More lessons learned from this year’s EPMEN conference, this time from Peter Merry’s presentation, “Showcase Your Value!”
Peter is a WED Guild entertainment director who commands a rate of $5,000 and above for his services. How does he pull it off when couples seem increasingly price focused?
A few highlights from his presentation for communicating your value at the consultation meeting that apply to any wedding professional.
1. Show up prepared by learning about the couple before the meeting.
Today’s couples have much of their lives accessible to the public on the internet. Take advantage of this information to learn as much as you can about them before you meet, and use this information to customize your presentation just for them.
Look them up on Facebook to learn their favorite artists, what they do for a living, whether they have pets, and get clues to their style and personality. Use the free Rapportive app with Gmail to find their social media accounts, and turn to their email address or signature to learn about their place of employment.
Add these elements into your presentation to create a connection and present your services in a way that immediately speaks to them.
2. Meet with the couple at their wedding location if possible.
There’s no better way to paint the picture of their dream wedding, and prove your expertise as the best one to deliver it, than meeting at their actual wedding location.
As you create the experience of their ideal wedding with words, stories and high quality images and video, they’ll visualize it happening right around them and fall in love with the idea of having you at their wedding.
“I have two goals for every meeting: #1 find out if we’re a good fit and if we are #2 to do everything I can to make sure that when you picture your wedding the only face you see providing the service is mine.” – Peter Merry
3. Ask the couple, “What three words describe your dream wedding?”
Before you can effectively present to a couple, you need to know what they want. To do that, you need to ask them.
Of course, couples often don’t know the specific products and services they want to fulfill their needs, but they do have an idea of what their ideal wedding day will be like.
Those words are gold because they tell you exactly what to say to communicate your value.
Write down the words they tell you and use it to customize your presentation. If they describe their dream wedding as, “high energy, fun and quirky,” choose stories, examples and videos that showcase your ability to deliver that experience. If their dream wedding is, “unique, elegant and romantic,” your presentation needs to reflect that different experience.
Be sure to feedback their exact words when you recommend the perfect package for them to match the experience they have in mind.
4. Identify elements of the wedding they’ve overlooked and solve a problem for them.
The bride and groom have most likely never planned a wedding before, and they don’t know what’s involved. The issues and potential problems that are obvious to us as experts never even occur to them.
If you can point out the things to be aware of for their specific location or situation, it demonstrates your expertise and your value. For example, you might suggest a layout for the bar and dance floor that optimizes the fun and engages guests, or explain the logistics of doing toasts and special dances at different points during the evening.
5. Underpromise and overdeliver.
Come up with five or six things you can do before, during and after the wedding to overdeliver on the service you promise.
These should be things that are not included in your service agreement that are delivered as a complete surprise.
Examples might be inserting the couple’s vows into their first dance (something Peter wows his couples with regularly) or obtaining a favorite rare song the couple mentions offhand, or giving an unexpected meaningful gift.
It’s not enough to deliver an outstanding service. If you want to be well compensated for what you do, you simply must learn to communicate your value from start to finish. Examine every part of the experience you deliver from the couple’s first interaction with you and use these tips to showcase the real value of what you do.
How do you communicate your value to couples? Leave a comment.