We’d like to say that every couple gets back to their suppliers with a “yes” or “no” answer. But unfortunately, we know that isn’t always the case. So how many times is too many times to be following leads?
The answer? As many times as it takes. Particularly within the first month.
Why you shouldn’t give up on your leads
Getting the Yes
The main goal of chasing up any couple is to get a “yes”. Yes, they want to book your services for their wedding. Yes, they are going to go ahead with purchasing your product.
Anytime you receive a yes you make money and get a sale. So when you leave those couples alone you are losing your own potential revenue. We can’t assume why a couple may or may not have given us radio silence after a conversation. Busy periods at home, stress at work, overseas holidays, and a full inbox are all reasons couples might not be seeing your emails. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t want to book with you.
You might set up a phone call with a couple and they don’t pick up when you answer. Well, try again! You should always continue following leads with a couple until the sale is closed.
Chasing up the No
If a couple doesn’t want to book your services or purchase your product, then at least you have an answer. There is a worse scenario than not having someone book with you.
“No’s” help us learn from our experience and try again. A couple telling you that they don’t want to book with you can help you analyse how you could handle a situation better. It can also help you improve your sales process to get fewer “no’s” in the future.
Receiving no answer at all is actually worse than receiving a “no”. Giving up on the couple or letting them continue to ghost you with no response leaves you in sales limbo. Most salespeople end up in limbo because they are too afraid to get a “no” to continue asking for the “yes”.
Don’t get stuck hanging on the couple for a response. Keep asking them whether or not they want to book with you to get that answer. Regardless of whether you’re scared of them saying “no”.
How to keep following up with couples
When you’re chasing up a couple for a response make sure you give them some space without putting too much time between your last contact. We looked to sales and conversion expert Alan Berg for advice on how not to give up on sales. His five-step process is simple, easy to learn, and has produced results for wedding businesses around the world.
Responding to the enquiry
Your first response to a couple should be quick and use the same method they use. If a couple enquires with you through SMS then respond via SMS. If they give you a call then call them back. 50% of couples will book with the first person who responds to them so make sure you’re getting back to your couples within the first 30 minutes of their enquiry.
When you do, take a look at your subject line. How engaging is this for your couple? An automatic response from an enquiry may look something like this:
“Re: Event Request from Jane Doe for Wedding at [Venue]”
Try and make your subject line more engaging and personalised for the couple. Use more emotive language and reference what they might have asked about. For example:
“Re: Your perfect wedding at [venue] in September 2020”
The first follow up
Give the couple at least 24 hours to respond to your enquiry before you start your first follow up. This could be a reply expanding on the information they have given you or prompting them to ask you more questions.
Make sure you let the couple know you are available to talk and passionate about helping them achieve their wedding dream. If you haven’t been direct in answering the enquiry the first time around, now is a good time to give them that information they’ve actually asked about.
Responding to the specific questions of a couple rather than skirting around with other information will help gain their trust.
The second follow up
If you still haven’t received a response from the couple after another day or two follow up with them again. This email should try a different method but still be on the same channel they have communicated with you in the first place.
Think about how you could chat with the couple in a different way. If you’ve had another couple enquire about the same date this could be a great way to start a new email and subject line for the original couple. Remember, be truthful when you are following couples up. You are still trying to create trust so they will book with you.
The third follow up
At this stage, it will likely have been around a week since you first received the enquiry from the couple. Rather than giving up on them keep persevering. They may have started looking at other categories, got busy at work, or just started to feel overwhelmed by their wedding planning.
If you get to this stage contact them again a week and a half or fortnight after the original enquiry. This should be the time that you start asking them whether they’re still in need of your services.
A single-subject line, SMS or even voice message if they don’t pick up will be useful here. Think of something along the lines of:
“Are you still looking for a venue/caterer/celebrant for your wedding?”
The fourth follow up
Now it’s two or three weeks after the initial enquiry it’s time to get creative. Try something funny that will get the attention of the couple to give you an answer.
Take this email example from The Oaks Weddings & Events in the US. This email got more cut-through with the couple with its quirky subject line and gave them a reason to respond.
And the response it elicited from the couple.
Couples will generally look at booking a particular category over a month. If you haven’t heard back from the couple after six weeks, contact them again in the same vein of conversation as your last point of contact.
Don’t give up on that lead until you feel that you have 100% tried every way of getting an answer for them. And good luck!