There are three tiers of success in the wedding business, and you must master all three to be successful. Just as with a wedding cake, the tiers build on each other.

Tier #1: Marketing

The first tier is marketing, and by marketing I mean whatever you do to create awareness and generate sales calls. This includes print advertising, wedding shows, your website, networking, social media, etc. This is just step one, getting the prospective customer to raise their hand and indicate that they want to hear more. Only then can you move to the second tier.

Tier #2: Sales

Once a prospect has found you, and has shown at least a little interest in your company, you now have to try and turn them into a customer. Many people are uncomfortable with this stage. No one likes a pushy salesman, right? Remember, you don’t get to do what you do until you sell it to someone.

Tier #3: Fulfillment

This is the fun part, where you get to give the couple what they bought from you.

Where is your focus?

If you’re like most wedding professionals, you probably focus most of your time and energy on fulfillment. That’s not surprising, because that’s what you do best. You spend a lot of effort buying equipment, taking classes, attending conventions, and making yourself really great at what you do. But, if you spend the majority of your time on fulfillment, you won’t have much time left for selling or bringing in new prospects. You can’t even get to the fulfillment tier without a strong base of marketing and sales.

Everyone knows of businesses that aren’t all that great, but they still do a lot of weddings. They have mastered the marketing and sales tiers. I’m not suggesting that you slack on the fulfillment, but if you allocate more of your time and efforts on generating leads and improving your sales skills, you will sell more weddings and make more money.

Marc McIntosh is the producer of the Wedding Experience, the leading wedding shows in the Washington, Baltimore, and Richmond markets. The Wedding Experience provides the opportunity to promote your business through face-to-face contact with a large audience of motivated buyers. For information, call 703-425-1127, email or visit