What to do when a bride only wants to talk about price
Dealing with budget brides! The How-to Guide for wedding venues plagued by relentlessly price-conscious brides who want everything for nothing!
Picture the scenario.
A bride comes to your website, likes the services you offer, so she requests ‘just a quote’. So you respond with the cost of your wedding packages and then the trouble starts. The haggling, the cost comparisons and the final statement that you’re simply too expensive and that they’ll have to choose another venue if you don’t give in to their demands!
Unfortunately, it seems that for most wedding businesses, the brides who just want a good deal are the ones you hear from the most.
There are a number of reasons for this focus on cost. There’s no doubt that people are more price sensitive these days. Part of this has been fuelled by wedding media advising couples to always negotiate. Brides still want the perfect wedding, but a lot of them want it at a rock bottom price, which brings us to one of the biggest reasons why brides are starting to treat their weddings like any other financial transaction.
Do you think your only selling point is how cheap you are? Have you fallen into the trap of believing that you’re selling a commodity?
If so, you need to get yourself out of this mind-set immediately. With a commodity, it’s price that’s most important, which is fine if you sell orange juice. As a wedding however, you offer a service that helps the happy couple have the most special day of their life. Price should be one of the least important considerations.
Take the focus away from price and onto your services
Instead of worrying about price, you need to make sure that you (and your colleagues) keep the focus of your website and any correspondence firmly on:
• The benefit of what you do and the difference you’ll make to the day. How will you solve their problems? How will you make sure their day runs smoothly? In short, what makes you the right choice?
• Your unique value proposition (UVP). Many wedding venues lose business by trying to seem like everyone else instead of focusing on what makes them special. Your UVP explains succinctly (i) what sets you apart from your competition; (ii) why couples should choose your venue for their wedding and how you can make their day special; (iii) how you solve your customer’s needs and what benefits you provide. Your UVP should be prominently featured on your website’s landing page, as well in all your wedding-related marketing collaterals.
• What you offer. Do you have amazing views? Award winning food? A high-end clientele? Whatever it is that makes you different to your competitors, potential customers need to know about it.
• Your long list of overjoyed customers. After all, there’s nothing like great reviews from real people to persuade a bride that you really are as good as you say you are.
The simple truth is that not every bride can afford your wedding venue – and that’s okay.
You need to convey to any bride who wants to focus on price that you understand the importance of giving them a day to remember for all the right reasons. Once they know that you have their best interests at heart and genuinely care about their day, price becomes less of an issue.
Finally, if your website doesn’t present the right image, anyone coming to it is only going to ask themselves one thing:
How low is your price?
• If your website looks and feels dated, it needs to be the lowest.
• If your website content reads not well or has not been updated for a long time, it needs to the lowest.
And I want to caution you now, clients who pay the lowest possible price are difficult clients. They’re the ones who want you to go above and beyond while they haggle you down even further – all the while, reminding you that there are plenty of other venues willing to host their wedding for however little they’re offering.
Attracting the right clients
So what does this mean? That you should drop your prices even further? Resign yourself to fighting for every single booking?
Not at all. There’s a lot you can do with your marketing strategy to ensure that you attract the right kind of client and when they find you, they’ll decide that you’re the one they want to hire – even though your price might be higher than your competitors.
• Put yourself in the shoes of a bride who is shopping for wedding services. They’ve got a million and one things to organise. They need you to reassure them that you’re one less thing to worry about.
• If they’ve asked you for a quote, then they’re interested in doing business with you. Shift the focus away from price and onto what you can do for them. Are you a good fit? Can you solve their problems? Do you understand their situation and needs?
All any bride wants, even the bargain hunters, is to find someone who cares as much about her big day as she does.
What’s an even better way of converting brides on a budget?
Improve your website. If a bride comes to your site and finds a high end, professional site, it won’t even occur to them to try and haggle on price. Either they can afford you or they can’t – and they’ll do their best to make sure they can afford you.
Put simply, you want any prospective clients to visit your site and know that you’re an indispensable addition to their day. Is that going to happen if your site feels well past its lifespan?
Whether you decide to hire a web developer or tackle your site yourself, if you use the cheapest option you can find, it’s no wonder you’re getting so many cheap brides. If you can’t be bothered to invest in your business, why should your clients?
Improving your website
Before you start work on your site, ask yourself a few question:
• What’s your UVP (unique value proposition)? How are you different to everyone else in your business?
• Do you understand your client’s problems? How can you solve them?
• Does your call-to-action really inspire a browsing bride to take action? Do you make it easy for someone to make an enquiry?
• What can you do to motivate a bride visiting your website to make an enquiry? (If it doesn’t involve a discount, even better!)
• Have you got a social marketing strategy and is it integrated with your website?
• Does every aspect of your site reinforce your marketing message and brand? This includes graphics, design, layout, structure, text, etc.
• Do you use testimonials to support what you’re saying?
If you can’t answer these questions positively, no wonder you’re not getting any results from your site!
Finally, let’s take a moment to mention SEO – search engine optimisation. If you’re on page one of Google and other search engines, that’ll go a long way to positioning you as a leader in your field.
There are a number of things you can do to your site to help boost your search engine results as well as establish yourself as THE person to do business with.
If you don’t know where to start, why don’t you get in touch with me? I’ve helped many businesses just like yours transform budget brides into buying brides!