I was discussing various blog topics with my friend and reader, Navjot Kaur, of Silver Leaf Wedding Designs, when she suggested I write about the difficult choices I face when creating a job, the challenges I confront when getting a client to sign, and the countless hours I spend bargaining when bringing one of my events to life. I loved this idea because these are challenges and concerns we all face, regardless of what market you work with or what location you are in.
Over the course of the next few days, I will be sharing the lessons I have extracted from the (many) mistakes I have made while dealing with my clients. When meeting with a potential client, it is essential to remember that the first connection with a client is the greatest chance to be hired for the job.
Five Things To Do:
Respond Immediately: I cannot tell you how many jobs I have lost by not responding to inquiries immediately. It is important to remember that clients are likely reaching out to a group of designers, planners and vendors, and responding quickly is a sign of respect for good customer service. Try and respond to your clients within 15 minutes of receiving their phone call or email.
Wait To Discuss Money: It is not uncommon for clients to want to talk about costs on the first call, but I really encourage you to have that conversation in person.
Remember That Your Client Is a New Friend: Yes, you are hoping your client will hire you to do their event, but this is a human being with thoughts, needs, dreams, and feelings. Show them that you are interested in getting to know them, be honest with them, be friendly, and most of all, be willing to listen.
Encourage Them To Come In: Yes, they may resist the invitation at first, but it’s far easier to give your potential clients a better understanding of the value of your work this way than over the telephone. Let them know you would like to sit down with them and listen to what it is they have in mind and get to know them better.
Treat All Callers With Respect and Care: I believe that there is enough business for all of us, and some clients are better suited for you than others. If you feel that the budget of the client is not right for you, avoid making them feel bad about what they can and cannot afford. Their calling you means they respect your work and were interested in you. Show them that you appreciate that by making a recommendation and letting them know they can always call you back with any questions. Not too long ago, I signed a very big job as a result of my client being in love with the way my Director Kelly handled that first call.
Question: Do you feel most clients want to discuss money during the first call? How do you handle this and what are some ways you get them to come in and meet with you in person?
Tomorrow: How to get clients to sign the deal.
(Photo Courtesy of Pinterest)