Pricing and service structure: Is it time for change?

value-for-moneyWedding 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
  • The quality of the result

One problem is traditional wedding service pricing structure . Particularly for entertainment, photography, videography, pricing is quoted within the framework of ‘time in direct service with the client.’

Until I went through the process of being a groom, I never realized how much time a videographer or photographer spent, before and after the wedding, before presenting the finished work. 

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 time of service. 

A bride doesn’t know how many hours it takes to edit one hour of raw video footage from one camera, It’s hard for her to understand why the price is $5000 or more, rather than $1000. 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 shooting does not equal the value of your work.

It is not enough to show a prospect samples of your reel or portfolio photos and expect  understanding degree of difficulty. Shooting a sunset wedding, has a high degree of difficulty. 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 service or Live Band 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 it have were 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 we do that.

I invite your specific comments, and how you think this might apply within your slice of the wedding industry.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Sales Impact Of A Positive Public Outlook

half-full-glassAs a general recommendation, I continue to suggest reading the local newspaper and/or weekly business periodical to continually assess the daily dynamics of one’s local business community and wedding industry economy. Once again, taking my own advice is tougher than it might seem.

In Las Vegas, reading about the precarious financial condition of casino/hotel giants, such as Harrah’s Corporation or MGM/Mirage, among others, is downright frightening. Understanding that the local community is experiencing a 10% unemployment rate now, that tens of thousands of jobs are hanging in the balance, and visitor/convention revenues have been trending down for a year, leaves one quite a tendency to see the glass as half-empty.

I have come to appreciate Las Vegas, as a living example of trickle-down economics. The convention, hospitality and destination wedding industry are largely tied to huge companies, and the small or micro-businesses are much further down the food chain. When big business catches a cold, small business catches pneumonia.

But there is another dynamic that has begun to occur. Many hard-working, bright small business owners have become reinvigorated by the gravity of the situation. They have taken a fresh look at their operations and marketing, are re-evaluating, and reconfiguring. As well, they are nesting with their peers. Yes, at association meetings and networking groups. But also in 1-to-1 and small group discussions, more like Think Tanks or Masters Groups. Sole proprietors benefit from this strategy, particularly, because high-powered counterparts service as sounding boards and substitutes for business partners.

pink-lv-wedding-cardConspicuous consumption (parties or celebrations) has fallen out of favor. Believe me, though, not every business out there is one-step-from-the-grave.

I strongly believe conspicuous optimism is always a good thing. If you’re hustling, working hard, and making sales, good for you. That should be cause for optimism. One can’t control what the mega-companies do. One can make the best of your business relationships, nurture them, network, develop fresh relationships, and don’t leave any lead hanging by a thread. Close the sale or figure out why the prospect became someone else’s customer.

In a time when businesses have closed, and some are on the brink, people want to do business with stable entities. An outward disposition of optimism, appreciation, and occasional excitement creates an imbalance in your favor.

Don’t work 24/7. Enjoy an occasional small celebration of sales victories. Maybe not for the biggest sale, but for making the toughest sale.

Most of all, don’t worry. Positive disposition, accompanied with focused action is quite a remedy.

What are you doing to be positive and take action? Share your wisdom, here, with a comment.

My glass is half-full, how’s yours?

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Enhanced directory website listings make a difference

Northwest Bridal ShowcaseToday is getaway-day for the AFWPI Conference. It has been a successful conference by all accounts.

Just had a great conversation with Paulette, the producer of the Northwest Bridal Showcase in Everett, Washington. One of the observations of her website was that a number of vendors didn’t make use of the full range of possibilities for their listings.

It’s very important, not just to include contact information, but to add:

  • A website link
  • A complete description of the services that your business provides

Failure to do those things (whether there is an additional charge, or not), sells your business short. You’ll never know how many prospects would have clicked on a website link, if you don’t have one.

So, whether you have placement in a bridal directory or any other website directory, make certain you take full advantage.