Amber asks

Leading from the price on website debate – how do you answer the “How much do your services cost?” enquiry?

I try to start a conversation and speak about value and the experience but sometimes it is just frustrating. For example, l had the following conversation with a Mother of the Bride today. (l have edited out some chatty bits 🙂

MOB: How much do your services cost?

ME: Are you looking to get married, have a wedding or some other ceremony?

MOB: My daughter is getting married and the only day they had available was (18mth away)

ME: Ok, great. Where will the ceremony be?

MOB: (local venue)

ME: Awesome. Does your daughter live local to (venue)?

MOB: Yes

ME: That is great. I would love to have a chat about what they are after. I don’t have a “one price fits all” because every couple and ceremony is different. When would be a good time for me to call your daughter?

MOB: She said a ruff price we already have quotes around $x so if your more than that we don’t want to waste your time.

ME: I understand. My prices start at $x – this is for a legals only ceremony. Let me know if you would like more details or a chat to see if l am the right person to be part of their special day. 😀

MOB: Legals only ceremony not sure what you mean Is that like short and sweet ceremony?

ME: It can be. A ‘legals only ceremony’ is more about the services you require from me. It includes 1 meeting for the paperwork and a ceremony including the legal wording. It does not include a planning meetings, personalised ceremony, rehearsal, pa system, music supply, travel etc.

It is suited to people that want to get married, not necessarily have a wedding.

MOB: Oh ok (insert cricket noises here)

Reading through – l think now l should have done 2 things:

1. Asked more open questions.
2. quoted her my highest possible fee in my first message and saved my time.

So, Sarah and Josh – how do you answer the “How much do your services cost?” enquiry?

In May 2019 my celebrant authority turns 10 and I’ve been thinking about this question for most of it, and I’ve come to a a succinct theory of selling.

Only people with that rare extreme level of confidence should submit themselves to allowing their value and worth to be communicated in a forum like a phone call, email exchange, or instant messenger conversation because it takes a finely tuned sales ability to accurately communicate a price that is directly related to your own time, effort, and self-worth.

So if you’re not that person, don’t submit yourself to that process.

As you’ve already referenced, Sarah and I have talked about pricing on websites last month, but I think that’s just half the answer.

Creating a customer journey

The real solution is to craft a customer journey that all potential and eventual customers take to experience your services.

Part of that journey is discovering your fee, and discovering that fee is part of a process where your value and worth has been also communicated alongside your differentiators so that that price discussion is removed from the “choosing the cheapest celebrant” discussion it sounds like mum is having.

Getting people onto your customer journey

Most of us accept phone calls, emails, Facebook messenger chats, and Instagram DMs, which can seemingly be out of line with having a customer journey.

The secret is to have multiple entry points that allow all of these people to have the same experience.

Website visit: the is my ultimate entry point, and where I’ll send everyone else.

Phone call: I’ll take the call and discuss availability, but I’ll end the call on this note: “to find out about my fees, services, and packages, please visit marriedbyjosh.com and download my information pack”

Social media messages: Pretty much the same as the phone call but I’ll end with a link to marriedbyjosh.com

Preserve your sanity

Hold your sanity, time, and your soul close to your heart, protect them and don’t let that “how much” conversation destroy you. I send them to my website so they experience my carefully created customer journey. If they don’t like that journey, or the fees, they’re not my people and they get the choice to let themselves go – which is a much kinder experience than me letting them go by meekly saying “Seventeen hundred dollars” on the phone with a reply of crickets.