By: Tracey Manailescu, Co-founder and Vice President of WPIC Inc.
5 Ways to Make a Great First Impression With Potential New Clients
We all know the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” by Will Rogers, right? So how can you help ensure the first impression that you are making is a good one when interacting with potential new clients?
Have a Reasonable Response Time
The quicker you respond to people within your allocated business hours, the more important you will make them feel. If you wait until the end of a work day, or a day or two later they are no longer seen or viewed as a priority. Always aim to get back to people as quickly as possible. At WPIC, our Code of Ethics dictates a maximum of 24 hrs. They can always find another wedding planner who will be excited and willing to jump in with both feet, if you aren’t. We all know, couples expect a few hours response time, just like we do 😉
Show & Tell Them What You Do
Lack of sleep, working on your feet approximately 14 hours on the wedding day, plus legwork, research, vendor meetings, client meetings, and planning for hours on end ahead of the wedding. No one knows just how much goes into professional wedding planning unless they do it for a living, much like anything, really. You cannot expect people to value and respect your career unless you share your challenges, accomplishments, trials and the importance of hiring you. On that note, everyone is going to do it a bit differently, too, so, show them what you are made of!
Here are some easy and quick ways to show them what you do:
-Add some behind the scenes photos to your Instagram story highlights for any one and everyone to see
-Write a blog about some of the most challenging things you have overcome at a wedding, and things that could happen without a wedding planner
-When you post those gorgeous professional photos on your social media, share some personal information about the day and what you did to help make it run smoother, better, faster and organized
-Put some extra oomph into your services descriptions, and be more…descriptive.
Share What It’s Going to be Like to Work With You
Insert “No one is you” quote. Know what you are good at and what others value about working with you, and use that to your advantage. Walk them through a timeline of what you will do together in the wedding panning process. Invite them to get to know you better on your company social media platforms. Highlight what your strengths are in your “About Me” page on your website. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Show a Genuine Interest in The Couple and Their Wedding
Ask them specific questions. How did they meet? Who proposed? Do they have any special touches planned for their wedding? Be genuinely excited for them! Take notes in your meetings and write down funny things they tell you, personal nick-names, children’s names or their pets names. I had a couple who told me about their special nicknames that they had for each other in our very first meeting. These were characters from a cartoon in Finland (“Snorkmaiden” and “Moomintroll”). I happened to be traveling through Finland on a personal vacation, and I went to the store and bought the characters for them as a Christmas gift.
Let Them Know What Sets You A Part From the Rest
Do you speak a second language that will come in handy with the parents or Grandma and Grandpa at the wedding (or, can you make sure your assistant does)? Are you a WPIC certified wedding planner? What is your specialty? Do you have wonderful contacts who can make things happen that the couple thought couldn’t possibly be brought to fruition? Do you focus on a narrow niche? Do you work well with the families and wedding party (happily joining them for wedding attire shopping or being available for wedding party phone calls or emails)? Do you run your business differently than others in the industry? How?