When you’re building a business, you work hard to get certain things just right. From dreaming up a beautiful brand and website to dialing in your packages and pricing, there are a lot of things you pour your heart and soul into. And, if you are anything like me, you started your business because you wanted to pour your heart into helping others or creating something amazing for them – not because you were excited to run a business.
But, the fact of the matter is, running a successful business in the wedding industry means that you have to have both a beautiful customer-facing brand and a well-oiled business machine. Today, I want to talk about one particularly important part of that system, one that almost everyone gets tripped up on at some point – the booking process. Keep reading for 3 times I’ve experienced our booking process at LVL Weddings get tripped up and how I worked through it to set the business up for success in the future.
You’re Flooded with Inquiries and Something Slipped Through the Cracks
When booking season comes around, you’re more than happy to have an inbox full of leads (you did work hard to get them!). But, one of the most common reasons that the booking process gets tripped up is simply because you’re human and you let something (a follow-up, getting someone a quote, countersigning an online contract, etc.) slip through the cracks. I’m totally guilty of this, too.
There was one year that LVL Weddings had 20 wedding planners and coordinators in 4 different states and did 150 weddings in a single year. You know what that means? We had more than twice that number in leads to deal with on the backend!
I had unknowingly set up our booking process in such a way that I was the original point of contact for every inquiry that came in. I responded to, vetted, booked, and assigned couples to the planner or coordinator that was the best fit for them. You can only imagine that when I was working through multiple inquiries a day, I lost track of where more than a handful were in the process – and dropped the ball more than once.
Now, even though we have changed our business model to focus on booking a few full-service clients as opposed to all of the coordination clients we can get our hands on, I learned from my mistakes and turned to HoneyBook – because letting something slip through the cracks once was one time too many in my book. It wasn’t going to help us build the reputation we wanted.
HoneyBook makes it easy for me to see the status of each lead at a glance as well as allows me to automate parts of our booking process ( a major win!). So, now I can be confident about knowing exactly where all of my leads are in the booking process, all of the time.
“I Can’t Open the Contract”
When I started LVL Weddings, paper contracts and signatures were still a thing. I would have to scan a contact into my computer, email it to my clients, ask them to print, sign, and scan it back to return. So, you can only imagine my excitement when technology caught up a bit and I could send a PDF for signature. But, even with the new tools to eliminate the paper side of the transaction, I would get an email back from clients saying “I can’t get the document to open,” more than I’d like to admit. It was a frustrating moment since it was a bump in the road of getting them to sign on the dotted line and officially become a client. Even worse, sometimes when I would follow up they said that they never even received it!
Gone are the days of paper contracts and pen and ink signatures! So are the days of “I can’t open it!” Ever since switching our booking process to HoneyBook, their online contracts and signatures have helped me make it easy for leads to become clients. As long as your clients have an email address and internet, they can quickly and easily sign your contracts via HoneyBook. Plus, I can see when clients have opened the document which helps me follow up and keep the process moving forward.
You’re Slow to Turn Around the Proposal
When you’ve taken the time to refine your services and packages, you’ll often find yourself booking the same ones time and time again. And, while you might have your workflow and client experience post-deposit totally under control, you can become your own booking process bottleneck if you have to recreate your proposals every time (not to mention, potentially lose a lead because you took too much time to turn it around).
Referrals have always been an important part of our lead funnel and we regularly get friends and family of former clients inquiring for the same services. Before being on HoneyBook, when this happened, I had to dig through my client files to find the proposal and recreate it before sending it off. It was at least 30 minutes of my time (if not more) and if I already had a busy week ahead of me, became another thing I had to do.
HoneyBook helps me cut this time down to almost nothing and makes it so I don’t have to recreate a proposal from scratch – ever. Now when a friend or family member of a former client inquires about the same scope of service, I simply hop into HoneyBook and duplicate their friends’ wedding using their proposal software. From there? A simple name swap and proofread is all it takes to get the proposal out, without slowing myself down.
Want to learn more about building a strong sales and booking process for your wedding business? Join us for our next wedding planner workshop, June 7-8th in North Carolina! Use the code SUMMER19 for $200 off your registration when you pay in full.