Saturday, September 19, 2009

Are you prepared for your initial consultations?

I remember my very first initial consultation with a bride. I was very nervous and wasn't sure if I was ready to conduct the meeting like a pro.

I had a questionnaire I created to gather information as I spoke with the bride, a copy of my business brochure, business card along with a letter of introduction all placed nice and neat in a pocket folder for her. As an added touch, I presented her with a bouquet of six roses in my company's signature colors. I was ready!

The meeting went well...I think...but she didn't hire me. I think it had more to do with her than with me, but I know I gave it my 100%. I was prepared, I offered her something unique in the form of the bouquet and I looked and conducted myself professionally.

Are YOU ready for your initial consultation's?

Here are 5 key tips to help you have a successful meeting:

1. Dress to Impress! Make sure your outfit is stylish but professional. First impressions go a long way in this business and you want your potential client to see you as a planner who is worth the fees you charge.

2. Try to make sure the meeting place is appropriate. If you are fortunate enough to have your own office to meet with clients, GREAT! Most independent wedding planners meet with potential clients out in the community or at the client’s home. Wherever you decide to meet, make sure it’s comfortable and has enough space for you to show your portfolio and to write notes if needed.

3. Have plenty of business cards and brochures/marketing collateral handy. Not all initial consultations will happen according to the script you've planned. If you don't get a chance to describe your services, you should have something available to them that does. At the minimum you should have a good supply of business cards with you so that each person the bride brings with them has your card.

4. Have a client information form or questionnaire prepared so nothing is left out. Some planners do OK with conducting their initial consults with nothing more than a pen and pad in hand. This is great if you're seasoned and remember all of the essential questions to ask. For planners just starting out it’s a good idea to create a form with all the questions you want to ask your potential bride. This helps keep the meeting on track so you don't end up rambling. It also shows that you are organized and on top of your game!

5. If the bride hires you on the spot that's great! Make sure to have a blank contract or at least a blank letter of agreement on hand until you can prepare a proper contract and proposal. If not, be sure to communicate clear expectations for follow up. I prefer to ask the client to contact me on a mutually agreed specific date and time.

This strategy puts the responsibility on the client so they feel obligated to contact you no matter what their decision ends up being. If they don't call you on the agreed upon day and time, call them and tell them you set aside time to take their call and was concerned when you didn't hear from them. Works like a charm!

Always prepare to be successful for each and every initial consult you book. Your potential clients will have no choice but to stand up and take notice. And hopefully, they'll hire you too!

And if you need more ideas or want to brainstorm some ideas with me, I'm always here to support you. Just give me a call and we'll see if I can help!

Aspire to Plan!


Tammy Golson said...

Great reminders, thank you for this post.

Karla |Stylish Events| said...

I once read a famous quote:

"If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail".
-Benjamin Franklin

Jessica | jessica laine celebrations said...

thanks for this!

Post a Comment

We'd love to hear from you! Please help us provide you with the best content possible by leaving us some awesome comments!!