I’m recently engaged and I was so proud of myself for having researched diamonds so I could understand what the heck I was buying. So I bought the ring, asked the girl (she said yes), and I naively thought my work was done. My big part of the story was completed.
Then came choosing the wedding venue.
There are so many things to do for a wedding. It’s completely overwhelming (and that’s not even including the family politics). There are a million things that can go wrong. You know little to nothing about the process. If it’s your first time through, you have absolutely no understanding of what a wedding should cost. Of course you know others who have done it before you, but their experience (and budget) was different than yours so it doesn’t translate exactly.
Some of the feelings you experience in planning your first wedding are a lot like what you experience when first remodeling your kitchen. If you’re not convinced yet, read on.
It’s More Similar Than You May Think
|Your First Kitchen Remodel
|Finding the courage to ask the girl
|Finding the courage to start your remodel project
|Picking out the perfect ring
|Picking out the perfect cabinet brand
|Determining the “correct” wedding budget
|Determining the “correct” remodeling budget
|Picking the right venue
|Picking the right cabinet dealer
|Deciding on the extras
|Deciding on the extras
When we first received the quote from a venue, we were stunned. They had a charge for just about everything, or so it seemed to us “first time shoppers”.
A cake cutting fee (per person)? Are you kidding me???
Of course the real issue was our lack of understanding of what we were even buying. So each venue we went to seemed to have its own set of ridiculous fees. As we went from one venue to the next, it just became more confusing and harder to compare.
I Sound Like Someone About to Remodel, Don’t I?
Eventually we narrowed it down to 2 choices (about all we could handle) and then we began asking the more detailed questions. A lot of those questions were us trying to figure out our all in cost of the wedding. And this is exactly what your prospect wants to know on their remodeling project. Not just the cabinets, but the hardware, marble, granite, closet organizers, appliances, installation, etc.
At this point in the process, frustration is high. You can’t figure out if you are being taken advantage of and comparing venues is sometimes like comparing apples to horseback riding. It just doesn’t compute.
But one thing did compute – and it computed very clearly. If, for any reason, a venue held back information or seemed to get frustrated with our questions, we bailed and moved on to the next venue. Why? Because our wedding is going to be a special event and we want it done right. That means getting someone we can trust and someone who cares about the details. And that someone must have done this before so there is no way they should be getting frustrated with questions that others have already asked countless times before.
Don’t Get Frustrated, Just Remove Obstacles for Your Prospect
Yet time and time again, deals are lost at this very moment. The prospect’s questions get read as attacks on the seller’s hard work or as last minute nitpicks to try to position for a better negotiation or maybe they were worded poorly (or even offensively because of the emotion behind the questions).
Remember this next time that prospect is asking questions about your cost and how you came up with the numbers for that quote of yours. And when your prospect asks for your detailed designs, costs, specs, or whatever – avoid the reaction that you’re dealing with a thief in the night bent on stealing your hard word and bolting to the competition. Instead, probe a little and try to understand what the prospect is struggling with. Calm and collected wins the deal.
Once you uncover the real issue, dive in and help them resolve it – even if resolving the issue somewhat unrelated to their pending transaction with you. You’ll win a friend and in their most stressful moment, they’ll remember it was you who came to the rescue.
Sure you may get screwed now and then, but that’s the rarity. Most people like to return favors. And most people like to spend money with people they like and trust.