Wedding Planning Success Lounge: The ideal sales process
Wedding planners are very organized when it comes to putting together beautiful and flawless celebrations, but many struggle with the sales process – or sales funnel. It sounds complicated and overwhelming but it’s actually not. Today I will share my process from lead to client also thanks to a couple of tools that I love.
Step One – The Lead or Inquiry
Most of my inquiries happen via email or phone. It’s my goal to respond within 1 hour of receiving the call or email (unless I’m working at a wedding or it’s the middle of the night. If I’m working at a wedding I reply with a quick message saying that I will be in touch the next day)
Once I receive the inquiry, I respond confirming my availability and I put a courtesy hold on the date for 2 weeks.
You need to be very careful about the source and make sure that the person inquiring is a legit bride or a legit groom. I had some experiences with girls asking for information and pricing, I would send them my collections and prices and then I would find out that this information was used by new wedding planners in town to create their own packages.
What I do is some research online, google the person who contacted me and see if she / he is active on social media. If I can’t find anything then I follow my instinct. I tend not to share a lot of information in my first response and just see how she or he responds, and go from there. I usually ask several questions that will help me figure out my fee depending on the following factors:
- Location(s) and time frame
- Number of guests
- Setup, Vision
If the lead is coming from a trusted source (venue, vendor) I send them the link to my Wedding Collections which I have as a digital magazine on Issuu. Issuu is a free electronic publishing platform for magazines, catalogs, and newspapers. You can easily upload your portfolio, price lists, and a list of your services. My wedding booklet doesn’t have prices, but it gives some basic information on my levels of assistance.
I always ask for a personal connection before giving any prices: a phone / video call, or a meeting in person to discuss the details. I provide a few options as far as my availability thanks to Assistant.to, a free scheduling tool that you can use with your Gmail account (if you use G Suite like me it’s a match made in heaven!)
Capture the lead and follow up
Make sure you save the lead, especially if it was a phone call – Don’t lose that phone number! If you don’t save the information in your inbox or in your planning system you won’t be able to track and follow up, and you will lose a business opportunity.
I use PlanningPod as my event management software and this wonderful program has a section specifically for lead capture. You add a form to your website that will automatically enter the data in the system, or you can collect leads from your website form and then add the information to the software. You can also set reminders for when to follow up with them. If I don’t hear back after 2-3 days I send a follow-up email with a copy of my original message asking if they would like to meet or discuss further by phone.
There are some couples who never get back to you and you keep chasing them for days. I normally stop after the fifth attempt.
Step Two – The “Get-Together”
Once the bride or groom responds to my initial email (or calls me back) we set up a time to meet for a complimentary get-together. The lead has now become a prospect.
On this initial consultation we go over every detail of the wedding, including:
- Their overall vision and budget
- Their color palette, style and formality
- Their expectations and preferences
- What services they need from me (design, planning, coordination)
I have a great form that I use to collect all the necessary information during the get-together. The Wedding Inquiry Form is available in my Shop as well as other items for your business success.
Step Three – The Proposal or Quote
The complimentary get-together gives me a good idea of what exactly the prospective client is looking for, and I put together a custom proposal with my services and my fee. The proposal includes an overview of my general policies, when my assistance will start, and what I need from the prospective client in order to hire me. Note that I never give out proposals without meeting first, either over the phone or in person.
Step Four – The Agreement
Once the prospective client reviews my proposal and is interested in moving forward, I send a contract to lock the date in my system. The agreement outlines everything regarding my services and the payment policy.
Once the agreement is signed I have a new client and a new wedding to work on 🙂
Next week we will look at my Wedding Agreement, stay tuned!
~~~ TAKE ACTION ~~~ Take a look at your sales process and make sure you have a clear step-by-step to follow when you receive a lead
~~~ LEAVE A COMMENT ~~~ What is your sales process? Anything else that you add along the way? Share with us!
Holistic Precision Life Coach, Brain Wellness Coach, and Life-Work Balance Strategist for busy professionals. I blend well-being principles with epigenetics, neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness techniques to implement effective behavior changes.