Did you ever watch the Discovery channel show, “Myth Busters”? It was one of my favorites, because you got the real scoop on things you’ve heard a lot and thought were true.
Today’s newsletter will do the same. I’m going to take several myths and bust them for you.
Why? Because making decisions based on bogus information usually leads to bad outcomes – and I don’t want that for you.
All these are popular among wedding pros, but I’ve not put them in any particular order.
Pricing Dead Zones
Myth: Couples don’t buy services offered in your vendor category at certain price points.
Truth: Wedding pros sell successfully at all price points.
Why the myth exists: The people who believe in the “dead zone” theory do so because they raise their rates, but don’t book anything at the higher prices. All was well at, say, $4500, but at $5200 no one is booking.
Several things could be happening. 1) The price you’re charging doesn’t equal the value you’re conveying during the buying experience. 2) You’re not getting enough qualified inquiries through your website. 3) You’ve outpaced your referral base, and planners and venues kicking you clients aren’t sending you couples who can afford your services. 4) Your old way of selling isn’t cutting it at the higher prices.
Full-Service Planners Can’t Offer Three Options
Myth: Planners who do only full service can’t offer three distinct options on a proposal.
Truth: Everyone – including planners – can (and should) provide a set of collections for couples to choose from on a proposal.
Why the myth exists: Planners think their only options are 1) day-of coordinator, 2) month-of event management, 3) partial planning, or 4) full service.
But full-service planning as defined by most planners isn’t often comprehensive. Does your full-service planning include ALL of the events for the wedding weekend? Does it include design services? Does it include guest or destination management? Are you booking accommodations, transportation, or activities for the wedding party and/or their guests?
If you answer no to any of these you aren’t maxing out the services you can (and should) sell to interested clients. Someone has to do these things, and if it’s you, you might as well get paid.
Luxury Price Points
Myth: Luxury wedding budgets start at $250,000.
Truth: For more than a decade, market researchers have generally considered “luxury” to start at around $100,000.
Why the myth exists: Luxury wedding pros started using a term “lovely” to describe weddings with entry-level luxury budgets.
It’s true that different levels of luxury exist. In general, market analytics I read through talk about luxury buyers whare either a) mass affluent, b) affluent, or c) ultra-affluent. Each segment is defined by household income and net worth, and represents a specific percentile within the whole. Mass affluent could be top 7-10% of all buyers, affluent could be top 4-6%, and ultra-affluent could be top 3%, say.
I find it more helpful – and less pejorative – to call wedding budgets between $100-150k entry luxury or aspirational luxury rather than “lovely.”
People don’t read marketing or sales material
Myth: No one reads anymore, they only look at images or videos or short captions
Truth: Certain people don’t like to read very much. Others do. It’s important to know which one your ideal client is before eliminating content marketing and website copy.
Why the myth exists: We’re all wired differently. Humans process information and the world around us through different filters. We also want and need different things. This is why we created four unique buyer types to describe a person in the buyer’s journey.
Two of the buyer types don’t like to read very much. Dreamers are visual learners, have short attention spans, and when they read it’s headlines, captions and one-line paragraphs. Bosses want to know the bottom line, need a short version/executive summary, and when they read it’s bullet points and calls-to-action.
Relaters and Analyzers will read to collect information and connect with you as a person, not just a business. If you don’t provide content for them to consume, you’ll lose them early in the buyer’s journey. About half of all couples fall into this category, including most brides-to-be, who are Relaters – and the ones reading your social media and website copy.
Myth: You can’t lower your rates once you’ve raised them
Truth: Prices for your services can go up and down depending on market conditions and your ability to provide value equal to what you’re charging.
Why the myth exists: Conventional wisdom says if you reduce your prices you’re diluting your brand. When you lower an existing price it can communicate lower value to the consumer, or a lack of confidence in what you’re selling.
I admit, much of this is true – when your prices are published and buyers are aware when it’s been lowered. But unless you’re posting your prices in detail on your website, couples don’t know that you’re lowering (or raising) your prices.
(The exception is when a current or past client shares how much they paid with a friend or family member, but we’ll ignore this as the exception, not the rule.)
The price you include in your proposal is the price for that particular couple and their event on the day they’re considering. The next proposal could include a different price for a different couple. It’s not unethical or a bad business practice.
In fact, it’s smart to assess a couple’s willingness-to-pay as a criteria for the price you propose. It’s why so many of you increased your prices during the wedding boom last year.
Myth: Success is dictated by the number of events you book or prices you charge.
Truth: Everyone gets to determine their own measure of success, and it should always be driven by what’s most important to you.
Why the myth exists: Many entrepreneurs are motivated by achievement. They want to win – in business, in life, in everything they do. They’ve probably done it their entire lives: Set a goal, strive to reach it.
But when you own a business, it’s not a win-lose situation, and goals don’t have to be financially driven. Personally, I measure our company’s success by the lifestyle it affords us. And it’s not about the money we make to buy the things we want.
The “profit” we make focuses on time off from work. Success for us is traveling 100 days each year, for work or pleasure. So we build our business model around reaching that goal. It’s what matters most to us.
We also measure success in how many business owners we help each year. That’s why we’ve developed group programs like Social and Sway, Momentum, Breakthrough, and our online Ideaction Community.
Finally, we factor into our criteria for success how happy our team is. We are a team of eight right now, and we want everyone to see their job as a support for living a life filled with joy. It’s why we let our team write their own schedule and take time off whenever they want. It’s why we did two company retreats last year, including one in Costa Rica with their spouses. Did it add to the company’s bottom line? No. Did it meet our measure of success? Ask our team.
If you’re interested in redefining what success looks like to you… If you want to put together a plan to reach your goals, whatever they are… If you’re still trying to fill your calendar and increase your prices…
Consider joining us in Costa Rica for a Shift Retreat in November or December. We’d love to host you.
Learn more about the retreat here.