While the majority of the business conducted by millennials and engaged couples planning their weddings is done online, there is still a lot of power in a face-to-face meeting.
Yes, they often involve travel and can take up a fair chunk your time, but sitting down with a couple who may potentially book your services shows that you are committed to finding out more about them and are prepared to invest your time in doing so.
There are some key things to think about to ensure you make a lasting positive impression with your potential clients.
There is a lot to be said for the ol’ Scouts motto and even when a meeting is set to be held in even the most informal of settings, it is imperative that you come prepared.
Spend time going through any emails or other correspondence you have had with the couple, memorise their names, (there is nothing worse than being corrected and the awkwardness that follows) familiarise yourself with anything else they have shared with you so far – the date they wish to hold their wedding, the locations they are looking at, themes etc.
The more you know about the couple, the easier it will be to keep the conversation flowing.
A theory to follow
Albert Mehrabian’s 7%-38%-55% theory states that the majority of the communicating we do is through body language. The 38% relates to the tone of voice we use when speaking and a measly 7% comes from the words we actually say.
Don’t fully discount the importance of speech, though, if you are new at this, practice what you might say and think about the kinds of words that effectively communicate what you and your business is all about – without being too formal.
Remember, this is a business meaning of sorts, but definitely not the white-collar kind, so you can keep your tone light and friendly.
Body language should be relaxed and welcoming, offer handshakes, plenty of smiles if they genuinely come and be open to answering any and all questions that the couple might want to ask.
Do more listening than talking
You are there primarily to gain a better understanding of the couple and how you can best help them with their wedding day.
Don’t go in with a full monologue planned that is all about you and your business, instead ask questions about what they are looking for and answer questions for them.
If there is something they are looking for that is a great point of difference that you can offer, then feel free to expand on this for them so they can get a full picture.
Talking about yourself excessively will leave the couple feeling like you are not taking their considerations to heart.
Keep on track
You might be a multi-faceted business that can offer couples many elements for their wedding day, but they don’t necessarily need to hear all about them if they don’t want to.
Focus on what they are interested in as this shows that you are listening to and understanding their needs. If the opportunity arises for you to drop a plug in for other products or services that might compliment what they are looking for, then absolutely do so, but make it brief and if they show no interest, then quickly move on.
Unless you will be showing the couple images from your gallery or using an online booking form with them during the meeting, turn off the phone.
If you must keep it on, at least flick it over to silent. This will allow you to focus solely on the couple and the conversation at hand and not be distracted by buzzing electronics.
You will also avoid the temptation to glance at your phone when an alert comes through – doing so will be sure to give a bad impression to the couple sitting down with you.
Direct them to what comes next
Always finish the meeting on an open-ended note, with the offer for the couple to reach out over the phone, email, or even ask if they want to proceed- it’s okay to ask for the sale.