card, without having to make that physical transaction. Read More
As a speaker and business consultant, I often get asked if it makes sense to add a new service or product to someone’s offerings. Of course, the answer will be different for each business, but we’re very fortunate to be in the wedding and event business. Why, you ask? It’s because of the lead time between when they book versus when the wedding or event will happen. Rather than investing in the new product or service, especially one that’s capital-intensive (code for significant financial investment), why not try a different approach?
Let’s say you wanted to add photo booths to your offerings (whether you’re an entertainment company, or venue, or photographer). Rather than making the up-front investment in the photo booth, why not start to sell photo booths to your weddings that are happening a year from now. If you have good success, you can buy the booths, way before those weddings happen. If you have limited success, you can either buy them, or sub-contract those events out to another vendor who does have them. Read More
As a consultant and sales trainer, I get to see a lot of websites and online ad profiles. It still amazes me at how many wedding and event pros are using the wrong images to promote their businesses. For years, I’ve been saying to use, what I call, Aspirational Images; images that show your prospective clients what the result of doing business with you looks like. When possible, make them so beautiful and emotional, that someone viewing it would want to jump into that photo and be a part of the fun, excitement, and emotion of that event.
Yet with all of my preaching (which is what it sometimes feels like), there are still countless venues that show pictures of empty banquet rooms, DJs and bands that show equipment or staff images, florists who show headless brides holding bouquets, and many others who lead with images of themselves. An aspirational image is one that the viewer can take their “mental eraser” and substitute their face for those in the photo, so they can picture themselves getting that result. We can’t get that from looking at your building, or your furniture, or your equipment… or from looking at you. Read More