We live in a time of a lot of exposure, from Instagram to Facebook, to Pinterest, and let me not forget my old and trusted friend google; there is so much more information clients have access to. There is an over-saturation of pictures and ideas and honestly most good planners have similar images. So, the question is what makes a couple select one planner in their area over the other? It is beyond the pretty pictures or the perfectly curated color-blocked page. It is all about a real connection.
I have run my wedding planning company successfully for over 10 years and I can honestly tell you that one thing that has made a difference for me besides by client acquisition process is I focus on making real connections with every potential couple. When clients are shopping for a planner, they are looking for more than titles, skills, and credentials (although this is important, and you absolutely should have the skill to take on this important job) but they are also looking for someone they can trust.
Your job as a planner during a consultation with a couple is not all about selling yourself. I recommend you focus on understanding their needs and making a real connection with them to determine if it is the right fit for both parties. Should you sell your services? Absolutely, however, never lead with it, but your focus should be on connecting with them. One of the things I tell my mentees all the time is to “never assume you are the only planner that bride is talking to.” When you think that way, you will be focused on just throwing numbers at them because that doesn’t make you different from the next planner. Additionally, when all you do is focus on your cost you actually do yourself a disservice because you are not allowing them understand the value you bring beyond dollar signs.
I have been on many consultations where clients have told me “no other planner that has spoken to took the time to talk with them in-depth like you did.” The truth is even when some of those have not led to a booking, I never see it as time wasted because I have had many of the right clients book me with my process of approaching consultations with the intent to making real connections. And even clients who did not book with me, some have still ended up referring my services to other people.
My people, trust me when I say it works. I know you might be asking yourself “Shile how do I make a connection when all the client wants to know is how much do you charge.” I get that question too all the time. I have a proven process on how I approach this, and I can tell you why it is not best to answer that question right away.
So how do you do this? Well, I feel a webinar coming on soon, can you feel it? Yessssssssss. Be on the lookout for the details of the date and time for the webinar. Until then, focus on this one tip this week; when you have your consultations, make real connections. I am excited about the webinar next week. It will be fun.