Bride on Phone-640

Question: How do I handle warm leads that don’t respond?

I have two warm leads I feel I’m fumbling through. Both have weddings scheduled in 2015 – here are their separate scenarios:

The first bride is a referral from a friend, I reached out to HER she was excited to hear from me and even took the time to fill out a little “getting to know you questionnaire so I have EVERY detail about her wedding. In my follow up email I setup a time to follow up but I can’t seem to get her on the phone! My latest email I sent her was my new “bride bribe.” I can see where she opens all my emails but I can’t get any further than that. It really stinks because I don’t have a phone number to reach her. We’ve had 5 emails so far, 2 exchanges and 3 solely from me. What am I doing wrong?

The second bride sent me a price inquiry via my website said she loves my work and wanted the price for my services. I sent her the price inquiry email and that I would love to chat with her this past Tuesday at 6pm. She never confirmed that she could talk and I let the evening pass (I felt like I would be a pest calling and she didn’t confirm, especially since I can see that she read the email). The next day I sent her my “bride bribe” and she opened it. What should I do next?

– Frustrated Cinematographer

Answer: Don’t take it personally and keep following up

For the first scenario:

The only thing you’re doing “wrong” here is taking it personally and wondering what you’re doing wrong.

This is a REALLY warm lead. She was referred by a friend and is obviously interested. It’s likely that she’s one of those, “I’m just sooooo busy!” brides who has too much on her plate to get on the phone.

There’s really no way to know for sure her situation, so assume that she wants to hear from you until told otherwise. And follow up in a way that gets her on the phone.

Here are some ideas:

1. Give her an incentive to get on the phone now. Examples: giving a free gift certificate to everyone who meets with you this week, a special bonus or deal (as long as it’s still profitable for you) OR you can mention that you have another couple interested in her date–only if this is true, of course.  Many couples will drag their feet until you give them a good reason to do otherwise. Once you do, they suddenly hop to!

2. If that still doesn’t work, send her a version of this “weird” email that works 99% of the time:

“Dear [Bride’s Name],

On the XXth of March, we emailed about your wedding…and as I haven’t heard from you, I can only assume one of the following:

1) You’re now not interested and I’m reduced to the status of an annoying piece of spam clogging up your email or

2) You desperately want to contact me, but you’re trapped under a fallen filing cabinet and can’t reach your phone or PC.

P.S. If it is #2, please let me know and I’ll send someone round to help you out.”

3. You can swap out some of those details you learned from her questionnaire for the humorous scenario in #2. This will minimally make her laugh and almost certainly get a response. In fact, a wedding planner who used this email with two different people who had been ignoring her emails for MONTHS heard back from them both within 15 minutes of sending! Hint: this works because it’s funny and it’s refreshingly different.

Now let’s see what we can do about the second scenario…

She sounds like a warm lead, too. Again, she’s probably just busy. So you need to be persistent!

Here’s what to do:

1. Forward her a copy of your original email with this additional message:

“Hi, [Bride’s Name].

I’m forwarding my last email just in case it got lost in cyberspace. 🙂

Are you available for a quick phone chat on Wednesday at 4pm?

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!”

2. If that doesn’t work and you don’t hear from her within the next 3-4 days, send a variation of this email:

“Hi, [Bride’s Name].

We’ve be in communication about your wedding on INSERT DATE and I haven’t heard back from you.

Are you still looking for a cinematographer?

Please let me know so that I can quit bugging you if you’ve made other arrangements. 🙂

Thanks!”

3. If you STILL don’t get a response after that (highly unlikely) then send her a version of the “weird” email above.

Three keys to getting a RESPONSE:

  1. Don’t take it personally. They contacted you first, so assume they’re interested until told otherwise.
  2. Follow up, follow up and follow up some more. Don’t stop until they tell you to or until the date passes!
  3. Be personable, friendly and funny whenever possible. Keep your tone light and be different. You’ll become a real person to them, not just some company, and they will feel compelled to respond, even if they’re no longer interested.

– Stephanie

Do you have trouble getting warm leads to respond?

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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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10 thoughts on “How to Get a Response From Brides Who Ignore You”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Stephanie, I love your blog posts – they are so useful!

    FYI – I used Event Temple’s template wording on a bride-to-be who wanted a 5-piece copper cutlery setting for 600 guests (that’s 3,000 individual pieces, folks) for her upcoming wedding in September after she visited my stand at a wedding expo.

    She wouldn’t respond to my emails or voicemail messages until I used the following wording, not with a joke, but making it clear I didn’t want to waste either of our time anymore:

    “Hi X,
    This is my last attempt to contact you.

    You’d indicated your interest in getting a quote on the 600 x settings of copper cutlery for [venue] plus the [product] for your wedding on 2 September after you came to our stand at [expo].

    I’ve tried to contact you five times via email or phone calls and haven’t heard back.

    So either you’ve made other arrangements, or cyberspace is hijacking my emails again! *Grumble*

    Please reply to this email if you’re still interested.

    If you’re no longer interested, you don’t have to do anything. This is the last time you’ll hear from me :)”

    She rang a couple of hours after receiving that and was SO angry, saying she’s been busy, calling me unprofessional and that if I couldn’t help her, she’d contact someone who would and in her own good time!

    She is completely unaware – at this point – that no single wedding hire company in Australia actually has that many pieces and the one I will be using needs to use theirs along with all of their interstate counterpart’s range to arrange this.

    You can’t win ’em all.

  2. Angila says:

    After several positive responses to this email, I received this comment on my website:

    Hello, I received and extremely rude email from one of your worked named Angila. I don\’t recall contacting her regarding any invitations and the email was absolutely unneccessary and demeaning. This is extremely disappointing I will be sure to write a review regarding this issue.

    The email you suggested in this post was the last email that she received from me. FYI

    1. G.E. Masana says:

      Thing I’ve found about this kind of email and responses like you got, is that the humor has to be exaggerated, over the top silly, so that people easily see it’s a joke and not meant to be taken seriously. Because without vocal inflections and facial expressions and gestures, emailed humor falls flat. They’re not expecting you to be funny so they read your words through their normal everyday serious filter.

      Then the other thing is this. There’s all sorts of people in the world and some of them are a bit rigid. No sense of humor. You might’ve bumped up against one of them. And when you hit a dense object like that, ouch, it can hurt. < — joke

    2. Thanks for sharing your experience, Angila.

      We’ve only had positive feedback from using this email response until now. However, it brings up a couple issues that G.E. pointed out.

      #1 – Not everyone has a sense of humor. This bride in particular sounds like a real JERK and someone I wouldn’t want to work with any way.

      #2 – The issue she has isn’t with your response; it’s that it seems like “spam” to her because she doesn’t remember contacting you.

      #3 – It works to get a response because it’s emotional. Usually that emotions makes people laugh, but it may occasionally make someone angry.

      If you’re going to use this response, make sure that it’s really a “last resort.” Don’t use it until you’ve followed up at least THREE times already, and don’t use if with a lead you haven’t emailed in months.

      Of course, you may never use it again at this point. But it did work to get her to respond. 🙂

  3. Kim Hays says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I was wondering if you had any further advice for someone like me. I have started a somewhat of a new concept for a business in the wedding world. My business is Kimberly’s Bridal Styling which means, I am a certified bridal stylist, who assists the entire bridal party (basically, the bride) find their attire for the wedding and any events leading up to the wedding.

    As this is such a new concept to most brides, I am finding it difficult to impress upon brides the value in someone like me in my area. I have only just begun my business a few months ago and I am making several networking contacts with businesses but am not have very much success with brides directly. I have done one bridal show, in which brides seemed very interested but I have not heard from anyone as yet. I assume part of the reason may be that their wedding is too far out to start the search for their attire.

    I have been sending e-mails to couples through Weddingwire.com, but have only received one response, which ended up with the bride not responding after I quoted my price (this was before I had read your blog about the Price Shopper E-mail). I was pretty close to what you had said in my e-mail to this bride, but after reading your blog, I could have worded a bit differently.

    As I said above, if you have any little gems that you could share with me, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you so very much in advance.

    Sincerely,

    Kim Hays

    1. Hi, Kim. You have quite the challenge ahead of you.

      If your potential clients don’t already have a need for what you do, or if they don’t know about that need yet, it’s going to be a lot of work to educate and convince them. It’s much easier to get hired if you solve a problem or meet a desire they’re already aware of.

      Your best bet: connect with very high-end photographers, makeup artists and wedding planners. These are the type of people who are likely to work with brides who want a stylist. The planners and photographers in particular can send you extremely warm leads once you establish a relationship. That will be the fastest way to bookings.

      Also, check out this article about launching a new service: http://www.bookmorebrides.com/7-steps-new-wedding-service-doesnt-flop/

  4. G.E. Masana says:

    I was so surprised to see the idea of the funny response because that’s actually something I’ve been doing for some years now. Even down to the “I’ll send someone round to help you out” type punch line. So, please stop invading my brain with your mind rays or I’ll have to use my mutant telekinetic powers on you. If they extend to the Hudson Valley. Actually, I was inspired to write my version based on a letter Groucho Marx wrote. How’s that for a swipe file?

    One of the reasons I think a letter like that is effective is because it shows you’re not a rigid taskmaster, all sorts of peeved and uptight over them not getting back to you – you know how some wedding professionals get all twisted in knots about that – and instead you’re showing you can laugh it off, indicating that it’s safe to get back to you. So they do.

    1. Mind reading is just one of my super powers. 🙂

      Jeff likes to show off his wise ass side in email responses. I tend to be more perky/goofy. It’s gotta match your personality, but by all means show it.

      One could do worse than emulating Groucho.

  5. I love the email about the filing cabinet falling on her. I just sent that to a bride who has been telling me for 2 months that she will call very soon. Hopefully, that will work. Thanks!

    1. Elizabeth says:

      I used a variation on that, on a guy living in a beach suburb, asking if he was stuck under a palm tree and he did respond, and did book!

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