We all aspire to leave a positive, lasting impression on our clients. Doing so means a job well done and a successful, memorable wedding. That’s how we get more word-of-mouth recommendations, which in turn helps expand our clientele. Gillian Griffith already wrote about how to make an impression back in 2017. Among her tips were to step up the welcome packet game, show gratitude, and implement an organized workflow. Griffith’s suggestions would suffice in most cases. But, it wouldn’t hurt to go the extra mile either. There’s an art to it, one that will help us leave a lasting impression on any client, and here’s how.
Have Flexible Work Hours
Our September article on managing contractual expectations covers the importance of setting clear working hours. That means we’re not obligated to answer a text message sent either prior to or past our agreed-upon time. But if we can respond, then why not do so? The fact is, clients will have concerns pretty much around the clock. There’s a detail that will bother them early in the morning, a question they’ll want answered in the evening, or an idea they’d like to share at the oddest of hours. Again, our contract absolves us of doing work outside the specified work hours. But being as flexible as possible with our working schedule and reply times is a good way to go the extra mile for a client. It may be added work, but it’ll create a lasting impression.
Be Ready With Recommendations
It’s imperative that we establish our expertise right away. And, we can do that by being ready with our recommendations. USA Today in their feature ‘10 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner’ notes that couples hire wedding planners so they can get connected to the best vendors, benefit from discounted accommodations, and receive fresh ideas. Our clients, therefore, expect us to have a ready list of choices for every aspect of the wedding. As we brainstorm with them we need to be able to make recommendations on the fly, and explain the pros and cons of each. Doing so shows that we are, indeed, experts in this field. Just as important, it proves our dedication and level of preparation. A well-prepared wedding planner will make a positive impression on any client.
Pro Tip: Create a Notes Template with all of your go-to vendor recommendations that you can easily drop into each new project to help your clients find the right vendors (and continue to impress them!).
Create a Detailed Financial Plan
Getting married can be costly. The average cost of weddings in the U.S. is $38,700, with approximately $29,200 going into the actual ceremony and reception. Tellingly, 28% of couples worldwide go into debt to cover the cost of getting married. This underscores the importance of creating an effective financial plan for our clients. This needs to be detailed and can include methods on how to pay for the wedding, such as a personal loan. The Balance explains how getting a personal loan is an option many couples take to pay off their wedding expenses. And, it’s a viable option given the generous interest rates of such loans.
That being said, it’s so important that we walk our clients through all pertinent details in regards to their loan. Crucially, we need to explain why it’s vital that they pay on or before due dates. An article by Marcus on how to get a loan details the importance of making payments on time, as not doing so can lead to extra interest. This added interest, in turn, can add up and bring additional financial burden on the newlyweds. Helping them avoid that through smart financial planning shows that we care, not just about the wedding, but also about the wellbeing of our clients.
Pro Tip: Add a section to your couples Checklist to help them keep track and make payments on time!
Weddings are getting more hi-tech according to a CNBC piece on wedding trends. From using drones and tailor fitting social media (via hash tags and geo-tagging) to 360-degree photo booths, today’s tech-savvy couples are increasingly looking for ways to incorporate technology into their big day, and we need to stay current with these trends. Among other things, we can create an online schedule to keep our clients in the loop at all times. We can also craft a social media account for the wedding. Moreover, we can create electronic invitations (or e-vites) and set up online wedding websites. Doing so proves that we are keeping up with the times, and could also be an extra worry taken off the clients. Not to mention the online memories that we will help create will be something our clients can remember us by.
Hero photo courtesy Pura Soul Photography