You Got the Lead and the Meeting Went Great.  Now What?

bride rubber shoes

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to convert brides who are “on the burner” into booked weddings.  These are the brides we’ve already met or spoken to, they love what we do and booking should be a no brainer.

Then…NOTHING.  They vanish into thin air.  Sometimes they give an excuse like, “I need to think about it,” or “I have to figure out if it’s in my budget.”

Here’s a Question from a Wedding Planner:

How can I proceed though with the 8 inquiries I have since I have already spoke to them and have been trying to follow-up? Is there something I can do or say to them to get them to move forward with me?

Your profit article showed how to address when new emails come in…since I have already talked to these people I am not sure if you have any tips for me. I really want to make them clients!! I don’t want more time to go away where they might forget me. thanks!

My Answer…

Brides are most excited and most likely to book when they are actually at the meeting.  If you don’t find a way to get them to book quickly, that likelihood of getting the wedding decreases more every day until it completely disappears.

What you’ve got to do is create SCARCITY.

(This is a term used by Robert Chialdini in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.  An excellent read!)

When something is “scarce” it is hard to get or only a limited number are available.  When something is scarce it is considered rare or exclusive.

Scarcity works because when faced with the possibility of losing something…we want it more.  And the effect of scarcity intensifies even more when we are in competition for it.

Advertisers used this scarcity tactic with amazing effectiveness with the Tickle Me Elmo doll.  There were only a “limited number” available and every child had to have them.  Parents made a mad dash for toy stores and bought them up.

One crafty young man used this principle to pay for his college education.  He would buy a cheap used car, fix it up and put a for sale ad in the paper.

Then he would schedule 3 appointments to look at the car…for the exact same time.

All 3 potential buyers would show up in direct competition for that car.  But only one could buy it.  “Hey, I was here first!”

The result?  He sold the car for a higher price and with less time invested.

The buyer would either fork over the cash or leave.  Scarcity made them get off the fence and make an immediate decision.

Using Scarcity to Get Brides Off the Fence

Now, I am NOT advocating high-pressure sales tactics.  Using scarcity still isn’t totally comfortable for me.  But it WORKS like a charm.

I prefer the soft, relationship building approach.  But whatever style you use, you have to make your services “scarce” to influence the bride to act quickly.  She needs to feel the urgency to book because she knows that she may lose you.

If she can come back any day and book you, what’s the rush?  She’s rather hold onto her cash.

You have to give her a reason to book NOW.

Ideas for Adding Scarcity

Only a Limited Number Available

This one is built into the wedding business for many of us.  We only have a limited “inventory” of days…typically Friday, Saturday and Sunday in wedding season…when we are available.  Once her date is booked, she’s out of luck.

Brides need a gentle reminder that you only take ONE event that day and there are other couples interested in booking your services.  If they walk away, they lose their chance.

WARNING:  Do not lie about another couple competing for the date because this will come back to haunt you.  Only use this truthfully and ethically.

A Deadline

Having a deadline is very similar to the limited number scarcity.  Basically, if they don’t book by a certain date they miss out on a valuable product or service.

You can have an availability deadline or a deal that “disappears” when the deadline hits.  One example: book within the next 7 days you’ll get a FREE engagement shoot.  After that, the offer disappears.

Or after you meet them at a bridal show: We’re offering a limited time deal that expires in 10 days.

An example of a subtle deadline approach that we use:  “We’ve got you penciled in for that date, but we can only hold it for the next 72 hours if someone else calls about your date.”

Believe me, if she’s interested she will book FAST when faced with the possibility of losing you.

How do you respond to the typical question, “Can you pencil me in for that date?”

The priceless response from one of our wedding vendor friends…

“I’m sorry.  I don’t own any pencils.”

She doesn’t hold the date for anyone.  That’s built in scarcity.

Make Yourself Rare and Valuable

A few pointers for creating scarcity to get brides off the burner and into the booking…

  • Give them a REASON why you are increasing the price or taking away the special deal.It doesn’t have to be a complicated or long explanation, just make sure you have a legitimate reason so that it doesn’t come off as a “sales tactic.”
  • Offer something FREE for a limited time.We are irresistibly and illogically drawn to something we can get for “free.”  (Just ask my husband who used coupons to buy free packages of Rice-a-Roni, knowing full well that we will never eat them, just because they were FREE.)
  • Remind brides that other couples will be interested in that date and there is only one of you available.

Try out different scarcity offers and see which gets the best response for you.  As always, don’t take my word for it!  Test it out in the real world, track your results and then let me know how it goes.

Would you like help creating your own “scarcity” offer so you can book those weddings faster?  We’ve come up with some really cool ideas that are bringing powerful results for our clients.  Shoot me an email and we’ll talk about solutions for your business.

How can you use scarcity with your wedding business? Get off your tailbone and into action!  Leave a comment with your idea as your first step.

Photo Credit Paul Hagius Photography

Tags: , , ,
Posted By

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. :)

View all posts by

Leave a Facebook Comment

5 thoughts on “How to Get Brides to Book NOW”

  1. Steve says:

    I have been a wedding photographer for years with a great following. Suddenly I get no calls or emails. Bridal shows have suddenly not yielded any leads. Brides keep telling me their best friend is doing the shoot.

    My work is great and contemporary. My prices are low compared to back in the day.
    Any advice?

    1. There are many variables that can contribute to these challenges, so it’s hard to say without knowing more about the specifics of your business, market and what you’re doing.

      However, you can play detective and figure it out. Imagine that the sales process is a chain connecting you to your client, and each link in the chain is a step in the sale process: the marketing, the message/call to action, your response, etc. If any one link is broken, the entire sales chain is broken and you won’t book weddings.

      Examine each link in the chain to find out which is “broken” so that you can fix it. Going with the bridal show example:

      1) The show. Are your target brides there? If no, the link is broken because the show is not a good match. If yes, move on to #2.

      2) Your booth and bridal show strategy. Are you attracting leads at the show? If no, the link is broken and you need a new strategy. If yes, move on to #3.

      3) Call to action. Are those leads turning into meetings? If no, this link is broken and you need a better strategy for turning bridal show leads into meeting. If yes, move on to #4.

      4) The meeting. Are you booking at least 50% of the couples who meet with you? If no, this link is broken and you need to fix your sales meeting process.

      Find more details in this article:

  2. Ernest Smith says:

    great tips booking a bride is never easy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, Fiona. It’s from hard-earned experience, for sure!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Excellent piece, well thought out, and makes good marketing and business sense. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *