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Dont oversell or undersell - Alan Berg CSP, Wedding Business Solutions PodcastDon’t Oversell or Undersell

When I’m doing sales training, regardless of the size of the business (1 person up to dozens or more), I always teach about not overselling and not underselling. Overselling doesn’t mean selling them things they need, but didn’t ask about. And Underselling is selling to their budget, not the results they want.

Listen to this new, 7-minute episode for some ideas on how to find the deifference between selling just what they ask for, what they need, more than they need, or less than they want.

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 [email protected] or visit my website

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– Don’t oversell. Don’t undersell. Listen to this episode for some ideas. 


Hi, it’s Alan Berg. Welcome back to another episode of the Wedding Business Solutions Podcast. This is something that I teach in my sales training about not overselling and not underselling. So let me tell you what I mean by this. Overselling is selling them things that they absolutely don’t need to get the results that they want, or even results that you propose that they just don’t want. It’s not the same thing as selling them things that they didn’t ask for, because a lot of times people don’t know what they need. 


I’ve done another episode on this. They ask for what they know exists. Sometimes somebody might come and say, “Hey I’ve never seen this, but can you do this?” But most of the time it’s, “I have seen this. Can you do this?” Or they saw it at a friends event, or at a company event, or they saw it online on Instagram, or on TikTok, or on Pinterest or on Facebook or whatever. And they’re asking you for it because they know it exists. Maybe they’ve never seen it in person, but they know that it exists. But when they come to you and they say, “I’m looking for X,” and you ask ’em the good questions to find out the results they want, and you find out that what they need are things they didn’t ask for because the results that they want require those things, that’s not overselling. That’s selling them to get to the results they want, which is what you should always do. 


We sell for the results. We don’t sell for their budget. Now, all the budgets are made up. I’ve done episodes on this as well. They made up their budget, they came to a comfortable number, then they find out that the results they want are different and it might cost them more to get to that, and they have to make a decision to raise the budget or change their expectations. But overselling is different. Overselling is selling them things just for the sake of selling them. I’m in this industry. I got into the wedding and event industry because I was in a job where I was making really good money but I hated it. 


So if you’ve ever bought a new car or a new truck, or even a used car or used truck, at a dealership, after you work with your salesperson and you sign for the car, so you think, they send you into the business manager’s office, right? They take you to the back. Take you to the other person. And that person’s job is to sell you things. Whether you need them or not. And that was the job I had 25 plus years ago. I didn’t feel integrity in that. I was working at a Honda dealership and the salesperson had just sold you one of the, it actually was considered the most reliable car in America, the Honda Accord, year after year after year at the time. I’m sure it’s a very reliable car now. But back then, so you bought it based on the fact that it’s the most reliable car in America and yet I have to sell you an extended warranty and convince you that you need to have this extended coverage on a car that you just found out is the most reliable car in America. 


So it was a much more difficult sale. I didn’t feel integrity in that. I’ve been on the receiving end of that many times ’cause I bought many cars over the years and leased many cars over the years. It’s very different, right? It’s very different than in your industry, and what you specifically do. So that if you are a caterer and you’re selling them on things that they didn’t ask for, but that they want, like if you sell them a late night snack. They might not have asked for that. But if you bring up that idea and say, “Hey, how surprised do you think your friends would be if we came out with a pretzel station, right, like, you know, an hour before the end of the wedding?” And if you go, “Oh, wow, they would think that’s great.” And especially if you’re in Philadelphia or someplace where pretzels are a thing, they’re buying the result. That’s not overselling. That’s them saying, yes, I want that result. Yes, I’m buying it. 


But if you sold them, I don’t know, three different, you know, dessert stations at that time of the night, and it’s very late and they have a lot of, maybe if you find out that they have a lot of very young kids and they have some older people there who might have left early, it might be overkill, it might be too much food, it might be something like that. That’s what I mean by overselling, right? Underselling. Now underselling is also a problem.


Underselling is a little bit different. But underselling is selling to their budget, not to the results that they want. And the problem with underselling is that you end up very often with that less than great review, even though you did everything that they contracted for. You did what they contracted for, but you didn’t do what they really wanted. It’s the old, you know, a beer budget with a champagne taste, right? Some people have a champagne taste, beer budget. You sell them beer and they know they got beer, and they bought beer and they’re like, it’s beer. Would’ve love champagne but couldn’t afford it, fine. Other people they’re drinking their beer going, “We wanted champagne.” And they’re mad at you because they wouldn’t pay for the champagne. 


And no, it’s not fair. But I’m sure it’s happened to a lot of people here where you sold to their budget, and yet they’re complaining because they still didn’t get things that they didn’t pay for. And that’s underselling. And underselling, very often, you’re better off just walking away. Because they’re not going to get the results that they want. You are going to get that three star review, or for some of you, a four star is terrible, it’s not. But the four star review. Even though you did everything right, and everybody is really happy, but then they’re still upset because they didn’t get something that they didn’t pay for. That’s what underselling is. And when that’s the case, and when you’re hearing the signs on that and you’re getting kind of a funny feeling about that is the time to walk away and to tell them, “You know we want to make sure that you have an amazing wedding, but it sounds like the things you’re looking for aren’t going to fit with your budget. 


And if we don’t give you those things, and you don’t have the wedding that you want, we don’t want you to be upset with us. So I think it’s probably better if you go with somebody else.” And some of them might come back and say, “No, no, no, we want you.” We say, “Well, if you want us, and you want the results, this is the budget. This is what you have to go with.” Now sometimes you get a review where they give you a rave review, but they have to make a comment there, it was a little bit more than we wanted to spend, or it was a little bit expensive, or whatever. And that’s just a nod to the fact that it was a little bit higher than they originally wanted to spend, but they got what they wanted. 


They got the results that they wanted, so they’re happy with the results. Yep, they spent more money, they have to make that comment in there, maybe they feel a little guilty about it, or maybe they just got to throw a little dig in, but they still gave you five stars. That’s when you’re, again, selling to the results, not underselling them. So there’s a difference between overselling and underselling. Hope gives you a little clarity on that. And if you have any questions you can certainly reach out to me. Thanks.


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 [email protected]. Look forward to seeing you on the next episode. Thanks.

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