Oak & Brine is stepping up to break some outreach faux pas that will save you money, time and headache when it comes to hiring a vendor within budget!
First things, first! Here are 3 things you need to stop asking vendors upfront:
- Can you send me your packages?
- What is your price?
- Do you provide discounts?
I know, you’re sitting there thinking “you’re a vendor – you just want money!”. I can ensure you, that’s not the point of this blog. Most conversations between a prospective couple and a vendor start as a “cold outreach”, aka an email, a website information form, or a phone call.
And they usually go a little something like this:
My fiancé and I are getting married on 2/14/20 at The Best Venue Ever. Can you please send me your packages and pricing for services?
Here is what a vendor reads:
This is my wedding date, and I am just sending a generic message to all vendors I can find with your product/service to see who sends back the lowest price. I am providing you the bare minimum of details because I don’t plan to have an actual conversation with you after you send me a price, unless you’re the lowest, by chance.
What is the outcome?
This type of generic, minimal detailed outreach is a guarantee to receive a price that is inaccurate, or a service/good that is not what you’re wanting or needing. With just a date and a venue provided, vendors must speculate details such as your budget, the size of the wedding, and the exact services you need. It would be like baking a chocolate cake with the recipe of ingredients: “Chocolate, and cake stuff”.
Instead of focusing on the bottom-line price, switch your focus to the value of the services/goods offered. Finding a quality vendor means understanding what you need and how the quality of their service/good can fit that need. And believe it or not, you’ll likely find that the price they give you is fair! Now, how do we get to a “fair”, “quality” price quote? Let’s start by editing the first outreach. Before an outreach begins, you should research vendors. It will save you from an email blackhole at 2am, where you find yourself sending mass WeddingWire requests to vendors who are all over the map. Spend a couple hours researching the types of vendors you’re interested in, making sure to view their website/social media for quick details (you need two points of reference, not just a WeddingWire storefront). Once you’ve done a little digging, compile a list of the top 3-5 prospects and craft a slightly more detailed outreach request. This will help you get to the vendors you like and want.
When reaching out to vendors, you want to provide (5) key elements:
- Your Names & Contact Info (We want to greet you by name, and be able to actually reach you!)
- Your Wedding Date
- Your Wedding Venue(s) (If the ceremony and reception are in two locations, tell us!)
- Estimated Wedding Attendance (A wedding of 30 people is a large difference from a wedding of 150).
- What specific services you’re interested in, and if you already saw something we’ve posted/offered that you like. (Sometimes we offer more than one thing, or you may only want a specific aspect or good – we are not mind readers).
Here’s an example:
“Hello Oak & Brine,
My name is Sam, and my fiancé Adam and I are getting married on 2/14/20 at The Best Venue Ever (ceremony/reception both onsite). We have invited 150 attendees and are expecting 130 to attend our botanical themed wedding. I would like some more information on your wedding management services – I would like to have a helping hand the day of my wedding, and want to see if your services are a good fit for our wedding plans.
My preferred email is: firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is 234-234-2342. I look forward to hearing from you.
Sam & Adam”
Why it’s great.
This outreach not only touches on all 5 things; but, adds a bonus – it tells a theme. Small bonus details not only give a vendor a better idea of what you’re looking for – they can be the best opportunity for a vendor to make a thoughtful suggestion with a proposal or price.
When you shift your focus from price to quality, and alter the details you provide upfront, you will find better quality proposals and conversations with vendors that will lead you to the right match. Save yourself the hassle of reading through bogus generic pricing proposals or answering 100 vendor questions in a response and put 2-3 hours into research and genuine outreach.
Now, let’s get #MarriedAF please!
Check back in for our next topic: “Understanding Proposals Like A Pro”.