What Should I do about my Prices?

I had several conversations this week with various wedding vendors regarding the topic of Price with regards to their services/products that they offered to Brides. The majority of these conversations were leaning towards “I think I might lower my prices”. With the current economic downturn, this is a tempting thing, but let me share with you some other thoughts.
I am seeing business on the corporate side of things down as much as 70% from one year ago. With AIG taking bonuses as well as going on their extravagant excursions, many companies (even those who are not receiving one dime of “bail out” moneys) are not taking the risk of being seen as extravagant to their shareholders. CEO’s are pulling back everything. Even the good things like fundraisers are seeing the dollars evaporate or at the least, people are not attending the soirees and big fundraising parties (even though they may be still be donating-they just don’t go to the Party).
Many Wedding vendors also work in the Corporate function side of business. Up to last year, many of you had thriving businesses in the Corporate Function arena. While we may see a dip in the number of weddings (estimates are between 3-5% lower as far as the number of weddings), Weddings are still the meat and potatoes of most of your business.
So with Corporate business being off, it is tempting to try to grab as much business as you can and in so doing, you may even try to reach at lowering your prices due to fear, need or some other emotion which is may not be productive for you.
In polling 1000 Brides once, I asked them to rank what they felt was the most important thing for their wedding in the following categories: 1) Location 2) Service 3) Selection 4) Quality 5) Years in business/experience 6) Price
You may be surprised at the results.
The last place thing that Brides were interested in (by far last place) was Years in Business/Experience.
Here are the top Three: 1. Quality  2. Service (as in customer service) and far third 3) Price.
Based on what the Brides want, we need to sell them based on Quality and service. It is true that they may ask you “What’s you price on….”   There is a reason why they ask this-they don’t know how to measure quality. It then behooves us to teach them about quality. This is a tricky thing as we cannot just stand in front of our business with a sign that says “Quality Stuff Inside”. That becomes a bit self serving.
Lowering your Prices becomes a slippery slope. While we deal with a “Never Before-Never Again” customer (she has never before spent this kind of money and will never again spend this money), she is ultimately interested in talking about the best, the most unique, the “thing” that will make her wedding totally her. She will spend the money on what you have to offer if you give her the reason to buy. When you simply lower the price, you become more of a business than you do a trusted provider on her one day.
It is my advice that you keep your pricing where it is and increase your marketing. Get more Brides into your sales funnel and you will keep you calendar full as well as more Brides satisfied who will give out more referrals.

2 Responses to “What Should I do about my Prices?”

  1. GM Says:

    What do you do about the people, and there seems to be a lot of them anymore, that want the Porsche’ but want to pay the Pinto price? It amazes me the people who want the best of everything but if there’s one place they have to cut back on, it’s almost always the photography! Why, and what do you do? I mean, I guess I’d rather be working for 50%, 60% or 70% of my regular prices than to be sitting at home not working at all, right? Please help!

    • gettingmorebrides Says:

      Sorry for the slow response~ You are not alone in your thoughts. On the one hand you have worked hard to getting your prices up to a level that is worth what the market is bearing, on the other hand, this has been (for lack of a better word) a “weird” year. Brides are holding off their decision to buy and they are more reluctant to dive in. My suggestion is that one of the main ways to market is to actually be in front of the potential Brides at the given event that you may be working. Based on that, you need to decide if it is worth your time to go out and use that event that you charged less for as a marketing opportunity or staying home. Further try to get something out of the Bride as a “perk” (testimonial, ability to pass out your brochures, ect…) Good LUck!

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