Last week, it was my pleasure to attend for the first time Wedding MBA out in Las Vegas. I was the guest of my friend Cherie Ronning of Wedding Network (a fantastic online networking group). While there, another friend, Mega Bridal Show producer Marc McIntosh shared an experience.

While moderating a panel of specific wedding vendors, the discussion turned to who should provide the box for the cake toppers. This discussion quickly became heated as the cake folks thought the caterer should provide it and the caterer thought the cake folks should provide it. While both had valid points, think about this: the cost of a cake topper box is at most $1 while the average cost of the ticket to attend this discussion was $300. Marc simply sat back and let them go at it, when at a final point he chimed in: “Man I would love to be your competitor. You are simply focused on the wrong points. In order to save a few bucks, you are missing the point. The profits from one wedding will pay for all the cake toppers you will ever need.”

Too many times we get caught in the minutia of our businesses and we simply forget the business of our businesses. Looking forward, I would encourage you to do the following three things today.

1. Take a look at each area of your business and see where you can exceed in expectations and write down five ideas that you can use and implement immediately. Simply said, when you exceed, you have a better chance for referrals. The focus of your exceeding should first be with the bride and second with any other wedding professionals who you interact with.

2. Put on the calendar when you will act upon the aforementioned plan to exceed. For your very next wedding, start to exceed with your brides expectations. This does not have to cost a lot, in fact many times it does not have to cost anything. You simply need to have a plan and then act upon it.

3. Find a way to exceed with any other wedding professionals and put that on the calendar as well. In the case of our cake folks and caterers, perhaps either could have reached out prior to the wedding and volunteered to not only provide the cake topper box, but perhaps tried to exceed by calling up and offering some of their product for the other (send some extra cake to the caterer as a snack or the caterer send an extra meal for the cake person).

Now back to what Marc said; we see a lot of vendors who let a nickel hold up a dollar. Can you imagine if you keep going above and beyond how you will stand out? The root problem that I see often is that people have a scarcity mentality rather than an abundance attitude. When someone is scarce on how they run their business, they will tend to worry more about saving (in this case $1) more than earning (exceeding with another wedding professional that could potentially earn a referral which could earn a gig). You’ve heard it before: You can’t save your way to riches, but you can earn your way!

Do you have any experiences where you exceeded and earned another referral?

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