Selling an Indian or any other type of South Asian wedding is a whole different thing than other events that venue Catering Managers work on.
From the consumers’ unique needs, the buyer mindset, the budgets, and the number of influencers and decision makers, it’s a totally different playing field than anything else.
As such, selling these big ticket events requires different skills, knowledge, info and insights. You’re bus. Probably inundated with leads. So we’ll keep this short and more importantly do-able.
Below are 6 tactics for Catering Managers to employ when selling Indian and all South Asian weddings. They will set you apart from others.
Expect Your Clients to Negotiate. Indian consumers are going to negotiate. Venues and catering teams that have adapted their sales to that face have been successful in the Indian market. And if you don’t like to negotiate then working with these consumers is going to be challenging. Try to think of it as an opportunity to grow and gain a new skill set that will be useful to you throughout your career.
Differentiate Your Venue. You know who your primary competitors are in the Indian market, so make sure to point out the features and services that your venue offers that make your venue unique and offer more value.
Create the Dream. If a couple is coming to meet with you for a site visit the whole time they’re envisioning their wedding there while simultaneously trying to take in the plethora of info you’re sharing. Bring the wedding day to life for them by walking them through the details that other sales managers might not be sharing such as:
- the bride walking down the aisle
- the staging room where the bride will wait before she enters the ceremony
- where the milni and vidai will take place (if applicable)
- the ballroom layout
- where the buffets and bars will be setup
- areas where they can take photos
The New Way To Follow Up: It’s happened to anyone in business. A prospect is interested. You spend a lot of time with them and send them a proposal and then they go MIA. Instead of sending a “checking in” message, how about sending something useful like a link to a video from an Indian wedding that took place there.
Rename Your Outside Catering Package: Instead of “Outside Catering Packet 2018-2019”. Put your venue name in the file name.
Proactively Talk About an Inclement Weather Backup (if applicable). So many Indian and South Asian weddings take place outdoors. And for Hindus and Jains the ceremonial fire is a vital part of the ceremony. The biggest concerns these consumers have are:
- In case of a weather issue can the ceremony be moved indoors?
- If yes, can they have the ceremonial fire indoors?
If you proactively bring this up instead of them having to bring it up with you, it demonstrates that you ‘get it.’ And when so much of the decision making process of what venue to go with depends on rapport with the Catering Sales Manager, those seemingly small gestures can actually have a big impact.
FYI: the ceremony flame is not applicable to Sikh, Muslim and Buddhist weddings.
For venues that work with us, we prep Catering Managers for site visits. Sharing nuances about the culture, keywords and traditions that impress clients, by the sheer fact that the Catering Manager knew those things. And the impact has been huge. We hear back from Catering Managers who tell us everything was on point and clients were indeed wow’d by their insight.
We know you’re busy so this article presented some quick and doable tips for how you can distinguish yourself from the competition. The great thing is, whether you follow through with all six or just one of these tactics, you’re still ahead.
It’s a work-in-progress and as you become accustomed to incorporating each tactic you can move on to the next one.
We felt it important to share this with you, as with any high ticket purchase, so much hinges on rapport with the salesperson and how much that salesperson understands each client’s unique needs.
This article is part of ShaadiShop’s series
Shaadi = Marriage/wedding in Hindi/Urdu, which are two major languages spoken in South Asia
South Asian refers to people from: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives
South Asian is not to be confused with Southeast Asian which is a completely different region of the world.
South Asian is a more encompassing term as it refers to everyone in that region vs. Indian.
I hope this article has been helpful to you. If it has, please let me know in the comments; and you might like to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest – whatever your preferred media is, as we frequently publish articles to help make planning an Indian wedding just a little bit easier.
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“We’re so glad we joined ShaadiShop to market this hotel to the South Asian community in the Orange County area. Every wedding we close from their leads returns more than 3x our investment. Moreover, they pre-qualify leads and educate consumers creating a much better sales cycle for our catering team. Venues looking to reach this market, join ShaadiShop!”
Catering Sales Manager
Wyndham Anaheim Garden Grove
“We just booked a full Indian wedding through ShaadiShop at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort. In addition to the business, we appreciate the exposure ShaadiShop creates about our venue, as the couple didn’t know about our resort until ShaadiShop told them about us. Additionally, we appreciate the pre-qualification work that ShaadiShop does to match couples and venues that are a good fit for each other. We had all the info needed to conduct the initial meeting. What a great service for venues to market to the South Asian community!”
Catering Sales Manager
Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort
“Cannot say enough good things about the service from Samta and ShaadiShop who helped us research venues for our wedding this year. We wanted a non-hotel venue, and to get married within 6 months. ShaadiShop immediately found us venues, contacted them and educated us about all the things we needed to think about while selecting a venue. They put all the info together in a fabulous, super impressive, spreadsheet that helped us compare venues – seriously amazing and such a great help. Working with them made the whole stressful process MUCH easier and I can’t believe it was all free! ShaadiShop’s website is fantastic and such a great service for South Asians – so glad I found them!”
Anjli Shah, Bride
“Shaadishop helped me not only find venues but also understand how they work, the fees, and tips that I wouldn’t have otherwise known. Definitely a need service in the desi community. And best of all, it was free!!”
Hinna Shaikh, Bride