You’re a wedding industry professional, which means you must close sales, right? That’s how you make your money, ensuring that bills get paid. It’s great when you don’t have to eat Ramen noodles every night for a month. Connecting with your potential clients is a must if you plan to make sales.
Often, people describe the ABC’s of Sales as “Always Be Closing.” I think that there is a better way to do it in this emotionally-fraught industry.
“Always Be Connecting”
While it seems like many new prospects find their way to you with an email these days, there is certain to be a phone call – or even an in-person meeting, whenever schedules align – and that’s your first opportunity to connect with potential clients.
The First Phone Call
It’s absolutely essential for you to connect with potential clients during any “get to know you” phone call. It’s beneficial for both you and them. By connecting, you’ll be able to determine whether or not this person is an ideal client for you. If you decide to take them on as a client, this initial connection is what will lead them to trust you. Ultimately, this allows them to trust your work and the process of working together toward their big day.
Listen deeply, truly lean in and pay total attention to what this prospective client has to say. Show a genuine interest in the person you are talking to and try to get to know them. Wherever possible, uncover a common thread and make that a CONNECTION.
Your Ideal Potential Clients
Ideal Client Profile Questions can really help you get to know your clients and know their motivation. Write out at least 6 questions that you are comfortable asking and rehearse them until they become a part of you and your connection process. Practice until they roll off your tongue naturally, not as if you’re reading from a sheet of paper.
The truth is, your ideal clients are not buying your particular product or service. They are buying the feelings they expect to get from the from the solution that you provide. Your potential clients are buying into a relationship with you. They are trusting that they are going to benefit from all that you are offering.
Take a moment and jot down a list of times you bought something for emotional reasons. What were those emotions you were trying to FEEL? Chances are your potential clients are very similar to you and have similar buying habits. It’s important to keep these feelings in mind when you are selling.
Help Potential Clients Feel Heard
When someone feels heard, they feel understood. Feeling understood strengthens that connection being built between you and the other person. When you don’t pay attention, there’s a disconnect between you and your potential clients. If you have a salesy script that you are just trying to follow, they will feel it and pull back.
It’s important that you try to take notes as he or she is talking, highlighting their key compassion words. During a natural break in the conversation, repeat them back to them with statements like this:
- So, what I am hearing is…
- So, what you are feeling is…
- I understand that feeling…
- I remember when I felt that way too…
Use these phrases for your follow up email if you aren’t able to finalize the sale on the phone.
Co-Create a Solution
The process of connecting with a potential client is to co-create a solution for whatever their problem is. You that your services are going to be the solution to their problems. So making the offer will be easy. Your job is to make them feel the solution is created specifically for them. Ultimately they should feel it is the answer to their prayers!
The key here is to sell them what they want, but give them what they need.
Often, people try to sell the need and not what the person really desires. Because of that, there ends up being a disconnect when it comes to the offer you make.
You must, with confidence, discuss the ways your services will fill the void and close the gap for them. Present the option in a way that uses their language, lists their pain points, and reiterates their desires all together. Showcase your talents and abilities in a way that reinforces that you have co-created this solution together.
Deliver What You Co-Created
Shift your mindset from “selling” to “helping” when offering someone a solution they need to move forward.
- Here’s what I feel would be best for you________________
- Here’s what I recommend ____________
- What I would love to work with you on____________
- I would love the opportunity to_____________
- I’d like to help you if you’d let me.
Use language which explains the features and benefits that are included in the investment, connecting them to how they will feel when they experience your product or service. Focus on the benefits they will receive, not the features you offer.
Lastly, it’s important to remember not to get hung up when it comes time to discuss your price. It IS an investment they are making, and with it comes tremendous value. If you need to remind yourself what you’re worth, make a list of all the experience you have. Add up all the experience, training, courses, certifications, and anything else that is related to how you’ll deliver your service. All that time and effort is worth what you’re charging.