6 Reasons Why Your Clients Aren’t Booking You
You’ve been running your wedding business for a couple of years now and, COVID aside, things have been going ok. You’ve booked a few clients but have plenty of dates left in your calendar, and then you hear on the grapevine that your competitors are so busy they’ve had to turn weddings down leaving you wondering what you’re doing wrong.
Before you let panic set in, let me walk you through six of the most common reasons why your clients aren’t booking you, and the easy fixes you can use to become fully booked too.
You’re not attracting the right people.
If your website, marketing and social media is all about attracting as many people as possible you’re missing one vital point. Not all couples are going to want to work with you (and to be honest there are some you’re not going to want to work with too!).
The secret here is to niche, think about the kind of clients you want to work with, what are their values and ambitions, and how do they align with yours? What about style and aesthetic? What do they want from your business and what skills and experience do you offer to help them achieve their goals?
Developing your ideal client profile (one that will evolve and change over time as your business grows) allows you to be specific with your marketing and messaging, create a niche and attract clients who actually want to book you.
Your clients can’t find you.
You’ve worked your socks off (and invested a ton of money) creating a beautiful website and branding, deliberated over every word of copy, yet all you’ve heard since launch day is crickets.
Forget the ‘build it and they will come’ mentality, if you’re not actively out there finding clients then you’re not going to get them.
Firstly, you need to get visible. Find out where your clients hang out and how you can get in front of them online. Then invest your time and efforts using these platforms to build your audience, posting regularly, showing up visually and interacting with your followers.
Secondly, perfect your message. What do your clients want to hear about or need help with, and what can you talk about to grab their attention? Remember, quality content always wins over quantity.
You’re not focussing on value.
Fed up of hearing ‘you’re too expensive’ time and time again? Time to stop focussing on being the cheapest and start focussing on the value you offer your clients, the benefits and results they get from working with you.
Weddings cost money and hiring a wedding planner is a luxury not every couple can afford. Often the reason you’re not being booked is that you’re not charging enough, and couples with a real need (and budget!) to hire a wedding planner are put off by your low prices. In fact, when coaching my own clients, it’s often when we raise prices that the bookings start rolling in – not to mention profit!
It’s not clear what you offer.
Ask a (non-industry) friend to review your website and social media and describe back to you what you do. If they can’t succinctly summarise your offer chances are your offer is confused, or you are trying to do too many things.
Potential problems are flowery copy that is poetic and pretty to read but skips over the nitty gritty of your services, packages that don’t clearly explain the benefits of your work and the problems you can solve, or too many options ending up with confused clients who are overwhelmed by the number of decisions they are being asked to make.
Keeping your marketing message simple here is the key, explaining to your clients in easy-to-understand language what they are going to get and how much it’s going to cost them, instantly.
It’s not all about you.
If your website copy, social media and marketing messaging is all about you, who you are and why you decided to become a wedding planner then sorry but blah, blah. I (and your clients!) have heard it all before.
Your business needs to stand out from the crowd, and the way to do that is by showing your client you understand their wants and needs, make them feel that you understand and can solve their challenges and give them that warm and fuzzy feeling that builds an instant bond.
The way to do this is to ensure that everything you write puts your client at the centre, rather than ‘I decided to become a wedding planner because I love the romance of weddings’ try ‘I help confused couples turn their romantic wedding dreams into reality’.
You’re not closing the sale.
The number one reason you’re not making the sale is that you’re not asking for it. And if that thought makes you feel icky, stop thinking of this as a sales conversation but more guiding your clients towards making an informed decision to work with you.
You need to be asking your client to take action and make decisions that result in them getting in touch with you, and ultimately booking.
On your website this means repeatedly encouraging your clients to either book a consultation, check availability or get in touch to ask a question, so you’ll need to make it blatantly obvious on every single page how they can do that, linking to an online enquiry form, email or instant messaging system (whatever your preference).
On social media you’ll need to be talking about what you do, who you do it for and what your clients need to do to get to the next step using a call to action on every post! If you want your clients to get in touch you need to be telling them how – repeatedly!
And finally, check you are asking for the sale at the end of emails or sales calls. If you feel nervous about asking for the sale directly (and often this is the part we feel most uncomfortable with) try using a soft close instead.
This could be talking through next steps like payment plans and contracts, asking what package they would like to go for or dealing with objections.
Think of it this way, by excluding the close from your sales process you are denying your clients the opportunity to ask questions and make a decision about working with you. By asking in a way you feel comfortable with, your clients are able to ask questions in order to fully understand the benefits and costs of working with you before they book.
Ultimately, to book more clients then you need to first make sure you’re attracting the right ones with your message, showing the value of your work and guiding your clients along the sales process with clear actions along the way – and don’t forget to ask for that sale!
If you would like some 121 support then reach out via my consultancy business and book a free call
Or pop your name onto the waitlist for our membership, doors open in the new year
Photo by Hayley Bray
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