Almost eighty percent of brides that come through the door at your bridal store have some kind of body issue. Unfortunately most of us do. We don’t like our legs, our stomach isn’t flat enough or we feel like we have a huge butt. Some of these brides have developed low self-esteem because of their body issues. I am not talking about the general bride that dislikes one or two things about herself. I mean brides that find almost nothing acceptable about themselves. When helping brides with low self-esteem it can be hard to know the right thing to say. Is it better to show concern, to tell her that she is beautiful or to show her some tough love? According to a study, for people who have overall low self-esteem, certain attempts by others to boost self-esteem may actually backfire.

“People with low self-esteem always feel more comfortable and prefer to interact with people who see them as they see themselves,” says study researcher Denise Marigold, Ph.D., an assistant professor in social development studies at the University of Waterloo’s Renison University College. “If I’m speaking negatively about my life, I don’t want someone to argue with me.”

So how can we use this knowledge while helping brides? How can we resist the urge to tell brides that they look gorgeous even if they think they don’t? My husband has low self-esteem. I still haven’t been able to find the right way of talking to him. All I want to do is tell him how great he is and how sexy he looks. If one day I do say something negative like “that other sweater looks better on your body” then all of a sudden he is all ears and immediately asks if the one he is wearing is making him look fat. People with low self- esteem seem to somehow hear the negatives just fine, but have a hard time hearing the positive things that you say to them.

So what do you say when speaking to brides with low self- esteem?
1. Never make compliments unless you really mean them
When you put a dress on a bride that gives her an amazing waist and this is clear and obvious to see then this is a good time to compliment her. Don’t overdo it but just tell her the truth and show it to her in the mirror.
2. Listen and don’t talk too much
Don’t make it your mission to fix this bride. She is not yours to save. The best thing that you can do for her is to be a great listener. Let the bride talk and let her lead the conversation. This is a great example of where you have to adjust your sales technique to accommodate a particular type of bride.
3. Ask questions rather than making positive statements
If a bride tells you that she hates this dress because it makes her butt look big. Don’t say “What are you talking about your butt looks great in this dress”. Instead ask her “I am sorry you feel that way, why do you think that?”
4. Try to see things through her eyes
It will feel unnatural when a beautiful girl tells you that she thinks a certain dress makes her look fat. Your instinct will be to deny it and tell her how great she looks. Instead ask questions so you can see the dress through her eyes. “Why do you think it makes you look fat?” “What type of silhouette would you feel more comfortable in?” Now you can start pulling dresses that might make her feel better and cover the areas of her body that she is insecure about.
Listening is always important in selling, but with a bride with low self-esteem it is even more important that you listen to her problems and solve them with her. She will give you the clues, so all you have to do is take action and find her the perfect dress. Making a bride with low self-esteem feel beautiful will be that extra cherry on the pie!