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She’s been there for an hour, she’s tried on a dozen dresses, she loves them all, her mum has shed tears, her best friend hasn’t stopped grinning. My next appointment is minutes away. How do you close that sale? And, just as importantly, how do you keep that smile going (yours!!). Are there three or four sure-fire ways to move the conversation, and the order, on to the next stage?

Randy Fenoli himself wouldn’t be able to get this bride to say “Yes to the Dress”. Let’s look at why.

She’s tried on a dozen dresses, she loves them all.
Why does she still love them all?
There’s nothing wrong with trying on a dozen dresses but if after an hour she still loves them all then you’re not getting her focused. She’ll walk away saying what a great time she had and, although she rates you highly, your chances of selling are low.
From the initial contact with your bride (e-mail, phone or face to face) the first rule of sales is to qualify ie price point, (avoid the word budget), designer, style of dress, where she’s at in her search for the dress etc.

In my Sales Training Course…

…one of the key questions I suggest asking is “What’s important to you about your dress? She now shares her criteria for her dress and you’re hitting deep at her values and evoking an emotional response. Imagine her reply is “I want to look classy, have a comfortable dress and be able to dance easily” and then her first pick is a figure hugging fishtail that even the raciest of Real Housewives of Cheshire would blush at wearing.

Instead of wasting your time trying it on “for fun” you could say “This isn’t going to tick any of your boxes and if you’re looking for a fishtail I would suggest this gown which is classy, comfortable to wear and can easily be bustled up for your “Strictly” moves.

This is the “Positive No” which shows your bride (and her entourage) that you know your stuff, keeps the appointment on track, the smile on your face and keeps you from getting a negative review on social media.

Top Tip.

Qualify your bride by developing your sales talk and make every question count. If there is a “Silver Bullet” question in bridal sales it is “What’s important to you about your dress?”
She’s been there for an hour and my next appointment is minutes away.
Why only an hour for an appointment?
By the time you’ve got her (and her entourage) settled, waited for Mum to finish her call, sorted the skype link for Dad in Dubai, pondered over Pinterest , done the drinks order, let them use the loo, confiscated their phones so no photos you’re already well into your 60 minutes. That’s before you’ve even shown them the collection, refereed the ruck that’s kicking off with Mum, managed the bossy bridesmaid who thinks she’s Randy’s apprentice, got her into the fitting room, found shoes that fit, pinned or placketed her into her first dress ready for the caustic critique that makes Simon Cowell look like a pussycat!

Top Tip.

Allow a minimum of an hour and a half and preferably two hours plus for first visits but don’t tell the bride (particularly if you charge) as you may want to close down the appointment earlier.

Three or four sure fire ways to move the order onto the next stage.

Why do brides not always buy even when they find their dress?
Getting her to find a dress that she loves can be a challenge and then comes the tricky bit – getting her to commit and pay a deposit.

Don’t give her an “out” with these killer phrases:

Shall I write down the details for you?
Why don’t you go away and think about it?
Why not come back with a different person to get another opinion (I kid you not one of my team (now ex) used to say this even if the bride said “What do I do next?”

Phrases that will move the conversation (and the order) onto a Yes are:

You’ve found your dress haven’t you?
Shall we have a glass of bubbly to celebrate?
I’ll leave you for a few minutes to talk (not for too long)
Let’s do the paperwork.
If you get a “Yes to the Dress” but “Not today” response then even if you offer her the dress free of charge she still won’t commit.

Don’t feel that all is lost if the bride doesn’t buy on that first visit. She loves it but isn’t totally convinced yet.

One aspect of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) that I find invaluable is Convincer Strategies which is the way a person processes information in order to become convinced.

The 4 types of convincer strategy are:
Automatic – she buys the first dress on the first visit. Hallelujah.
Number of times – she needs to come back again or try the dress several times in the same appointment.
Period of time – she really does need to go for that cup of coffee or have the weekend to think about it.
Consistent – she’s never actually convinced. She’ll have numerous “wedding dress wobbles” and even at collection she’s flicking through the frocks asking if she made the right choice.

Top tip.

Stay focused and ask for the order.

I’m a three times convincer and need to hear my bride say “No” three times before I let her go!


View this site for info on Maria’s sales training course and contact her on +44(0) 7768 297 290 or email: maria@pantilesbride.com