Most event pros conduct awful first meetings with prospective clients. Sorry, but it’s true. Many even skip over the meeting altogether, which is the worst thing you can do to mess up the sales process. Another bad way to start is to do most of the talking.
Don’t start the meeting out with a pitch about you and your services. You are there to listen and learn, so shut up and pay attention.
The big-ticket purchases we offer our wedding clients take several steps to complete successfully. Keep in mind that you’re both trying to learn things in the early stages.
The purpose of your first meeting is different for you (getting information) than it is for them (learning to trust you and respect your qualifications to meet their needs). If you treat it like an interrogation or skip the meeting altogether you’re more likely to get ghosted when you send a proposal.
Open with questions that help you form a connection with them, provide insight into how they make decisions, and identify where they’re at in the buyer’s journey.
· How’s the wedding planning going so far?
· What’s the date for the wedding? Why did you choose it?
· What do you do for work? What got you into that career?
· How long have you been looking for a (blank)?
· What’s the venue for the wedding? What drew you to it?
· Where are most of the people for the wedding coming from?
· Have you put much thought into the wedding planning so far?
· Who all will be involved in making a decision on a (blank)?
· How soon are you hoping to make a decision on a (balnk)?
· What’s been the go-to source for information on vendors?
When you’ve built enough rapport, it’s time to talk about problems they’re having in getting their needs met. Yes, I’m suggesting you turn the conversation to the reality that they are very likely overwhelmed and scared of making the wrong choice and/or spending too much money.
· How’s the hunt for finding a (blank) going so far?
· Do you have any free time outside of work and wedding planning?
· Isn’t it hard to make a decision on so many dfferent choices?
· Do you have a budget in mind for (blanks)?
· How important is sticking to the budget?
· What’s it like finding a (blank) without help from a planner?
· What’s the biggest nightmare you’ve heard of with a (blank)?
· Haven’t weddings become a bit of “I’m gonna out-do you?”
· How do all weddings on Instagram look so amazing without big budgets?
If you’ve steered the discovery meeting in a good direction, you’ll get to a natural point in the conversation where you can identify what’s important to them. Stay focused not on the wedding in general, but instead hone in on the services you want to provide.
· Would you say you value (blank) more or less than the average couple?
· What do you love so much about (blank)?
· What’s the best (blank) you’ve ever seen at a wedding?
· What images of (blank) make you stop scrolling on Instagram?
· How important is personality in the vendors you choose?
· What’s the most important part about (blank)?
· When people talk about (blank) after the wedding what do you hope they say?
· Earlier you mentioned (blank). Tell me more…
· I heard you say (blank). What does (blank) mean to you?