The Consultative Salesperson

There is a thing in the Wedding World I call Bridal Buying Reluctance. What this refers to is the Bride who is reluctant to buy even though she says she is comfortable with the product/service she is buying, she has the money, everything is fine (so she says) but she is reluctant to pull the trigger. There is a reason for this as well as a way to overcome it.

Two weeks ago, I was visiting with my Mom. The weather was great (she lives on the West Coast of Florida near the beach), the kids were having a great time, but things at her house seemed a little stuffy. I put my hand up to the air vent and the output was just above warm. We determined that her 18 year old A/C unit was on the fritz. She had planned for this and was ready to buy a new unit. The following Monday, she called a repair person out who fixed it, but it being so old, Mom decided to start shopping for a new A/C unit.

Here was her process: get quotes from 3 reputable dealers and buy based on one thing-you guessed it- Price.

Here is how the process went:

1. Dealer one came in and gave her a quote-$3000 (took about 10 minutes of looking around at the various hook up points and writing out the quote) He told her to get back with him if she had any questions

2. Dealer 2-similar experience to #1 except that her very close friend had purchased a unit from this guy the year before. He quoted $3000 also-He took 15 minutes.

3. Dealer #3-Came in and asked about 15 minutes worth of questions, spent 15 minutes describing what was going on in the industry (they are changing the rules on Freon apparently this spring, so any units sold after March have to be a new kind of unit which use the eco-friendly type of Freon) and spent 15 minutes writing up and going over the quote. He further explained that she qualified for a $150 rebate for the energy saving unit from the power company.

If you had to guess, which one was my Mom leaning towards?

When she told me this, I asked her is the other 2 bids were based on the new system or the old. I further suggested that she should take the step of asking to find out which type of unit was being offered (she could have potentially save $1000 or cost herself a bunch of problems if she could not get the unit serviced 5 years down the road).

She took my suggestion of calling up #1 and #2 bid. One wasn’t there and still has not returned her call and one treated as though she was an idiot for asking (to which she is still making fun of this guy every time we speak-suggesting that he has body odor issues and that his parents were never married-you don’t treat my Mom like an idiot-trust me on this one!)

Well, long story simply, Bid #3 is installing the new unit tomorrow. She is actually looking forward to spending $1000 more than the other guys and not waiting until it bites the dust to do it (she was raised one of 12 Brothers and Sisters and knows how to get the most for her buck-she typically would try to wait until one year from the point that it breaks down until she replaced it)

Here is the point:

1. Brides are similar as they are buying something they have never bought before and are not up to speed with the different options.

2. Brides like to have consultants advise them rather than salesman sell them

3. Nobody likes or deserves to be talked down to- you don’t get the sale and they will make fun of you for it if you do)

4. Brides will spend more money with you if you give them the reasons why (it has to be their reasons-your reasons don’t count or matter)

5. Ask questions. By asking enough questions, you will find out more than simply their budget and be better able to serve your customers in a manner that they find not only appealing, but will send you referrals for after.

It is sometimes hard to remember that 85% of your customers have never bought your product or service before to the extent that they will for their wedding. They are nervous. They are scared they will do something wrong. They want it to be perfect (a hard standard to meet, I understand). They don’t want to look stupid in front of their guests, the parents, their new in-laws, their Sisters (who they have always competed with) or their girlfriends (who are like their Sisters).

Take the time to educate these girls on what they need to know. Don’t just try to sell them your “stuff”. That will happen when you become a consultant, not just one of many who are looking at them as a money tree. Hone your consulting sills and it will pay off with happier Brides who look forward to spending more money with you!



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