"Our price was out of the bride’s budget"

I hear it from many people, in various companies… like a repetitive drum beat: “Our price was out of their budget.” It’s an easy excuse. It’s what the prospect said. It’s also an incredibly lame justification for losing sale.

Translation: “I know our company provides a superior service, but the bride was too clueless to understand that we’re worth it.”

Let’s start with the word, budget. I’m convince that the vast majority of the time, brides do not have money allotted for most wedding expenses in a truly thoughtful and rationale way. At the risk of sounding dismissive, I don’t accept most budget worksheets in publications, on websites, or elsewhere to provide accurate, helpful cost/price guidelines.

More likely there are one of two reasons that a business didn’t make the sale.

1) The salesperson did not make a convincing case that their company is sufficiently different/better, in a meaningful way, to justify spending (charging) more dollars to hire them.

2) The salesperson’s company does not actually provide a superior service; therefore making that case would be mostly smoke and mirrors.

There is a fine line between confidence, self-delusion, and arrogance. Being better or best is a function of perspective. It’s not an absolute. If you provide, what is in your mind, ‘additional value, but that added service is not important to the prospect, then your higher price is not justifiable.

Or, if you have communicated the additional value as a feature, rather than a benefit, then you likely have missed the sales connection.

Breaking down your sales approach or hiring a service to shop you and your competition may demonstrate some stark realities. It may make you squirm, and motivate you to reframe your sales communication.

That’s a better path than just believing your own B.S..

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority

The Art of Measurement

Goals are an important element of measuring business success. Realistic, well-framed goals are even more important.

Sales projections are helpful, too; provided that last year’s numbers don’t fool you. Was there some anomaly that is not going to occur this year? You know… like a Super Bowl in your town. Did you have a client or referral source that drove a disproportionately large amount of business your way? Has the key person move on, or had the relationship changed (for better or worse)?

American business people are constantly trying to predict the future. For good reason. Food service companies need to order food, based on anticipated attendance at events. Hotels need to assign the optimum room for the crowd size. One doesn’t want 125 guests in a room that should accommodate 400.

What I hear… and this isn’t news: More events are getting scheduled on short notice. Get used to it. More important… talk to your employees, and make sure they get comfortable with it.

I believe that most small business owners/managers can tell you many bookings that had last month. They can tell you how many dollars were deposited in the same time frame.

But can they articulate the variable costs per job (on average), the marketing expense (on average) per event, or the actual dollars generated for last month’s events (not the cash flow of last month’s deposits)?

Take some time to reassess what you really know about your business, and how it’s measured. If you know the numbers, with realistic parameters, it’ easier to take the right actions, going forward.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority

Get Married Media surveys today’s bride

Get Married Media—a national tri-media wedding lifestyle resource (on TV, online, in print)—conducted a survey of more than 1,500 brides to capture insights into brides’ styles and spending trends.

Get Married identified today’s average bride at age 28 (more than half 26+), with 77% employed and 92% personally paying for some portion of their wedding.  Even in the current soft economy, budget-conscious brides are planning their dream wedding.

Who is today’s bride-to-be? Following are some key results from the Get Married survey:

  • 44% of brides said that establishing the wedding budget is the most surprising wedding planning stress,
  • 70% of brides are either pleasantly surprised with their budget or feel like everything they want will fit into their budget
  • Top items that brides are personally purchasing include jewelry (wedding bands), invitations and wedding favors

Visit their website for more detail from the survey.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority

Weddings: Money – Value – Budget – Result: Would someone PLEASE explain the difference

money-squeezeJust view yet another Fox TV news piece (from this week) about saving money on weddings, accompanied by an article, on the MyFoxChicago website. It featured a friend of mine, Adam Weitz (ASharp Production) singing in a hybrid ‘band.’ Vocalist – DJ – Drummer. Interesting enough.

You can judge the other information, yourself.

My question is this: Why doesn’t any reporter ever talk about the connection between quality decisions, money spent, and achieving the desired result?

To me, a budget is established by finding out what products and services cost, in the real world, to achieve a desired result. It is not an announcement that states, “I have this much money (for everything or for one thing), period!”

Doing something on-the-cheap  achieves one absolute goal: Saving money. Unless a quality result occurs, there is insufficient value to get excited.

This is a distinction WITH a difference.

Andy Ebon

The Wedding Marketing Blog