Supporting the Bridal Business Industry

Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Pushing and Pulling – Pulling and Pushing…is your marketing getting you leads?

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Every bridal & event business has some common traits. They all need to attract the attention of potential buyers. They all need a way to turn those prospects into paying customers. All businesses need to establish systems that please customers, encouraging them to buy again, and/or recommend them to family and friends.  Creating awareness of your Bridal or Event business, your products or services can be done by becoming aware and implementing the steps below to make it to the top!

Here are some of the ways we step through the process to get that sale!

Stage 1: Attract Traffic

The “traffic” may come to you through website visitors, phone calls, in-person visits, trade shows and more. Your methods of advertising and attracting interest will determine the quantity of leads, the quality of prospects, and the way they reach you. You may attract traffic with Pay-Per-Click ads on Google or Facebook, social media activity, partner referrals, print ads, networking, live events, or any number of other methods. Once you get the word out about your company and gain people’s attention, you can begin to capture their contact information and follow up.

Stage 2: Capture Leads

As you know, I encourage my ‘clients,’ to immediately make that visit with the bride and/or customer-looking at your services.  I believe that when a bride is planning her wedding, she WANTS to know those who is working with her to plan her dream.   Obviously, you may not get that immediate chance to ‘create a visit.’   So I believe that you need to maximize the traffic you attract. Only a small portion of your leads that you don’t have visits set up with, will become customers right away. The rest will take time to explore their options and think about their needs before they make a purchase decision. You need a way to follow up with these leads so that they come to you when they are ready to buy. Some of the ways we promote our clients is to establish a free offer that has value (i.e. ebook, video, free trial), then add this information into our CRM data file.  (Customer Response Management.)  It is very important that when a person converts from an anonymous website visitor to a lead, a contact is created in your CRM.  (See below for more details)

Stage 3: Nurture Prospects

Prospects who sign up for a free offer are essentially “raising their hand” to learn more about how your products and services will satisfy their need or solve their problem. Once you capture their contact information and feed it into your CRM,  you must use campaign sequences to send educational, persuasive messages that will educate prospects and maintain their attention until they are ready to buy.

Stage 4: Convert Sales

As the brides move closer to buying your product or service, the follow-up messaging should change and / or your outreach to them should be what ‘closes’ the sale.   This is where we hear, ‘I give them information once and they don’t respond.’  Does that mean you stop working and reaching out in different ways to solidify your relationship with the bride?  No!  You must ‘give them a reason’ to work with you –what interests one bride, may be different for the next one.

Stage 5: Deliver & Satisfy

After the sale, it’s time to deliver the goods and create happy dreams. Don’t drop the ball here!   When you are the one helping her ‘plan the wedding or event of her dreams,  it is highly important that you deliver a top-notch fulfillment experience and automatically follow-up to make sure new customers are completely satisfied. This stage may include sending a product in the mail as a thank you or completing a personally delivered service.  This industry is made up of ‘relationships!’ 

Stage 6: Relationship Building

Establishing a remarkable customer experience makes it easier for you to earn repeat business from your existing customers.  A bride that was thrilled with your service or product usually doesn’t mind that you can periodically offer complementary products or services so that they may buy from you again and/or refer you to her friends. You maintain customer respect and interest by sending relevant offers that are related to the interests they’ve expressed in the past.

Your number one job is to create  lifelong fans that advocate for you & your brand.  Don’t let your dreams-or your customers-slip away–Keep Pushing, Keep Pulling, it’s not as hard as you may be making it out to be!  If you’d like more information to get help on with a proven framework for developing a more streamlined, scalable marketing plan so that you can watch your event & bridal business grow quickly and profitably, get in touch with us today at EvansSalesSolutions.com  or call:  805-222-5946.

It’s time for you to Dream BIG about your business!

Sign up for a national Bridal Business Boot Camp or Bridal & Event Professionals Academy!

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Movies that will inspire wedding business professionals today

The wedding business can be a grind.  There are days that all the proposals or hard work that you’ve done for someone else, is just not enough.  Days where they’ve invested $100, but want a return valued at $10,000.  There are the days when you’ve made countless phone calls and accomplished nothing other than having someone hang up on you in mid-sentence.  Or you’ve gone a long stretch of time without picking up any new business and you wonder if you’ll ever close another sale again.

It’s good, during times like these, to have some inspiration to help you keep pushing. When we’re struggling with the grind we will sometimes go to YouTube, Red Box or Hulu.plus and pull up clips from some all time great motivational movies. Here are three of our favorite movies and movie scenes to watch during those tough days.images

My wife loves the movie, Baby Boom, with Diane Keaton.  Why?  Whenever she’s feeling down or struggling with business–for some reason this movie helps her get back in the game and motivates her!  I asked her ‘what it was that motivated her in this movie?  Her reply, “I love that she’s down and out–taking care of her new baby–(spoiler alert)  creates something from nothing–making millions.  Most of all, I love that she finds herself, finds love and is a true success in all that she is.’   She also loves the movies:  ‘Wedding Planner, You Got Mail, The Holiday…and other movies like that….(if you know what I mean!)

pursuit-300x300The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith. I asked a guy one time, when he drove up in the most incredible Ferrier,  ‘What do you do?!’  It reminded me of this movie….one of the best sales movies of all time. Will Smith is phenomenal in the true life story of Chris Gardner who, through a combination of risk and persistence, overcame huge obstacles to become a successful stock broker. My favorite scene is the climactic close (spoiler alert) when Gardner finds out that he is the one broker, hired on trial basis, who will be offered a permanent position. The combination of joy and relief on his face as he leaves the office to share the good news with his young son is something that all sales people will find inspirational.

Apollo 13 with Tom Hanks.  Overcoming adversity, flying, determined to see that ‘It’s a bright new day filled with unlimited opportunities.’  I’m fascinated by the courage and competence of the men who flew the Apollo missions. As I watch the astronauts and the crew at Mission Control, overcome every obstacle and challenge to bring the Apollo 13 team home alive, it reminds me how small and manageable my problems are in comparison. The recovery of the space capsule when it lands and the excitement of the men and their families, would have to rank as my favorite scene.

So, we encourage you today to keep your heads up, stay in the fight….and maybe, take some time to watch a movie….

-Chris Evans

Are You Ready to Change Up Your ‘Sales Techniques’ in 2013?

direct_selling_solutions“I want to make more sales, what more can I do?”

We hear over and over again how wedding business organizations need to make more sales and are struggling to keep up as the technology and marketing techniques are changing.  How do you stay on top of your marketing outreach?

Many ask ‘what’s the best way to close a sale,’ before they even know what the ‘game plan’ is.  In the wedding business many ‘voice’ how they get overwhelmed with all the changes and feel that the ‘sales industry’ has changed.  They want to confirm that they are on the edge of the changes.’

Comments & Questions we hear at Evans Sales Solutions:

  • “Am I doing the right thing in my marketing to the bride?
  • “The new technology comes faster than I can keep up.”
  • “The amount of change taking place, especially on Facebook. You think you have a system down and then they update the pages and we have to teach everyone all over again.”
  • “How do I close the sale when talking to a bride?”

You get the picture, it’s a ‘tug ‘o war,’ all different, but then…all the same thing!competition3

Even if a wedding business dedicates itself to understanding something in the ‘Social Media Marketing’ area, (say the new Google+ platform,) before they know it, it does a major upgrade and much of their hard won knowledge becomes obsolete!  So, do you think that when it changes all the time…does the end result (A SALE) change too?

As wedding business and sales experts, we feel that the consumer is just increasingly savvy, in the technology area—so that you have to stay in the game in multiple ways.  Consumers (brides to be) are not just more tech smart, but they also expect more and they want it quickly.  We also feel that another thing the internet has done-is broken down the pricing barriers and everyone has your (and your competitors) pricing in the palm of their hands.

What can you do about it?

First, we will have to get over it. Constant, relentless change is now a fact of life. We are going to have to adapt to it because the world won’t adapt to us and our needs. We will need to embrace this constant change and turn it to our advantage.

What do I mean? How do we do this?

I mean embrace continual learning and do it at a higher level than you may have planned. This means listening to CD’s or podcasts (audio recordings) as you drive or work out. It means watching less TV in favor of reading a book each week on marketing, sales or another type of business help.  It means watching webinars and going to seminars on a more regular basis.  It means following your favorite wedding business blogs each and every day so that you can keep up with, or even get ahead, of your competition. It means watching YouTube videos about things you don’t understand, but know you need to.

We believe that you can actually turn this whole thing to your advantage! The vast majority of people are not self-starters. By taking the bull by the horns here, and determining that you aren’t going to sit by idly as the wedding industry changes, you actually become much more valuable to your client, as you become the expert!  Many will fail to adapt and become less relevant, are you going to be one that suceeds ?

There are multiple things you can do today…… (and some are COMPLIMENTARY!!) click for more information!

Evans Sales Solutions is a team of wedding & sales experts that work to support those in the wedding industry grow their business!  As a solutions-based and results-driven ‘Bridal Marketing Concierge,’ we look forward to working together when you call: 805-222-5946 or email to: WeddingBiz@EvansSalesSolutions.com Chris Evans is a Public Speaker, Sales & Business Trainer, Author,  and trusted advisor to many organizations around the world. He has over thirty years of experience in creating, expanding, and running organizations with an unsurpassed success record. http://www.EvansSalesSolutions.com

How Pinterest powers Charlotte’s wedding industry

bride11By Caroline McMillan

Charlotte Observer

Gone are the days when a bride-to-be strolled into Amy Craparo’s The Wow Factor Cakes with a blank slate and a couple of magazine clippings.

Now, brides in the throes of wedding planning come to her Park Road bakery armed with their smartphones and tablets open to their new primary source of inspiration: Pinterest, a social media site that allows users to maintain virtual pinboards with images from the web.

“Almost every bride I sit with for a consultation brings in a picture from Pinterest – almost every single one of them,” says Craparo.

It’s a virtual networking tool that’s changing the way wedding retailers do business. Many Charlotte-area wedding vendors – from dress shops to florists, cake designers to stationery experts – now use the site as a cost-free way of interpreting trends, connecting with clients and garnering more exposure. It all helps these businesses capture a bigger piece of the $40 billion wedding-industry pie.

Since it launched in 2009, Pinterest has cracked Comscore’s list of top-50 U.S. Web sites, drawn nearly 26 million unique visitors and been valued at more than $1.5 billion. The site, which allows users to browse other people’s pinboards for inspiration and “repin” images to their own boards, offers a nearly infinite stream of idea for home decorating, recipes, fashion and weddings.

Approximately 68 percent of Pinterest’s users are female, and nearly one-third of those women are ages 25 to 34, according to digital ad agency Modea.

Given those demographics, it’s no wonder Pinterest seems tailor-made for the wedding industry, which revolves around evocative visuals.

“That’s the beauty of Pinterest,” says Kristin Vining of Kristin Vining Photography, who started using Pinterest in 2010, soon after the site launched. “It’s a domino effect. One person tags it, then BAM, pinning and pinning and pinning … (People are) seeing your name over and over again.”

Vining now has nearly 1,300 followers on Pinterest, and she regularly updates her page to include photos from recent shoots and events. She has separate boards for engagement sessions, bridal portraits and wedding pictures, and strongly encourages her clients to maintain their own pages.

But for Vining, Pinterest is just one of many social media outlets to attract clientele. She also blogs and maintains a presence on Twitter and Facebook – all of which help her Search Engine Optimization ranking with Google, she says.

“(They say) it takes someone seeing your name three times to notice you and seven times to remember you,” says Vining. “Pinterest is just another one of those tools for us to reach our audience.”

Wedding planner Katrina Hutchins of Come+Together Events, often uses Pinterest to connect her clients with local vendors for rental chairs, linens, cakes and photography.

Party Reflections, a special event rental company located on Monroe Road that Hutchins works with regularly, has nearly 900 pins.

“I follow them on Pinterest, and sometimes they’ll be pinning ideas from their own inventory, and I’ll call my girl and say, ‘I want to use this in a wedding,’ ” Hutchins said.

Hutchins said she also spots photos of events she planned floating around on Pinterest – even if she didn’t pin it herself first.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/12/3230234/how-pinterest-powers-charlottes.html#storylink=cpy

Nationally Known Wedding Business Speaker Comes To Sacramento

Are you looking to get EDUCATION so that you book more visits, make more sales and are thrilled to be part of the Wedding Industry? Nationally known Speaker & Business Trainer, Chris Evans, will be highlighted in Sacramento on February 18 to Inform, Inspire and Empower those in the wedding industry!

Those that come walk away with an “I can do this” attitude!   As a LEADER in the wedding business, Chris has literally taught thousands of wedding professionals to grow their business and educates wedding professionals in sales, marketing and empowers them to move their business forward.

While Chris Evans speaks on a number of wedding business related topics, the sales industry is his background and his strongest suit. He worked his way up from a fledgling salesman to producer of one of the largest bridal shows in the country – he did this within four years and by the age of 29.  He provides a high energy style, yet with solid- practical, real life-sales information.  Chris speaks with authority, credibility and experience from his 3 books and wedding professional products!

Extraordinary companies make bold decisions and take action!

Join Chris at one or more of the following Bridal Business Boot Camps:

February 11: Buffalo, New York -Hilton Garden Inn

February 18: Sacramento, California -Courtyard Sacramento

February 25: Seattle, Washington -Airport Marriott

….or sign up for the NEW Webinars in the luxury of your own office: EvansSalesSolutions.com or call 805-322-4446

Evans Sales Solutions is an outsourced bridal business concierge that operates to support those in the wedding industry with products, live events, webinars, marketing techniques & business development training.  As a solutions-based and results-driven concierge we work hard to help you grow your business in this virtual world!  EvansSalesSolutions.comSAC_Promo_Sheet

Wedding Confidential….The Real Stories

Several weeks ago, ABC’s investigative reporter, Elizabeth Vargas interviewed wedding professionals from around the country on 20/20.  From the comments since, the ‘wedding industry’ as a whole’ did not feel that the report was by any way true and did not showcase the true essence of the hard work that is done to create a ‘dream wedding.’

Click here for full interview

Click here for full interview

“Watching the negative press and the discussions that have ensued since the report–has been very ‘eye-opening,’ and interesting,” said Chris Evans, of Evans Sales Solutions, (who was also interviewed to showcase his ‘Bridal Business Boot Camps,’ ) said,  “I think the easiest way to overcome bad publicity is to flood the internet with good publicity.  Anyone who has been in the wedding industry-for any length of time, knows that there is thousands of wedding professionals–doing GOOD  every day!”

The new website and blog ‘Wedding Confidential,’ (named after the show on 20/20,)  is dedicated to spreading the stories of success made possible by true wedding professionals.  Knowing that the vast majority of wedding professionals are hard working, dedicated individuals in companies that work each day to make the brides ‘dreams to come true,’ we want the world to know these incredible stories.

We encourage all wedding related businesses or (couples) those who have seen the good in our industry to showcase it on this website!

Click here to go to blog

Click here to go to blog

Please either POST your stories, add pictures or send this to the email below if you need help.  Once approved, your story & pictures will show on the website!  At the end of each month, we will forward these incredible stories to all media and ask that you add this link to your website and send it on as well!  Check out: www.WeddingConfidential.org — and share this great information!

If you need help to post this story, please send submissions to: submit@weddingconfidential.org

Responding to the ABC 20/20 segment on ‘Wedding Confidential’

Log onto ‘Wedding 101-Internet Radio,’  Thursday, January 24 at 10:00 am, with Anchor David Rothstein and hear what ‘Wedding Expert Chris Evans,’ of Evans Sales Solutions, says about the interview he was part of– on the show ‘Wedding Confidential’ on ABC, 20/20 with Elizabeth Vargas.    Chris stated, ‘When I was asked to participate in the show, showcasing the ‘Bridal Business Boot Camps,’ and how I teach across the country-I was surprised to see the outcome of the final cut-portraying the wedding professionals–in a bitter light.’

ElizabethandChris2

Wedding Expert Chris Evans Interview with Elizabeth Vargas ABC

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Wedding Expert Chris Evans Interview with Elizabeth Vargas ABC

Chris will discuss the controversy that has been sparked by the show and offer his unique perspective and what wedding pros should do to go forward.  Click here to join:  ‘Wedding 101 Internet Radio show’ with David Rothstein,

Join them on Thursday, January 24, 2013 @ 10:00 am. 

Chris will be on #WeddingMarketChat (CLICK HERE) for a twitter interview on  “Stop Selling Products & Start Selling the Visit with #ChrisEvans of  ‘Evans Sales Solutions’ @Wedding Market   January 30, Wednesday @ 1:00 pm

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