As a wedding pro, one of the top things on your mind on any given day is converting more leads into bookings. And that makes sense; after all, the more leads you turn into bookings, the more resources you have to invest in your business. But, doing this is, of course, much easier said than done.
Couples have a lot of options when it comes to pros in their area, so it can feel as though you’re one of the many businesses they’re reaching out to. But, in reality, they’re likely only reaching out to a few select pros that can fit into their vision. So, if you do receive an inquiry, it is your job to fight harder and smarter in order to win their booking. That’s where your lead replies come in.
We recently sat down with Alan Berg, WeddingPro Educator and wedding business expert, to pick his brain about how pros can refine their lead replies. During his webinar, How to Get Couples to Reply and Book You, he talked through proven strategies pros can use to stand out from their competitors. Be sure to click through and download this session to view later (you WON’T want to miss all of Alan’s great tips), but to learn a couple of quick highlights, keep reading below.
Tips for keeping the conversation going
Couples have three communication options after they reach out. They can either tell you yes or no, or they can ghost you. Ghosting is the least favorable option, of course, because you’ll never know what caused them to stop responding to you. And while you can’t control whether or not someone will continue responding, you can control how you guide the conversation. Follow along to learn how.
Reduce the distractions
When a couple reaches out to you, they’ve likely already done a fair amount of research on your business. So, from looking through your photos, checking out your website and scrolling through your social media, they’ve already gotten a good idea of what you can provide them. Instead of sending them a brochure or pricing list (which should already be on your website and Storefronts, by the way!), you need to focus on talking to them on a personal level and encouraging them to reply back to you.
Additionally, don’t add an excessive amount of links to your messages because it can make your messages look and feel overwhelming. You want to make communication as easy as possible during the inquiry phase so unless they ask for more information, don’t feel like you have to volunteer it. One thing you could do, however, is use your Storefront as a de facto resource center so couples can browse through your resources on their own time and you can use your messages to get to know them better.
Ask them one question at the end of each message
Even though it feels natural to end a message with some sort of departing message, you may be deterring people from answering you back immediately. Asking a question at the end of each of your messages, on the other hand, encourages people to reply back. It will feel weird at first, but once you get the hang of it, we bet you’ll see a huge difference.
Additionally, the key is to ask just one question. At this stage, you don’t need to know every single detail of their wedding, so you don’t need to bombard your leads with a ton of questions. And playing the role of advisor and guiding a couple through what they need will help establish trust upfront. So, focus on getting just enough information to continue asking more questions in future messages.
Pro-tip: Be sure that the questions you’re asking are a low lift for your couples. Low commitment questions, like “Are you having both your ceremony and reception at the same location?” aren’t intimidating or daunting and likely don’t require consulting with their partner, so they’ll be more willing to reply back to you right away.
Reduce the friction
One of the best ways to get people to reply back to you is to reduce the amount of friction in your interactions. Friction makes it hard for people to want to keep interacting with you. And, if it’s too hard to talk with you, they’ll likely find another pro who makes it easier to communicate. So, if someone reached out to you via your Storefronts, don’t immediately ask for a call or direct them to another method of communication. Instead, keep talking to them through your Storefronts until you for sure know that they’re ready to move to a call or email.
Also, since this is where couples are choosing to communicate with you, be sure to build your reply templates in your inbox so you can make replying to those first few messages even easier for yourself.
Make it more conversational than transactional
Even though you are technically looking to conduct a business transaction, it’s always better to put that motivation (somewhat) to the side whenever a couple first reaches out. Couples want to do business with someone that they trust, so having an honest conversation from the beginning will make it easier to transition into those business talks later on.
Pro-tip: One of Alan’s top tips for lead replies is to follow up one more time than you already are. That way, you’ll always be giving your couples ample opportunities to reply back.
Answering the pricing question
In a recent study, we found that 88% of couples want to see pricing before reaching out to a vendor. So, if it makes sense for your business and you’ve talked it over with your financial advisor, consider listing price ranges on your Storefronts. This small tweak could help improve the quality of leads coming in and give you the flexibility to work with couples with varying budgets.
But, once they reach out to you, they will no doubt ask about your specific pricing. So, whenever you’re ready to have that conversation, keep Alan’s advice top of mind so you can navigate it successfully while keeping the couple’s expectations in line with yours.
- Don’t assume that they can’t afford you because they asked about price
- Don’t assume they want your lowest package/service because they asked about price
- Give them some idea of your pricing before asking about their budget
- Don’t lead with only your lowest price
- Ask better questions and really listen to their answers
Pro-tip: Here are some resources on how to update your pricing on The Knot and how to update your pricing on WeddingWire.
These tips are just the beginning. There were so many more insights–including templated responses AND advice you won’t get anywhere else–in this virtual conversation, so be sure to check out the recording of How to Get Couples to Reply and Book You.
Photo Credit: ColorJoyStock.com