As a wedding industry supplier, a bride-to-be and a wedding blogger I have seen, or been involved in, over 100 wedding fairs. Some of these fairs charge under £100 for a stand, some charge £1000’s. In this new series of Wedding Fair Dos & Don’ts I’ll be exploring how to get the best out of wedding fairs and sharing some top tips on working your stand.
The number one mistake wedding suppliers make at wedding shows.
You’ve forked out your cash for a stand, you’ve got the design spot on and you know how to approach potential clients. You then work your butt off all day, you talk to many, many grooms and brides-to-be and you take contact details. You end the day with sore feet, your voice has almost disappeared – let’s face it, you’re probably knackered. You get home, stick the kettle on, put your feet up and reflect on how well the day as gone. But before you pat yourself on the back beware; in the days that follow a lot of you are going to make the biggest mistake a wedding supplier can make – YOU DON’T FOLLOW UP!
A couple that meets you at a wedding fair and hands over their contact details are like gold – they have actively left you permission to get in touch. If you don’t follow up they may as well have left a door open with a a welcome mat on the step just for you to walk past it. You may think that the same door will be open in the future, and you’re right – but I can almost guarantee that you won’t receive a warm welcome. Most of those hard-earned, pre-qualified leads will have forgotten who you are.
- A whopping 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
- Event-triggered marketing could save 80% of your direct mail budget. (Source: Gartner Research)
- Leads that are nurtured make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group)
- Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. (Source: InsideSales.com)
- Businesses that are good at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Source: Forrester Research)
Statistics say that you need to follow up and you need to get it right.
Try to keep in mind that most couples will be inundated with emails from prospective wedding suppliers; you need to stand out from the crowd.
- It doesn’t matter whether you follow up by email, phone or snail mail, you must reference the wedding fair where you met your prospective customers.
- If you are given contact details for both the bride and the groom then contact them both – don’t just contact the bride. More and more grooms are getting interested in wedding planning and want to be actively involved. If you ignore the groom you’re already off to a bad start.
- Don’t contact prospective customers at inappropriate times of the day. Email and snail mail is fine, but if you have a telephone number think about when you ring. First thing in the morning will find most of your customers getting ready for work, late evening will find them settling for bed.
- If budget permits, and you have a list of addresses then send a postcard – we are getting less and less personal mail through our letterboxes so a hand-written postcard could come as a welcome change from a string of emails. If you do decide to go down this route make sure that your postcard relates well to your stand. You want recipients to instantly remember who you are; maybe take a photograph of your stand and incorporate the image onto your postcards.
- Be organised. Think about how your are going to take, and keep your potential clients details – scraps of paper just aren’t going to cut it! When it comes time to follow-up (which is asap) you’ll need an easy to use, highly intuitive filing system. This is not the time for overcomplicated, triple indexed systems which will have you scratching your head and gnashing your teeth with frustration
I do hope that you’ve found these tips useful. Keep tuned because I’ll be sharing more Wedding Fair Do’s And Don’t’s.