The first step in almost any process is usually the hardest one to take. Sometimes it’s hard because you are starting something new and don’t know exactly how things will shake out. Sometimes it is because you feel like you can’t mess up the moment. Sometimes it is because you’ve worked so hard to get to this point that you feel a lot of pressure. Regardless of why taking the first step towards something might make you hesitate, it’s important, because there is usually something awesome on the other side.
We talk quite a bit about how important it is to always take the first step with all of the wedding leads you get when advertising with The Knot and WeddingWire—for good reason. Every lead you get is an opportunity to book more weddings—when you respond and start your sales process. So today, we wanted to help you feel anything but nervous, worried or hesitant when it comes to responding to your leads. Read on for our top do’s and don’ts, and then hit reply on the inquiries sitting in your inbox.
Do reply to every lead
We’ve said this before and we will say it again—it is important to reply to each and every one of your leads! Because, even if the lead doesn’t look as ideal as you’d like when you first read the inquiry, it can actually be high quality (couples aren’t always the best at communicating what they want, right?). So, when a new lead lands in your inbox, you should absolutely reply in order to learn more about what they are looking for before making a judgment call and passing up on the potential business.
Do personalize your response
It feels special to get something personalized: gifts, place cards, and even email responses. So, if you want to make a great first impression with a potential client and make them feel special at the same time, personalize your response to them—but go beyond just customizing your response template with their name. Take a moment to re-read their inquiry and find a detail you can weave into your reply. Perhaps their venue is one you love working at. Maybe their wedding date has significance to you too. Whatever it may be, write your reply to feel like you took the time to think it through—because you did.
Don’t forget to answer their questions
Speaking of re-reading your inquiries, it is important to answer any initial questions the couple might have included. Neglecting is akin to leaving them hanging and isn’t a great first impression to make. So be sure to double-check that your reply is as helpful as it can be.
Do keep your responses brief
When it comes to how you respond to leads, a brief reply is better than a lengthy one. And, ideally, keeping your initial reply to about 200 words is the sweet spot. Now, you might be reading this wondering how you are supposed to make your reply personal and answer their questions in such a short format. Well, the key is to cut the fluff. It is possible to write something that is warm, welcoming, and helpful without ending up with something as long as this blog post, and we recommend writing and reviewing a response template—you can even ask a friend for feedback to make sure it’s short and sweet.
Do test your replies
Which leads us nicely to this next point—do test your replies! You can create two versions of your response template to test with your wedding leads and refine them over time as you learn which one is more effective and valuable to your sales process.
Don’t wait to reply
Your days are busy and you’re juggling lots of things, but when it comes to things you should always make time for, replying to your wedding leads is certainly near the top of the list. Want to know why we think you should always find the time? Up to 50% of all bookings go to the vendor that responds first, and if you follow up with a couple within 5 minutes, you are 9 times more likely to convert! Talk about a way to book more weddings!
Pro-tip: Everyone needs a refresher sometimes. Learn how to literally respond to leads on The Knot and WeddingWire.
Don’t be afraid to follow up
If you’ve ever wondered how to close a sale quicker or more efficiently, it often comes down to one relatively small detail—did you follow up? Because, in a busy world (for you, your leads, and the other pros they might be considering), staying top of mind is often the key to closing the sale. So, if a couple hasn’t gotten back to you after a day or two, don’t hesitate to follow up with them.
Don’t forget to proofread your reply
Whether you enjoy writing and the sales process or not, we cannot stress the importance of proofreading enough. Give each of your replies a read to look for typos and grammatical errors before sending it off; this is imperative to making a professional first impression.
Do include a call to action
Any effective salesperson will tell you “next steps” are important to bringing a lead closer to asking for a contract. Whether you’re simply asking a couple to reply or you need them to provide you with additional information, include an action item to keep them engaged.
Ready to put all of these tips to work? Learn how to get more wedding leads and refine your responses ahead of this booking season!
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