Tell Me How Much You Charge

business education wedding Jan 16, 2020

We all get that inquiry asking us (only) about our pricing. And they can be a challenge to answer, since we know our goal is really to begin a conversation with the person.

Yet, because they asked the question, we do have to answer it. What are your options?

  • Entry level cost: “Our pricing starts at…” or “Our lowest cost option is…”

    This works well if you want to let bargain hunters know where your pricing starts. And if you truly are out of someone’s budget, it allows them to realize it and not waste your time or theirs.
  • Full range: “Our services range in price from $1,500 to $4,500. Of course, your cost will depend upon what level of service you decide you would like.”

    This gives the client a reasonable amount of information. It also doesn’t commit you to anything before you have much information on what they are looking for.
  • Range with typical: “While our services range in price from $1,500 to $4,500, we find...
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Not All Sales Training is the Same… It Took Me a Long Time to Understand Why

business education wedding Jan 09, 2020

Okay, honesty right up front. It took me a LONG TIME to realize why I loved some of the sales training that I got over the years and why other training would frustrate and disappointment me.

Often times the trainings that disappointed me the most were from very good sales trainers! It wasn’t until very recently (since I won’t say how ‘recently’, maybe I’m not being completely honest…) I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. What made it even worse, was sometimes I would go back to some of the training that I hadn’t liked at first, read or listened to it again…and now liked it!

What I finally figured out was that the different ‘sales training’ programs and courses were teaching different aspects or components of sales…but most of them didn’t say that. They didn’t say what aspects they were covering. They would simply create some attention-grabbing title like “Get All the Clients...

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Goal Setting Examples

business education wedding Jan 02, 2020

This final blog post of 2019 on goal setting will be a little different. Here we are simply going to provide you some examples, and examples of structures, to help you think through and create your business goals for 2020.  We hope these help you create powerful and valuable goals that work well for you and that are right for you!

SALES AND MARKETING:

Results-based goals:

  • Book (and deliver) 25% more weddings in 2020, while maintaining my current pricing structure.
  • Hit $50,000 in gross sales in 2020, and book 75% of that business by March 1st.
  • Double the number of positive reviews, ratings and testimonials I have on my website and [advertising platform] by July 2020.

Activity-based goals:

  • Attend 15 industry networking events (or have 1-on-1 conversations) each month for the next 6 months.
  • Invest enough time to truly understand who my ‘ideal client’ is and how to communicate the value of what I provide to them. Get this work done early enough so that I can use it...
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Achieve Goals, Don’t Just Set Them!

business education wedding Dec 20, 2019

In preparation for helping you have an amazing 2020, we’ve been talking about the power of goal setting all month long. Now we’re going to give you the ‘golden nugget’ regarding the value, or power, of goal setting. It’s creating the plan to achieve your goals.

Simply setting goals, no matter how lofty or how well structured, doesn’t change a thing…if you don’t also have a plan to achieve them. So, let’s give it to you simply and directly. 

GOAL SETTING AND GOAL ACHIEVEMENT:

When goal setting…

    • Write down your goal (the results or outcome you want to achieve).
    • Put a date on when you want to achieve it.

Identify all the benefits to you of achieving the goal. These will help motivate you in achieving the goal.

Then…

  • Identify the obstacles that you’ll need to overcome.
  • Identify the people, groups and/or organizations you need to work with, or get help from, to achieve your goal.
  • Identify what you need...
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Creating Truly S.M.A.R.T. Goals

business education wedding Dec 12, 2019

Setting goals can be a powerful accelerator of your business growth.  In addition to motivating us to take action, they focus our energy and effort, help us look past distractions, and enhance our determination and persistence.

Well, that’s true if those goals are properly structured so they actually motivate us!

Enter “SMART Goals”. The ‘S.M.A.R.T.’ acrostic is intended to help us remember the important characteristics (or structure) of our goals. Here’s what each letter stands for:

  • - Specific
  • - Measurable
  • - Actionable
  • - Realistic
  • - Time bound 

Specific

It’s important to ensure that our goals are specific. This characteristic of a goal provides the focus and clarity we need to ensure we’re taking the appropriate amount of action.

For example, if our goal for 2020 is to ‘grow our business’, that might be a reasonable objective, but it’s not specific. So, it doesn’t...

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Why Setting Goals is a Valuable Exercise

business education wedding Dec 05, 2019

Why Setting Goals is a Valuable Exercise 

A survey of graduates from Yale University in 1953 (yes, that’s a LONG time ago) found that only 3% of them had written down goals for their lives. The survey team followed up with those people 20 years later and found that the 3% who wrote down goals had accumulated more wealth than the other 97% combined. (Now, we’re not saying that wealth is the only important measure of success. It was simply the one being used in the study, and one that’s fairly easy to quantify). This survey shows the value of goal setting.

I (Dale) learned the value of goal setting relatively late in my career. For much of my career, I would simply focus and work on the things that other people told me I should. And because of that, my career was not focused or directed. I was what Zig Ziglar calls a ‘wandering generality’. I tended to bounce from one thing to another. 


Image Credit: Jonny + Liz Photography

WHAT GOAL SETTING...

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Be Thankful for the Challenges...We Learn and Become Better Because of Them

business education wedding Nov 29, 2019

Be Thankful for the Challenges

We Learn and Become Better Because of Them

This is certainly a time of year that our thoughts turn to the things we’re thankful for – wonderful friends and family, good health, opportunity, etc. Gratitude is a magnificent and powerful emotion.

How often are we thankful for the things that often help us learn and grow the most? You know, the challenges, the struggles, the mistakes, and the failures. Yes, you read that right. It’s our failures, mistakes and struggles that help us grow. Or at least they give us the opportunity to grow.

When things go well, we continue to perform, but we don’t get any better. We continue to just ‘do’. It’s only in our struggles that we pause and look for different, new and better ways to perform. And that’s when we grow. It’s that growth that makes it possible for us to do and accomplish more in the future. It’s what makes us better at what we do.

So, we...

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Business (or Not) During the Holidays

business education wedding Nov 22, 2019

Due to the natural slowdown in work with clients or prospects, this time of year provides wedding professionals with the opportunity for two wonderful activities. We can choose to either take time to relax, recover, and re-energize. Or we can take the time to work ‘on’ our businesses because we finally have the time.

We aren’t recommending one over the other. After all who doesn’t look longingly forward to spending time with our own ‘nutty aunt Mary’ for a change, rather than our clients’ nutty aunt Mary? Rather, we’re suggesting that we all make the intentional choice to do one or the other (or a combination with clear boundaries).

JUST BE INTENTIONAL

We’re all in different places – in our businesses and as business owners – so we don’t feel there’s one right answer. Nor are we in any position to offer our recommendation of which is right for you. We just encourage you to decide which you want to do and...

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Activity Doesn’t Equal Accomplishment

business education wedding Oct 14, 2019

Activity Doesn’t Equal Accomplishment

As wedding pros we never advance to the point where we no longer need to prioritize. It something we must keep doing whether we’re running a large conference, managing a mid-sized catering business, or running a one-person photography business. We always run out of time before we get everything that needs-to-be-done, done. Our time continues to be our most valuable (and limited) resource. So, we need to prioritize what we do with that time.

One of the challenges we have as business owners is the number of things we could do with our time. Most of us get hit with a barrage of demands, requests, offers and ideas every week that fill our schedule. We could be busy doing what others want us to do…forever. That’s why we need to prioritize where we invest our time based upon the value of the activity.  

BUSY DOESN’T EQUAL PRODUCTIVE

Just because we’re busy, doesn’t mean we’re getting valuable...

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Be Sure to Show Up....It's an Integrity Thing

business education wedding Oct 08, 2019

Be Sure to Show Up

It’s an Integrity Thing!

We’ve all been there.  Honestly, the week isn’t going great.  A bunch of things came up that weren’t on the schedule which ended up taking way too much of your time.  That new couple that was so interested in working with you now keeps putting you off.  And now you just remembered tonight’s the night for that new networking event you said you’d attend. Ugh! 

You just don’t feel like going and talking to people you don’t even know. You’re already tired, drained, and don’t feel like being ‘social’. Besides you only told one person that you’d attend. Certainly, they would completely understand if you just decided to stay home and relax. You can just talk with them tomorrow and explain everything.

Photo Credit: We are Matt and Jess


SO, WHAT DO YOU DO?

You Go! If you told ANYONE that you were going to show up, then you need to show up. For so...

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