In the ideal world, we would be blessed with only perfect clients who after the first consultation sign off on the highest package, ask no questions, leave us alone and love everything we propose to them. And then we all take off on our unicorns… More likely than not, potential clients show up with a long list of different set of challenges, assumptions, ideas and options around wedding planning.
The biggest mistake any wedding planner can make is to choose to work with a wrong type of client. There is a big difference between a difficult client and a wrong type of client. A client’s input is essential to ensure that you’re giving them what they want, therefore clear communication between a wedding planner and a client is essential right from the start of the professional relationship. The business succeeds when the customer is happy and wants to continue the relationship, and everybody wins when a difficult client is turned into a satisfied customer. The business will suffer is your customers are unhappy, frustrated and efforts to resolve a situation only leads to further frustrations.
- Push your limits, and in a long run will make you a better planner
- Often detail orientated, and their pedantic manner will teach a great deal
- Will value your professional input, but their will challenge you
- Will question your process, but once receive feedback will respect your way of working
- Will not micromanage
- Will respect your personal time
- On the day of their wedding will let go and let you take charge of the wedding day
Wrong type of clients
- Will negotiate you down on everything, your typical ‘beer budget and champaign taste’ scenario. If they cannot afford your services then they are wasting your valuable time.
- Will question you ability and will make you feel inaduaquate due to their own indesisiveness
- Will make unrealistic demands
- Will avoid commitment at all costs
- Will not provide a clear direction or continuously changes the wedding requirements
- Brings someone else’s portfolio and asks you to copy it, for less of course
- Will not respect your process and will micromanage the entire wedding process
- Will not respect your personal time
- On the day of the wedding will try to micromanage every aspect, and will not let you do your job causing stress and ultimately a stressful wedding day for everyone involved
If you happen to come across a wrong client, here are a few tactics you can try:
- Take control of the situation and stress your services, process and other relevant information pertaining to wedding planning
- Avoid getting sucked into anything that falls outside of your wedding planning duties and responsibilities
- Set up and maintain strict boundaries. Wedding planning is not a life and death situation and any ’emergency’ can wait until office hours
- Respect and trust are earned, so earn it by delivering on everything you promise to deliver
- If you feel the client is micromanaging then have a frank conversation and address their fears and concerns. Once you understand why your client is concerned you will be able
At the early stages of the wedding planning process the aim is to turn a wrong type of a client into a difficult client, and then into an ideal clients. To do this requires patience, dedication, firm and consistant service delivery. However, sometimes a wrong type of client is just a wrong type of client and there is nothing you can do to change it. Set time frames and milestones if they still don’t commit or adapt their expectations then do not waste your precious time on someone who will never value your worth. Wedding planning is highly personal and therefore you will not be able to work with every single client. A wrong client for me could be someone else’s ideal client and vice versa. One way to establish if the client is right for you is to have a clear definition of your services, processes and well tuned communication strategy.