Do you like to be sold to?
Likely not, you want to buy. Your customers want the same thing. Help them understand why you are the best choice for them.
Listen to Alan Berg from Wedding Business Solutions give a mini masterclass on selling in the wedding business.
Join Pat Blackwell here every week, where you, the BEST vendors, expand your wedding business into this lucrative Jewish market. By understanding the traditions & vocabulary, you will build TRUST and GROW your business. Cha Ching
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Hello there, and welcome to episode number 17 of the book more Jewish weddings podcast. I'm Pat Blackwell. And I'm excited today because I got to interview the amazing Alan Berg who founded the wedding Business Solutions. He says things like, sell the outcome, not your packages. It's just so smart. The way he does it, I love it. He says ask your potential client. What have you seen at weddings recently that you really loved? Then use that information to help that client understand why you are their best choice for a vendor. But don't sell them, help them buy. Nobody likes to be sold to. These are just a few of the many many concrete actionable tips in today's podcast. Like I said, elenberg founded the wedding business solutions. And he travels around the world teaching wedding vendors how to grow their businesses. So turn off those distractions, you're going to want to focus while you listen to this episode of the book more Jewish weddings podcast. Let's dig right in. Here's my interview with Alan Berg. Hello, Alan. Welcome to the podcast. So this is called book more Jewish weddings. Okay, and so let's talk about what you do in general, introduce yourself and let us know what's going on. Thanks so much for inviting me, Pat. My name is Alan Berg. I'm a speaker. I'm an author. I'm an expert on the business of weddings. Short story I sold wedding advertising published two wedding magazines, I was vice president of sales at the not the not.com, the local magazines. And for the last 10 years, I've been an independent speaker and consultant to wedding professionals around the world. I've spoken in 14 countries by them in Spanish. Last year, since I didn't get to travel anywhere, people from 48 countries tuned in to the remote things that I was doing. And I think it's more than that. But I could I could actually attribute 48 countries. So it's amazing. If I could only get the frequent flyer miles for that it would have been great. Wow. Well, I had the pleasure of hearing you twice now at the wedding MBA in Las Vegas. And obviously not last year, but you do fabulous stuff. So what's the latest and greatest what you got going on? I am so proud because April 1, we launched the wedding Business Solutions podcast people have been asking me for years, how come you don't have a podcast because I come on podcasts like yours. And the pandemic kind of changed things because I used to travel so much. I didn't want to commit to that. And I haven't traveled in 13 months. So I had a little bit more time on my hands. But what I did is I listened to podcasts as well. And I said what? What do I like what would be good for me what would be good for my audience understanding who wedding professionals are. So mine are every Wednesday, and it's about 10 minutes, summer eight, Summer 1314 I dropping some bonus dialogue episodes because every week it's just me for you know, a particular thought. And then I'm adding dialogue. Some of those have gone to 1718 minutes, which still by podcast standards is not that long. And people have told me I love that little soundbite. That idea came from my latest book, which is called wit wisdom in the business of weddings. And unless you don't know that one so conveniently, conveniently over my shoulder here, right over here, the blue one over there. It's the first book that I've written that wasn't meant to be read front to back. It's actually 45 chapters under the headings of sales, business and inspiration. And there's 15 of each of those 15 sales 15 business for the inspiration. And each one each chapter is a different thought. It's it's actually just like the podcast, it's a different thought. And I when I published it, I wasn't sure how would the audience react because my other four books are started in the beginning and read it through the end. They're short, they're short, but still, people told me I love the fact that if I want to know more about this subject, I went to chapter 27. There it was, and in five minutes, seven minutes, I'm done. So that inspired the podcast to be just like that. Let me come up with a thought. only talk about that thought done. The next podcast will be about a different thought. Such as I'll give you a little preview one that I haven't recorded yet I might record right after this was a thought I had the other day I think it was staples sent me an email and the subject line. I love reading subject lines because I love to share good good ones was something about income and outcome. Right? It was something about that. And I talked about results. You might have heard me at wedding MBA. I've actually the only speaker who's spoken at every wedding MBA they've ever had since 2007. Right The first one in Phoenix in 2007 and eight were in Phoenix. So I'm thinking income outcome I talk about results. We don't sell weddings, we don't sell photography and catering and venues and flowers and and keep us we don't sell that what we sell is the results. So This podcast is going to be based upon this thought, which is you don't get the income if you're not selling the outcome. Or, or to get the out to or to get the income, sell the outcome or something like that. And I'm just going to riff on that for about, I don't know, seven or eight minutes. And that'll be a podcast. And that's the way it is. Because what, again, you've heard, you've seen me speak twice, I want you to have takeaways that you're going to be like, I'm in the hallway on my phone using this already, I don't even have to wait to get back to my office to use this. And that's the same thing I'm telling you, you. If you're making invitations, you're not selling invitations, you're selling the preview to what that mitzvah is going to look like preview to what that wedding is going to look like. If you're selling invitations, somebody sells them cheaper, right? But if you're selling the outcome that only you can provide, they have to hire you. So it's the same thing to get the income, you need the out, you need to sell the outcome or something to that effect. So that's definitely my dream lady. As a regular lady, I don't sell any stuff. I'm not the band. I'm not the DJ, we are party managers. And so we totally sell the experience. And I had a business coach written recently who said to me, how many seconds are there in a party? How many memories can be created in a party? And that's what you're selling? Are you going to remember yourself in the kitchen yelling at the chef or you're going to remember the good times out on the dance floor? Exactly, exactly. I was sitting with a DJ one time in Kansas City. And we're having some barbecue because that's what you're doing Kansas City. And he gets it he gets an email through his website, or through the knot or wedding wire or something. How much is your five hour package? Right? Very typical thing. And he's like, Here we go again. I said, Well, have you ever figured out how much time you actually invest in a customer from the initial inquiry through all the planning all the meetings, everything you do and getting there and the party and going home. And he's we started thinking about it, we came up with somewhere between 30 and 40 hours because he does grand entrances, and he and it's different music for every introduction and stuff. So it's a big production at a time when the other DJs in Kansas City were getting $1,000 he was getting $3,000 Okay, so, but he's investing a lot more time. And I said one of your write back and say thanks so much for inquiring, we'd love to make your wedding great. And have your guests say it was the most fun they've ever had in a wedding. I don't have a five hour package. But I would love to tell you about the 30 to 40 hours I'm going to invest to make your wedding amazing. Well, okay, and then ask a question just to get them. A speaker friend of mine, Brian Walker calls it the Scooby Doo, you want them to go wood? That's their friend. What? Right? And that's the key. Why are you three times more than everybody else? Because it's different. But if you can articulate why it's different. It's a price point, you're just going to sell a price point. Yesterday, I talked with a wedding client who I've talked to several times already, and she hasn't paid a deposit yet. But she wants to know if she cuts out one hour of service, how much will that reduce the price? I said, Well, 35 bucks or so she said, but you're gonna be there 15 hours and your hourly rate is a lot more than that. I said, Yeah. But my hourly rate includes this. And this isn't gonna change. In fact, we've had several meetings already and the right, yeah, right. Yeah. Again, the customers aren't supposed to understand because they've never done it before. And some people are like, oh, okay, that makes sense. And then other people are just looking, you know, how can I line item this? How can I How can I do this? I actually tell people when they're doing proposals, don't line item prices, give them a total for what you're going to do. Because every number on there becomes negotiable in their mind. Yep. And you're not including this. So do I get a discount? And it was actually a question that came up on Facebook the other day, somebody tagged me and this happens to me a lot on social somebody, you'll see something and go, Hey, Alan, I heard Alan Berg say this, or I read this in Allen's book, or Alan taught me this in my consulting. And it was a DJ asking, has anybody ever thought about just having one package? And somebody tagged me because I've said this to a lot of DJs photographers and other people, especially if you are a single op, meaning you're it's just you You're the only DJ or the or the only band Are you the only whatever photographer, whatever it is, you can only be in one place that day. So if it's a popular day, in a popular month, alright, we know that may through October in the United States are the most popular time of the year. We know October specifically is the most popular. We know that 50% of all weddings in the US are going to happen on 22 Saturdays roughly between May and October. Right. We know that that's just the way it is. Well, you know you're going to get multiple inquiries for that most popular day. Whatever it is for your industry because we know in Arizona they're not doing many July and August things right. But they're doing a whole lot more in February. right but but you know in Michigan in New Jersey, February not so busy, right? Not so busy for weddings here. So, you know, you're popular months, and I said, What if you were you took I called it the Mary Poppins approach. You remember Mary Poppins had that bag? Yeah. And whatever she wanted, came out of the bag, including a canoe, including whatever she wanted. I said, if you were selling you being the plan Are you being the DJ, you being the band, you being the photographer, videographer, whatever. And you come with your Mary Poppins bag, and it's one price. And if you want the, in his case, the uplighting, whoo, I'll pull out the applied. And if you want a monogram, you got a monogram. But if you don't, it's in the bag. It's no difference in price because I'm, what makes the difference, not the stuff. And as a planner, as a planner, you're like an architect, right? architects sell their ideas. They don't build buildings. Now they can arrange it and do all that kind of stuff, project management if you want. But they don't build the building. You know, you don't say to architect Hey, can I have those plans before that you've hired them? No, no, no, that's what you're hiring me for? Is that and what you execute? Is what took you so long? So many planners I work with? I say, Have you figured out how many hours you know you invest? And one of them told me recently? I don't want to know, I don't want to know because I could probably flip burgers at McDonald's and make more money by the hour. I say, yeah, most people could based upon what I've seen on the pricing. But you know, you don't have a passion for flipping burgers. You have a passion for helping people have amazing weddings. Absolutely. Well, you've got these amazing books, and I keep seeing them over your shoulder. So I love your book, shut up and sell more. So can you give me the one minute synopsis? Um, set up and sell more? Where'd you come up with that title? I was actually in a in a previous life. I was selling Chrysler cars. I had just won the first ever national product information championship for all Chrysler salesmen in the entire United States who got the golf check a big object, go back to my dealership, my sales manager puts his arm around me one day and says Alan, you know more about these cars than anyone I've met in 20 years in the business. I said, thanks. He goes, good. Shut up. Now we're in New York. So you can say that to people? So I say I said Why? He said you're telling people things they don't need to know. I said, I don't understand. He said, what a couple of before you told them about this. I said, Yeah. Well, they needed to know he goes, they never asked you. I said they didn't know. And then the person before that you told them this? I said, Yeah, well, she needed to, she never asked you. Really, I didn't realize I was just spewing data information, which is a very common thing. We want to tell people what we do. By the time someone walked into a car showroom, they already needed a car, right? They could have been at the grocery store, but they were at the car dealer, right? By the time you get an inquiry, somebody is planning an event. Right? So what I learned is you don't have to sell them, you have to help them buy, but you're not going to know what they want. And let's go back to that outcome and income thing. You're not going to know the results they want from their planner or from their band from their photographer from whoever, if you're talking. Because when you're talking everything you're going to say you already know. Right? You might phrase it different, like I phrase that thing about income and outcome five different ways. But I knew what I was trying to say, I'm just coming up with the it's like I play piano music musician as well, not professionally. But if you've seen my Facebook posts, as always, though, must raise $3,000 for charities, mostly food banks, good for us up. But you know, as a musician, it's the same 88 keys on the piano. But you put them together in a different way. When a customer is talking, you're going to find out something about what they want something about what's important to them something what they don't want, which is also actually more important. Two very good questions I talked about in the book are saying to someone so what's the most important factor when choosing your florist? When choosing your caterer when choosing fill in the blank? Whatever it is, and then let them go? And then say have you been to other weddings and events? You know, the answer is yes. Right asking you a yes or no question. You know the answer to what have you seen at other events that you definitely want it yours? And let them go? What have you seen at other events? You don't want it yours? And Pat, those are the things when you're a guest and you're sitting there and you lean over to the person next to you go Hey, Pat, can you believe they, you know, I was at lunch with my cousin the other day she comes in from California for a wedding. And she was telling me about the wedding. The last wedding she went to in New Jersey was at the pleasantdale Chateau, which is this just gorgeous venue very expensive. And she said the centerpieces were trees they were they just they were huge. I said could you see under she said yeah, I said okay, so he had a sight line. But this is what she remembered. When the couple got introduced out of the centerpieces sparklers formed an arch that the couple was and my cousin's first reaction was, is there a fire in here? Right, because there's smoke, everybody's looking at the couple and all of a sudden there's smoke all over the place. And then she's like, Are we allowed to have fire in here? That was our second thought. Instead of who, right? It was. Right? So, you know, what do you not want is first of all, I don't want to have a fire, right Second of all, I don't want people going, you know, my hair. You know, let's go. Right. You're just thinking about the going. Okay. The centerpieces are too big. Right. I don't want my centerpieces to be too big. I want people to say it was just perfect. Not Oh, gosh, why would the centerpieces so big? Right. And that's a you wouldn't know that because somebody else at the same wedding would have gone? Pat, you should have seen these centerpieces they were Oh my God, the Most Beautiful ever seen just a different perspective. You can ask those two people the same question. They're two different answers. So shut up and sell more is that subtitle is asked better questions, really listen to the answers, and sell more. And that's the key is you have to really be listening. Because sometimes we're like Charlie Brown's teacher, you know, the other person's talking. You're not, you're just what I call it waiting for them to get to the period. Like when you get to the end of that sentence, I'm going to tell you this, no matter what you just said, I'm still gonna tell you this is I'm not listening. Yep, I'm not listening. So shut up and sell more really came from that. And if I ever write another sales book, it'll be called stop selling and help them buy. Because they came to you. Think about this, how many other planners are there in within 50 miles of you? And I know, we don't know each other all that well. But I am not a planner. And I'm sorry. I specialize in day of management and okay, but the answer to your question is a lot. Right? And do they have management as a service that falls under planning? Right? Absolutely. So the technical answer is lots because that's, that's a number there. Right? That's, that's it. There's a lot ski on my keyboard here. So maybe a locks key, that would be nice, like a guy. In this market, there we can come. So by the time you get an inquiry, they've eliminated almost everybody else. Right? You took lots down to a small group. Because we do this filtering, we it's called the Paradox of Choice, if you like reading this great book by by lansman. Barry Schwartz, right? by so many choices on jams, you know that I've heard you talk about it many times, right? So they've taken I want to know, everybody that's out there, too. Oh, that's too many. Let me start filtering, filtering, filtering. And now by the time you get the inquiry, you're in a small group could be three could be five, could be seven, whatever. But it's a small group compared to the blocky on our keyboards here. So they already said I need what you do. They already said whatever I saw, heard watched, read whatever reviews, videos what I like it, because I'm still going forward. So don't sell them, help them buy the results that they think they can get from you the results they don't even know that they could get from you because you're going to ask better questions, and it'll get to the point. And that's why it's helped them by. And it's kind of like going to a networking event. If I came up there, and I went to a networking event with you. And somebody walked up and didn't know me and says hi, you know, my name is Pat. And I say, Hi, my name is Alan. So you know, Pat, what do you do? And you say, Oh, this is what I do. And I said, Oh, that's really interesting. And I asked him another question, then I asked you a follow up and follow up and you're like, I like this guy. Right? Then the other one, and we've seen this at no ring events is, you know, Hi, my name is Alan. And I just go on and on about myself. And I'm a speaker. I'm an author. And I've spoken in 14 countries who would like me to list the countries, I could list the countries for you. But if you'd like I could do that. I was married to a guy like that. There you go. And the thing is, that person who doesn't come up for air, that person just wants to tell you and their sales people. But actually, I would say people that don't even consider themselves salespeople. That's what they do. Let me tell you about what I do. know, I kind of already know it a lot. Hopefully, I already know a little bit about what you do. Hopefully 90% according to not have read reviews, so they know that other people love what you do. they've read other people's reviews, but they didn't reach out to them, they reached out to you. So they know I call it your brand, your brand is in those reviews. Just help them get the result. When somebody comes to me for speaking, I had somebody come to me the other day for speaking and I don't talk about topics. I said tell me about your group, Who are the members of the group. You know, what kind of other speakers if you had when you guys are chatting online, what are the biggest concerns people are talking about? And instead of me saying I can speak about this, I listened to that and I said hey, well, you know, sounds like you're in line with my podcast because my most popular podcast is about packages versus ala carte and pricing. And she's like, yes, but I knew that because I asked I asked I didn't say what topic I didn't say go to my website. This will allow people to go to my website, pick out what you want. Tell me. Okay, that's the e commerce go to shop allanberg.com you can pick out any of these books dombey and Tony's Libras disponibili en espanol. So if you need the books in Spanish they they're there again. But that's ecommerce services is not ecommerce services is, let me show you the results of what I could do because of what the results I've done for other people. It's actually just a little quick sidebar here. The four things you should have on your website, every page every month isn't gonna ask, okay, more things, aspirational images. If I go to your website and you do Jewish weddings, and I don't see somebody with a yarmulke, or in or with a hookah, or in the middle of stomping the glass, it the picture doesn't yell. Jewish wedding. Okay, so that's the first thing, but aspirational. I want to touch the heart because the heart has no budget. heads have budgets, heads, make up budgets. That's what they do. Budgets are made up. Phil M. Jones is an author and he said all budgets are made up, which is true. Somebody had to make a lump. But with weddings, they're typically they're not using data the way a company would use data. But all budgets are made up means all budgets can be changed also, which is another thing so what's the aspirational image? So show me happy Jewish people if that's what you're selling, now, if you don't only do do Jewish weddings, then show me Jewish people. Show me South Asian people show me same sex couples show me whatever. Okay. The second thing is the wording should talk about the results of hiring you not just what you do. So I have a six hour package. Exactly. Or, or the very corporate sounding or worse, actually, another I made myself a note this morning, talking about the language. No, I'm sorry, the voice on your website. Everybody's got a voice. Every company has a voice. Target has a voice. It's different than Walmart's voice. It's different than Macy's voice right? car companies have voices. They're different. What's your voice but a lot of websites sound like this very corporate sounding, or worse, like your ninth grade English teachers looking over your shoulder going, excuse me, young lady, that is not proper grammar. But what's your voice? You know, if you've read my books like you have, it's this voice. This is it. I write this way, I only have one voice. But my true voice comes through in the books, we fix a little bit. I don't like the word, the way the word gun looks on paper. So I change it to going to But otherwise, this it's not perfect English and magic. My first book, where is it over there is called if your website was an employee, would you fire it? Which is not proper grammar? If your website were an employee, would you fire but I don't speak that way. So I don't write that way. Right. Okay. Um, what you want to also include is the word you. So here's what I want everybody to do, go to your website. And in any browser, it up to the menu, you can find under the Edit command, you can find the word find actually find. And you pop up a little search box and type in the word u y o u i called the U test. It'll highlight on the page in a color. The word you it'll also tell you how many times it's on the page. I go to some sites, it's not there at all, because it says we do this we do this we do this we do this or I do this or whatever. So I we us our mind Bolla that is inward focused, you and your is outward focused. So instead of saying that we've been in business for 25 years, which nobody cares, because they care what you did 25 minutes ago, not what you did 25 years ago, you can say, you and your guests can have an amazing time and with our 25 years of experience we right so put them first look for the word you third piece, social proof, hugely important these days. It's not what you say it's what other people say after they do business with you. Because that is your brand. The reviews and testimonials is your brand. You've probably I'm sure you've been to my website, Alan Berg, comm those of that haven't it's just my name, a l a n b e r g.com, right below the header image, which by the way, since I don't do weddings myself, it's a picture of me on stage from the stage, looking at the audience. So you see me, but you see their faces, because it's not about me. They hired me that happens to be a wedding MBA picture, the higher you find yourself in there, I've had people do that. So I want you to see the audience because that's what I see is I want to see your faces just like when you're at a wedding. I'm not the focus here, right? I'm not the focus. There's there's the couple This is the focus over here. I'm helping behind the curtain pulling the levers. Right. So that's what you see right below that you see testimonials, because I can't say what people say. People use phrasing you would never use about yourself. I had somebody who said you're probably the only Speaker I can listen to without once looking at my watch. Like oh, that's good. Yeah, somebody read that. Somebody read that and then wrote Alan, I was looking at my watch because I was hoping it wasn't over yet. Like oh, it just when you thought it couldn't get better, right? It gets better. But you he wrote more than that, I use just that line. It's a speed bump, I want you to everybody think about speed bumps, you're driving down the road, you get to a speed bump. Most of us slow down, some people don't most of us slow down when we get to a speed bump, and we keep going. But if there was a brick wall in the road, we would have to go around it. And that's what a paragraph looks like to someone who's trying to read a page, especially on a phone. So what what is the phrase or the sentence that you can pull out of that great review, which sometimes you can pull 234 or five sentences and just sprinkle them in different places on your site? for SEO, you want to attribute that to someone? So if you said that this was, you know, Jennifer, and David from and then you say where they came from? Or if you're if you're not the venue, you can say what the venue was and where the venue is located. If no, no, you don't need last names. If it would, first names, if it came from Facebook or Google, you could say, Jennifer and David on Facebook, you could say or on wedding wire or the knot. But that's not going to help your SEO as much as if you said, this was Jennifer and David from Auburn Hills. This is Jennifer and David from Raleigh, North Carolina, right? Because those are SEO phrases there. And it can be small, because Google can read it small. The fourth piece, very important, tell them what to do to get that result. So the picture shows the result. The words talk about the result, the testimonial is in context, what that result was, and then the call to action is how to get it. So in your case, you're showing me a beautiful wedding, then you have talking about your you know, wedding day management, what you're going to do there, right, do you have a testimonial now let's say you spoke about how you're going to make sure that they're going to have fun and be stress free. Just use that that's the that's the phrase, that's my word. There you go at Whoo. And then, exactly. And then and then the testimonial says, you know, woohoo, indeed, pat my made my wedding so much more fun and stress free than I could imagine, right just to get something like that. It has to have context, it wouldn't be about you know, it just to say Pat's a nice person. That's not context what you just talked about. But then the call to action is, if this is the way you want to feel about your wedding, and your wedding day manager, call email or contact path today, call text, email, whatever those things are. And then they're all actionable click to dial, click the email, click to text, if you give text as an option, I have a short form on every page of my website except the homepage. And anywhere on the page. If you click the words, use the short form on this page, which is in bold, it takes you either up or down to that form. So you don't even have to leave the page. And if you do that on every page, photos, and then just keep doing it, because nobody can step back far enough to see an entire page of a website, you can only see this much right but probably this much, right. And then as I scroll if I have to scroll more than twice before, there's another call to action, you're not getting the conversion you want. Tell them again, I did this with a client the other day, we counted, I think it was 14 or 15 calls to action on one page on my site. Oh my but but somewhere hidden in those little toggles, you know, you click the plus sign and it opens and closes. So you couldn't see it unless you opened it somewhere in tabs, we have to click the other tab to bring it forward, so you couldn't see it. And then the one at the top of the page, you scroll three times already, you can't see that. So I have to do it again. I have to do it again, I have to do it again. And it's very clear on my site, what you're supposed to do and why and how to do it. Because there's this which is if you don't ask the answers, always No. And then this which is ambiguous. Next Steps bring ambiguous results. And this is what you do at the top of bourbon bottles just in case you're wondering. But ambiguous results, ambiguous next steps, you just list your phone number or you say contact us, okay, for why'd you know to check our availability and find out just how fun and stress free your wedding can be? Call email or contact Pat today, that's better than contact us. Hello, right, those results. It's the outcomes again. I knew I was gonna get some good stuff from you today. But I didn't expect a mini masterclass. And so thank you. That's, well get you know, getting a professional speaker to start talking is easy getting up to stop as hard. Sounds like a rabbi. Amen to that. Yes. So this is the bookmark Jewish weddings podcast. Is there anything different about selling to Jewish clientele than selling to anybody else? it from a 10,000 foot view? No, I've spoken in 14 countries, including India, including Dubai, Australia, England, Ireland, Colombia, South America. The business of weddings is the same all over. There's basically four steps you get someone's attention. So how do you get their attention? Well, you could be referred by the show. You could be social media. It could be advertising, could be marketing could be whatever but If they don't know you exist, nothing else is gonna happen. It's like having a store with no signage on it, right? There's like, they think you're closed, right? The second is once you have their attention, you need them to make an inquiry. So how are they going to do that call you email, you text, you fill out your form? What are you going to do? So if you take, let's say, you did a Facebook ad, and you did Facebook ads, and you targeted people in your geographic area with a status of engaged who have liked wedding wire, the nod and mitzvahs, Rs, I don't know, whatever. Whatever it is something that targets You know, they're probably Jewish, because they've you know, they've liked it maybe been a breath, or whatever it is, they've liked something. So now, what do you want them to do? You want them to make an inquiry. So with Facebook ads, you could have a contact form pop pop up, or if you land them on a page on your website, you want to tell them to contact you. Make it easy, reduce the friction, another lansman Shep hyken, h YKN. He's got a great book called The convenience revolution. And he talks about reducing the friction is very good friend of mine, one of the top customer service experts in the world. Companies put this, these barriers in front of us they make it hard for us to do business with it. Like you go to a website, you can't find a phone number, right? Or I went to a website recently, I couldn't email customer service I it was late at night, I just wanted to send them an email, go to the FA Q's go to the knowledge base go into as like, Oh my gosh, I want to grow hair so I can pull it out. I mean, just stop. Right? Amazing how many vendor websites don't have a phone number. So this is friction, right? So we want to reduce the friction. So you want to make it easy for them to make the inquiry. Once they make the inquiry. You get to have a conversation, which could be a digital conversation. You and I I'm going to go out on a limb here. We're digital immigrants. Okay, indeed. Second Language, right? I am a digital immigrant who loves technology. So digital immigrant doesn't mean you don't like technology. It just means it wasn't here. You know, when I started in the business, I might have still had a beeper right? I might, I might have still had a beeper I had a cell phone but it was so expensive you didn't want to use it you know one of those like that stop at the payphone, which you can't even find one anymore. Stop at the payphone with my calling card my 1010 number right I just did a when I applied for a job at Temple Israel, I answered a PO box in the newspaper, in the newspaper, p o box and newspaper. There we go. We're dating myself. Now, if you were looking for something now you would go online, you would find the sites you would go that the digital natives, they just don't know the other way it just didn't exist. You know, when we talk about dialing a phone, some people don't understand why we call it dialing a phone, right. So, but these are things like a Kleenex, not all tissues are clean x, but we call them a Kleenex there. We get them to make an inquiry, we want to try to respond using the method that they've chosen. So if I gave them choices, in my case, my website, call email text, fill out the form on the page, or fill out the form on my contact page. So you really have five ways you can contact me. people contact me all of those ways. Some people call me some people fill out the form on the site, I can tell the difference between that and my contact page. Some people text me some people email me, the first person who texted me when I first put texting up on my website was a baby born wasn't a millennial, it was a baby born. She saw it. She clicked she texted me. We had a little conversation. You can switch the method, but if you try to switch it too soon, you're going to end up getting ghosted. A lot ghosted is when they stop responding. So someone emails you and then you email back and say, Hey, love To find out more, when's a good time for a call? Okay, and then they ghost you? Well, they didn't want to call you. And let unless you didn't have your phone number on your website, they could have called you. I was just had a masterclass recently, and an officiant that was in the class, his website only offered call and text did not offer email or a contact form. And I said, Why? And he said, Well, I was getting too much spam. I said, so instead of investing in a better spam filter, you were gonna make it so your customers can email you. I said, This doesn't make any sense. Talk about friction right there on your website, the to likely times that a wedding couple is looking at your website, or during the week during the day or late at night. So they can't call you from work. And they don't think they can call you at 10 o'clock at night or at midnight. So they just want to say and and do you want them texting you? So he was looking at it from his perspective, I hate the spam. I said, You know what, I get very little spam on my contact forms. I have a capture of some kind on there, I get very little spam. And I'm not going to make it hard for a customer because 90 plus percent of my inquiries come through the contact form on the side of my website. So why would I say you can't do that anymore? That would be crazy. So when you when you get the inquiry, we digital immigrants had to learn how to have a conversation through our fingers. Okay, we had to because we used to just Oh, hi, I'd like to find out more about your services. And everybody tells me which is why this book over here is called Why don't they call me now I hear that. I hear that from wedding pros all the time. Actually, Pat, it was going to be the shortest book ever. It was gonna say why don't they call me? You were going to open it, it was going to say, Get over it. And that would be the book. That'd be the whole book. That's all I needed to say was get over it, because it's just not going to change. You know what I think is funny. I don't know why we call these smart phones. Because it's the least thing that you use it for. Right? Email, WhatsApp, websites, apps, right? The least the least thing that this thing gets used for is actually making phone calls, especially by millennials and Gen Z's. Right. So smart device, I don't know what we'd call it instead. But there so you get this inquiry. Your goal is to respond as quickly as you can mirror their tone, mirror, their energy, all the things I speak about in the book, but get them to respond. So I actually had a dinner in Philadelphia, it was my first dinner out, it was outside coverlet ever. Yes. With only vaccinated friends. One of them is actually an officiant from California, another linesman Alan cats. And he's credited in the book in the dedication because he and I were in California, I was in California one time with him. We're driving just talking like we always do. And he just dropped this comment about he, he always has his people end every email with a question, because people respond better. And I just I lightbulb, like the Statue of Liberty went off. I was like, duh, of course. And I have changed my emails, because I've listened to you say, Don't say things after that question. And request. Don't bury the question, right? And make it its own paragraph make it nice and short, one question at a time, just like any other conversation. So once you get to have the conversation, then the question is, can you make the sale using that method? Or do we need to switch it to a phone call a zoom, call an in person meeting, or whatever, whatever the next step is to make the sale. The pandemic has taught us that a lot of people are able to make sales without being in person with the other with the customer. And I actually just had somebody who heard me speak on my podcast about this, and I didn't use his name, but I tell the story that he was in. I was in Ontario, Canada 10 DJs. And I'm doing a mastermind day, this was December of 2019. So this is before all the Wild West that that pot. And nine of the companies that were there insisted, you know, I get an inquiry. My goal is to get them into in for a meeting, get him in for a meeting get him for me. The 10th one at the time was living in Nova Scotia, but his business is in Toronto, so all of his DJs everybody's in Toronto, but he lives in Nova Scotia. So it's flying in, if he had to meet somebody, and you don't want to do that every time you get to meet with somebody. So for 10 years he had been selling remotely. And this is presumed this is you know, he'd been selling remotely. So in that when the pandemic hit, he just kept doing what it was doing. The other nine had to be like, Oh my gosh, now how do I how do I do this? How do I learn how to do this? Well, he messaged he actually I put that podcast up. And he commented on it. He said thanks for you know, mentioning me and my successes. He actually moved to Calgary. So he moved if anybody not familiar with Canada, Nova Scotia is on the extreme east coast. Calgary is much more towards the west. His business didn't change. He's still selling remotely, nothing had to change there. So he had a real he had a real leg up. And I think that was one of my podcasts. It's already launched, which is will you still be using zoom post COVID. And yeah, if you can do that I spoke in Columbia, South America, Cartagena, Colombia, got an email in Spanish responded in Spanish back and forth, back and forth. booked, paid in full. I didn't even know how many speeches I was giving yet. It was a one day event. So I didn't care whether it was one or two or three. But I never tried to change it to a phone call or a zoom call because the conversation was going fine. There was no reason to add the friction to that. And then we're all done. She and she wrote me she said the Accept PayPal. I said yes. What's your PayPal? I gave it to her five minutes later to Jane Did you know you get the sound effect? I got paid. And I wrote her back. And I said by the way, how many presentations Do you want me to give? And do you want me to give them an English or Spanish and she wrote back to me and said you can present in Spanish? We just we just had an entire conversation. And Pat I'm talking about a good six eight back and forth right? She's from Uruguay Montevideo I had spoken in your grade the year before I just assumed she had seen me there because the Euro connection so it's your shrimp actually you can present in Spanish this and what Didn't you see me in Montevideo? And she said no. I saw your wedding MBA in Las Vegas. As a silly silly me right. But the whole sale was done through email. DJ client of mine in North Carolina wrote a shortly after having me do a consult about it. He wrote a sale through Facebook Messenger. The bride emailed them he wrote back back back back exactly as if it was email just the questions the same way we would do it got the content tract got paid, done? Never tried to change it because why it was going so well, why would you now try to switch it to something else? And and that's the key. Tell me how this works. So you start an email chain, then do you keep a Google doc or something where you keeping all that information separate, because to sort through those 10 emails is sometimes a chore. So it depends upon your email program. There's a couple of ways to do it. Outlook, and I'm sure some of the others you can sort by conversation. So if I sort by conversation, your conversation is there. One thing that I do is all of my inquiries, my initial inquiries come into a different email address than my main email. And that way, it never gets buried. If I see there's a number on, there's a new email on that email address, it's got to be a new inquiry, because nobody has that address, it only comes in. And actually the way it works is you fill out the form on my website, the contact form on the side, it goes into salesforce.com. Right? Salesforce then emails me that data, just like it was on the forum. So Salesforce acts as a middleman there. Now, when I email, because that email address is now in Salesforce. Salesforce is amassing all of those emails under your lead. So I can just go go to Salesforce and the whole conversations there. But I don't want to look at 10 conversations anymore, I want to look at doing 12 200 people, whatever be your notes, that will be your notes. So if you're using a CRM, that would be you putting those those notes in there doing it that way. I'm fortunate I don't have It's fortunate or unfortunate, I don't get a ton of leads, because it's just the nature of my business is only so many places I can go in so many people I can work with. So I don't have to deal with it that way. CRM systems, those are the really the the best way to try to keep track of this. And there's honeybook and 17, hats and Salesforce and you know all these other ones out there. But you do need a system, some people just do it on a spreadsheet, some people are probably still use a canary pad, you know, could be doing it and I use the just keep them in Evernote. So I have Evernote, which is like you know, OneNote, or whatever. But it wasn't really easy to search and stuff like that. And Salesforce came up with what's called Salesforce essentials, which is a very light version of Salesforce, it has an outlook extension. So if you send me an email, I can have a little sidebar and I can add you to Salesforce without leaving outlook. So that was very convenient for me. They said they have an offline version, which I needed for airplanes. But if you don't sync it before you get on the plane, you don't have the latest that is you know, it's not there's no perfect system out there. But you know, you do need to follow up because I talked about that in a couple of my books. That person who reached out to you is going to hire somebody, and you are already on the shortlist. Don't take yourself off the list. One of my clients has multiple venues, they're up to I think 23 different venues I work with their team every month. And when I they give me stats, because I don't have any access. When I give me stats, I try to call out the good behavior. I don't like calling out bad behavior and punishing people. I don't think anybody's motivated by that. I when I was vice president of sales at the knot, I never said to someone Hey, your numbers stink, right? I would say what do you not have from me? What do you need from me that's preventing you from getting to where you need to be. So I like calling out the good behavior? Well, there's no surprise that the people that are performing the highest are following up the most. The people that are performing the highest are following the system that we gave them, which is fitted on one screen to their phone and it with the one low commitment question. Don't ask for the call or the meeting just yet. You can do it later. don't attach any PDFs, don't send them any links, just have a conversation. And the people that are doing that closest to what we taught them are performing the highest. They're following up. Yeah, because because we're secret shopping them as well. So they're following up four and five times whereas competitors because we shop competitors as well, once if they even respond at all, because some of them it's either nothing or an auto reply. Maybe a second time about 50% of the companies we Secret Shop will try a second time. Right? And then very few will try after that while my clients are going three, four or five times and not surprisingly, the ones that are doing it are performing the highest. So think of it like a sponge, right? You get a sponge you squeeze the water out, it's not dry. There's water in there, right squeeze it again. Squeeze it again, right go the toothpaste too, right the third the toothpaste was empty but you can give it a good you can get another one out there. But that's that's the idea is following up. It's your responsibility. It's not the customers responsibility to come back. can say, Pat, I want to do it. Sometimes they do. But proposals, that's another thing. Too many people are sending a proposal waiting for the customer to get back to them. They're not putting a deadline on it or any kind of time limit on it. What I've taught them is, why don't you set an appointment? If you can't give them a proposal right now, while you're talking to them? Why don't you set an appointment to deliver the proposal via zoom? And then don't send it to them? Show it to them? Let's go through it. If there's anything I need to change, I can change it, then you can have it. And then you can ask for the sale right? Then you make it all sound so easy. It's easier. It's easier than throw it out into the ether. Hope they've even opened it and read it. Hope they understand it, and then hope they get back to you. Right? I would much rather more effective. Yeah, well, ambiguous. Next Steps bring a bigger There you go. That's why they're conveniently Oh, yep. So I have another one. And it's being made right now. It's don't just take notes. Take action. I love that. And my kids have learned that I often say just because somebody says no, they don't mean it. And give them another opportunity to change their mind and give them another opportunity to change their mind. And yeah, and it's their mind to change, not yours. But the reason I'm happily married is because I know I can't change my wife's mind. I can provide her with information she didn't have, she can decide to come to a different conclusion. And that's fine, because you can't change a customer's mind. But you can. You can have them go, Oh, I didn't know that. Okay, now maybe you'll come to a different conclusion, right? But trying to change someone's mind is just going to add friction. Now. Don't take it personally, if they don't buy from you. I listened to someone recently say, imagine if the waiter at the restaurant, you just had this fabulous dinner. And the waiter came in showed you the dessert menu? And you said no, because you're stuffed. If he went back in the kitchen and said, Oh, they didn't buy from me. Is it my hair is it my dress was not like me. It's not like that. Right? And the other side of that is I want the waiter to bring over the dessert tray. Because a lot of people are on the seafood diet. Right? So let's see, we're gonna eat it. And I've spoken about that as well. So you just had this meal. We're actually going to dinner tonight, for the first time with our closest friends. We used to go out once a month, and we haven't been out to dinner with them and you know, a long time. So we're all vaccinated. Rog, we're going to go out to dinner, we had gone out one time to an Italian restaurant here in New Jersey. Right? So the the abundance of food and carbs. You can imagine if typical Italian restaurant, right? So here we are at the end of dinner, you know, we need the four wheelbarrows to get us out of there. And if the waitress had come by and said, So did you leave room for dessert? No, we didn't. Would you like to see the dessert menu? Now? Thanks. If she would have brought the dessert menu, you might have taken a peek, right? If she brought the menu opened it and said, You know, we're known for our cannolis. Closer, but she didn't. She brought over this big silver tray with actual desserts on it not not like fake ones, the real ones. And we ended up with two pieces of cake for the four of us, right? Lady? Yeah. But that's let the customer decide. And that's my other sign. If you don't ask the answers always No. Don't ask me the wrong question is do you want to see the dessert menu? That's not the the question. The question is, look at this. Is there anything here you which of these? Do you want that? Is there anything yet? Which of these do you want? Well, it was a red velvet and the chocolate layer cake ended up on the table. There we go. Because they were also huge. They were also huge. But that's the same thing with a wedding Pro. bottom up selling is trying to sell them the cheapest thing and then try to get them to buy more. top down is the say here, this is the result you want. And then if they say it's too much, take things away to come down to a price point that makes more sense. The next week's podcast so it'll be the May 12 podcast is what Jenga can teach us about top down selling. Ah, great title. Fun. There you go. And you are just filled with good tidbits and I love it. I love it. I love it. And I know we can keep going for a while but I so appreciate having you here. Is there one piece of advice that you would give to someone who wants to get started in the wedding world. The barrier to entry in the wedding industry is low. It's zero for most most parts, which is great. It's a real business. It's a real business. There's two parts you have to have your technical skills and your business skills. If you're starting out in the wedding business, you want to talk to people and find out the mistakes that people have made. And if I have to leave you with a book, not one of my books to read. Anybody here is listening and new in the business. Mike Mike Hello, what's his profit first? love that book. He's wonderful. If you're starting a business, I don't care if it's a dog grooming business, if you're starting a business read profit first, it'll change the way you think about business. It'll change the way you think about profit. This is a great recession resistant industry barring 2020, which was not like the typical recession. Getting into the one this wedding industry is fantastic. This goes back to the income and outcome if you think about how can I give people an unbelievable weddings wherever whatever your service is, the income will follow. That's fabulous. I love Mike mccalla wits, his book and I think you are just awesome. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I so appreciate your time and your expertise. And I look forward to seeing you in person at another wedding MBAs in November. I'll be there for speaking for grabs. Thanks. Thank you. Well, thank you for listening. I warned you there was lots of information packed into this episode. When I think of Alan Berg's advice, I hear four things loud and clear. Number one, don't tell the client about you. Tell the client about how you can help them. Number two people buy with their hearts. Budgets are created by their minds. So your job is to tug at their hearts. Number three, what do you need on your website, things that tug at their hearts, aspirational images of your ideal client and the type of event they want to have. If you're a DJ, show him a picture of a packed dance floor. If you're a party manager like me, show him a picture of a calm relaxed bride. Number four, we are all in this business to make money. So read the book profit first by Mike mccalla wits, and start making your business a profitable business. While you're at it, read some of Alan Berg's books, too. He's got some great books out there. And I'm putting them all in my show notes for you. Well, I hope you enjoyed this episode, you can find out ways to connect with elenberg on his podcast, and on his website in the show notes. This podcast is all about how we can help each other better serve our Jewish clients. I just want to give a shout out to know what country club two. They are all about great customer service and taking care of their members. They had a workshop this week for their staff to learn all about the Jewish celebration customs and traditions. This will put them way ahead of most other venues in terms of knowing what's important to their client. Do you want to workshop give me a call or look up what we got going on at the Jewish party Maven. If you'd like to learn more, follow me on Facebook or Instagram at the Jewish party Maven. If you'd like to learn about my party business, check out the red coat ladies calm. We specialize in bar and Bat Mitzvahs and weddings. And we'd like to help you have a stress free party. Now, join me next week when we learn another Jewish wedding word and you'll be one word closer to booking your next Jewish party. In the meantime, check out your sales process and see what you can change based on Alan Berg's proven advice. Thanks for listening