I had the good fortune to be consulting the other day with a DJ/Photo/Video company. I sat in on a couple of actual sales appointments with two brides and their mom’s. What was very interesting, and coincidental, is that the second bride considered using the venue that the first bride chose, but she decided not to. While she acknowledged that both are great venues, with excellent reputations for their food and service, the second bride didn’t think there were enough photo opportunities at the venue. The venue she chose is also more expensive.
That alone is not shocking. I’ve heard the same thing for years. I’ve also been talking for years about how reception venues need to be showing more real shots of brides at their most popular photo ops. Advertising is ASPIRATIONAL. You want the prospect looking at your ads and marketing materials to Aspire to be like the person they see in the ads/marketing materials.
Showing empty banquet rooms is not compelling, no matter how beautiful they are. Showing a real wedding in your banquet room is aspirational. Likewise showing the view from the balcony, the ceremony site in the garden or your gazebo is not compelling without people in them.
Every business can take away this same philosophy. Try to show real customers using or benefiting from your product or service (or staged shots that appear to be real customers). When you use testimonials, show a photo of the person with their quote. You’ll see that all around my site (take a look while you’re here).
What was really interesting to me about this bride is while she chose her venue for the photo ops on the grounds, she was talking with the photographer about off-site photo locations (parks, lakes, historic settings). She could have saved a fair amount on her reception by choosing the other venue, but she’s paying more, in part, because of the photo ops… that she may not even use! I wonder if the other venue has more photo ops but they just didn’t promote them. Maybe they didn’t have any photos in their offices, or they didn’t show them on the tour of the grounds.
So, why does someone choose to do business with you? Is it for the reasons you think, or is it for other reasons? Are you stressing the wrong things in your ads and marketing because you think they’re more important at that time than your prospects? When is the last time you asked your prospects and customer’s what’s really important? If it wasn’t on the last sales appointment you had then it was too long ago. Sales appointments are all about asking better questions. If you’ve heard me do my presentation “Close More Sales, Today!” then you already know this. If not, come and see me speak live or you can get the DVD or watch online.