Creating Memories for Your Clients
As business owners, we are always looking for ways to ensure that we continue to thrive. With the growth in our industry over the past decade, the competition gets fiercer every year, so we are constantly challenged to be creative, to be fresh, and to offer the best service and support we can muster! I think one of the ways that we can do that is to look closely at our clients and suppliers to see beyond their immediate needs. I’m not talking about their wedding planning needs. We’re getting paid to do that, it’s not an option, and we better do it well or we’ll quickly lose the next client to the competition! I’m talking about the extra little things you can do for your clients and vendors, I’m talking about creating memories that make working with you special. That way, when your clients’ friends ask, “Who should I hire as a wedding planner?” your name is unquestionably the one that rolls off their tongues. You’ll be memorable enough that your vendors adore working with you and tell all their own clients and other vendors how wonderful it is!
So, how do we create memories? How do we make these people feel special and appreciated, the way we all want to be made to feel? The answer to these questions is probably going to be different for each of us. After all, it’s what we each bring to the table that makes us unique and valuable as entrepreneurs. I’ve also been generating some ideas as to how I engineer special moments for my own clients and fellow vendors. I’ve always been proud of the relationships I develop with these individuals, but only recently did I really look closely at my own processes, realizing that I too had much room to improve! This is going to be a huge focus for me in this coming year as I take my business into year six, and I have allocated a significant portion of my budget to accommodate. Given my brand, my focus as a planner is as someone who creates meaningful, memorable, personal events. Quite frankly, it’s long overdue!
I’ve been brainstorming ideas and keeping my ears open for suggestions from others. Here is just a sprinkling of some that have already surfaced:
- Sending a hand-written thank you card to vendors who went the extra mile for you or your client at an event. Yes, I mean to use the dreaded snail mail!
- Make note of client/vendor birthdays when you can and send them birthday cards on their special day. For a real treat, enclose a gift card to be used at their favorite coffee shop or restaurant. Christmas cards, new home cards, congratulations on your promotion cards, all cards are fun to receive!
- Next time you have a meeting with a client or vendor over coffee or tea, take note of their preferences and order takeout next time you’re on the way to a meeting with them, with their drink in hand. What a great start to a morning meeting!
- If someone has something special coming up in their lives (ex: vacation, special celebration, bachelor party), make a note of it in your calendar and when the date rolls around, follow up a couple days later to share in their excitement.
- Surprise your client with a thoughtful touch at their event. Maybe they expressed loving a certain thing that you could integrate into their day? Or maybe they really wanted something but the budget just couldn’t handle it? They’ll be totally surprised when they arrive to find out that you secured it for them on your own dime.
- Next meeting, bring a little sweet treat to nibble on. French macaroon, brownie, favorite yummy. Maybe even in their event theme colors!
I have no doubt that you will have some amazing ideas of your own. There are countless opportunities to be thoughtful and it really just boils down to being attentive. With smartphones and tablets, it’s so easy for us to jot a quick note to ourselves next time we have an opportunity and refer to our notes next time we can use them. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, but the way we make people feel is priceless. And that is good for our souls and good for business!
Enjoy creating those memories. Till next time!
Lynn Lee has over 10 years experience in the event and wedding planning industry. These days, she’s focusing her attention on her growing wedding planning business, Weddings Unveiled. Her weekly blog posts include business tips, wedding trends, and expert advice.