Dial Up Success: Boost Relationships and Sales with Phone & WhatsApp

We know that the commercial environment is tricky right now, with enquiries and bookings not tracking expectations for many.

Many external and macroeconomic factors are at play here, setting the backdrop. However, after over twenty years of negotiating the ups and downs of my own wedding industry businesses, I know that the power is in what we CAN do as business leaders rather than in purely accepting the aspects we can’t control.

Let’s consider what’s within your control. How can you differentiate yourself in the market? What strategies can you employ to attract couples who resonate with your venue? And, most importantly, how can you meet their needs to ensure a steady stream of bookings?

The key to selling

People do not like to be sold to – but they do like to buy, and they want to buy from businesses and people they feel connected to, from people and companies that resonate with them.

Recent industry surveys have highlighted a key trend among Gen Z wedding customers – they value businesses with strong ethics and values. While they may be harder to reach and communicate with, they are deeply interested in understanding a business’s ethos. So, how can you effectively engage with this generation?

Building Connection

It’s multifaceted, for sure, and too much for one feature. Still, today, I want to focus specifically on the power of building connection, depth and rapport by getting out of the email inbox and using other selling tools at your disposal for success.

Yes, email is great, isn’t it? I’m old enough to remember working in offices before we had email as standard, and in the early days, you’d get two or three a day, and they were special. Yes, really. This was 1997.

My point?

We long ago reached the stage of email being the primary method of business communication, and now our inboxes have become saturated with marketing messages and more. Now, I’m not some anti-email campaigner—I believe strongly in using elements of automation and email campaigns to deepen client relationships. But are we missing a trick by relying on it so heavily as our method of converting enquiries to viewings and bookings? I believe so.

What are the alternatives then how can they help you sell more wedding dates?

The phone

Yes really. Now I know the first thing you’ll say is but couples don’t answer the phone. Agreed. They don’t, but I still believe in the value of making a call and, where possible, leaving a voicemail.

The point with the phone? You have the special ingredient of voice. With voice, you can convey all sorts of subtle emotions and messages – tone, pitch, speed, and volume, all of which can be adjusted in ways the written word cannot easily convey.


Most of us are much more informal and natural on the phone than in the written word, which is essential in an emotion-based purchase like any in the world of weddings. Many people still default to formality in their written communications because it is challenging to shake off years of grammar and “correctness” from school and education. Leaving voicemails or, better still, getting hold of somebody for an actual exchange of conversation allows for natural friendliness, interest, helpfulness and more to shine through and for unique connection to stand out.

A real person

Very importantly, you put a human name and voice to their enquiry.

Many of my regular clients are small, passionate teams, but sometimes, I see those teams inadvertently appear like larger, less approachable businesses by relying too much on email communications.

Of course, it’s efficient and time-saving, but in 2024, it’s the businesses that stand out and put more in to build deeper resonance that will secure the bookings. Fundamentally, making another person feel welcomed and at ease and allowing them to ask questions is influential in building an understanding, rapport, connection, and a collaborative relationship. We know that couples, when they choose their venues, and wedding pros want a collaborative spirit to run through their wedding planning.

Making the shortlist

Let’s be frank: at the early enquiry stage, couples are searching and often spreading the net wide; there is a lot of noise for them to contend with, and it’s important that you and your venue stand out and make their shortlist of venues. You could be the venue that does it all via email, or you could stand out and try the phone – phone calls are considered special much like the novelty of a handwritten note in the post – the couple will remember it and being memorable is vital at a busy and overwhelming info-loaded time.

Sometimes, I’m asked what we say on a phone call? It depends on the previous communications you’ve had but let’s take two regular scenarios:

Initial Enquiry In—phone call: ‘We were really happy you enquired with us. We know this can be a busy time as you’ll be looking at your options, and we wanted to give you a call to answer any initial questions, help you with any planning questions, perhaps re: your ceremony options, and explain how it all works.’

Showround Booked—phone call: ‘You’re booked in to view our venue on Sunday, which we’re looking forward to – I wanted to give you a call to say hello and introduce myself as it’ll be me you’re meeting and see if there is anything you’d like to know before or can I tell you a little bit about how the showround usually works?’

Both of these clearly would make more impact if you could have an exchange of conversation, but even as a voicemail, you’re showing helpfulness; you’re showing that they matter. They are real people, not receiving a generic email. You’re giving them a personal space to ask any little niggles or doubts or questions before what can be a new and sometimes overwhelming experience for many.

Whatsapp and Voice Messaging

Now, I know that phones have limitations—certainly, voice-calling can be intrusive, especially for couples you are most likely calling during their working day. But are you tapping into voice messaging with WhatsApp as part of your sales process?

To me, this is pure gold. I LOVE voice notes because they allow informality and the ability to show personality and emotion by using the power of the voice. Still, they are not intrusive like a phone call.

More Benefits

It also doesn’t slip into voicemail to be forgotten, which I know not everyone checks.

WhatsApp (and others like it) is regularly checked during the day by most people, and there is a visual mark of a voice note being there for that person to listen to.

Voicenotes are often responded to much more quickly than email, usually because they are bite-sized (important note there!) and manageable, and you can easily flip between a voice note and a written note. Clients of mine already using it are reporting getting much quicker responses (or any response at all). And sometimes, a ‘no, you’re not for us’ is all we want to be able to focus on our enquiries and spend time on the leads going places.

A voice note can require a little more engagement from the recipient, so if you’re trying one, keep it short and personable.

Be where they are hanging out

Fundamentally, whilst we’re all knee-deep in email inboxes, we need to greet couples who are already hanging out outside that email box. It’s time to get personal and add these steps to your sales process.

Practical Tip

Ensure you gather mobile numbers and email addresses at your initial enquiry stage, as that’s key to your voice strategy. If you plan to use WhatsApp, set up your venue on WhatsApp for business.

But we don’t have time Kelly?

I hear you; I do, however, know that if we want to uplift our sales, we have to be willing to make some changes and trial new processes and steps. My advice is to agree on some do-able parameters for your team around where you can weave in more voice-use – it’s not about doing it all at once but testing in small ways, perhaps with a certain amount of enquiries or starting with those booked on viewings and monitoring your successes as you make change and how that affects your returns.

Support from Kelly

Supporting venues with their entire sales process and customer journey to achieve desired results is work that I’m incredibly passionate about, whether through my private audits or off-the-shelf sales training. Naturally, I’d love to discuss supporting you and your venue – email, Phone call or voice note – you choose, of course!

Email: kelly@kelly-chandler.com

WhatsApp: 07721 093 566

More from the blog

Discover our Venues

Refine your wedding venue search by location, capacity, type, and style.

Visit Venue Finder

Be Inspired

Planning advice, real wedding edits, and venue showcases to inspire you.

View Blog

Suppliers We Love

From photographers to bridal fashion and styling, find the best wedding suppliers right here.

View Suppliers