Is it just me, or are wedding planners working harder than ever? The postponed events seem to create more work because it’s like they’re being planned twice – or even three times. And clients who were already challenging to manage are even more stressed out by the public health risks, ever-evolving guidelines, and changing regulations for specific business types. It’s truly wild.
Planner clients and colleagues are worried about 2021
Most work 3,000+ hours/year under normal circumstances, and the pandemic is adding to that total while not putting much more to the bottom line. Next year, it’s going to be a challenge to balance the needs of postponed 2020 clients and future 2021 business.
It’s more important than ever to set up sales strategies that work well. For the past 2,849 years, wedding planners have talked about pricing as the solution to making more money. I’ve spoken at more than a few conferences and workshops about these issues, too.
Here’s my two cents on pricing for planners
It’s not really about the pricing as much as it is the packages, though. You’ve heard me say it before and I’ll say it again, now: Price is the output of how you design your sales process and the skill you put it into practice with your buyers. In other words, if you want more sales, focus on the process not the price.
I want to add another element into the discussion: Packages. Most planners offer some version of the same three packages: Full, partial and month-of. In proposals, they provide a list of bullet-points and then a price under it. Unfortunately, these are now commodities and planners are forced to sell against each other with nothing left to distinguish their services from each other except pricing.
It’s a race to the bottom when the way to outsell your competition is on price and personality.
12 more false beliefs about planning packages and pricing
I spend a lot of time listening to wedding planners talk about their field. The same myths pervade all markets and all segments across the country. Here are some you might’ve heard too:
Did you find any ideas you’re clinging to in this list (or that planners have to offer (roughly) the same three packages to their clients)? You’re not alone.
There IS another way
The hardworking planners in our industry deserve to make more money. Charging more or holding out for full-service clients doesn’t actually pan out to more profits for most people. Sorry. I wish it did. It may work for some, but are you willing to risk your sanity and income to see if you’re one of the few who reach the elusive 95th percentile of planners who do a handful of choice events with incredible clients?
If you want another way to plan weddings, keep your mental health intact, help clients throw better parties, and still make more profit, well, it’s possible. But you have to reframe your understanding and see the world through a different perspective. Suspend your beliefs to open your eyes to a new way of pricing and packaging your services.
Next Tuesday, October 14 at 5:30 pm PDT, I’m giving a live virtual workshop for planners on how to package and price services the way couples want to buy. Megan Gillikin, who plans weddings for her company, A Southern Soiree and hosts the podcast, “Weddings for Real,” is having me in her online community, The Planner’s Vault, and I’m really excited to share the ideas.
If you’re not a planner and have friends who are, forward this email to them. If they attend and put into practice what they learn, you’ll get more time with them because they won’t be working 3,000+ hours. And because they’ll make more than peanuts, you might get to go out for drinks or on a vacation with them too! If anything, you’ll be a good friend for showing them there’s another way to see their business and clients.
If you aren’t a planner and all your planner friends are sipping rosé all day on the beach right now, come join the fun.
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