We Spoke & The Knot Listened!
High fives to everyone who read my last article (“Stand Up Against The Knot’s Proposed Price Quote System”) and copied and pasted the enclosed email to their sales reps!

Just a few days after my article went live, I received an email from Kate Ngo, Director of Product for The Knot. She wanted to talk!

Before I get to my one hour conversation with Ms. Ngo, let me share some other interesting news—The Knot purchased GigMasters, a price quote website for weddings and events, back in October of 2015. This could very well explain The Knot’s desire to fix a wheel that’s not broken and add a Gigmasters-style price quote system to their existing wedding vendor listings.

On the phone, Ms. Ngo was all ears and obviously taking notes. The conversation was very fruitful on both sides it seems.

Now, I truly believe The Knot is eager to hear what we have to say, so I’m going to tell you what I told Ms. Ngo, but I also want to hear your feedback in the comments below in case you have any other ideas or there is something important I missed.

My Suggestions For The Knot

Here are the comments, ideas, and suggestions I passed along to Ms. Ngo:

  • The Knot should put more attention on our niches (such as languages spoken, years of experience, special skills, etc.Right now, other than our profile blurbs, they list our price range and, for DJs, the types of music we have–which I told her was irrelevant because today everybody can have any song within 2 minutes.
  • Include a space for DJs on our profiles to display our Mixcloud or Soundcloud links since photos don’t really show what we do.
  • Include years of experience in our profiles and whether we are full-time or part-time wedding professionals.
  • Make a built-in autoreply feature via their current lead delivery system or via the new quote system. This is based on my own success using an autoresponder to reply to leads from The Knot.
  • Have a “vendor matching system” instead of a “quote delivery system” so, yes, price is a matching factor, but so are years of experience, number of stars from past reviews, whether we are full time or part time, languages spoken, whether we offer uplighting, engagement shoots, vegan desserts, etc.
  • Display a link to a small pop-up window with average pricing stats next to the price search filter or on our profiles where our price range is listed. That window would show the national average price in our field according to The Knot’s most recent research, as well as how our specific area may be higher (metro areas) or lower (rural areas) than the national average.
  • Take a cue from CostOfWedding.com and next to the average price, list the cost for a well-experienced pro.Something like, “Want a better than average coordinator? Expect to pay $1,200-$1,800 for a well-experienced, top-ranking professional.” (Assuming the average was, say, $1,000.)

CostOfWedding.com Screenshot

  • Don’t offer a button in the first price quote response saying, “To get more quotes, click here.” That would keep the bride or groom driving in circles around the “research cul-de-sac,” too overwhelmed to make a decision.
  • Link to a quick video explaining how to interview the photographer they have just received a quote from. The link might say, “Take the next step and interview this vendor…here’s what to ask.”Help the bride or groom move forward and educate him or her about how to do it–don’t overwhelm them with more quotes to sort through.

What suggestions do you have for improving The Knot? What feedback do you have on The Knot creating a price quote system? Leave your comments below.

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Staci Nichols

San Diego wedding DJ Staci Nichols is a graduate of Book More Brides' "Rapid Growth System" and "Book Your Calendar Solid with Blogging" courses. She writes the wedding column for Mobile Beat magazine. Her writing has also appeared in San Diego Style Weddings, Offbeat Bride, Wedding Planner Magazine, Brides Without Borders, Wed Loft, and the Gig Masters wedding blog. To see her Book More Brides training in action, check out her website: http://www.sandiegodjstaci.com

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9 thoughts on “We Spoke & The Knot Listened!”

  1. Great post and interesting read. I’ve mostly used WeddingWire and The Knot secondary. Though I don’t get many leads from either, they are great for review collection.

  2. DJ Staci says:

    Thanks for your comments & support everyone!

  3. I don’t see the relevance of stipulating if a vendor is “part time” or “full time” . How would you define full time? Spending x amount of hours a week on your business? A vendor that works part time may do a much better job than a full time vendor, a part time vendor may be part time because they do not take every event that comes their way. A full time vendor may not do as good of a job because they are too busy. This seems like the implication would be that someone that does their business “part time” would not do as good of a job as a “full time” vendor. I know plenty of DJ’s for example, that have “day jobs” and are in very high demand because of how good they are, and they do it at night and on weekends when they are not working their other jobs.

  4. Jerry Bazata says:

    As a DJ from Maine (and a three-time Best of Weddings winner!), I work closely with couples planning their wedding. Over the course of my 20+ year career, I have seen the expectations of couples evolve, including how they want us to communicate with them. Today, they are looking for: quick responses (54% of millennials are annoyed by slow response times and expect an immediate reply), communication that feels personal—and brief, and connections where they already are (email, text, or phone).
    I was chosen to be a Brand Ambassador for The Knot last year because of my years of experience building my successful DJ’ing business by providing great service and communication with couples I meet from The Knot and other channels. A lot of this great service has come from my staying on top of and adapting to what the latest generation of brides and grooms are looking for in terms of communication channels, wedding pro research and planning for their big day.
    As an Ambassador, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the product, technology and marketing teams there—and have given them a lot of frank feedback, representing our entertainer community and wedding pros in general. The Knot is working to provide ahead-of-the-curve tools to help connect couples with the right wedding pros for their wedding—creating a powerful partnership for wedding pros like us. Based on years of research, The Knot knows what couples want, how they plan, and what most inspires them and then applies this information when building new features—this helps take the guesswork out of it for us so we can concentrate on closing business and doing what we love as entertainers.
    One such product is The Knot Proposal Builder. Recently, I began participating in the beta test for this new tool, and I’ve seen great results. It allows me to better manage the process of responding to brides requesting information. Because the proposal system asks couples to include the venue, location and approximate number of hours they will need my services, I can create a customized proposal, with detailed information in the message to support my pricing.
    One bride I recently booked for 2017 told me she’d been inundated with emails from other DJs she had contacted that were not only long and difficult to view on a phone, but focused solely on the DJs’ services. This made it difficult for her to determine pricing and how they could be a valued partner on her wedding pro team. Even though I was the most expensive of all the DJs, she selected me because I was able to provide her the information she needed in an easy-to-understand and concise format.
    And because of this tool, I have three additional contracts pending.
    Worried the conversation is only about price? Don’t be. Just because this new batch of brides and grooms want quicker responses with more pricing information upfront does not mean that they still don’t want personalized communication that makes them feel unique and special. I was still able to achieve that personalized service—both through e-mail and phone calls after the initial price proposal I sent. And if you’re worried this will drive prices down, this has not occurred for me. As I mentioned earlier, I got a booking as a result of this tool, despite the fact that I was the most expensive of their options and I’d like to think that has to do with the service and communication style I also provided!

    Couples’ communication habits have changed so much over the last few years. It’s no surprise that 60% of couples are actively planning their wedding on their mobile phone—it’s easier and less stressful. What’s great is that this tool gives them exactly what they are looking for (us!), how and where they want it. Not convinced? The Knot shared some early findings with me from couples (our potential clients) participating in this beta test…here’s what they’re saying:
    “Right upfront, I see how much it costs, and how much the deposit is. I like that A LOT.”
    “This is perfect. This is what I’d hoped to see as a response from a vendor.”
    “I wasn’t expecting this much information, so this quote definitely meets my expectations.”
    Like Stacy said, they are listening and wanting to do what is best for both the brides and the vendors. I truly believe they have our best interests at heart

  5. I feel like this industry has gone way too far in the “beat my price” game. I feel it is the job of the “first responders” in the wedding industry such as theKnot or WeddingWire or even wedding planners to educate brides on why certain vendors may charge a higher price than say, those just getting into the industry, not feed the pricing fire. It’s getting hard for florists and designers, for example, to make a living at this point because brides and planners are taking our price quote to someone else beat it. There will always be someone out there willing to beat my price and your price and her price. But, can they do the work as you expect them to???? And, do we, as vendors, really want our niche to be the “cheapest in town” as opposed to the “best in town” or “the one who gets her brides”? I stand by my prices and I’ve lost a few brides, but I think it’s been for the best.. Thanks to Staci for taking a first step in STOPPING THE MADNESS and not letting this wonderful industry go down in flames because no one knows how to pay for quality anymore.

  6. Peter says:

    Incredibly awesome Staci! You know often we hear of requests and questions left ignored or unanswered. They listened. Now let’s see if they do something about it. Thanks for your leadership!

  7. Shari Zatman says:

    I’d like for them to provide us with the contact information (phone and email) when we get an inquiry. I want to make a personal connection to provide more details about who we are and what we do as opposed to just answering an inquiry for price. That just promotes “price shopping” as opposed to searching for a quality and experienced vendor.

  8. Tom Gavin says:

    Thank you Stephanie. Thank you for spotting the flaw in this thinking, and taking the time to reach out to Ms. Ngo. Your Rapid Growth System stresses the importance of standing out from the pack. We’re not commodities. Regardless of the profession. The price doesn’t matter if the outcome fails to hit the target. Educating the consumer should be the approach to seeking value. Eliminate the game where the contest seems to be achieving the lowest rate. To this day, I still use my notes I took while in your class. Now THAT’S what Outcome is.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Tom. All the credit for this one goes to Staci Nichols, who took the time to complain to The Knot and write the article in the first place. 🙂

      We’re happy to help make your voices heard. Jeff and I were very pleased that The Knot research staff really listened to us and to Staci. It means a lot and I hope everyone reaps the benefits in the future.

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