11 strategies to stop couples ‘ghosting’ you

Updated on: April 14, 2023

You’ve responded to an enquiry, maybe even had a chat and things seemed promising. Then the communication stopped and you don’t know what went wrong. Sound familiar? Then keep reading!

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At last year’s Wedding MBA in Las Vegas, international business coach and event planner Megan Gillikin shared some game-changing strategies to stop couples ‘ghosting’ you and convert leads. Here’s what we took away.

A veteran wedding planner and host of the Weddings for Real Podcast, Megan is also a wedding business coach, consultant, educator and international speaker. She is “dedicated to making life easier for other event pros,” according to her Linkedin bio

Her career in events spans almost two decades. She passes along lessons learned about the biz with the goal of “helping other entrepreneurs find success and profitability without burnout”.

We got so much out of Megan’s talk at the 2022 Wedding MBA that we just had to share some of her sales strategies with our Australian wedding business community.

How to get couples to book you, not leave you on read

Suppliers often use the term “ghosting” when referring to couples you connect with but never hear from again. Perhaps it was after an initial phone call or maybe even a first meeting that you thought went well, only to result in your messages being left on read. 

In this article, we suggest why couples might choose another wedding supplier and offer actionable strategies to prevent future ghosting and convert more leads to bookings instead.

Megan Gillikin, wedding planner and business coach, from The Planners Vault
Image: Megan Gillikin, The Planners Vault

1. Show off your superpower

To book more weddings, you must stand in what Megan calls The Sea of Sameness. So identify what differentiates you from other suppliers and hone in on that USP (unique selling point). Make it prominent in your messaging and your branding as a whole. 

2. Don’t share your price list on your homepage

Listing your prices on your website is problematic for several reasons, Megan says. 

It leads couples to decide your value based on bullet points and prices alone. It also leaves you vulnerable to couples booking a basic package but wanting extra add-ons or demanding additional resources from you without paying for it. However, it gives them no reason to have a conversation, denying you the opportunity to sell your value and how your expertise can alleviate their pain points. 

We’ll talk about that more later.

3. Respond quickly

We say this a lot, but responding to enquiries quickly is critical to converting leads. This is the first impression you give potential clients, so a fast response demonstrates that you are efficient and easy to work with. It also puts your business at the top of mind.

Megan quoted a Forbes report that found the average response time of a small business was 47 hours, however 70% of consumers buy from companies that respond to their enquiry first. She added that businesses that responded within an hour were 7% more likely to convert the sale, according to Harvard Business School research. 

Keep your initial response short and to the point. The goal is to get the potential client to the next step or call to action, so don’t overwhelm them with information.

4. Lean into the power of automation

Let’s face it. As small business owners, it’s impossible to respond to enquiries 24/7 while you’re busy running your company (and trying to have some form of work-life balance). 

Take advantage of tools to automate the process, which are personalised and written in your unique brand voice. 

At the very least, set up an auto-reply.  

5. Make it easy to book a quick ‘virtual coffee’

Cut the back and forth using an online booking scheduler like Calendly, allowing couples to book quick 20-minute ‘virtual coffee’ calls with you. Longer calls require a more significant commitment from couples who may not yet be ready for that level of investment.

To help set her apart in the Sea of Sameness, Megan sends her clients a $5 or 10 Starbucks gift card so they can grab a coffee on her before their chat. “It leans into the philosophy of reciprocating and gets them to show up,” she says. 

Shot of cute woman having videocall with friends on laptop sitting on the couch at home.

6. Be curious and intentional with your discovery call

Congratulations on getting to the discovery call! Seize the opportunity to learn about your prospective client, Megan says. And by that, she doesn’t mean asking about how the couple met and their love story. Instead, ask some pivotal questions about how the wedding planning is going so far. The answers will help you demonstrate how you’re the solution they didn’t know they needed! Ask: 

  • What’s keeping you up at night about planning your wedding?
  • What are you most excited about?
  • Who is helping you make decisions?
  • When do you expect you’ll make a decision on booking your category supplier?

7. Connect their pain points to your offering

Couples simply don’t have the years of experience that wedding pros do when planning a wedding. It’s our job to learn what they are most anxious about in the planning journey and match our offering to address these concerns. If you didn’t learn that in your discovery call, Megan says that’s a wasted opportunity!

Successful wedding suppliers are great at helping couples understand the value of what we can do for them beyond a price point. 

8. ‘Show and Tell’

Carve out a maximum of five minutes for a brief ‘show and tell’ for what sets you apart from other wedding suppliers. Talk about any tools you’ve invested in to level up your business and improve the user experience. 

9. Follow up more than you think you should

Keep your warm leads at the top of mind by following up more than once — Megan suggests ideally four or more times.

The free customisable WedCRM platform is available to all Easy Weddings clients, offering Customer Relationship Management tools to set up enquiry response templates for tracking your pipeline.  

In the video below, Easy Weddings Partnership Manager, Tenzin Andrew, shares some tips on nailing the follow-up to improve your conversion rate.

10. Offer more than one package option

… but don’t overwhelm them with too many choices. Megan suggested a Goldilocks principle, offering three options but packaging the middle one as the most cost-effective and appearing to be just right

11. Offer a fast-action incentive

Megan suggested sending your proposal with a fast-action incentive, with a personalised value ad based on your conversation. We don’t mean a discount, but rather it could be a free tasting if you’re a cake or catering supplier, free make-up trial or pre-wedding facial, an additional hour of photography… something that might make the potential client want to work with you and motivate them to book you now. 

We hope these tips will help you scare away those ghosts and improve your conversion rate to book more weddings. You can connect with Megan on Linkedin or follow her on Instagram at Plannersvault and listen to her on the Weddings For Real Podcast.

If you aren’t yet online with Easy Weddings and would like to see how we can help increase your brand presence and help book more weddings, submit an online enquiry form, here, and we’ll be in touch.

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Categories: Sales Tips