Has this happened to you?
You get a steady stream of RFPs from engaged couples interested in having their wedding at your venue. You respond quickly to each couple with your info packet.
But then, you get no response. Dead silence.
It’s crickets and it’s so frustrating!
First of all, I want to assure you that you’re not alone in this.
Second, I’d like to offer some tips for following up with couples that can help avoid the dreaded Crickets Syndrome:
1. Create a sense of urgency.
Give them a reason to book with you—and do it ASAP. Examples:
I can discount the ceremony fee if you book before the end of the month.”
“We do have some other couples looking at this date, so I can only hold it for you for 3 days and then I have to release it into the wild again.”
2. Ask THEM questions.
Sure, they’re asking you questions about pricing, availability, etc. But YOU asking THEM about their special day sets you apart from the rest of the auto-replies they’re getting from other venues. Bonus: it shows you care. Examples:
“What do you want everyone to say about your wedding?”
“Is there anything that is concerning you at this point in the planning process?”
“Are there any unique elements you want to include in your wedding reception?”
3. Call them and, if you get voicemail, leave a sweet, personable message.
I realize you don’t always have a phone number, but when you do, use it. Unbelievably, this will distinguish you in today’s market. And laugh at yourself, be light! Voicemail can be charming. Don’t be afraid of it. Example:
“Hi NAME of BRIDE/GROOM, it’s YOUR NAME from VENUE. I was hoping to get a few more details about your wedding—and, honestly, try to convince you that we’d be your dream venue. I think we would be!”
4. Try to get couples to commit to a site tour, phone appointment, or attend an Open House at your venue.
This continues the relationship beyond an inquiry. Example:
“I’d love to treat you to coffee and INSERT A TREAT YOUR CHEF REALLY ROCKS as well as a site tour. Do you have an hour in your schedule when we could do that? We also have XXX event coming up, which is another great way to see our place.”
5. Be a human being, and act like a friend.
The couple is probably already dealing with a ton of drama during their wedding planning—financial discussions, family crap, etc. Be warm and receptive, someone they can confide in. You should care about their happiness. So many of your competitors are hitting the auto-reply that being human is a unique advantage.
None of the suggestions above take a ton of time, but each one will help turn those crickets into interested couples. I want to challenge you to experiment with a few.
Special shout out to my colleague, Sarah Thomsen, who helped me with this email. Like many of my co-workers, she’s been a venue rep at several event locations across the country. So she knows what YOU are going through and what works.
To Do For You:
Add at least one of the above actions to your standard RFP follow-up and see if your response rate improves.
Also, review my previous post about how to make the most of your RFP response email templates.