The average cost of a wedding, according to Brides Magazine, is estimated to be in excess of £24,000. The cost associated with the wedding venue is estimated to be between £7,000 and £10,000, and this does not include the additional income from guest room bookings, drinks and non-wedding related food.

Would your hotel benefit from generating more wedding business in 2016?

JMG are sales & marketing experts. We have recently launched our ‘How to sell more’ weddings consultancy package which provides wedding venues with the support and guidance they require to increase their wedding revenue considerably.

Here are just five suggestions that might help you sell more weddings…


  1. Make sure you are maximising your existing sales opportunities
    The majority of the clients we work with focus a great deal of their time and resources on trying to find new ways to generate new business enquiries, and whilst this is an important part of the sales process the answer to their need for additional business lies closer to home: it’s the ability to close more of the opportunities that have already presented themselves. Some of the questions you should be asking yourself are:

    • Do you know how many wedding showarounds you have delivered during the previous 12 months and how many of these have converted into new wedding bookings?
    • Is your conversion ratio good or could it be increased by focussing more on sales training and improving the overall sales process?
    • Do you know the average value of your existing wedding bookings?
    • Could this be increased through an improved sales process?
    • Do all showarounds receive a structured follow-up programme?

    It’s very rare that people buy based upon their first visit, therefore it’s critical that you have a structured and robust follow-up programme to ensure that sales opportunities do not slip through your hands.

    Our Advice
    The Management Team should conduct a detailed analysis of every showaround to make sure that the sales person followed the agreed sales processes. Did they ask the right questions to understand the customer’s emotional needs and what was important to them when choosing a venue for their wedding celebrations? The Management Team should also make sure that the sales person has planned a detailed follow-up strategy and that this strategy is executed and not forgotten.


  3. First impressions count
    We spend so much time and resources generating new wedding enquiries and yet quite often the sales opportunity is lost before the customer ever made it to the hotel simply because of the way in which their enquiry was handled prior to visiting the hotel. If they sent their enquiry via an email…

    • How long did it take to respond?
    • What was the quality of the response in terms of spelling and grammar?
    • Were all email enquiries followed up by the management team the next day to ensure that they had been dealt with properly?

    If they made their enquiry on the telephone…

    • What sort of first impression did the receptionist make?
    • Did they get put through to the sales team / wedding coordinator?
    • If they weren’t connected, were the customer’s contact details taken?
    • How long before their call was responded to?

    Our Advice
    Take time to better understand how your team are handling all wedding enquiries. Why not make a few calls to some of your recent wedding enquirers to find out what they think? You might be losing more business than you think even before you have had the opportunity to showcase your hotel.


  5. Tour (Showaround) Vs Presentation
    We have been witness to hundreds, if not thousands, of sales ‘tours’ over the past 25 years (both in the leisure and hospitality industry) and far too often we have witnessed sales people who are simply following a well-worn route, stopping at regular points of interest to deliver the same old sales messages in a rather uninspiring and monotonous manner. No sales presentation should be the same. The purpose of the presentation is to highlight the benefits of your product / facility / services to the needs of the customer, and since each of your customers will have a unique set of needs, each of your presentations should reflect these unique needs.

    Sure… everyone wants to see the Bridal Suite but not everyone will be impressed with your Four Poster bed which was used by the Duke of Wellington before the battle of Waterloo! Did you stop to ask what was important to the customer about the Bridal Suite?

    The same applies to your other facilities and services. Before you run through a list of attributes that you think are worth telling the customer about, do you stop to ask what was important to them?

    Our Advice
    Educate your sales team to understand the difference between a sales tour (showaround) and a sales presentation. Encourage them to find our more about the individual customers needs and then tailor their presentation to suit them specifically.

    The definition of sales is often expressed as, ‘helping people to make decisions which are good for them’. Find out what the customers needs are and then show them why booking their wedding at your hotel would be a good decision.



  7. Practice makes perfect (or at least better!)
    There is only one way to get better at what you do and that is practice.

    If you take the example of a professional golfer, a large percentage of 
their time is spent on the driving range practicing, making small changes to their swing, trying different shots in different weather conditions, and all under the supervision of a qualified and experienced coach.

    How often do your sales team spend time practicing their 
showarounds or role-playing their follow-up calls?
 Surely it makes sense to practice the skills we use on a daily basis, 
improving our techniques in an environment where the outcome doesn’t matter rather than on a call where the outcome could be £10,000 of lost business.

    Our Advice
    Make sure that the Sales Manager diarises at least 1 hour of sales training & role-play each week and that every member of the sales team attends. It’s amazing how much better people’s sales skills become with regular sales training.


  9. People buy emotionally and then justify their decisions with logic
    Delivering a hotel showaround is very simple if your idea of a showaround is just walking your customer through the hotel so they can see what facilities you offer, what they look like and letting them know when they are available. I’m sure you would agree that if this was the case you wouldn’t need a sales process or need to do any staff training.

    As experienced sales professionals we know that this is not what it takes to sell to a prospective wedding client. Even when the hotel has everything your customer is looking for, the price is completely affordable and logically there is no reason why they shouldn’t hold their wedding at your hotel, they will still offer you several objections.

    The simple fact is that people almost never buy logically. They buy emotionally and then justify the decision with logic. And the bigger, more expensive the item, the more emotional the purchase will be.

    Your Job
    • Get your customer emotionally involved

    • Get them mentally seeing their guests enjoying the facilities and services available

    • But most importantly, enable them to see themselves enjoying their ‘very special day’ at your hotel

    At this point, they will invest in hosting their wedding at your hotel, not just because they need a venue and that yours has everything they are looking for but because they really WANT the venue to be your hotel.

    Our Advice
    Through regular training you need to ensure that your sales team are taking the time to understand the emotional needs of your prospective customers and not just the practical (logical) needs. In our opinion, this can only be achieved by taking the time to talk with the customer prior to ‘presenting’ your hotel and wedding packages.

    Why are they here? What are they looking for? What is important to them about their wedding venue? etc…


John Garner of JMG is a sales and marketing professional who has worked on countless occasions in tandem with the team at LAW Creative. One of John’s greatest strengths is to ensure that successful hotel marketing does not falter at the POS. And that proper sales protocol is followed and monitored to ensure not only post-sales pitch intelligence is available, but more importantly that sales conversion rates are greatly improved.

If you would like to add this crucial part of the jigsaw to your next marketing campaign contact