A bride called me the other day with this question, “Does your DJ service offer iPod rental? I don’t need a DJ or MC; we just want to pick out the music.”

As much as it makes me want to scream in frustration, I honestly can’t blame her for asking. She doesn’t know the risks of DIY, not with wedding blogs filling her head with “effortless” DIY ideas for saving money.

At his presentation for the Wedding MBA last week, Joe Bunn of Next Level DJ Consulting tackled this subject head on:

How do you convince a bride or groom to use a professional?

Here are some highlights that will help you communicate your value and expertise to book more weddings.

3 Reasons She Hires an Amateur

According to Joe, there are three reasons a bride won’t hire a professional like you:

1. She doesn’t understand the value of what you do.

2. She has a friend/Uncle Bob/guy-she-knew-from-college who’s going to do it.

3. She’s found someone cheaper on Craigslist.

Preparation is the best defense when you come up against these situations. It can be hard to keep your cool, especially if these objections come up a lot.

We’ve actually turned around many couples who’ve called us considering an iPod wedding and convinced them to hire a professional DJ. What I do to keep it light and make a connection is to pretend I’m talking to a friend who is truly clueless about weddings. I make it my mission to help them, not sell them. It takes the pressure off and works much better than a lecture.

Remember that these couples honestly don’t know the consequences of hiring an amateur.

For some of them, it may even be a good choice. For instance, a couple who doesn’t really care about keeping the dancing going and who isn’t planning any formal events would do fine with an iPod.

But for those who will inevitably regret their decision, Joe Bunn offers these tips for convincing them about the value of hiring a wedding professional without making yourself look like an ass.

How to Communicate Your Value

1. Stay positive. Don’t mention those crappy non-professionals by name, no matter how badly you want to. It only reflects poorly on you.

2. Add some “horror stories” to your presentation (without naming any names.) Remember that time the Craigslist DJ played the wrong first dance song? Or the florist who delivered dead hydrangeas?

It’s okay to share these stories about what can happen, as long as it’s surrounded by positivity.

3. Stress that you get what you pay for. A good analogy to use is taking your Mercedes to the shop. You take your baby to the Mercedes specialist, and pay more for it, because you don’t want to take the risk that Clumsy Joe’s Auto will damage something that cost you over $50,000.

We know that there are no do-overs on the wedding day, but brides and grooms aren’t always thinking about it. They’ll pay more for a pro when they realize what could be at stake.

4. Tell them WHY you’re worth more. Don’t kick into a lecture; communicate your value by showing them the powerful rave reviews of your happy couples in video and on your website. Share your reviews. Post your awards, certifications and experience.

There’s a fine line between educating the bride and driving her away, but often just a few statements delivered with real compassion can save her from a decision she’ll regret.

What do you think?

CLICK HERE to learn how to communicate your value and expertise to couples in your email response.

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Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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6 thoughts on ““Don’t Hire an Amateur For Your Wedding!””

  1. Chelsea says:

    I’m sorry but weren’t all Professionals amateurs at one point.

    1. Yep. But if you’re going to hire an amateur, it’s good to know the risks. If that’s okay with you, then do it. That’s what this article is about.

  2. Jim Gepperth says:

    Good advice! I’ve found that being confident about your value and price point helps when interacting with potential clients. Not everyone who needs a DJ is your target market. It’s OK to say, “an IPod is fine if that is what you want but I guess our service is not a good match for what you are trying to accomplish. Best wishes!”. The more selective I’ve become, the more money I’ve made. Crazy but true.

  3. Cynthia Hawkins says:

    Say what you will, I still advertise on Craigslist. Not everyone on there is an amateur.

  4. I connected with a wedding planner on Facebook and offered to help her with any photography she might need for her website or portfolio. She was thankful and asked me how much I charged for weddings. I told her and her response was that she “didn’t think anyone paid that much around here these days”. I said “it’s like anything from fine wine to cars, there are always people who are prepared to invest a little more for something they really value”. She now wants to hire me for her wedding and dich her original choice because “I now realise that the person I chose was just an amateur now I see what I could be getting”. You can change people’s minds, but it requires polite and subtle education. If you ask the right questions then they’ll sell themselves on the idea.

    1. Brilliant! The first step is letting go of the need to “convince” them; the easiest way in is to simply help them.

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