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Ask Jo: connecting with your bride and risk reversal

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.

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1. Emma, owner of Shade Bridal

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:

  1. How do you connect with your bride?
  2. What impression has the bride given you for you to think it is ‘the one’?

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:

  • Use your time effectively as a stylist (maybe practice ‘Random Rapport Building’)
  • Build your credibility, reliability and vulnerability
  • Know and understand your impact as a brand
  • Articulate value
  • Understand obstacles (these are not objections) - obstacles are designed to be overcome

2. Emma, owner of Shade Bridal

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:

  1. Have you told her you will follow up with her?
  2. What impact would the follow up have for her?

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:

  • Does she have the look she imagines for her wedding day?
  • Does the look resolve any fears/concerns she had?
  • Can you book a follow up appointment on a specific date?
  • Can you call her to check in on a specific date?
  • Can you connect with her as soon as your next store delivery, including her gown, arrives?

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.


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Ask Jo: bridal business consultant Jo Stott answers your questionsAsk Jo: bridal business consultant Jo Stott answers your questions

3. Elaine, owner of Elaine Rawlings Bridal

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:

  1. The degree to which they believe that your product or service will solve their problem (and that they are better off for having worked with you)
  2. The level of risk (monetary, likelihood of getting a result with you, the ease of use, the highest level of satisfaction, etc) associated with buying your product.

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 jo@jostottconsultancy.co.uk.

 

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