Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Phone Consult

When I had my very first face to face initial consultation, I gave the bride a bouquet of six roses in my company's signature colors...pink and lavendar. She was very appreciative and it made a great first impression...or so I thought. I spent close to 90 minutes with her..answered her questions about her wedding and basically gave her several solutions to obstacles she was facing. She took those ideas and planned the rest of her wedding...without hiring me.

Lesson learned.

For this reason, I now pre-qualify my potential clients over the phone whenever possible. I use a questionnaire that helps me determine whether or not they are seriously looking to hire a planner or just price shopping.

I'll ask permission to go over a few questions in order to assess where the bride is in her planning process and what it is they think they need. I also explain how the question and answer session will benefit her. Some brides don't always know what stage of planning they are in or whether or not they need a planner at all. (Although, I think EVERY bride needs a planner!)

The process helps to give her a sense of direction...one that I've seen lacking in newly engaged brides. This is very valuable to her because more than likely, she's finding that all the choices she has to make are becoming a bit overwhelming. And as a planner, this begins to build credibility and trust for me.

The goal is to find brides that fit your ideal profile...your niche. Not every bride is for you. We'll explore this a bit more in detail in the next post but hopefully you have a group of planner friends that you can refer her to if you find that she isn't your ideal bride or that she needs another type of vendor. Remember? Networking and building relationships is necessary to build a successful business.

Here's a link to a good pre-qualifying lead questionnaire. It can be customized to fit your particular wedding planning niche or specialty.

Let me know how it works out for you!

Until then...

Aspire to Plan!


sweetchicevents said...

Great post, Wendy! Wow, never thought of a pre-qualifying call... although now I would love to know what you cover at your first in-person meeting if you go through so much on the phone?

Wendy said...

On the phone consult its me asking questions about what they "need". During the face to face meeting, its more about what I can offer them to meet that need.

Penny said...

Wendy, I think you are brilliant. The information and resources that you offer has turned a bright light on for me restarting my business. The pre-qualifying form link has expired. can you repost the link. thanks a million.

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