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Mark Chapman - How is the wedding industry different now - Alan Berg, CSPMark Chapman – How is the wedding industry different now? 

You’ve probably noticed that things are different in the wedding industry, especially in the way today’s couples are, or are not, responding to your ads and messages. I asked my friend Mark Chapman, from the I Do Society, to come back on and talk about what he’s seeing. Advertising for wedding businesses is all Mark does, so he’s the perfect person to have this conversation with. Listen to this new guest episode for usable tips you and put into place, now. 

About Mark: 

Mark Chapman is the President of The I Do Society and the wedding industry’s leader in paid advertising. His team helps your wedding business reach and convert your ideal couple with Google Ads, Meta Ads and TikTok Ads.  

 

For more information visit: http://theidosociety.com/ 

 

Have a free, 30-minute discovery call with Mark, click this link and mention my name: https://calendly.com/the-i-do-society/membership-inquiry-meeting 

 

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 Podcast.AlanBerg.com 

Please be sure to subscribe to this podcast and leave a review (thanks, it really does make a difference). If you want to get notifications of new episodes and upcoming workshops and webinars, you can sign up at www.ConnectWithAlanBerg.com 

 

 

You’ve probably noticed that the wedding industry is different right now. You want to hear how? Listen to this episode. Hi, it’s Alan Berg. Welcome to another episode of the Wedding Business Solutions podcast. I am so happy to have my friend Mark Chapman back on to talk about the kind of craziness that’s happening these days. Mark, how you doing? 

  

I’m doing great, and I’m so glad to be back. Allen, you provide so much value in this podcast, and I’m so excited to be just a tiny part of it and share my knowledge. 

  

Well, thank you. Well, you are more than a tiny part of this one, because you emailed me to say, I’m seeing things going on that feel really, really different. And of course, I’m seeing that with my clients every day when I’m consulting with them. And you said, I know you’ve been on twice before. It’s been very valuable, but I think this is the time. I think you’re right. We need to talk about what’s different. So what prompted you reaching out? Because, again, obviously, you didn’t just go, huh? I should email Alan today. 

  

This has been festering here, and you’re like, I need to talk to Alan. So what was it that kind of camel throw, the broke the camel’s back that you said, I need to talk. We need to talk about this now. 

  

Yeah, well, you know, so our world and my world is advertising just for framing out of context this. And we’ve been seeing really, really huge shifts in the past few months in the world of advertising that have implications to, I think, what is happening in the wedding industry and what couples are experiencing and wanting that. I really want to share and get out to the world in the wedding industry because I’m really passionate about it. Of course, what really prompted it was that we’re seeing the same numbers of people becoming leads from advertising, but fewer of those leads being willing to take the next step, to connect with our members, with our venues. And that’s become the problem. And it prompted me to ask a lot of questions. And so I wanted to come on and talk with you about, like, what. What is it? What’s going on that’s making this change? 

  

Okay, so same number of inquiries. 

  

Yeah. 

  

Conversion has gone down. 

  

That’s right. 

 

Okay. Now, uh, do you think any of this is the generational, the millennials going to Gen Z and a different type of thing? Is. Is that what you’re saying? 

  

This is. This is what I think is happening. Alan, we had this big bubble that happened after the pandemic right. A ton of weddings in 2023. It’s 2024 now. And I think that that bubble actually was masking something that was happening, that a lot of wedding business owners did not adjust and change. And that is how we communicate with our potential couples, because there were so many people looking for venues and vendors and things like that, there was a huge swarm of people looking. So you could be a bad communicator and not be good at following up with leads and still get lots of business.  

 

And I think because couples are different and how they want to communicate now we’re seeing that play out, right? 

  

And that masking of it, that we’re fooled by the conversion that we’re getting, thinking that we’re doing everything right. And I see this all the time. I think. I think there’s a chapter in why are they ghosting me? Where I said, almost everything works some of the time, but nothing works all the time. And this is a conversation I had with somebody just yesterday where you think because you’re getting people to fill out your long contact form or you’re getting people to get on the phone or Zoom or come in for a tour or whatever, that, well, that’s what I should be doing because it’s working. And when I looked at this particular customer and we saw that three quarters of the people that are reaching out never got to that point, I’m like, hang on a second. It’s working for the ones it’s working for. It’s clearly not working for all these other ones here. 

  

Right. So. So what are you seeing people doing that they’re changing from what they were doing and now this is working better for them? 

  

Yeah, great question. So I think that the premise of the changes I’m seeing are that Gen Z and younger millennials, they want a different experience than in the couples in the past, their predecessors, I guess you could say they want to have a relationship with the person, of course. And that’s, that’s not new news, but I think it’s a little bit different in today’s. I’m going to bring in, like, today’s political climate. They want to know that the person they’re having at their wedding is someone they agree with and their fundamental beliefs per se. So that’s very different. It’s a deeper level there. They want to communicate via text message. 

  

They don’t want long emails. They don’t. Some don’t even check their email. Right. So they’re, they’re the people they’re looking to connect with is a little bit deeper and different. And the way they communicate is very different than couples five years ago. And so what we’re seeing work really well is that when business owners are open to texting their leads and just having a short conversation and not asking for all the details in a long form on the website. Right? Like, you and I were talking earlier about, like, website forms that are like three screens on a mobile device and, like, nobody wants to fill that out. 

  

I don’t care how old you are. I don’t care how old you are. You don’t want to fill that. 

  

Nobody wants to do it. They just want to ask a question like, do you have May 27 available? You know, and so I think what’s working really well in this shift is being open to shorter communication at the top of the funnel. Texting especially, and also just being more communicative about who you are as a person and your value. So you can connect with people who are like minded, like you. 

  

And I think it is being who you are on your website, being who you are in your communications. This is, again, a conversation I had with a client just yesterday where the, you know, when the SEO people are the first people onto a website, you can always feel it because, you know, the word is like, if you’re looking for a photographer in Des Moines, then Des Moines photographers choose whatever, because in Des Moines, right? And the wording felt to me very stiff. And I see this a lot. And what that is, is you’re writing either because you think this is professional writing, and I’m going to do air quotes here for those of you that are listening. I did air quotes, professional writing, whatever that means to you. And this is your own perspective of what that means. Or you have bad memories of your high school grammar teacher saying, mark, that is not right. You don’t write that way. 

  

This is how you’re supposed to write. And when you write, your voice isn’t there, your personality isn’t there, and it’s just not you. And what I told this particular customer is, let’s sand the edges of this. Let’s soften this up a little bit. You don’t have to go like, hey, girlfriend, what’s up? You don’t have to go there, but you should be. If I answered the phone, how would I sound? And that’s why with me, I try to be me everywhere. So I write my books the way I speak. My podcast is the way I’m on stage.  

 

And I say, if you don’t like me here, you’re not going to like anything else? Because it’s all the same. It’s all this voice over here, and it’s that authenticity. Maybe it’s word you didn’t say, but that’s what I was feeling. Is, is there an authenticity? Right. 

  

Yeah. 

  

So how does somebody do that, right from the ad to the conversation all the way through? How are you helping people with that? Because that’s what you do. You do advertising for wedding businesses. How are you helping them have that authenticity come through? Right from the ad? 

  

Yeah. Great question. You know, we’ve actually been really expanding what we’re doing. You know, advertising is our core service. But what we’ve realized, and I’m sorry, this is a long answer to your question, but what we’ve realized is that advertising doesn’t live in a silo where you can just create an ad campaign. People click on it. They go to wherever they go, and they fill out a form. Because today’s couples are more Internet savvy than ever before, right? They can learn every nook and cranny about your business within five minutes on their cell phone. 

  

And when they find out things that they don’t like, whether you are and haven’t posted on Instagram in two months or whatever it is, they’re gonna have a feeling there that leads them away from you. But, um, so what we’re doing to make this better for our members is helping them understand how couples are shopping their business after the advertising experience, after the click. Um, one thing that’s really important that we do along the lines of authenticity is, uh, like you’re saying, is making sure the text on the website really shows the personality of the. Of the person. You know, for wedding pros, that’s really important to show your personality like you’re talking about. For venues, it’s a little bit different because venues are like a product, and people will, like, love your venue or not love your venue. And so you can get a little. You can get away with it a little bit more. 

  

But it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to connect with a venue owner. That is someone they like and appreciate and connect with and is authentic as well. Another way that we’re making really big changes for our members is simply by adding phone number to the top of the website, but saying, text us with a colon so that people know they can ask that simple question just by sending a text message and make that initial connection. So those are two really big ways, and there’s so many more, but I’ll let you do what you do best. And take control because I could talk for hours. 

  

Well, and we could certainly talk for hours. So first thing is, businesses have personalities. I mean, if you think about targets, personality is different than Macy’s. Macy’s personality is different than Nordstrom’s. Taco Bell’s personality is different than McDonald’s is different than Burger King is different than Arby’s. Right. So just because you’re a venue doesn’t mean you can’t have a personality. You certainly can. 

  

So I think as a venue, the wording on your website still represents, or should represent the personality of the people who I’m then going to speak to. Are those people going to be dressed up formally on a Tuesday morning at 10:00 when you come in for a tour? Or are they going to be in business casual or even casual? Let’s say you’re a barn venue, right? And I come out and you’re wearing jeans and boots. Fits perfectly on a Tuesday for a barn, that’s okay. But the wording then shouldn’t sound so buttoned up formal because you’re a barn venue. There’s still a personality to that. As far as texting goes, I’ve had texting on my website for years, and the very first person when I added texting years ago was a baby boomer that texted me. It was not a millennial. I was expecting it to be a millennial. 

  

And they booked me to come to Allentown, Pennsylvania and to do a mastermind. And it was through text is how we started the conversation. I have since changed over to I’m still texting, but I use connect, Kenect, and there’s a text widget on my site. So it still says text me all over my site. You click on text me, it opens up a text message, but there’s a text me button right now when you go to my site, mobile and desktop, and when you click on it, it asks you what you want to text me about. So it’s the same things as the navigation, sales, training, speaking, mastermind, whatever. I get so many more text messages now, and this is interesting, mark, from people that already know me, that have my phone number, that have my email, and yet, and some of them even have my cell phone number, but they’re texting through the widget on my site, which comes to a different number, comes to a connect app. So it’s really interesting. 

  

And I’ve booked business. I’ll give you an example. I might have said this on another episode. I don’t know if this is coming up before or after I’ve said this, but a Saturday night about a month ago, 730 at night, I think my wife was in taking a shower and I got a text message through my site, through the widget and I said well I’m not interrupting anything, she’s busy, I’m going to respond. And by 1015 I was booked to do a sales training for that company. Paid the next day, a week later or so we had that session maybe less than a week later. I did not have a phone call, a Zoom call or anything else before our actual session. It was just a text message. 

  

You literally just texted them. It opened the door for the conversation that they wanted to have in the way that they wanted to have it so that you could do business with them. 

  

And if you read the texts it sounds like us speaking because it was, we just happen to be speaking through our fingertips. And when I write text messages and even emails, I will write things that I would say like I’ll write by the way and then write whatever instead of just writing the whatever because the by the way is that conversation. It’s that personality. You get that I’m not so buttoned up either with that. So it’s not just the texting but live chat that’s another thing. Or live chat texting because that is some for people as well. And I think it’s really meeting people where they are. Where do they communicate the phone? I was going to say phone call because it came out of my cell phone. 

  

The WhatsApp call I got just before we got on was with a friend of mine in Ireland and that’s the way they communicate. I didn’t have WhatsApp till I started working internationally and I get WhatsApp calls, WhatsApp video calls. Thats what I get and I dont go oh hey I cant talk to you that way, lets talk this way. 

 

No I just answered the call and im so glad youre bringing up like tools and were kind of taking it a step further. But there are so many tools you can use to manage that process. Right because the goal, and you and I would agree on this all day long, is like not to overwhelm ourselves. The goal is to like have great business strategy and like I use google voice and google voice is super cheap. It allows me to turn it on and off when I need to turn it on and off but it comes through as a text message just the same. So just like connecting your tool. Like there’s so many different tools to use to keep that in line but open the doors. Yeah. 

 

And again, where is your customer? If I think back to when I started, I started driving around, knocking on doors, and I had a phone and I had a phone in my car. It didn’t come out. It was in my car.  

 

A huge brick. 

 

Yep. And it was so expensive to use back then. And I didn’t have service where I lived, only where I worked and all those things. And I was stopping at payphones using a calling card, you know, the 1010 whatever, with John Lithgow or whatever. Right. Then it was faxing and then it was emailing. Right. And then we just, we just evolved.  

 

And, you know, now for me, it’s texting and whatsapping and, you know, whatever, a Facebook messenger and Facebook calls and Facebook video calls and Instagram, all those other things, it’s meeting your customer. And I think what it comes down to is, are you trying to make it easier for you or are you trying to make it easier for them all day long? 

 

And, you know, so many of our members are paying so much money for advertising, and when it’s not working, because they’re making, trying to make it easy for them, they’re not realizing, like, people really do want what you have offer. But if you’re, if you’re focused on yourself, like, it’s not going to work. You’re going to spend a whole bunch of money on ads and you’re going to get a bunch of leads, but, but you’re not connecting with them in a way that they want to be connected with. And you’re going to be frustrated about advertising, but it’s actually not the advertising, it’s you.  

 

Well, you know, a lot of the time. What is it? What’s the phrase? You know, the, the problem lies between the chair and the keyboard. That’s where the problem is. And I think, you know, I’ve been in advertising for a long time, and we know first thing is advertising is always about audience. Are you in the right place in front of the right audience? But it’s not. Set it and forget it. It is an active participation sport. It is not a passive one. 

  

And the fact that somebody sees your ad, reaches out, that is, I call it like the relay race. I take the baton and I hand the baton to you. Well, now it’s your turn, right? You don’t just stand there and go, okay, hey, great. There you go. And we don’t expect people to say, yes, I want to book you because I saw your ad. We expect them to say, I want more. 

  

Literally more. Exactly. They literally just want to ask the most important question that’s on their mind. And honestly, like, sometimes it’s price, a lot of times it’s price, and that’s okay. 

  

But we know exactly why they’re asking about price. They have no framing and previous decision making to do so. This morning, I went to the Apple store because the command keys on my MacBook weren’t working. I’ve already fixed it once. And it. Yeah, well, it’s new keyboard time. And I had to make a decision to many hundreds of dollars to replace the keyboard or replace the computer, which is many thousands of dollars. And I said, you know, what if all that’s wrong is the keyboard? Yes, it feels like a lot of money to do that, but if I can get another couple of years out of it for a few hundred dollars, I’m not going to spend a few thousand today. 

  

I will in a couple of years, probably, but I’m not going to do it today. But that’s because I have framing. I know what that laptop cost me four years ago. I know what a new one costs now. And the funny thing is, it’s not that much different in cost because you know how technology is, right? If I get a new one today, it’s going to cost me about the same as it did in 2019 for a much faster machine with more hard drive and all that kind of stuff. So my framing says, well, I know what a new laptop is going to cost me. That’s a $3,000 investment if I buy it the way that I want. Well, what if you’ve never bought a laptop? Go on now. 

  

Now you see Chromebooks for $199 and then you see Alienware, you know, for whatever, and they’re like, well, I don’t know. So what do you ask? 

  

How much does it cost? 

  

Right? 

  

And literally, that’s what advertising’s job is, is to reach people who are in that beginning of their journey of figuring out how to plan their wedding. And they have all the simple questions and they want to ask how much it costs because they just don’t know. And as frustrating as that can be to get that question again and again and think like, oh, this isn’t a serious lead, they could be a very serious lead, but you just need to lead them and make that conversation happen. 

  

Right? Well, every people who ask for a price are called buyers. That’s the first thing. And when any of us is buying something we’ve never bought before, we ask price not because it’s the most important question, but because it’s the only one that we know to ask if we had better questions, if we’ve done some research and some of us have. Like when I put this h vac unit in our bedroom, if I had researched how many btus and whether I need a heat pump and all these other things that it has, which I didn’t, by the way, but if I had, if I had, I would have to say, okay, well, the room is this big and the ceiling’s this high and this is how many cubic feet. Therefore I need 15,000 btU, whatever it is. But that’s only part of the equation. Then the equation is, you know, is it electric, is it gas, how efficient is it going to be? Are there any rebates? You know, go through all these other things and we can always tell when we’re not the first one they’ve spoken to because they start to ask those good questions. 

  

Yes. 

  

And I say, I would really rather be the first one they speak to, even though you always hear, oh, you’re the first one we spoke to. Which I say, by the way, is not an objection, it’s a statement of fact. That’s all it is, is a statement of fact. Doesn’t mean they can’t buy today because the first one we’ve seen. But the fact that they’re asking about price, I said expect that. Don’t be surprised when they ask about price. Don’t be upset when they ask about price. Say thank you. 

  

Thank you. Because 99% or 98% of the other people in my area that do something that looks like what I do are never speaking to this person. So I’m in the game. 

  

Yeah. And if you can use short, helpful, authentic communication to answer their question on price, but also build a relationship with them, ask them some questions back. There’s a whole strategy. I’m sure you have tons of resources for people on that. But it’s a great thing when that question comes through because it is an opportunity to not be frustrated about but an open door to actually turn into a sale. 

  

So lets talk about that, because ive written about this, extensively spoken about this, that theres four ways that you can talk about price. When somebody asks, you can tell them. If you have all the details, which you probably dont, you can choose not to tell them yet, you can do a starting price or you can do a price range. Thats your four options. Thats really everything comes down to those four. If you cant tell them now, because it isnt a, this is the price. I only have one thing. This is how much it is, which some people can, right. 

  

Some people reach out and say oh I see you have a mirror photo booth. This is my venue. This is the time and the date. I need it for 3 hours. How much is it? You could go back and say that’s going to be $995. We’re available on your date. Did you have any questions or would you like to reserve it? You could do that. Most people can’t do that because you don’t have the details. 

  

Anybody who’s heard anything I’ve done knows that I hate starting prices because you’re selling from the cheapest thing you have, which is the thing you don’t want to sell. So let’s take that off the table. Your first response, not telling them a price yet and a price range. What are you seeing? Are you seeing either of those working better for your customers? 

  

Trey, thats a great question. I think that the not yet strategy is working best to gather up more information and communicating kindly to say, hey, I really do want to get you the best price so that you can have the best wedding ever. But these are the details that I need and it might be best if we have a five minute conversation. Can we have that conversation? And that seems to be working the best to convert the leads if that person is willing to have a conversation with them. 

  

Okay, so now what I’m seeing is that works some of the time, but there are people that are like, I don’t want to get on the phone with you yet, I don’t want to have a Zoom call with you yet. And in my words, we’re already having a conversation. This text message thing is a conversation or this email is a conversation. And again, as I’ve said before, almost everything works some of the time. Nothing works all the time. So for the people that are that they’re doing that and they’re not getting a response, somebody’s just not getting back to them yet. As opposed to saying I don’t want to get on the phone, can you just give me some information? Because some people will do that.  

 

I should reframe that and say like not necessarily have like a meeting or a phone call but like have a conversation which, you know, we’ve been learning so much about texting and like right. Enabling that conversation to happen via text messages really has been really powerful for a lot of people who are willing to do it right. 

  

And what I say there is, it is a conversation which by the way, the customer started like, you didn’t start this conversation. This is not cold calling. If you’ve ever done cold calling, I did it for ten years. Knocking on doors, you know, just like people listening here, your door can imagine. Yeah, well, I can’t imagine because I lived it. Now imagine this, Mark. When I started, I had been an inside sales. I’ve never done outside sales. 

  

This was a brand new industry. Yeah. I was on commission only. No salary draw, minimum guarantee. My wife was pregnant. No pressure. There was no pressure. 

  

No pressure. 

  

No pressure at all, right? And for ten years, well, five years, I did that. In five years, we published two wedding magazines. So I was still out there knocking on doors. Not as much, but I was still doing that. And it’s a different world, right? Trying to find out if there’s a need or find out if there’s any interest. If you’re getting an inquiry, the interest has been established. The key is don’t sell your products and services. Sell the results of them choosing you to provide those products and services, that’s how you’re going to sound different. 

  

So if we take away the. Let’s have a call if you got five minutes, and just say, thanks for reaching out. I would love to give you pricing information. I just need a couple of details to make sure that you don’t pay for anything you don’t need and that you get the absolute best price. And then ask one question, because if it was a real conversation on the. 

  

Phone, that’s how it would go. 

  

Right? So the mistake that a lot of people make is saying, I need some information. What’s the venue? What’s the time, what’s the end time? Then they start sending five, six questions, which becomes an interrogation instead of a conversation. Jeff? 

  

That’s exactly it, Alan. It’s literally exactly it. And I think the difficult thing for a lot of business owners in the wedding industry who are maybe my age or your age, you know, we haven’t framed our business and communication minds around those short conversations in a digital format where we’re typically having had them on the phone for years, or we’ve had meetings in person for years. And now these couples, they have these conversations via text message or chat or something like that. It’s the same thing, but it’s a different tool, which I think has been a struggle for a lot of business owners in the wedding industry that they need to adopt or have someone adopt for them on their team in order to turn those leads from advertising or anywhere else into warmer connections. 

  

And don’t rush the process. And this is where the mistake happens. I have the advantage right now, my older son is engaged, so I’m going to be getting all the feedback from him and his fiance about, oh, yeah, congratulations. Thank you. We’re going to be saving all of our notes and all the emails for you there. But I also meet people who are engaged and I ask them about their experience. And just recently, I was talking to someone who works for a caterer in Connecticut, but she’s getting married in New Jersey, so she doesn’t know the vendors. She doesn’t have those connections and things. 

  

And she was telling me how she reached out to this florist, loved the photos, loved the reviews, probably referred to whatever and didn’t hear back. So she, the bride reached out again, which it’s not her job to do that, but she did it. She reached out again, and the person got back and said, hey, really sorry, you know, I’m really busy now doing events and, you know, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. And this prompted an episode that I did recently, but where the customer doesn’t care. Like, they don’t care that you’re busy. Right. 

  

Don’t make excuses. 

  

Right. 

  

Literally don’t do it right. 

  

Now. What’s the answer? I did a podcast with a guy named Ryan Angett, who used to be VP of sales, one of the largest catering companies in the country. He has virtual assistants. Right? He has people that can do that. So you have people that could, 24/7 they could answer your text messages, they could answer your emails. They could do stuff like that. I got in my feed, I think I said to someone, well, what about just getting an answering service? And now in my feed on Instagram, all of a sudden, I’m getting all these answering service. 

  

They’re listening, Alan. They’re all listening. 

  

Of course they’re listening. Of course they’re listening. Somebody said they were listening to my podcast about how I talked about getting this. I got a new tankless water heater, right? And now all of a sudden, tankless water heaters are showing up in their feed. 

  

But they already. 

  

And they were listening to me. No, that wasn’t my. Right. Even crazy how they’re listening here. So I think that, I think to kind of bring this all together is to say advertising is, if you don’t know the phrase top of the funnel, advertising is the first step. You got their attention. And they have taken a conversion already. They converted from someone who saw your ad to someone who then took action. 

  

Now you have to get them to take the next action, which is just respond to me, the action is not buy now. Very few of you listening or are selling something where they get, you get the inquiry and it’s buy now. There you go. If it was, your ad would have taken them to a page. They would have put their credit card in and bought. Right. I mean, that, that’s the thing about. 

  

A boom, but that’s a thing. 

  

Wedding industry, that doesn’t happen. So now it’s your job to continue the conversation they started. 

  

Yeah. 

  

Using the method that they chose, which is why you want to give them those other options. Give me the option to text, give me the option to chat, if that’s a thing. Again, what are the options? Instagram messenger, Facebook messenger, you know, all these. Does TikTok have messenger? It must have messenger, right? 

  

Yeah. You can message on TikTok. Exactly. 

  

Okay. Yeah. Don’t message me on TikTok. 

  

No. Come on, Alan, get with it. 

  

Don’t do that. Don’t do that. And I like, everybody listening is like, I have enough things to pay attention to. I don’t need another one. That’s what everybody’s think. However, if you message me on Facebook, you’re going to get a response. If you message me on Instagram, you’re going to get a response. I have to pay attention just like you do. 

  

My traveling is my excuse, but I don’t use it as an excuse. I might have an out of office, and it says, I’m going to be next week in Chattanooga and Albuquerque, New Mexico. And I’ll say, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can because I’m on a plane or on a stage, and I will get back to you faster than you think because you’re now thinking you’re not going to get back to me for days, and I get back to you tonight or tomorrow morning. 

  

And what you’re pointing out there is literally, like, setting people’s expectations, because if you’re a solopreneur in the wedding industry and it’s just you, and you really can’t respond immediately, like setting up some sort of auto response and letting people know, hey, I’m going to get back to you at this point in time. Like, that’s so powerful because then they know that they’ve been heard. Okay, I’ve reached out. I’ve been heard. They’re busy. That’s awesome. I’m glad they’re busy. They’re probably a good wedding professional, and they’re going to reach back out to me at that point. 

  

And that is super, super, so much better. Than be like, I’m too busy, blah, blah, blah. Yeah. 

  

But then you have to fulfill it, right? Yeah. In our secret shopping, we track auto replies. Right? How many people auto replies. And we don’t count that as your first reply, because you didn’t actually reply. Your computer replied and said, we got your message. Some of them are just really well written, and some of them are just, we got your message. You know, we’ll get back to you as soon as they can, which adds no value. But some of them. 

  

I was this baker, and she’s something like, uh, we’re up to our elbows in flour right now. It’s all over the kitchen because we’re making cakes for this weekend. 

  

So cute. 

  

Right. Which is going back to personality. The personality was even in the auto out of office. But I’ve also seen ones in our shopping where it says, we’ll get back to you within 24 hours, and then they don’t. 

  

Yeah. 

  

So don’t set that expectation. 

  

Well, then you’ve broken their trust, and then you might as well not have had the lead in the first place. 

  

Exactly, exactly. And I get into the whole secret shopping with, you know, 20% of the people we shop never respond at all. And we can go into all that kind of stuff over there. 

  

I know. So tempting. 

  

So if you have. Besides, we’re going to put into the. Into the show notes and all, how to get a hold of you. But if you have one tip from, from everything that we’ve spoken about or everything that you’re working with people, one tip for people to deal with. Today’s couple. 

  

Yep. 

  

What would you say? 

  

My tip is that advertising does work. And don’t be frustrated when you’re spending money and it doesn’t seem to be working because of the things that happen after advertising. The tip islike, make sure what happens after someone clicks on your ad and visits your website or follows up with you is really conversational and really what Gen Z and younger millennials expect in terms of how they communicate. That was a really long answer. I’m sorry, but. But taking it but kind of wrapping in the way you said it is that, like, don’t make it about you, make it about them. Always make it about them. Don’t force people into your strategies and processes. 

  

If you want to grow your business and you’re using advertising, you’re spending a bunch of money. It does work when you frame it in a way that people who are seeing your ads want to communicate with you. 

  

Right. And the fact that they’re not responding doesn’t mean the advertising didn’t work. It just could be the way you’re replying to them or what you’re asking for is not resonating with them. And if we go back to making it about them, if they wanted to call you and your phone number was accessible and click to dial and all that, and they did not. They did not take that choice. Well, maybe phone isn’t the way they want to do it. 

  

That’s right. 

  

And if they didn’t ask for a meeting right away, which sometimes they do, venues get inquiries that say, hi, we’d like to come out and see your venue. When can we come? Well, then talk about coming out. But if they say, hey, I’d like to get pricing, and you say, come on out, well, you might be getting ghosted just simply because of that. And again, I have a whole book about that. But one of the biggest reasons, in my opinion, that people get ghosted is because they try to rush the process. And rushing the process is, here’s my millennial, my Gen Z customer. And they said, I’ve already seen your photos. Right? Because we know if you have no photos, they’re not going to reach out because they were visual. 

  

They read your reviews. Because we know that over 90% are reading reviews. Okay, so they already like what they’ve seen, they’ve heard, they’ve experienced whatever. 

  

They’ve looked at your instagram, they’ve checked out your socials. 

  

Right. And now they want to be taken to the next step, which is don’t send me a long email or a long text of all the things that are already on your website because you’re just repeating that. What would you say if a phone rang right now, except you’re talking through your fingertips? Thanks so much for reaching out. We’d love to help. You have an amazing wedding, and you’d ask a question, and then you wait for an answer. And don’t rush that process. So I’m going to cut us off because we were just going to keep going here forever. All right, so I’m going to put it in the show notes. 

  

But, Mark, somebody wants to find out more about you company name and website. 

  

Our company name is the I do society, and you can reach out to us at the I do society.com dot. 

  

And if you want Mark to take a look at your. What you’re doing now, I’m going to. I’m going to offer this, because you did this last time. Minutes. You give them a free 30 minutes conversation. 

  

More than 30 minutes. We’re happy to chat. Look at your advertising that you’re currently doing over deliver. 

  

Over deliver. 

  

That’s right. 

 

Sorry, I should be listening to your podcast. Morale, I’m the worst. Yeah, no, that’s fine. 

  

But you’ll take a look at their advertising, what they’re doing now, give them some feedback on that. 

  

That’s right. 

  

They don’t, if they don’t have to hire you for that if they want to, if they want to hand it off to someone that this is what you do because you only do the wedding industry, right. 

  

This is what we literally help people in the wedding industry with advertising and that’s our sole focus and what we’re really, really good at. 

  

Terrific. And yes, they are so in the show notes. Theidosociety.com mark, thank you so much again for joining me. It’s always great to have a conversation. 

  

So much fun. Thanks, Alan. 

 

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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©2024 Wedding Business Solutions LLC & AlanBerg.com 

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