How much do you cost?  Can you send me your pricing and package information?



PRICE is often the first question they ask…even before they know if we’re even available for their date!

Getting Past the Price Question

After the Recession hit, the price question started popping up more than ever.  Mom and Dad lost their pension funds to Bernie Madoff, soon-to-be-weds couldn’t find jobs after college, and the stock market was full of doom and gloom.

Prices in the wedding industry were over-inflated, just like they were in the housing market.  The “wedding bubble” popped, resulting in a 31.5% decrease in the average cost of a wedding in only two years.  (source: WE tv Networks Wedding Report)

Even though the economy is slowly recovering, the buying mindset of brides has changed.  They are no longer so willing to rack up credit card debt to pay for the wedding, and their parents aren’t willing to mortgage the home or tap diminished retirement savings.

Price shoppers are here to stay.  Either we learn how to deal with them and turn them into booked weddings…or the future of our wedding business is at stake.

5 Steps to Turning Around a Price Shopper

1.    Don’t Focus on Price.

What happens when you pick up the phone or open an email lead?  Are you bracing yourself and preparing your (probably long) response to the “price question?”

The #1 mistake most wedding professionals make when dealing with a price shopper is focusing on price.

Don’t try to explain your value.  Don’t share horror stories of couples who hired a “cheap amateur.” Don’t list the endless benefits of hiring a “professional.”

Understand that she is asking about price because it’s the only thing she knows to ask.  The bride is educating herself about prices and offerings.

The more you focus on price, the more she’s going to focus on it.  Give a brief answer to her question, and then redirect the conversation to more important things…how you can help her.

2.    Redirect the Conversation With Power Questions.

Give her a brief, realistic answer with a starting price or price range and IMMEDIATELY redirect the conversation where you want it to go.

Take control of the interaction by asking questions that allow you to help her and that instantly demonstrate your expertise.

Not sure where to begin?  Start with the basics: date, location, hours, logistics.  Then work your way up to questions about what she has seen and heard that she likes and doesn’t like, theme and color preferences.

3.    Help Her.

Instead of selling and telling the bride about the value of your services, help her.  Imagine that she is a friend of yours who just happens to be planning a wedding.

What would you do and say to help a friend?  Do that for the bride.

This may include sharing ideas and tips, making recommendations or referrals, sending her links to articles of interest, or even simply listening to her story.  This is the quickest way to get off price and start building a relationship that leads to a booking.

4.    Tell Her What To Do Next.

Once you’ve redirected the conversation away from the price question, tell her what to do next.

What action do you want her to take?

If your conversation is happening in an email, you may want her to schedule a meeting or a phone call.  If it’s a phone conversation, maybe you want her to meet in person.

Decide the ideal action you’d like her to take and guide her to it.  “We really like to get to know our couples to find out if we’re a good match for your wedding, so I suggest a meeting.  When is a good time for us to meet?”

Remember: the bride has never planned a wedding before and she doesn’t know what to do.  She wants you to take control and make finding and hiring a wedding vendor easy.  So do it!

5.    Follow Up.

The second big mistake wedding professionals make is assuming that the bride was a “only a price shopper” and their price was too high when they don’t hear from them the next day.

She liked your stuff enough to call you.  Don’t assume that you lost her to the “price objection.”

It’s more likely that she got busy and forgot to get back to you.  Planning a wedding is so overwhelming that most couples procrastinate just to avoid dealing with it!

Make a simple and friendly follow up call or email.  “Hi, we spoke the other day about your upcoming wedding.  Do you have any questions so far?  Please let me know if I can help.”

Give her a chance to object before you assume she’s gone for good.

The Price to Profit Email

These price shopper response guidelines apply with both telephone and email inquires.  But since most of us are getting email inquiries these days, it’s vital that you nail down an effective price shopper email response.

To make it easier, I put together the “Price Shopper to Profit Email Report” explaining the strategies and techniques you can use in your email response, along with a done-for-you price shopper email template you can customize for your wedding business.  Just click this link, leave me your email and I’ll send you a free copy – Download FREE Price Shopper Email

How do you deal with price shoppers?

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Jeff Padovani

Jeff Padovani is a professional musician, wedding business marketing strategist and resident wise ass at Book More Brides. He’s the “big ideas” mastermind behind the many business ventures (and misadventures!) he enjoys with his wife, Stephanie.

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7 thoughts on “How Do I Deal With Price Shoppers?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great article. I’m new in this industry and I made the mistake of becoming a price shopper as a vendor… and I’m pretty sure got found out. What do I do now? Admit it and apologize? Brush it under the rug, learn and move on?

    1. Do you mean that your shopped your competition and got found out?

      If you have a relationship with the person, it may be appropriate to apologize. However, shopping the competition is part of running a smart business, as long as you don’t waste a lot of their time.

      Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just move forward and do your best to respect your competitors’ time in the future if you choose to “shop” again.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for these tips. I’ve been positioning myself using price (so I’ve been picking up the price shoppers) but I’m looking to move myself into a less price defined category now. These tips are going to be very useful as I move forward.

  3. I’m so glad this is helpful for you! Like Theresa, we learned this the hard way through 11+ years in the wedding business.

    Strangely enough, we’ve found that the less we try to “sell” or “convince” them, the more the couple is drawn to us.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We try not to quote prices over the phone. Since we are the actual designer as well as the manufacturer of our bridal jewelry, we know that apples to apples, our prices can’t be beaten- we try to have them shop around and then come and see us!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Some of the best advice I’ve seen lately. Almost everyone that contacts us now asks for some kind of deal immediately. I’ve been firm on our package price (which is a great deal in our market) and offering the brides an ala carte, pick the services you want and found that almost all go back to the original package just by me giving them some choices. Of course we did price our package to fit the market and it has worked very well.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great advice. This is pretty consistent with what I already do, though I didn’t have it so throughly and specifically defined in a strategy as above. I had to learn the hard way over 6 or 7 years of trial and error, and in the end, the techniques you outlined above are tried and proven. Thanks for sharing.
    Theresa Minnette

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