|MBA Bride’s Guide to the Wedding Vendor Sales Process|
- Initial Contact. This is when the bridal couple and the vendor first meet one another. Initial contact can be made by the bride to the vendor, or it can be made by the vendor to the bride. Whether the initial meeting is via email, phone, or face-to-face at a bridal show, it is all considered initial contact.
- Qualification. Qualification occurs when you, the business-savvy bride-to-be, determine that the vendor is the right vendor for you. You’d ask questions about budget, availability, relative position to competition, staffing options, and more. The vendor is also qualifying you as a “prospective customer” and asking if you would be a good fit for their services as well. Once you both decide that you are interested, you move onto step 3.
- Proposal. A proposal is an initial draft of the contract drafted by the vendor. It may be the official contract or an abbreviated version that gives you a general idea of the services or goods to be provided.
- Follow Up. After reviewing the proposal, the bride typically reaches out to the vendor, asks questions and negotiates some of the terms of the initial proposal. If major revisions have to be made, the process may regress to step 3. If both you and the vendor are satisfied with the discussion, you then move to step 5.
- Verbal Agreement. Typically, the verbal agreements occur at the same time as the Follow Up step. If both the bride and the wedding vendor are satisfied with the proposal and have asked all questions, they then enter a verbal agreement where the bride indicates that she would like to hire the wedding vendor. The wedding vendor, in turn, pencils in the date and tentatively agrees to provide its goods or services once the signed agreement is received.
- Signed Agreement. After the verbal agreement has been made, the bride typically signs a contract and sends a deposit to the wedding vendor. Upon receipt, the vendor also signs and sends back a signed contract (if it was not already signed by the vendor) as well as processes the deposit.
- Delivery. In the final stage of the wedding vendor sales process, the vendor delivers the good or services on the agreed-to date, time, and place. Full payment typically occurs at the final delivery of goods and services. Brides also deliver value in this final stage by showing appreciation for the vendor they hired, especially if the vendor has done a superb job.
Staying business professional throughout the entire process will create a healthy relationship between the bride and the vendor, so it’s important to understand exactly where you are in the sales process.
Which wedding vendors have you worked with that have followed this process? Please share in the comments.