It’s August! Which means Back to School time in any other year than the ridiculous dumpster fire of 2020. So forget COVID woes for 10 minutes and pretend you’re going back to school! The excitement of getting your class schedule and seeing your friends again, the joy of school supply shopping, the angst of picking out your first day of school outfit. Are you back in that mindset yet? Then it’s time to go BACK TO SCHOOL! Over the next few weeks in this blog series we’ll be diving into the wedding systems you MUST-HAVE for your business.
Do you have a way of seamlessly managing your inquiries? By this I mean, are you using a CRM, asking enough questions to evaluate if the lead is a fit, and then automatically sending them an inquiry guide?
While my personal favorite is Dubsado, there are so many options out there – Honeybook and 17Hats are two of the other top choices among wedding pros. Your inquiry form should be extensive enough to weed out looky-loos from serious inquiries. You shouldn’t need a back and forth to know if that lead is a decent fit (of course, a phone call or meeting could change that!).
I suggest asking:
Name of Both Partners
Venue (and any other vendors they’ve already booked)
Budget/Price Range (you can insert your package options with pricing as a drop down menu)
Guest Count (if this affects you)
How They Found You (this is so important for your ROI!)
With a CRM like Dubsado, you can automatically direct your lead to a “thank you” page after they inquire. This page should let them know how excited you are that they found you, congratulate them on their engagement, and let them know how quickly someone will be in touch (I recommend no more than 24 business hours.)
Once that lead has come through and you evaluate that they’re a fit, you can send them an email with more information. Now this email SHOULD be the first step in your lead system. It should thank them for contacting you, direct them to schedule a call, and you should have either a link or an attachment to your inquiry guide. You should have one of these no matter what type of vendor you are! The easiest place to create one is Canva and you should slide into my DMs if you need help making one! This inquiry guide should contain information about you, what your process looks like (and how to move forward with booking!), all of your pricing, testimonials from happy clients, and photos!
Both Dubsado and Honeybook have built in schedulers, but you can also use a program like Calendly, Acuity, or Setmore. You absolutely must have a way for a lead to seamlessly book a window of time to have a call/video chat with you. No more of this back and forth “what works for you?” nonsense!
Once you’ve sent that, I advise following up with a lead 5 days and 14 days after inquiry (if they haven’t emailed you back or scheduled a call, of course.) But, no matter how great your initial emails and followups are, you will get ghosted by leads (and even serious inquiries!), that’s just the nature of the industry. Try not to take it personally!
Let’s say they’re getting married at a venue you don’t work at (hey, it happens) or you’re already booked for another wedding that date (yay!!), you should also have a canned email at the ready to let them know you’re unavailable. I think it’s a very nice thing to direct them towards 2-3 vendor friends of yours that might be available or a better fit for them. Couples are so inundated with Google overwhelm that it’s nice to direct them to trusted sources if you’re not available.
So, do you have your lead system in place? If you don’t, let’s chat today!