Ever had a Bride that you booked and wished you hadn’t? Sometimes it happens. Sometimes we need the business. Imagine a world where you pick and choose your Brides instead of waiting for the phone to ring. This is a world that many wedding vendors I meet and many that I coach have created. This is a world they created by design though, not default. It takes strategy and forward thinking, using the right techniques that work to get to your goal. These techniques sometimes come through testing and trying as opposed to “throwing a bunch on the wall” to see what sticks.
What happens when you book a bad Bride? Some of you may have never experienced this. To those of you who have, you understand the underlying problems. She will tell everyone and anyone who will listen on how you are the scourge of the earth. She will stretch the truth and exaggerate much of what happened. She will even start to believe much of the un-truth which she has spread. Most of the “Judge Judy” type shows on TV are riddled with cases like these. The vendors in those cases come off as manipulative, shady and bad business people and they bring down the wedding industry. Those vendors represent a very small fraction of what is really out in the wedding industry.
On the other hand, you sometimes get a Bride who gets Buyers Remorse. She spent too much on her wedding and is going after the “easy” targets. This is where it becomes important to spell out everything in advance. I have approximately 10,000 people who receive my messages each week. That only represents a small fraction of the total of wedding vendors in business. Further there are that many who come and go every other month (somewhere estimated by the SBA to be around 8,000 businesses alone each month that go out of business in the wedding industry). If everyone who receives my message spelled out exactly what is expected/ to be delivered you would be in a very small percentage of wedding vendors who did that.
You can never tell which Brides are going to be bad news and which ones aren’t. Sometimes, it is inevitable that you may book a bad Bride on accident. When they come to the appointment, they sometimes are early in their planning and are excited and full of happiness, as opposed to their natural selves who are, well, not so much. It’s like a bad kid going to Disney. In the morning they are happy, polite and so willing to do everything and anything. By noon, the kid is his normal, cranky, not listening, mouthy, self and by night the kid is absolutely uncontrollable, off the hook, annoyance to everyone, including nice people who like everyone.
One trick I teach is to write notes on the contract when you sign the deal. This is how you do it: When you sign the contract with the Bride, turn back to her and ask her, “ Tell me everything that you expect me to provide/do for your (whatever it is you do; entertainment, photography, cake, dress).” Write down everything she says and then repeat it back to her. After that, ask her, “ If I provide everything you want (her list) can I presume you would be a satisfied customer?” She should say yes. If she says, no, ask her what else you would need to do to make her a satisfied customer. Assuming she says yes, as her if you can then come back and ask for a referral (remember- Brides know Brides).
I received a call the other week from a very nice Wedding Planner in North Carolina who had a nightmare Bride who was posting things on Yelp.com as well as Facebook. From what she explained to me, this Bride changed her mind on so many things, even the Bride was unclear on what she wanted. When this happens and then the Bride wants to lash out, it becomes crucial that you can back your side of the story by showing with notes that you wrote on a contract at the time of signing. Further, there is some damage control that you can never overcome. Besides, working too hard to overcome it can only bring more attention to it and fuel their fire. I have had people say things about me that were absolute lies and they knew it. Time has helped to overcome their lies and show the side of them that was malicious, mean and spiteful.
With Great marketing, you can avoid most of these problems and help yourself to get more of the “Dream” Brides and much less of the “nightmare” Brides.
Until next week, Here’s to your success!

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