Getting Past the Price QuestionAfter the Recession hit, the price question started popping up more than ever. Mom and Dad lost their pension funds to Bernie Madoff, soon-to-be-weds couldn’t find jobs after college, and the stock market was full of doom and gloom.
Prices in the wedding industry were over-inflated, just like they were in the housing market. The “wedding bubble” popped, resulting in a 31.5% decrease in the average cost of a wedding in only two years. (source: WE tv Networks Wedding Report)
Even though the economy is slowly recovering, the buying mindset of brides has changed. They are no longer so willing to rack up credit card debt to pay for the wedding, and their parents aren’t willing to mortgage the home or tap diminished retirement savings.
Price shoppers are here to stay. Either we learn how to deal with them and turn them into booked weddings…or the future of our wedding business is at stake.
5 Steps to Turning Around a Price Shopper
1. Don’t Focus on Price.What happens when you pick up the phone or open an email lead? Are you bracing yourself and preparing your (probably long) response to the “price question?”
The #1 mistake most wedding professionals make when dealing with a price shopper is focusing on price.
Don’t try to explain your value. Don’t share horror stories of couples who hired a “cheap amateur.” Don’t list the endless benefits of hiring a “professional.”
Understand that she is asking about price because it’s the only thing she knows to ask. The bride is educating herself about prices and offerings.
The more you focus on price, the more she’s going to focus on it. Give a brief answer to her question, and then redirect the conversation to more important things…how you can help her.
2. Redirect the Conversation With Power Questions.Give her a brief, realistic answer with a starting price or price range and IMMEDIATELY redirect the conversation where you want it to go.
Take control of the interaction by asking questions that allow you to help her and that instantly demonstrate your expertise.
Not sure where to begin? Start with the basics: date, location, hours, logistics. Then work your way up to questions about what she has seen and heard that she likes and doesn’t like, theme and color preferences.
3. Help Her.Instead of selling and telling the bride about the value of your services, help her. Imagine that she is a friend of yours who just happens to be planning a wedding.
What would you do and say to help a friend? Do that for the bride.
This may include sharing ideas and tips, making recommendations or referrals, sending her links to articles of interest, or even simply listening to her story. This is the quickest way to get off price and start building a relationship that leads to a booking.
4. Tell Her What To Do Next.Once you’ve redirected the conversation away from the price question, tell her what to do next.
What action do you want her to take?
If your conversation is happening in an email, you may want her to schedule a meeting or a phone call. If it’s a phone conversation, maybe you want her to meet in person.
Decide the ideal action you’d like her to take and guide her to it. “We really like to get to know our couples to find out if we’re a good match for your wedding, so I suggest a meeting. When is a good time for us to meet?”
Remember: the bride has never planned a wedding before and she doesn’t know what to do. She wants you to take control and make finding and hiring a wedding vendor easy. So do it!
5. Follow Up.The second big mistake wedding professionals make is assuming that the bride was a “only a price shopper” and their price was too high when they don’t hear from them the next day.
She liked your stuff enough to call you. Don’t assume that you lost her to the “price objection.”
It’s more likely that she got busy and forgot to get back to you. Planning a wedding is so overwhelming that most couples procrastinate just to avoid dealing with it!
Make a simple and friendly follow up call or email. “Hi, we spoke the other day about your upcoming wedding. Do you have any questions so far? Please let me know if I can help.”
Give her a chance to object before you assume she’s gone for good.