How do you close a deal without sounding sales-y?
Even the term “close a deal” sounds sales-y, right?!
But it’s necessary if you want to fill your calendar. Those who know how to push the couple across the finish line are the ones who:
Charge more for their services
Spend less time selling
Spend less time on social media and other marketing areas
Why? Because they’re converting a higher percentage of inquiries and making couples feel more secure in their decision.
Why should you focus on your conversion rate? Let’s do some quick math:
Let’s say you want to book 20 events next year. If your conversion rate is 20%, you have to get 100 inquiries with your marketing efforts. And you have to field 100 inquiries. And do 100 discovery calls. And do 100 proposals.
But let’s say you convert at 30%. You have to get only 66 inquiries and run 66 prospects through the sales process.
A 10-point uptick in conversion rate could equal 100 fewer hours of sales and marketing work.
And when you’ve successfully filled your calendar it means you can afford to take risks with your pricing. So you raise your rates – and book at higher price points. Most pros are leaving money on the table…you just need the safety net under you to feel confident you can charge your worth.
Nothing boosts your confidence like a full calendar.
Lay the groundwork ahead of time
“How do you close deals without sounding sales-y” is really two different things at once.
Don’t sound sales-y
First things first. If you want to close more deals, the best place to start is not at the end of the buyer’s journey, but in the middle. Two things top salespeople do are 1) conduct great discovery calls and 2) write compelling custom proposals.
If you guide a client through a discovery process that opens their heads and their hearts to what you can do for them, well, that’s half the work done for you.
Then you follow up the conversation with a personal intro to their needs, three options to meet those needs, and a list of 5 solid competitive advantages you hold over others.
Seriously, this is 90% of the work.
It makes closing the deal easy – and not cheesy.
All you do is wait for them to say they’re going to move forward with you. I’m serious. It happens that fast. I can’t tell you how many of our clients and people who took our signature course Blueprint to Book More reach out to say their couples tell them how incredibly easy it was to buy from them.
How they felt heard. And understood. And important.
And how the proposal captured it all.
You can use many closing techniques, but my favorite is the “soft close.” It’s basically you doing the recap of where you’ve been in the buyer’s journey, and where you are now, and then asking if they’re ready to keep going forward with you.
After all, it feels like the next, natural step to take.
“Sarah and Steve, it sounds like we’re on the same page about what’s most important to you for the wedding – and the kind of services I provide. It feels like a really good fit for style, personality, and budget. I sense you’re excited about what we can do together. Are you ready to secure the date and start collaborating on your wedding?”
See Easy. And not cheesy.
Be direct and book more business
If you want to get better at booking more business it’s a good idea to ask for it in the first place.
Think about how your couple got engaged. One person asked the other to marry them. They didn’t get on a knee and say nothing.
“Will you marry me?”
And you have to ask too.
Sending a custom proposal is a great start to closing the sale. But it’s not complete until you literally ask for the business.
“Will you buy my services?”
Of course, you’re not saying it that way. You say it the way I did above:
“Are you ready to secure the date with me?”
“Are we ready to get going on the planning?”
“Are we ready to get started?”
“Are you good to go with collection B?”
“Should we talk about next steps on the contract and deposit?”
There are a hundred ways to ask, but you have to try one of them.
Ask for a time to ask
The key to all this is to give yourself the opportunity to make the ask. And this is where most wedding pros make a misstep.
You aren’t talking with the couple after you send your proposal.
The simplest thing to increase your chances of booking a couple is to set up a time to go over the proposal with the couple and other people influencing the decision.
It’s a game-changer.
It goes something like this:
At the end of the discovery call, ask if they want a proposal from you.
When they say yes, ask them when they’re going to review the proposal.
Tell them you’ll get the proposal to them before that date/time.
Then tell them that most couples find it helpful to have a quick call to review the proposal you send over, clarify any information, and answer any questions. < /p>
Give them the choice of two different days a couple of days after they said they’re going to review the proposal.
Ask them what day works best.
Simple. And works 80+% of the time.
When you start setting up a time to make the ask for their business you’ll begin to see your conversion rates skyrocket.
So I hope you do.
And when you get them on a call, you need to know what to say. How to ask for them to book you.
That’s exactly what I go over in this week’s episode of Own Your Business I’ll share with you:
The number one challenge to closing deals
Ways NOT to close deals
Three simple strategies to get to yes – and feel totally comfortable making the ask