I am just going to put it out there: The subject of commissions is often treated as the elephant in the room in our industry. While many find it uncomfortable to talk about, addressing the topic in a direct and clear manner is key. Today, I want to speak all to my dear planners out there: You have a choice to either build your business on transparency or deception.
Before I begin, I have a couple of questions for you:
- Are you in this business to make a profit wherever possible or looking to provide an outstanding client experience through your experience, expertise and the brand you have built?
- Are you confident enough to put a price on what you believe you are worth without having to rely on illusive practices?
Think about these before answering as they will inevitably impact your credibility and ability to stay in business.
If your business model relies heavily on commission, your business will most likely not stand the test of time. This is especially true in the information age when answers are readily available via the web. Now, I personally love that the industry is finding clever ways to create multiple streams of income. These folks are building strong brands that showcase their talent in admirable and innovative ways, and our potential clients are making educated decisions based on the added value received and not solely on recommendations. The bottom line: This referral-based business will only survive if you have a remarkable product or service to offer and this should be enough for it to stand on its own.
I feel we should allow ourselves the opportunity to run our respective businesses in an open and ethical manner. If you chose to go the commission route, then own it. Let your clients know this is the way you operate. Become an advocate for trust, not doubt, with every business decision you make. You will soon attract the right client for you. In addition, this practice will enable you to surround yourself with creative partners that will refer you based on performance–not price and vice versa. Build and run your business with integrity and honesty. If you have to justify the way you make a profit, you may want to reconsider your business model. We all want to make a profit, but use common sense and not common practice. Always put the best interest of your client’s first. Don’t let money overshadow your passion.
How do you feel about this subject? I’d love for you to openly share your thoughts with our readers. I can’t get enough of this topic and am always curious to hear everyone’s point of view.
With a Happy Heart,
Kathy Romero is the Director of Wedding Planning For Preston Bailey Designs. She shares her thoughts and advice on Preston’s Blog every Thursday.
(Photo Courtesy of Kismis Ink)