Close the deal now. Certainly a hot topic for the I Said Yes! Wedding Pros blog. As the team is out and about at wedding shows and events we are having the opportunity to speak with engaged couples. Subsequently we are seeing a trend in couples booking weddings now (Summer and fall 2021), for 2023. Therefore it is important that you, as a wedding vendor, find ways to lock in your bookings with these couples.

Close the Deal on I Said Yes! Vendor Blog

Why Close Now

The current trend is that weddings are booking as much as 2 1/2 years out. Therefore it’s imperative that you, as the wedding vendor, find ways to close the deal with them now. Otherwise, they may lose interest or get distracted by by your competition. For the same reason, you don’t want to say to yourself, that business is too far out for me to spend time with them.  The opposite is true. Surely if a couple is interested in your product and service, you want to secure their business early with a contract and deposit. The result being you ensure the business will be there in 2 years. 

how to close the deal now

Of course each business will have different options for closing a deal now. Creating a sense of urgency is important to close all deals. However, with these 2 1/2 year out couples, it’s even more urgent to sign them now. As aforementioned, you don’t want them to loose interest. Henceforth, here is a list we have put together to help your mind start coming up with creative ways to close the deal now. Be considerate of your company’s future expenses and profit margin in 2 years when working on your closers. Find ways to provide added value without discounting when possible.

1. Sign the contract now and secure 2021 pricing for your 2023 wedding.

2. Secure product/service now with just a 10% increase over current pricing for a wedding in 2023.

3. Throw in complimentary upgrades if they sign now. For instance, fire pit, outdoor entertainment package, design service and lighting package to name a few.

4. Free swag bag for confirming their business with you now. Gather branded giveaways, gift cards, wine glasses or beer mugs, wedding planning calendar and other merchandise to create a loaded gift bag.  Even consider partnering with other wedding professionals to share your swag with each other to provide an even more enticing closer gift.

Take the time to figure out what added upgrades your product/service allows for. Especially one that won’t cost you money or cost little to give for free. Definitely use these to close the deal. Everyone loves getting something for free.  These are all emotional buying decisions, tap into that emotion and provide a reason for them to close now.

how to stay top of mind

So they aren’t ready to commit. That’s OK. Next step is to stay top of mind with them until they are ready to make their final decisions. Of course you will have to work at this marketing to make it work for you, but it will be worth it in the end.  A few ideas to be sure this couple remembers you. 

1. Ask them if it is OK to add them to your e-newsletter. Let them know that your emails will supply them with valuable wedding planning tips and advice.

2. Invite them to see you perform at a local club if you are a DJ or live entertainment.

3. Offer them complimentary or discounted tickets to all weddings expos and events where you will be exhibiting.

4. Request they follow you on all social platforms and be sure to reply to any comments they make.

5. Set up a drip email campaign as a consistent contact and follow-up after your initial meeting with them.

6. Share links to helpful and informational wedding planning blogs provided by other resources, like I Said Yes! Wedding Inspo Blog. This shows that you care about their entire wedding.

Although this blog specifically speaks to the current trend in wedding planning, it absolutely applies to all weddings as you work toward staying first of mind and closing the deal.

Visit the I Said Yes! Vendor Blog for more tips and tricks for business in the wedding industry. 

Scaling your wedding business to six figures is the topic of today’s I Said Yes! Wedding Pros Blog.  As a result, we are excited to bring you a guest blogger who is sharing her 3 pillars of a 6-figure wedding business. 

3 pillars of a 6-figure wedding business

Hey, hey wedding pros!  My name is Brandee Gaar and I’m not only an educator for the wedding industry, but I’m a wedding planner right here in the Central Florida market. 

Before we get into this topic, I want to be super clear…I don’t think you necessarily need six figures to be successful. That is to say, I think that success is defined by everyone in a different way.

However, I also know that there is a lot of people out there trying to figure out how to take their business from barely making an income (and paying themselves) to hitting that six-figure mark. Then the multiple six-figure marks.

So I sat down to really think about the steps that have helped me go from solopreneur – to 6-figures with a small team – to multiple 6-figures with a little bit of a larger team.

As a result, I have narrowed it down to 3!  As you step into being the CEO of your business, and look to grow and scale in a new way, these steps will take you to the next level.

6 Figure Wedding Business Success with Brandee Gaar
Photo by Kristen Weaver Photography

Strategic Delegation

So often as entrepreneurs, we hear delegate, delegate, delegate. I think delegation in of itself is challenging.  Because we think we are the only ones who know how to do something? Coupled with no one can do it as good as me. Following this, you think “I don’t have time to train someone.  I don’t know where to find someone.” Admittedly, all of these things are excuses.

But what I want you to really think about is not just delegating, but strategically delegating. As a result, once you decide to hire, you hire the right person for the right job. Strategic delegation means really looking for someone that has the qualities you are lacking. Further, they take over the duties in your company that don’t bring you joy. Consider these questions when hiring: First, what takes you the most time? Second, what do you put off until you have nothing left on your list? Last, what do you absolutely dread doing? 

I hire people onto my team that have qualities that I may be lacking. For instance, I can teach people on my team how to be a great wedding planner. While on the other hand I lack in the skills to complete other duties within the wedding business. For example, I absolutely hate anything that has to do with SOP’s, CRM’s or writing a training manual. So when I’m looking for people to join my team, I want to look for people that love data and procedures. Correspondingly, I can say “Oh my gosh, we need a process for this. Or I need my CRM to do X, Y, and Z” and I have somebody on my team to do that.

In conclusion, strategically delegate and hire to ensure all duties within your wedding business are covered by team players who enjoy doing the task and are subsequently really good at it.

Your Network

In your wedding business, your network is everything. Indeed, the people that you surround yourself with are the people that are going to refer you. Further, they are going to sing your praises when you are not in the room. 

You cannot be everywhere all the time. So it is very important to have a network of people surrounding you, that love you. Moreover, they know your brand and believe in you. Additionally, they believe your uniqueness. Most importantly, they tell everyone how amazing you are.

Brandee says, “This has been something so essential in growing Blush for me because from the very beginning, I created a strategic network around me. To be honest, I didn’t think about that right from the beginning.”  Admittedly, I wasn’t like “I need to create this strategic network around me.” Of course, as it started to unfold, I realized how imperative it was to my growth.

For example, there are so many people that would refer me to their clients. Or refer me to a venue. Unquestionably, those relationships I started building 14 years ago, have catapulted me from a solopreneur into a business that does half a million dollars a year.

In addition, they believe in what I do. They make me better. And when something goes wrong in an event, or they see something we could do better, they bring it to me. 

Be Amazing At One THing

Oh my gosh, I see this so often as I’m coaching new wedding professionals, and I get it. Believe me, I totally get it. You come into the wedding industry and you want so badly to quit your nine to five. To sum up, you want to make it a full-time income.

In this situation, you may come into the wedding industry as a wedding planner with two or three clients. For good reason, you are excited. But then the work dries up and you’re like, “Uh oh, I’ve got to bring in more income.” Due to this lack of business, you start offering floral. Next offering rentals. Then you start managing venues. Unfortunately, the problem with this is people won’t understand what you’re actually excellent at.

Ask yourself these questions: What are you known for? Or, what do you want to be known for? Most importantly, what are you amazing at? 

It’s so important to be laser sharp excellent at the one thing you provide that makes you better than everyone else who is providing that same service. Consider this, if you end up providing 5, 6, 7 different services, you are going to stretch yourself too thin. Subsequently, you’re making a tiny bit of money in each service. Although you may end up making six figures. How much money did you put out buying new things and learning new trades? One other thing, your likely not even great at any of them. You’re mediocre at all of them. Similarly, you’re completely overwhelmed because you’re working six different things and you’re so fried you don’t even want to take any more clients.

I know how difficult it is to niche down. However, I promise when you niche down to one service, you will grow exponentially in that area. Assuredly because that is what you become known for.

It Takes Hard Work To Scale Your Wedding Business

Scaling your wedding business to six figures takes hard work – but it is worth it.

That’s all I have for you today! I love ,love, love getting to offer my advice to you through the I Said Yes! Wedding Pros Blog. Further I am excited to help you scale your business in any way I can. If you’re dedicated to following these three pillars – you’re bound to scale in no time.

Cover Photo by: Pavion Photography

Wedding business listings are available on a variety of online wedding planning resource websites. To clarify, you can list your business on websites where brides and grooms are searching for wedding vendors. These resources vary greatly in services provided, listing options and in the ways you will connect with the engaged couples. Regardless of the sites you choose to participate with, it is imperative that you keep your listings up to date. 

keep your wedding business listings up to date

As much as we don’t like to admit it, what the internet says about your company speaks volumes to how the viewer will perceive you. Subsequently determining their choice to contact you, or not.  That comment is not just for your personal website, certainly that is a conversation for another blog post. As a wedding business owner, you must also keep your listings on other websites up to date. 

photos should be current

Your target audience is visually driven to take action.  Regularly update the photos on your wedding business listings. That is to say, represent yourself as current, modern and relatable to today’s bride and groom. If last year’s trend was boho chic, but this year that is so not a thing. Then remove those photos from your listings and add photos of a more current trend. Don’t just add more photos, remove those that are no longer relevant to your current client. Styles change year to year, stay up to date on these trends and showcase your very best product and service as they represent your ability to connect to today’s client. 

Also remember to look at the photos from the front-end.  Be sure they are clear, properly oriented and represent who you are and what you do.

no broken links on wedding business listings

Broken links are bad for everyone involved. Most importantly it means when a potential client clicks on a link in your listing, they aren’t going to find you. Unfortunately this will reflect on your company, not the wedding planning resource site.  If you get a new website URL, then immediately go update that information on all the vendor listings you have. Now that you have added an Instagram account, go add that account to your wedding business listings. In short, be sure engaged couples can find you everywhere and that when they click, they find you.

How Can I Contact you

Question of the day, how can a potential client contact you if you don’t list your email address and phone number?  I wish that I could say this never happens, but it happens far too often. Generally speaking, a bride or groom is searching for wedding vendors because they are getting married. Subsequently, if they have decided they want to speak with you, they need to be able to contact you.  First list your phone number and include that texting is acceptable. Second, include an actual email address. Preferably with a URL instead of a Gmail or Yahoo. Next the handles for all of your social media platforms.  As a result, your next client can choose to connect with you in the way they are most comfortable.  If they want to email you, they need to have an email address.  On the other hand, if they want to text you, they need a phone number. 

I can’t end this section with out also saying set up a professional voicemail.  Due to the fact that some wedding professionals use their personal phone numbers for their business conversation it is important to remind you that your voicemail also represents your company. Likewise always answer your phone professionally.  Your client believes they are calling a business, show them you are their next perfect wedding professional by putting your most professional foot forward at all times. That includes your voicemail and the way you answer your phone.

Now Test It

That is to say, click on the contact us buttons and send yourself a test message and/or call.  First make sure you receive the test. Second, review what it looks like to your clients. Third, design your future responses or your automated response around the look and information found in that contact us message.  Further, click on any hot buttons or links to be sure they work properly. 

Request Reviews

Always request reviews.  Reviews build consumer trust in your product and service.  They also appeal to algorithms. For this reason, your listing on www.isaidyesfl.com has a “Review Us” hot button right on your listing.  You can also send an email to your past client with a link to your wedding business listing requesting a review.  In fact, email our team to get tips on how to get reviews and use your I Said Yes! FL listing to your best advantage. 

Be consistent

Keep your wedding website listings consistent with your company branding.  If you update a logo, update it on your web listings as well. Likewise use the same branding images, colors, slogans, tag lines. Keeping it consistent across all platforms will make you more recognizable. 

Share your wedding business listings

Share you online listings on social media so couples know you are a reputable business. More important, add your badges to your site.

how to keep up

Now the question becomes, how do I keep up with all of these wedding business listings? I suggest setting a calendar reminder for the first Monday of each calendar quarter.  Keep a list of each website on which you have a wedding business listing. Even better, keep a list with the links to your listings, so all you have to do is click each link. Now take this one day a quarter and review and update all of your listings. Add new services and remove services or products you no longer offer.  Upload those new amazing photos and remove outdated ones. Next check all of the links to be sure they are working properly. Don’t forget to add your badge to your website and make sure the backlink works. Finally, share your badges on social.  You should be adding new followers all the time.  Remind them where they can find you and where they can review you by consistently sharing.

Cover photo provided by Press Play Entertainment 

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