Pricing Service Strategy: Is it time for a change?

pricing service strategyWedding professionals are often frustrated by brides and grooms don’t appreciate the value of their services. Ultimately, aside from ‘customer service,’ there are three major factors that come into play.

  • Hours of service
  • Price for product/service
  • Quality and Value of the result

One problem is traditional wedding service pricing structure. For example, DJ Entertainer and Photography pricing is quoted within the framework of ‘time in direct service with the client.’

While customary in the wedding industry, linking pricing only to face-to-face service at a wedding, or wedding and reception, drastically understates the total service time. 

A wedding couple doesn’t know how many hours it takes to prepare custom introductions, tracking drown obscure music, travel or a host of other event-specific tasks. It’s hard for the couple to understand why the price is so high (in their eyes). Hours of work at a wedding and reception are a specific measure of your effort; however, grossly incomplete. The result is more subjective. Hours of performance do not equal the value of your work.

It is not enough to show a prospect video clips of successful events and expect an instant understanding degree of difficulty. All special events have their own degree of difficulty. It’s unreasonable for your prospect to know that, going in.

If one doesn’t explain situational differences in equipment, lighting, skill level, etc., you are just hoping the prospect figures it out. Likely an unreasonable expectation.

A disc jockey, photographer, or videography service (among others) usually prices itself for a specific number of  performance hours. Travel and set up are typically not mentioned not in discussion or noted in an agreement (unless the event is outside the local market area).

What effect might occur if proposals and agreements included a ‘simple informational statement’ indicating a summary of unseen work, associated with your event service, not occurring during the reception time frame?

Effective service implementation, meeting or exceeding client expectations, includes explaining the total scope of your service, at some level.

  • Maybe this approach should become an industry-wide standard for wedding marketers?
  • What would change in the process of selling if every prospect understood you total measure of service, and its impact on a successful outcome?

I know, I’m turning wedding industry pricing and selling approach on its ear. Maybe it’s time to do that.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

"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