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. A WeddingWire WedInsights study reported that couples prefer to start with packages, versus a-la-carte. While a-la-carte pricing can give them more information, it can be overwhelming for the novice consumer – which describes most of your couples. Imagine if a restaurant gave you a list of ingredients in the kitchen, instead of a menu of their appetizers and entrees; theoretically it’s more information, it’s just not helpful. Those menu items are packages of ingredients, prepared a certain way.
Make it easy to buy
Your goal is to make it as easy as possible to buy from you, even when your prices are higher… rather, especially when your prices are higher. If you have higher prices – and make it harder for them to decide – they’ll find someone else who makes it easier to decide; sometimes at higher prices, sometimes at lower. You want to avoid ‘decision paralysis.’ That’s when they get overwhelmed by the choices and choose not to decide at all. I don’t care how many products or services you have, no one needs them all. Your job is to reduce their choices, so the one or two options you present to them appear to exactly fit their needs.
Power of three’s
While many of you have heard me speak about having three packages: Low/basic (out of season), Most popular, and Kitchen Sink – no one needs them all. Rather than showing them all, to everyone, ask them better questions to determine which one (or ones), will get them the results that they want. Then only show them those options, and ask for the sale, regardless of their budget (called Top Down Selling). If many of your couples say, “You’ve given us so much to think about, we need to go home and process it all.” That’s your fault. Don’t dazzle them with your product knowledge; charm them with your care and attention to getting them the results they want.
Back to pricing
Is it time to raise your prices? For many wedding pros the answer is yes, be it a little, or a lot. Remember than every dollar you raise your prices, without changing the package/products included, is additional profit for you. Conversely, every dollar you discount – without taking anything away – is profit you gave away. How do you know if you can raise your prices? Just play a little game. Ask yourself how many of your couples, in the last year, would have paid more to have you do their wedding? How much more? $10? $50? $100? $500? When you get to the point where most couples would still pay that amount more, but not all, and you feel relatively confident that you could refill the dates for those that say, “No,” then you’re at the right price.
You may not be able to raise all of your prices, but how about some? Are your prices for DJing their wedding at the right price, but maybe you can raise the Gobo price a little? Is the menu price person for the plated dinner at the right level, but you can raise the food station price? If your business does a large volume, small changes can make a big difference. One friend of mine books musicians for ceremonies, cocktail hours, etcetera; each year he books hundreds of events. He raised his prices $25 per event, and the following year made an additional $12,000 in profit. If you do 50 weddings per year, and can add another $50 per event, that’s $2,500 in profit! That looks like someone is going on vacation!
Three ways to earn more
Raising your prices is one way to earn more. Doing more volume is another, but that’s not always an option. Some of you are already maxed out on the number of events you can, or want, to do. Option 3 is to have a higher average sale. To me, that’s the best place to start, as every one of you can do that. Raising your prices can result in a higher average sale, but so can selling more products and services to each couple. Don’t just sell them more, help them see that there are better results that they want, and help them buy those results. People’s priorities drive their budgeting; so, if it’s important to them, they’ll find the additional money.
The budget is busted!
The latest Newlywed Report by WeddingWire, on the WedInsights website, showed that “Couples underestimate how much they’ll spend on their wedding by roughly 40%.” They may come to you with a budget and, as they say down south, “bless their hearts,” they’re trying to stick to it. When reality sinks in, and they see that the results they want will require a higher budget, they often choose more of your upsells; that is, if you ask them again. Just because they said no to the additional singer in the band when they contracted, doesn’t mean they’ll say no if you ask them later. Just because they said no to the Sand Ceremony, or Tying the Knot, doesn’t mean they’ll say no if you ask them again later. Remember, if you don’t ask, the answer is always No!
The biggest regret
If there’s one thing that I consistently hear from wedding pros like you, when it comes to pricing, it’s that once you’ve raised them, you’re sorry you hadn’t raised them sooner. There’s an old saying: “When’s the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. When’s the second-best time? Today!” Your goal should be to make more profit, while helping more couples have amazing weddings. Whether it’s a little, or a lot, the best time to raise your prices is today!
© 2018 AlanBerg.com & Wedding Business Solutions
Need a little help with your pricing strategy or reducing the choices? Is your sales process too much about showing and telling everything you offer? I’ve helped businesses – just like yours – realize that they’re capable of more sales, at higher dollars. Don’t take my word for it, listen to these businesses who’ve worked with me:
“Alan Berg’s presentation was informative and well presented. In the past few weeks, I have already experienced positive results from utilizing some of the techniques Alan suggested.” – Leann Batty, Martin’s Caterers, Baltimore, MD – they’ve had me in twice!
“The two-hour consultation that my team had with him was more than just a shot of adrenaline, it added true clarity to the things we are doing well and the things that we needed to change immediately. We put Alan’s suggestions to work right after the call and saw instant success!” – Rob Meagher, My Elite DJ, Denver, CO
“Alan is a DYNAMO. His thoughts and suggestions on websites, marketing, sales and pricing will inspire and push you to rethink EVERYTHING you’ve been doing and make it better.” – Nicole Vance, Nicole Vance Photography, Richmond, VA
Want to see how I can help you? Call, text, email or use the short form on this page to contact me directly, 732.422.6362, international enquiries (yes, I do training with businesses around the world) 001 732 422 6362
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