Rules of Business from Say Yes to The Dress

Say yes to the dress is an American cable television show centered around the goings on at a high-end bridal superstore in New York. After a few episodes I started to see patterns emerge and some valuable lessons on salesmanship. 

1).   Always ask for the budget upfront
Don’t let the bride try on things they can’t afford.  They will leave sad and disappointed and you will lose the sale and waste time

2).   Ask them what they like not what they don’t like
Asking someone what they like starts the conversation off in a positive note and allows the seller to be the hero when they are able to deliver on what the client wants.

3).   Have a strategy
Decide if your bride wants to cut to the chase and try her dream dress on immediately or delaying the gratification enjoying the build up, trying on things that may or may not work until she tries on the dream dress.  Each bride is different so make sure to listen to know which will be the most effective method of persuasion.  

3).   Keep your eyes open and listen
Resist the temptation to appear the expert.  Instead ask smart, open ended questions and let the bride tell you what she wants, look at her facial expressions and then, really listen.  She will tell you how she wants to feel, what is motivating her, what her concerns are if you let her have the floor and speak uninterrupted.  Even if it takes a long time, be patient listen and pay attention most importantly to what is not being said.  

4).    Know your stakeholders
Brides often bring an entourage of others to the appointment.  Often another person other than the bride is paying for the dress so make sure that you are paying attention to that other person as well and understand their constraints and goals as well.  Look at the body language when they interact and see who defers to who, what is the power structure and who is the ultimate decision maker.

5).     Never say no
If you don't have the exact dress the bride wants, the sale is not lost.  Ask the bride what she liked about her dream dress and see if you can deliver something as close to it as possible.  Then, don't oversell it.  If it’s right - it’ll happen.

6).     Good news first
You can’t always get what you want.  Some brides want a discount or want something that can’t be done.  When delivering this news always start off with the good news.  For example, maybe you can’t get the 25% off she wants but you can always come back with the good news that she can get 10%, alterations done rush or a free veil or something else.

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BONUS: Carry at least one crowd pleaser
Cultivate having at least one Pnina. This is the one blinged out slightly over mid-range priced dress that for some reason most people like and it's an exclusive to the shop.