About This Lesson
In this lesson I’ll teach you the #1 secret I used to get more bookings.
Back when I started, I was having such a difficult time with sales and I had no idea what to change. Eventually though, through trial and error, I discovered one small thing that made a huge difference in my business.
It’s a very simple secret that will only take a few minutes to implement, but it will be a game changer for your business, I guarantee it!
Estimated Time Needed For Lesson:
What You’ll Learn:
• One fast, easy to implement secret that will increase your booking rate by 25% or more and will make you 3X as likely to get a response from potential customers
So What’s This Big Secret?
When I first started my wedding business, I had no idea how much time I’d have to spend on sales. To tell you the complete story, I actually left a career in sales to become a wedding business owner (I own a wedding company). Before the wedding company, I was doing sales for Coca Cola and Pentax Medical and I was really looking forward to not having to do any more follow up emails, etc. To my surprise though, that really wasn’t my reality when I started the wedding business. We all know that getting leads is hard but then turning those leads into bookings is an entirely different ballgame altogether. I guess I realized that every business is built on sales and so I decided to embrace it and get really good at it, rather than just give up on my dream of owing a wedding business.
Over time, I made notes as I made sales calls and emails. I became nearly obsessed with little details such as:
• When is the best time to call?
• What should I start the phone call by saying?
• How do I ask them to book?
• What should I write in my emails?
I kept a journal and I logged everything methodically. I learned the importance of that approach at my previous sales jobs and over time I had some great data. In fact, one thing stood out to me more than anything else, and that was my big “ah-ha” moment. I had discovered a great secret!
Here’s the secret:
In order to get more sales, you need to get replies to your inquiries. You can think of this as your reply rate. Just because I get 10 leads doesn’t mean all 10 of them will respond to my email or my call. In fact, there have been many studies done that show millennials are less and less likely to answer the phone or their email than in previous generations. What that means for your business is that getting replies has been harder. My secret was that I realized if I could get more replies, I could get more sales.
But how was I going to stop brides from just emailing me and then disappearing, never to be seen again?
The key is to follow up FAST when you get a new inquiry.
How fast? Well, let’s say within 3o minutes of their inquiry via email.
What Not To Do:
Whatever you do, don’t use one of those boring email auto-responders that say something like this:
“Thanks for emailing ABC company. Your inquiry is important to us and you will receive a reply within 24 hours. Have a great day”
As a couple getting married, or anyone in the world for that matter, you just sent me an email with no value. You literally just wasted my time and precious hours of my life sending me something that adds no value. When I get emails like that I think to myself “yes, of course you got my email, I already know that” and then it makes me think your company is not customer focussed because you already wasted my time which isn’t adding value to my life.
Your goal as a business owner is to create value and then to create trust. Only after that can you create a sale.
Sales Is Not Your Job:
So now you know the secret and also what not to do. You need to reply within 30 minutes, but you can’t use the lame forms you find everywhere that send the same old general “we aren’t here but thanks and we’ll talk to you later” kind of email. You have two options.
Option 1: Do It Yourself
If you choose to do it yourself, that means you should keep your computer or mobile phone handy and check your email from 9am -10pm, 7 days a week to get back to potential couples within 30 minutes. You will need to be looking at your phone in 30 minute intervals or 26 times per day (since its a 13 hour day when people may inquire). This is one option, but to me it’s less than ideal.
Option 2: Use Technology
You can use technology like www.eventtemple.com to embed our contact form on your website. We have an option where anyone who fills out your form will automatically get an email from you, but it’s not like all the other forms you’ve seen with the generic messages, it’s much cooler than that.
The Technology I Used:
I couldn’t find technology to automate this for my in my wedding business and I was determined to have it, so I teamed up with the smartest guy I know and together we build Event Temple. You can get the basic version of Event Temple for FREE. It’s an amazing tool for automating the follow up process, but I’ll let you check it out for yourself:
Here is how Event Temple’s form is different:
• Couple fills out your form and hits send
• You decide how long to wait until replying (you can set it to respond in a random amount of time like 7 minutes, so it feels real. Instant is a dead giveaway it’s not a real human)
• Event Temple replies to them for you. It uses their name, their event date and it sounds like you wrote the email personally (it even comes from your email address!)
• If they don’t reply Event Temple automatically starts following up with them with pre-written messages you have chosen, on a pre-defined schedule you have chosen
• Event Temple can text them too for you, which makes it look even more like a real person is replying to them!
Follow up, FAST.
The moral of the story is that whatever system you use, you’ll want to follow up REALLY FAST. This increases your chances of getting a reply, which in turn makes it way more likely that you’ll get a sale. In my business, I wanted to automate everything that was monotonous so I could enjoy my life and have some freedom in my business. I built Event Temple because nothing could do what I needed to do. I knew that whatever software I used needed to be personal and feel like a real human wrote it because that’s what my wedding clients demand. No matter what you decide to use though, ensure you are using a system that doesn’t send the same old generic instant message that adds zero value. Find a way to get back to them right away, show them you are on top of your business and more importantly, make it feel like a human being wrote it.
Update: I’ve since found out most wedding venues take 48 hours or more to respond. By responding right away you are giving yourself a DEFINITE advantage over your competition. By doing this, you are setting yourself apart with great customer service right from the start!