It can be very frustrating.
A bride visits your website, likes what she sees, fills out your inquiry form, and makes an online inquiry saying “I just want a price.”
Based on the feedback I’ve received while talking with wedding vendors nationwide about this issue, particularly over the past 12-16 months, the “I just want a price” bride has probably tipped the scales and now makes up the majority of your inquiries.
In my opinion, there are four reasons for this.
- The economy
- Services which are viewed as a commodity
- Poor website presentation
Part of this is certainly the economy. People are watching their pennies like we haven’t seen in decades. It’s hard to be planning a wedding, with all of the associated expenses, while worrying if you have a job six months from now.
Secondly, print magazine editorials, as well as wedding planning blogs, have been telling brides for years now that “everything is negotiable.” I read at one VERY popular wedding planning blog: “the price is NEVER the price,” and “never pay full price.” Additionally, I’ve seen more than a few magazines pronouncing DIY (do-it-yourself) in very big letters on their covers. Just as pretty wedding gowns have always moved magazines off the shelf in the past, now the three letters “DIY” do the same thing. DIY is psychologically communicating PRICE.
Third on my list would be that too many wedding vendors sell their services as though they are a commodity. This is a huge mistake because when you sell a commodity there is nothing to sell but price. Hiring a wedding band is not the same as buying a toaster. Renting a wedding reception site is not the same as buying a battery for your car. It’s critical that your sales staff and their sales presentations do not allow this to occur (i.e. sell benefits, features, value, and other VERY happy customers).
Finally, and I think this one might be the “killer” of the three, poor website presentations IMMEDIATELY create a situation where the only thing a bride becomes interested in knowing is “the price.”
If your website looks like the last 5 a bride has visited – you have just become a commodity!
If your message reads like the last 5 sites a bride visited – you have just become a commodity!
Selling PRICE is a very difficult way to be profitable unless you are selling mass quantities (i.e. Walmart). Remember, there will always be a competitor willing to quote a lower price.
So…the “I just want a price” bride is NOT going away – and never will.
But there are some things you can do to more effectively manage this.
Here are some suggestions.
- Change How You Look at the Sales Process
- Change How You Look at “I Just Want a Price” Inquiries
- Update/Overhaul Your Website
- Optimize Your Marketing Message
- Get Better Ranked at Google
Change How You Look at the Sales Process
A few years back it was easy to book new weddings. When the economy was clicking along on all eight-cylinders sales almost fell in your lap. But things changed and they changed dramatically. It could be years before we see that type of marketplace again.
Sales has become more challenging, time-consuming, and more difficult. As a result, I’ve seen many people get sour, frustrated, and anxious about sales. This is unfortunate and if you or someone on your staff is one of these people you HAVE TO reframe this attitude immediately.
When I was 15 years old I took a job working at a shoe store stocking shelves. On a couple occasions one of the regular salespeople called in sick and I got the chance to do sales. To this day I can still hear the owner telling me: “Chris, there’s only one thing you need to know about sales, if they came through the door they are interested in buying a pair of shoes. Everyone who comes through that door should walk out with a new pair of shoes! EVERYONE who comes through that door.”
Not everyone did but he was 100% right and by applying that simple ATTITUDE I earned enough money to get my Pilot’s License before I was 18.
Change How You Look at “I Just Want a Price” Inquiries
Wayne Dyer, the internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development says, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.”
I believe this is a fundamental Law of the Universe and if you will TRAIN yourself and your sales team to do this you’ll see the frustrations and anxiety from inquiries that say “I Just Want a Price” evaporate.
“I just want a price” brides are simply someone who is probably 100% stressed out of their mind, with a million things to do, asking for help. They are coming to YOU, who they have some initial interest in, who they most likely believe is a professional and an expert, for help, understanding, education, and maybe a little empathy!
“I Just Want a Price” inquiries are simply someone interested in doing business with you asking for help and trying to figure out who you are, how you can help them, why you are different, and why you have the solution to their problem.
I sold hundreds of comfortable slippers at that shoe store to women whose feet were killing them at the end of the day because higher heels had come into style. These women found someone who genuinely cared and someone who was willing to help them. While “price” was always asked for, it rarely was the issue that closed the sale.
Update/Overhaul Your Website
My number one recommendation to help you more effectively deal with the “I Just Want a Price” inquiry is to upgrade and/or overhaul your website.
Sure, you might be saying “but Chris, you have a vested interest in that advice” and I won’t disagree.
But I’ve seen this change things 180 degrees for everyone, yes EVERYONE, who has PROPERLY made this investment.
If you look like a professional, the best-of-the-best, I’m talking in every way (design, marketing message, photos, etc.), brides don’t ever think to themselves “I bet I can get this at a bargain price!”
Have you ever pulled up in front of a Ritz Carlton thinking you were going to get a room for $250/night?
No, that’s what the Sheraton is for.
Holiday Inn Express, I’m thinking $125/night at the most, right?
See where I’m going here?
My recommendation is to hire an experienced professional, one with wedding industry experience, and to upgrade or overhaul your website. Certainly, I’d love to talk with you and work with you, but whoever you choose make sure they have Internet marketing experience in the wedding industry.
Your new website MUST create what I call the “Oh Yes” moment. The “Oh Yes’ moment is when a bride who visits your site says to herself: “Oh Yes, I’m in the right place, this is what I’m looking for.”
If you aren’t creating an “Oh Yes” moment with your website you immediately have an “IB” on your hands – what I’ve coined as the “Indifferent Bride.”
The Indifferent Bride has probably seen 20 other sites like yours in the past 24 hours. When this occurs click, click, click and she’s off looking for something new. That’s how it works.
Is your website creating an “Oh Yes” moment or an Indifferent Bride?
One way to tell is by looking at your Google Analytics bounce rate. If your bounce rate is above 50% you have a problem.
Conversion is another indicator. If your conversion is below 5% you want to deal with that also.
Don’t shoot the messenger, but if you have a Do-It-Yourself design, “template,” or you paid some company from the Pacific Rim $495 to build you a website, your company isn’t even a consideration for most brides – other than the price-shoppers.
A bride is planning the most important day of her life, one she’s dreamed about for years and one she’s told all her friends about. This isn’t just a “wedding,” it’s a Hollywood production in her mind, the Royal Wedding, and the most special of special occasions that she will be sharing with family and friends.
My daughter once told me: “If you show up to the Prom in jeans and a tee-shirt, don’t be surprised if no one asks you to dance.”
But… it gets worse.
If you look less-than-the-best guess what else is likely to happen? All a bride will want when she makes an inquiry at your website is… THE PRICE.
This past year I had the privilege of working with some of the most talented and professional business-people in the wedding industry. In every case the objective was:
“To compete more effectively in an increasingly competitive marketplace, to get better rankings with Google so brides can find us more easily, to get more of the brides who visit our website to make inquiries (i.e. conversion), to get more appointments, and to book more weddings (sales). “
Updating the websites for these clients to create the “Oh Yes” moment was top on the list of things to do. And it works!
Here, take a look for yourself.
Optimize Your Marketing Message
When I say “optimize” your marketing message I mean rework it to promote VALUE, but equally important is your Unique Value Proposition (UVP). Here are some questions that will help you determine if you are effectively communicating at your website.
What makes you different than the competition?
What SOLUTIONS do you have to what a bride perceives to be her problems?
How effective is your call-to-action?
What incentives are you giving to a bride to reach out and make an inquiry (and it doesn’t have to be a discount!)?
Does your social marketing integrate appropriately and compliment your website?
Have you optimized your message in a way that facilitates conversion (i.e. brides who visit make inquiries!)?
Do the graphics you use compliment your marketing message?
Are you using testimonials effectively or are they ONLY found on your “Testimonials” page?
Get Better Ranked at Google
Finally, I couldn’t discuss this topic without talking about search engine optimization. Getting top ranked at Google, as well as with other search engines, helps everything else I’ve talked about here when dealing with the “I just want a price” bride.
We probably can all agree that getting top ranked in the search results at Google is the #1 way to drive more high-quality traffic to your website. More than 70% of the people who connect to the Internet are searching for something. Search engine traffic is high-conversion traffic.
But it gets better.
When brides find you top ranked at Google there is an implied “this must be one of the best companies” that goes along with your ranking. Studies show top ranking at search engines has a positive impact on conversion, inquiries, and sales.
If you’ve been frustrated with inquiries that “just want a price” I hope this gives you some ideas to change that. These suggestions work, I guarantee it. I’ve seen it work first-hand and they will work for your wedding business too!
Marketing to Brides Online
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