How can I convert more inquiries to bookings?
Does this feel like a million dollar question? Ha! It’s one of the most common questions I am asked during Strategy Sessions and while there are plenty of different answers, there is one that I find myself using more than any other.
It is this: By speaking the same language as your customers.
As I’m sure you guessed, I’m not talking about English here.
Let me give you some examples:
If you’re in any kind of creative profession, you probably use words like “vision” and “aesthetic” when describing what it is you do. “I’ll help you develop a unique vision for your event.” “I’m so glad our aesthetic resonated with you.” The truth is the client coming to you doesn’t really know what those words mean… even though they need help with them or want them! They are probably thinking things more like “I need help coming up with the right look for my event”. “I really like that florist’s style.” “I like that your photos feel relaxed and aren’t too posed.” Sure, all of these above lines refer to vision and aesthetic, but it’s doing so in your ideal client’s language.
If you’re a wedding planner, I’m sure you use words like “vendor”, “itinerary” and “production schedule” in describing what’s included in your services. What if I told you your average client doesn’t know what a vendor is, they associate an itinerary with a travel agent, and have never heard of a production schedule. What if instead you used words or phrases like “suppliers”, “service providers”, “detailed order of events”, “timelines”, “coordinating all of the necessary set-up logistics”; words that make sense to your client and mean something more tangible.
I understand the concern that using these types of words feels like you’re “dumbing down” your offering, or that it doesn’t “do justice” to the amount of work really involved in what you do. But I counter that concern with these considerations:
You’ve just been told your car needs $1500 in repairs. The mechanic could end the conversation there, but they instead show you the physical parts of your car they will be replacing, why it’s needed, and explain the number of hours work involved.
You’re completely overwhelmed with your small business finances and decide you need to find an accountant. In your search you come across someone who talks about technical tax information in a way that you feel confident and empowered, and makes you feel like you could ask any question without feeling stupid!
You treat yourself to a facial. Instead of finishing the procedure with the esthetician trying to sell you $400 in expensive products you can’t afford, they instead give you tips on how to get the most value out of the products you currently have in your bathroom cabinet.
As much as converting inquiries to bookings is about your level of professionalism, service, and reputation, above and beyond anything else it’s about establishing TRUST. And you can’t build trust with someone who doesn’t understand what you have to offer.