7 Days of Bridal Show Success: Day 7
Before I start on the final topic, I wanted to thank everyone that has visited the site and read these posts. I’ve received a ton of positive feedback about the ideas on my blog and appreciate your time. After this series is over, I’ll be writing about other topics that I think are just as important. Make sure you put your email address in the form over to the right so I can keep you updated when I’ve added content to the blog. Thanks!
So now that the show is over and you’ve done everything in your power to maximize your time with the brides that showed up, it’s time for a solid follow up plan. I think this is where the majority of vendors fall short. Monday is another day where we have to work in our businesses, put out fires, and prepare for the next project. However, follow up is key. So here are a few things that should be done.
Prioritize Your Follow Up
I’m sure as you met with people at the show you came across a few brides that seem like ideal prospects. These are the ones who are ready to make the decision, who have been meaning to call you to set up an appointment, who have heard good things about you, or who say anything that makes you say “yes! I’m going to book that one!”…in your head of course, not out loud. Start with these brides. If you took notes about your interaction with them, use them to create a compelling follow up note card, email, or phone call. Decide what the next step is for them and work to move them to that step. These brides will appreciate your thoughtfulness and diligence in working with them so quickly. Brides like to feel important so spending time immediately following up with them will definitely help. I had a bride call me today from the show I did yesterday and the first thing she said was…”I know you’re probably so busy right now. Do you have 10 minutes to answer some questions for me?” Of course I did and she was grateful for the help…it made her feel special that I was willing to spend that time with her…I was not at all busy at the time but she was appreciative of my time and attention nonetheless. I like to send out notes, emails, or make phone calls within the first 3 days of the show while I’m still fresh in their minds.
Do What You Say You’re Going To Do…Right Away!
If you offered some type of free report, trend report, worksheet, or other valuable digital product in exchange for their information, send it right away. If this is something you will send out through an email service like Mail Chimp or Constant Contact, I would recommend getting the email prepared before the show so that all you have to do is plug in the names and addresses and hit send. If you’re going to be mailing something, get it out the same week. You want to get these items to these brides before other vendors fill up their inboxes and mailboxes.
Purge the List
Every show sends out a list of brides that sign up. I recommend before you upload the entire thing to your email service that you look through it and purge some of the names from the list. The last thing you want is for a bride to get excited about your follow up only to find out that you are not able or available to serve her. I go through and take out the brides whose dates are ones that I have booked, who are at venues where I can’t cater, or who I’ve already booked…there’s no need to market to a bride I already have with a follow up email or postcard. This way, you make sure that you are marketing to brides who you are actually able to serve. You may even want to divide the list according to date, venue, budget, needs, etc. to better target your messages. Oh, and don’t forget to remove those interested brides you’ll be marketing to in other ways so that you don’t send them mixed messages.
What Do I Do Next?
Again, I think prioritizing your prospects is key here. Market to the most interested first. Then move on down the list. I like to do a combination of email and direct mail for my follow up marketing to the general, purged list of prospects. First, I’ll send an email thanking them for coming to the show and letting them know that I’ll be sending them something in the mail. This is typically a special offer. In this email, I also invite them to join my mailing list. If they don’t join, I don’t send them any other emails because I don’t want to get in trouble with any of those spam laws that are out there. Next, I send out a postcard. That way, I don’t have to worry about whether they’ll open it or not. I make sure I put something on the card that gets their attention as well as a call to action. Finally, I email the brides that opt into my list with a more specific email about the steps to working with my company and what they should do next. Each time, I compare my list to the brides that are calling, making appointments, and booking to make sure that I am not marketing to them needlessly.
Take Care of the Brides You Already Have
Each time I do a show, I see brides that I’ve already booked. They may be there for something else and they love to come by to say hi. I like to make sure I write down that they came by so that I can send them a note acknowledging their visit. On a day that so many vendors are concerned with making the sale, its easy for these brides to feel less important. A little note helps them feel that we still value the opportunity to serve them. Depending on the show special you are running, you may want to make them aware of anything they can take advantage of as well…if that’s something you want to do.
So if you did have the chance to network with vendors and there’s something you’d like to do…drop off business cards, have coffee with them, put them on your website, etc., make time to do it during that first week. Otherwise, you may find yourself at the next show wishing you had done something to actually build that relationship.
So I hope you’ve enjoyed this series on bridal shows. Please feel free to comment below if you have any ideas or thoughts you’d like to add. I’d love to hear them. Thanks!
Featured Image by Bunches and Bits