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Wedding Business Solutions Podcast with Alan Berg CSP - Do you go with your gut, or are you driven by data?Do you go with your gut, or are you driven by data?

How do you make your business decisions? Do you gather and analyze carefully curated data? Or do you go by what “feels” right – going with your gut? The truth is that even data-driven analysts have that inner voice that helps them decide the right way forward. In this 11-minute episode I’ll help you understand that pros and cons of just going with your gut when making important business decisions.

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Below is a full transcript. If you have any questions about anything in this, or any of my podcasts, or have a suggestion for a topic or guest, please reach out directly to me at Alan@WeddingBusinessSolutions.com or contact me via textuse the short form on this page, or call 732.422.6362

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– When you’re making decisions for your business, do you go by instinct, going by your gut? Or are you using data to help you decide what the right way forward is for you? Take a listen to this episode and find out how you can use both. But which one is going to help you do more?

– Hi, it’s Alan Berg, and welcome to the Wedding Business Solutions podcast. Today I want to talk about something that I discuss with my clients in our consultations. And it’s: do you go with your gut or are you data driven? See, a lot of people in our industry just go with your gut. It’s like, it feels right or it doesn’t feel right. And that’s important because your past history, is going to guide you towards that. But you also want to be using data. And the key with the data is, the first rule of computers I heard this when I first took a computer class a long, long time ago, the teacher went to the board and wrote G-I-G-O, garbage in, garbage out. That’s the first rule of computers. Computers can only do with what you give it in terms of data So, what data are you using? I was looking at Google Analytics reports with some of my clients the other day, we did a group website review, and I’m looking at analytics, and some of them it came up with zeros, because it wasn’t even set up correctly.

I always ask people “Do you have Google analytics?” Some people raise their hands and I say, “And how many of you know how to read it?” And then some of those hands kind of go down. They’re kind of like by their head, oh, I’m just looking around here. The key with analytics is, what is the data that you’re going to have that you can act on? Not what data can you get, but can you act on the data? When I look at a report like a Google Analytics report there’s a lot of stuff in there that’s interesting, but you can’t take action. Like there’s this chart that shows you the day of the week and the time of the day when people are visiting your website. That’s great. It’s interesting to know they’re coming during the week, during the day. Maybe they were at work so that’s why they’re not calling you. Interesting, but is there anything you can do about it? Probably not. You can’t act on it but you can act on knowing which pages they’re visiting, whether they’re coming on mobile or not, how much time they’re spending, because if they’re not spending a lot of time then maybe you’re not engaging them well enough.

So that’s data, also data in terms of your sales. If in a perfect world, you could know where every lead came from, remember you don’t do any business from your website, you do it through your website. You don’t do it from your advertising. You do it through your advertising. So they come from somewhere. We all make many, many steps, many, many clicks to get through to do something that we want to do these days in terms of buying. There’s something called “last click attribution”, where we give the credit to the last click someone made but not the two, three, four, five, eight, 10 clicks that they made before that. In a perfect world, you would want to know that when you got a lead, that lead came from ‘where’ and then how did they get to that? That would be a whole another story. But then how many of those people do you have a meaningful conversation with? How many of those people do you then either take to a sale or do you take to a meeting or a tour and then to a sale? Trending is what you’re looking for. Over time, are those numbers changing?

Absolute numbers to say that I closed 37% of the people that inquired this month, that would be great to know. Is it good? I don’t know. How was it compared to, well, maybe not last year because last year it’s not a good comparison, but how was it compared to in a normal March? How was it compared to last month? How does it compare to your average throughout the year? See the number itself isn’t enough. You have to be able to compare it to something to know whether it was good or a bad number and then to see it trending. So with clients that I work with in terms of sales training, we’re looking at the numbers that they have when I start with them, and then are those numbers increasing. One of my clients, after a couple of months their conversion went up by 10% from where it was before, from that conversation to getting them in for the tour. And we know that they were closing 80% of the people they were having tours with. So, now we can extrapolate back. “What does that mean in terms of dollars?” It means a lot of dollars is what it means.

So, are you looking at data? Do you know what to do with that data? Are you getting the data from a good source? Because you know, looking at again, Google Analytics and saying, “Well, the bounce rate on my website is X.” All right. What does that mean? Has it always been that, has it been higher? Has it been lower? Do you know what you’re reading? I don’t really care what the bounce rate is on your website. And if you don’t know what a bounce rate is, when someone goes to a website and they leave without looking at any other page, that’s called a ‘bounce’. You do it, I do it. We go to a site, it’s not what we want. Or you go to a site, you landed on a page that may not have been the homepage but it’s the page you needed. You got what you needed and you left, you bounced but you got what you needed and you left. My site is set up that way. If you google “Alan Berg website review” or “Alan Berg sales training”, I don’t expect you to get my homepage. I expect you to get that page on my site that has the information you need. And on that page should be just about everything you need. You probably don’t have to go to another page. As a matter of fact, there’s a contact form on the page. There are calls to action throughout the page. So you can contact me right from that page and leave and you bounced. So my bounce rate is very high, because I’ve created that structure for that.

What I care about is really more of my calendar. Is it full with appointments and sales? Is it my P & L, my profit and loss statement? Does that look good? I don’t care what my bounce rate is. 2019 was my best year ever, and my bounce rate was probably the highest it’s ever been. Good, good, because so are my sales. People were coming, getting what they needed, contacting me, leaving that page. It’s fine. So when it comes to data, going with your gut is good but having data to back it up is better. I ask a lot of people, how much of the traffic to your website is mobile? Because Google is only looking at the mobile version of your site these days. It’s not even looking at the desktop version. And people will say to me, oh, it’s almost all of it. I say, well, is that your gut? Or is that what the report says? And I’ve had people we’ve gone and they’ve said, oh, it’s almost all my traffic is mobile. We go to their website, go to the analytics and it’s 55%. Okay, that’s more than half. That’s still a lot, but it’s not most of it, right? It’s not much I would say, it’s not almost all of it. And then I’ve had other people that told me, oh, I dunno, maybe it’s like 40% or so, and we look in it’s 60, 65%.

You need to know this because you can do something about that. If most of your traffic is coming in on mobile and you only look at a laptop or a desktop, when you look at your website you don’t know what your clients are seeing. You don’t know how the things are responding. I’ve seen pictures where people are getting cut out on mobile or text that looks really large or really small. Colored and patterned backgrounds that just don’t represent well on mobile or text that’s way too close to the edges. Calls to action that are not mobile friendly. So you can act on those things, but you need to have the data to back it up. So I want you to use your gut, things feel right or don’t feel right. My dad always used to use the “smell test”. It doesn’t smell right. Yeah, something doesn’t smell right there. Okay, well let’s look into the data. Maybe we’re right, maybe we’re wrong, but going with your gut alone, you could be making decisions based upon a gut, when you could’ve been making decisions based upon some data.

So I want you to have data. Data is also in terms of advertising. And now let me just say this, if you haven’t heard me say this before, you don’t have to get the same return on investment from every different source. So, you want to be comparing the return on investment from this source. So let’s say you’re advertising on The Knot. How are you doing on The Knot compared to how you were doing on The Knot before? Don’t compare it to the local wedding website or don’t compare it to how you’re doing on Facebook, whatever, because they’re not connected. The question is, if we put this, put our blinders on are we getting a return on investment from this particular source, that makes sense for this particular investment? And yes, sometimes you’re going to invest more, you’re going to get less, but it’s still a good return. And you’re going to say, okay, well, it’s not as good as that one, but I’m already maxing that, right? If you’re already doing your Facebook ads, you can’t get me more from Facebook than you’re getting you need another source if you’re not filling your calendar.

So that’s what I mean by data. That’s why I want you to look at the data and say, let me look at this and see, can I take action on this? Or maybe I can invest more in : WeddingWire, The Knot, Facebook, Google, wedding shows, etc. The places that are getting you good are you maxing it out or not? And this is where data can help you again. So going with your gut, going with data I actually want you to use both, but data is going to help you as long as you’re looking at the right pieces of data, that you can actually take action on. I don’t want it to be like fireworks: oh, that’s interesting… but then you go home. You can’t do anything with that.

So look at the sources of data, your own analytics. Again, if you have Google Analytics or if you’re on Squarespace or some other site are they giving you analytics? Is it giving you the analytics you want? Can you take action on it? Or can you get a different type of reporting or again, you might have to pay for it but you can make more money with it if you know what to do with it. Can you get the right kind of information so you can make the right kind of decisions for you and for your business that will profit you more, let you help more couples have amazing weddings and events? And that’s what this is all about. So data or a gut, the answer is both but make sure you’re using data along with gut, so that you’re steering yourself in the right direction.

I’m Alan Berg. Thanks for listening. If you have any questions about this or if you’d like to suggest other topics for “The Wedding Business Solutions Podcast” please let me know. My email is Alan@WeddingBusinessSolutions.com. Look forward to seeing you on the next episode. Thanks.

Listen to this and all episodes on Apple Podcast, YouTube or your favorite app/site:

©2021 Wedding Business Solutions LLC & AlanBerg.com

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