Monday, February 17, 2014

Handling Shopping Inquiries

We all get them, the shoppers.  The brides that inquire and then you never hear back from them again.  I'm not really sure what exactly scares them away.  Perhaps pricing?  The thought of do they even really need a makeup artist? Timing?  Whatever the case may be, these brides are hard to book.

I personally don't like to pressure anyone into hiring my services.  When I'm hired it's because the bride and I have spoken, discussed pricing, time, location, what she's looking for in terms of look and/or have had the trial run.  She has hired me because she has put her trust in me and my skill that I will make her look and feel as beautiful as she deserves to be.

But how do you cut down on the shoppers?  How do you make these shoppers hire you?  Again, I'm not into peer pressure but here's a few things I have done and changed.

1. List Your Prices
I wasn't a fan of listing your prices on your website for a long time because no two weddings are the same.  It always depended on the size of the party, the location, how far I was traveling etc.  I quickly changed my tune when my email was constantly flooded with "shoppers".  Asking my rate, asking if I traveled, asking what was included in the price and then never hearing from them again.

Once I posted my prices on the site I saw less "shoppers".  My email wasn't flooded with the repetitive pricing questions. They get so see how much I charge right from the start.  If I'm within their budget range, they will email me.  If I'm not, then I get no email and I've avoided the shopper who most likely wasn't going to hire me anyways.

2. Have a FAQ Page
This has eliminated most of the popular questions that I get.  Though I must admit, most don't read it and still ask anyways.  I don't mind it and always still point them in the direction of the FAQ page.

3. Let Them Know They Need You
In my "Pricing" & "Services" page I've included a reason why makeup is essential to their day.  Many brides honestly and truly don't get why our services are just as important as any other for their wedding.  They see it as unneeded expense that they can do themselves.  Tell them, educate them, and explain why you're so awesome.  I've even made a separate blog post about it.

4. Check Up On Them
Send them a little reminder.  Remember, these ladies have so much going on.  With hiring other vendors, getting a dress, keeping everyone on the same page -- they forget.  I was that bride once and even though I had someone to help me keep things on track, I would forget some things.  There was just no way I could think of everything.

5. Give Them A Deadline
In my response email I always let them know that dates are on a "First Come, First Served" basis.  Once I'm booked for a date, the date is gone.  I don't ever hold dates for anyone unless I have a signed contract along with a 50% deposit.

There have been times where a bride has asked if I'm available for a certain date.  If it is, I always respond with "As of now the date you've requested is available".  That way they're aware that right now, this second, its open, but it may not be in an hour or a day or a week.  Basically they can book me now or risk the chance of losing the date to another bride.

At times if Bride A asks about Date XX and then I get another email from Bride B asking for the same date, I'll go ahead and email Bride A and warn her than another bride has shown interest in the same date as her.  She will then have to decide if she's going to hire me or not.  If I don't hear back from Bride A by a certain amount of time, I assume she doesn't want to book and priority now goes to Bride B.  I suggest you do this at your discretion.  Whatever time window you give is totally up to you.  Only you know your business.

Now go out there and make people beautiful!