Bridal business consultant Jo Stott is here to answer your questions. This month Jo tackles three questions from bridal boutique owners whilst giving hints and tips on ways you can boost your business.
Q: If you have a bride who loves a dress and thinks it’s ‘the one’ but has an appointment booked in at another store and leaves, what advice would you give in this situation?
A: This is a big question which lots of stores ask me weekly. However, the answer is even bigger. To simplify things, I would firstly ask yourself:
A closed sale begins with hello. Re-evaluate and practice your scripting and connecting skills within your store so that you can transfer confidence between you and your bride in such a way that you are aware of her hopes, dreams, and fears at the beginning of her visit. You cannot stop a bride from going to another store, but you can connect with her on an intimate level which solves her problems whilst influencing and educating her. Begin with your personal commitment to brilliance and move forward from there.
Hints and Tips:
Q: What would be your advice when doing a ‘follow up’ with a bride who had a great experience in my store but ended up buying her dress at another shop?
A: Again, this answer is about connection. I would ask yourself:
Firstly, it is ok for a bride to leave your store and it is also ok to see her second visit as an opportunity to connect with her again. This is not a burden; it is an opportunity! After all, we want each and every person who enters our stores to become an ‘advocate’ for them and meeting them a few times can increase this.
When a bride leaves your store, ask yourself:
There is so much skill involved in closing a sale. Use the acronym ABC - Always Be Closing and Connecting from the offset! Your ‘follow up’ is done for a reason, to create a connection with a bride and confirm a mutual understanding of what it is for.
Q: If I were to do an online ‘Virtual Sample Sale’ do you think it is viable to say to a bride, “Buy now and you can exchange your gown when we reopen if the gown is not right”?
A: Interesting question Elaine. I would say our usual mindset has changed and we need to be more compassionate to our brides than ever. Let’s face it, we are all feeling the fragility of life at the moment. If I were doing an online sale, I would definitely look at the ‘Risk Reversal’. There are three ways to reduce risk and the one we usually use within the bridal industry is an emotional guarantee. However, we also need to look at other ways to put cash into our pipeline during lockdown 3.
Your consumer will make the decision of whether to buy from you based on two factors:
The second part of the equation is directly correlated with your guarantee and ability to reverse your consumer’s risk.
My answer is yes, I would market that a gown bought from an online ‘Virtual Sample Sale’ for a set fee can be exchanged like for like - same fee, designer, etc. However, I would only do this with safety nets in place and the relevant T&C’s to cover the transaction. I would also check the wear date.
If you have a question you would like Jo to answer, you can email her at email@example.com.