Posted on | June 4, 2012 | Comments Off
The majority of the wedding designers, wedding planners, wedding photographers, along with other wedding vendors I meet and function with are extremely talented. And talent, nicely, that is the difficult component. So it has usually struck me that vendors who've the difficult component down (the abilities!) are occasionally so poor in the simple component.
So what's the simple component?
You invest numerous months operating on an occasion: you maintain lengthy hours, you take each late night telephone contact, you cope with each logistical nightmare concerning the wedding flowers, wedding cake, initial dance song, etc By the time you reach the night from the wedding (or other occasion) and the guests begin to arrive, you're spent. You're completely, 100% exhausted, and you think you never want to see any of these people ever again &8212; not that they aren't perfectly lovely but in that moment and the initial few days afterward, you probably don't want to see much of anyone.
But here's the thing, no matter how amazing of a job you did, it's not over when the guests go home. It's not even over when the stage has been broken down and the last from the chairs and tables have been returned. It's not over until you follow-up with your team AND your clients &8212; separately, of course.
After each single occasion you do, you need to have a meeting with your team to discuss what went nicely and why it went nicely. Of course that also means you should discuss what didn't go nicely and why it went awry. From the client's prospective, the wedding or occasion should feel flawless. However, from YOUR prospective and that of your team, there is NO such thing as a flawless occasion. Something usually goes wrong and something can usually be done better. Usually.
Following up with your client is equally important. You might think that because you did a good job a client will automatically hire you the next time he or she needs a florist or a caterer or a DJ or occasion planner. But competition is fierce, and there are numerous vendors who are extremely good at what they do. You have to make it personal. Contact the clients. Ask how they felt the occasion went. Make sure they are happy. Ask if they have any questions or concerns. Perhaps there's something that wasn't taken care of or didn't happen. Maybe you can help right the situation. Tell them what a pleasure it was to function with them.
But you're still not done. Sorry! After you've met with your team and reached out to the clients, contact the other vendors you worked closely throughout the planning process. Maybe you're a baker but you spent a lot of time with the florist discussing which flowers would decorate the desserts. Contact those vendors and thank them for all their help. Tell them what a pleasure it was to function with them and that you hope to function with them again soon.
Remember, your goal is to form strong, long-lasting relationships with not only your clients but also other local vendors and, of course, all from the people who function with and for you. It takes a great numerous people to make an occasion happen. Don't make the mistake of taking any of them for granted!
Now, a few questions for you: How do you say "goodbye" (at least temporarily!) to a client after an occasion is over? Do you send a little thank you gift or contact them? Do you find that meeting with your team of employees after an occasion is beneficial? What about reaching out to other vendors? Tell me your best practices and how YOU maintain your professional relationships.