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Wedding Business Solutions Podcast with Alan Berg CSP - What do couples really think of the way you discuss or display pricing?What do couples really think of the way you discuss or display pricing?

I got a Facebook message from a wedding band owner, John LaPalomento, with a link to a Reddit post (bit.ly/3blWdZA) with someone complaining about how hard it is to get pricing for their wedding. The post, with over 270 comments, gives some very good insight into what couples think about how wedding and event pros talk about and display pricing on your websites. Listen to this 11-minute episode and hear some of the highlights, so you can tweak what you do.

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 visit my website www.AlanBerg.com

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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

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


– What do couples really think of your pricing policy? Prices on your website, in your marketing, and how forward you are? Listen to this episode to find out. I got a message this morning on Facebook from John LaPalomento, a band in New Jersey, and it was a link to a post on Reddit. And the title of the post is, “Why is the pricing so secretive with all of these vendors?” And John, after having heard me speak, and if you’re listening to this John, thank you very much for sharing this, thought that this would be an interesting thing for me to read, and I thought it would be an interesting thing to share.

This topic comes up all the time. Should you put pricing on your website? How do you respond when somebody asks about price? And I understand what’s easier for you, I’ve spoken about this in another episode already, but what I want you to understand is, what is it from the receiving end of this, of someone that’s probably never hired your service before, and how do they feel about the way you’re being with your pricing? So, there were literally hundreds of comments on this post on Reddit, I think it was 269 at the last time that I looked, and the person that originally posted this, she said, “Can we talk about why it’s so difficult and secretive to get prices from vendors? Why does someone need to know my budget before giving a price? Why do I need to give you my info before giving me at least a starting price for your services? Why do I need to ‘discuss my vision’ with you to know how much it’s going to cost? Ugh! This has been the most annoying and stressful part of wedding planning outside of actually paying for things.” End rant and kind of sad crying face here or something like that on here.

That expresses a lot of what’s going on here. Why? Why do you need to know their budget before giving your price? Your prices are what they are there. They shouldn’t change based upon their budget. Their needs, the results you’re going to provide, cost a certain amount. And I say this all the time. I’ve said this in my book, “Why Don’t They Call Me?” In my presentations on ghosting. You ask someone the budget, you’re either going to get ghosted, meaning they’re not going to reply, or they’re not going to give you a true answer either because they just made the number up, since all budgets really are made up, or they want to  hold back some.

It’s kind of the same thing we all do as consumers. Somebody asks you how much you want to spend, you don’t tell them all the money so you have a little bit in case there’s something a little bit more that you want. So this particular bride is expressing exactly that. Why do you need to know their vision? Why do you need to know their budget? And the truth is you don’t. You don’t. Some of the other comments here. “So many venues insisted we visit for a tour and to discuss pricing. I want to know PRICINGS before we visit and fall in love with a place we can’t afford.” Right? That’s another one over here. People talking about going out to see a venue like that and having the tour and saying it’s great, only to find that it’s way more than their budget. You just wasted your own time, as well as their time.

This person here, “Ugh! I had the grimmest experience with the venue who did this. They refused to give us a price over email. They went an hour out of their way to visit and so forth and so on.” So somebody else here, another ugh, that seems to be the phrase here, ugh, U-G-H, Ugh. “I hate this with a passion. My now husband and I live in Maryland, but most of our friends and family still live in Florida, so we wanted to have our wedding there. I can’t remember the number of times I had to tell venues that we’re planning the wedding out of state and neither had the time nor the money to travel down for tours. Those places became instant nos. It took way too long to find a laid back place, thanks to COVID, that will now be our belated reception venue.”

This is friction a lot of you have heard me speak about. You hear me talk about that in my speeches, you hear me talk about that in my training and in my books. I’ve mentioned a book before, “The Convenience Revolution” by Shep Hyken, one of the leading customer service experts in the world, also a good personal friend of mine. And he talks about adding that friction, right? This is somebody here who’s saying, “You’re making it hard for me. You’re not listening. We’re going to find somebody else.” Because it’s too easy to find somebody else. Here another one, “I just don’t understand how being cagey and forcing me to put more effort into getting your pricing is a good sales tactic. You’re pissing me off before we’ve even gotten started.” That’s another way of saying friction in the words of this particular person over here.

And it’s true, right? You’re getting the customer upset because you’re being cagey and transparency breeds trust. The more transparent you are with someone, the more likely they are to want to trust you and want to go onto the next step. And that’s why in another one of the podcasts I did, “Should You Put Pricing on Your Website?” And I talked about the four ways to put pricing, the four ways to talk about price and being transparent. You don’t have to list all of your prices, but being more transparent, at least about a range, right?

And putting up about a range is giving what I call framing. Some of you have heard me speak about this already, either on the podcast or other things. Framing is to say, this is the range of our prices, not the range of all prices, the range of our prices. Kind of like if you went to a car dealer, if you go to the Hyundai dealer, they might tell you that our range is from, oh, I don’t know, $18,000 to $60,000 or whatever the range is. You go to BMW, they’re going to tell you our range is from $30,000 to $150,000 or whatever that… But they’re different ranges. Not the range of all cars because all cars go from, new cars may be from, I don’t know $15,000 to millions of dollars, but that wouldn’t make sense if you were at a particular dealership because that’s not their range.

The same with you. If you’re a videographer, if you are a band, if you are a florist or a planner, you have a price range. Not everybody’s range, your range. And giving them your range can reduce the number of inquiries that can’t afford you and get you better quality. That’s why a lot of you will put a price range on your site to do that, to reduce the number of inquiries so you can manage the ones you do get. And the ones you do get, theoretically, have more likely a budget within that range. Starting price which the one person mentioned over here on this thread on Reddit, starting price is my least favorite way because it’s the cheapest thing you have. And I don’t want you selling the cheapest thing you have because you don’t profit the most there. It’s also, usually, not the best thing for someone. The cheapest thing is not usually the best thing, because it’s not going to give them the results that they want. It will be for some people, but it won’t be for everybody.

Here’s another one, a comment here. “Honestly, I’ve started to get the feeling that certain venues are doing this as a way to become, or at least appear more ‘exclusive’. It’s the old, ‘if you have to ask, then you can’t afford it’ bit, again, in quotes. They either become spots that exclusively cater to rich people, or they become those exclusive spots that trick middle-class and poor people into spending more than they can in order to afford to feel like they’re special and rich for the day when rich people wouldn’t actually set foot there.” Again, their comment here, maybe that’s a big stretch, but it become very cynical about the whole process. This is again, the idea here of you’re trying to look more exclusive, you can be exclusive.

You can cater to people that have more money and I don’t agree, or I kind of agree a little bit with what they said that you don’t have to be a wealthy person to spend a lot on your wedding venue in this case or in your wedding in general, because it’s a very special day. And some people will spend out of their budget or they’ll be getting money from other people. Maybe they’re paying part of it. Maybe they’re paying none of it. Maybe mom and dad, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, right? Whoever’s helping, they might spend more than what their income would necessarily allow, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a great time. And in this case, they’re saying you want to look exclusive so that the middle-class people will choose you. But in their case, they’re saying here, the wealthy people wouldn’t go there. I’m not sure I agree with all of that.

Here’s another one. “I hate it. If they asked for a call or said they needed more info before quoting, I would just email back, ‘Thanks, I’m looking for a range of prices before I get on the phone. If you can just let me know what a ballpark figure might be, that would be great.’ If they still insisted on a call or insisting on needing to know my vision, I just cross them off my list. Too frustrating and too many other vendors out there who’ll be more transparent.” So she just said, or he just said what I have been saying here, right? The lack of transparency is what’s getting them to go away. So think about your pricing. If you’re getting ghosted a lot when people are asking about price, I’ve said this before, it doesn’t mean they can’t afford it. Everybody’s got a budget, but they’re all different. It doesn’t mean they want your cheapest thing. It doesn’t mean they won’t spend more.

When someone asks about price, if you have no pricing on your website, then they’re going to look at the pictures and maybe read your words and maybe get excited. And it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to do. Your website is getting them interested, but it’s getting them interested and they may not be the right people because you’ve given them no framing of pricing. So I’ll put a link to this Reddit thread in the show notes so that you can go read it if you want because it’s really interesting. It goes on and on and on here talking about these same things again, requesting price ranges only two sent them pricing on that.

It’s really interesting to read it from their perspective. And it justifies a lot of what I’ve been trying to teach you already in terms of how to be more transparent, how to respond to their inquiries and no, you don’t send them just a price list with everything there. You don’t have to do that. So again, thank you so much to John LaPalomento for sharing this Reddit thread. I’m going to share that into the show notes and I hope it gives you some insight and you’ll rethink how you’re doing things and maybe, maybe get ghosted less and book more business. 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 Alan@WeddingBusinessSolutions.com. Look forward to seeing you on the next episode. Thanks.


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