Industry Research

Here Come the Brides And Prom-Goers: Are You Ready?

(LCT image)

(LCT image)

This is the season nearly half the LCT readership lives for. However, handling teens and stressed out brides-to-be can leave you wondering if you should throw in the towel and join Uber.

The first thing is to have enough leads so you can be picky about who you chose to do business with. You always want to be able to “cherry pick” the best options for you, so make sure you are filling the pipeline NOW!

In my search to find the best advice, it seems referrals from former clients are the best means for generating good leads. Here are some tips I culled from snooping around online:

• Start a referral program by offering current brides a gift or discount for each referral who books with you.

• Encourage happy brides to share blog posts of their limo rides to their weddings or ask them to retweet and share posts.

• Send brides a link to post reviews of your services on Wedding Wire after the wedding.

Also, leaning on social media to include YouTube and Pinterest is smart. Use Skype or Google Hangouts as a better and more efficient way of talking to someone. It’s more personal and it beats having to take time out of your busy day to meet with an un-vetted prospect.

Just know more retail customers are doing their research online first and then calling. So don’t be thrown off when they get straight to the point with, “What’s your price?” Be prepared with a “limited time offer.” I’m not a fan of price discounting, but the fact is we all want to feel special and believe we got a deal. Have that all factored into your program so you aren’t really discounting.

Here are a few take-aways to consider as you roll on down the aisle of “love” and “happiness”:

Consultation/first meeting: Keep a record of your understanding should you need to refer back to it at a later date. Many people are guilty of last-minute changes. Of course you want to be flexible, but be sure to document the changes in a “change order” and have the client sign off on it.

The pricing: As mentioned above, I suggest you avoid discounts. It never fails: The clients we give the most discounts to end up being the most difficult. It’s a bad sign if the client is nickel-and-diming you from the beginning. It will make it much easier to deal with a difficult client if you are being fairly compensated. If they don’t value your fee, they are not your ideal client!

Feel free to pass on the job: They are generally lovely in the beginning, but as the pressures of the event start to creep in, the budgets increase, and the stress levels get higher, clients can turn increasingly more difficult. The key is to try to recognize this early on when you have the option to decide if this client is right for you. It’s easier to walk away before they hire you than to have to fire them later and deal with refunds and sometimes expensive lawyers.

This client demographic is not for the faint of heart. Remember you are in business; this is not your hobby. Choose your clients wisely, stand your ground on pricing your work, and keep detail and written communication; this way you’ll actually have a great time! Weddings and special events, after all, should be just that.

Related Topics: Bridezilla, LCT Publisher, proms, retail markets, Sara Eastwood-Richardson, weddings

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