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

What Are You Waiting For?

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Before I get started, I want this to be a positive message for you. That said, what prompted this topic was the passing, too young, of a few industry and personal friends. It got me thinking about what (if anything) they wished they had done, either personally or professionally. There’s no shortage of things to eat up our time; email, social media, family obligations, etc. Are you making time for the other things? Are you doing the things that give you the most pleasure, or that will have the greatest impact on your clients; which, hopefully, also gives you pleasure? Read More

SEO vs UXD – Your Dilemma

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Before I get into the article, some of you are wondering what the alphabet soup is about. Most of you know that SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization; that’s trying to make your site come up in the unpaid search results. UXD stands for User Experience Design, defined by Wikipedia as “the process of enhancing user satisfaction with a product by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product.”

OK, now that the definitions are done, what I want to discuss with you is whether you should focus first on SEO or focus on UXD. Read More

It’s a Small World After All

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Have you ever been to Disneyland or Walt Disney World? If you have, then the sound of animatronic characters singing “It’s a Small World” is resonating in your head. Sorry, but that was my thought when I was reflecting on a great conference in Mexico where I recently presented. It was attended by people from over 70 countries; the bringing together of all of these people is what made me think of how small the world really has become. The attendees were some of the top wedding planners from their areas. Many of them have celebrity and high-profile, very affluent clients. To be invited to the conference, they had to apply and be accepted. Needless to say, I was in quite impressive company. I was pleased, but a little surprised to see so many of these top planners in my breakout session on communicating with prospects.  Read More

When are there too many choices?

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I recently attended the Photo Booth Expo, a trade show in Las Vegas. There was a dizzying array of styles of photo booths. There were more traditional booths, reminiscent of the arcades of old. There were very small setups that would fit in a suitcase. There was even someone walking around with her remote controlled, motorized, robot-like equipment. Everywhere you looked there were colors, flashing lights, props, signs and backdrops.  Sounds, music and the constant din of voices were coming at you from all angles. It was not the place to be if you wanted some peace and quiet. Read More

5 Reasons They Leave Your Website in 5 Seconds

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Whether it’s couples shopping for their wedding, or you shopping for whatever you need, there are some websites that make us want to get comfy and look around – and others that make us rush to the BACK button. Is your website inviting, or is it chasing away the very people you’re trying to attract?

By the time they get to your website, they might already know a little about you; whether it’s from your profile on WeddingWire, social media, or a referral from another wedding/event pro. Don’t waste that foundation by doing some of the very things that make you want to leave a site – quickly!

Here are 5 reasons prospects might be leaving your website, in 5 seconds: Read More

Are You Living Inside Your Comfort Zone?

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When’s the last time you were outside your comfort zone? Last year? Last week? Today? We spend most of our time inside our comfort zones. Unless you’re an adrenaline-junkie, you can’t spend every day on the wild-side. That said, if you’re not pushing yourself, you’re putting a cap on your abilities and your success. None of us know what we’re capable of, until we try something new. It doesn’t have to be something big. You don’t have to go bungee-jumping off a bridge in New Zealand, or skydiving. For some it’s trying a new food. For others it’s learning a new skill.

Can you raise your prices?
When is the last time you raised your prices? I’ll bet it seemed a little scary, didn’t it? What if they all say, “No” to the new price? But then, when the first customer says, “Yes” to your new rate, it suddenly doesn’t feel so scary. Fear of the unknown is natural. If you’re not feeling a little uncomfortable about your new rates, they might not be high enough. A little price resistance shows you that you’re probably at a good level. As long as enough people are saying “Yes” to fill your calendar, or at least your most popular dates, then you’re probably in a good place. If everyone is saying “Yes”, without much resistance, then go higher. Read More

It’s Not What You Want, it’s What Your Customers Want

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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

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