You’re ready to get more clients, but how do you know which ones are right for you?
Start by qualifying leads in order to figure out which couples will be the best fit.
Remember, it’s necessary to resist the urge to take on every client that comes your way.
Because if you want to grow your business and earn what you deserve, then you need to make sure you’re working with your ideal clients.
So, when you’re on a discovery call or or at a first meeting, be sure to ask these 10 questions.
1. When you visualize your wedding, what does it look like?
This question helps you determine if their vision matches your brand aesthetic. A client might want to use a city center ballroom but your niche is working with brides who want barn venues with rustic charm. Luxury vs. DIY. Modern vs. vintage. Because while you’re creating your client’s vision, your passion will be brought out by what you love. Don’t forget, you might want to add the wedding to your portfolio, which is why it’s important to consider how your styles align.
2. What is your budget?
Of course, you have to know not only what they’re drawn to but also what they can afford to spend. This question requires knowing your own budget needs as well as what type of events you’re prepared to execute. (For more on having a minimum wedding cost or charging what you’re worth, check out Episode 100 and Episode 101 of the Wedding Industry Insider podcast!).
3. On the note of cost, who ultimately is paying for the wedding?
You might find yourself in a situation where a couple’s wedding is paid for by a parent. In that case, you’ll want to know who is the decision maker when it comes to design and budget decisions. Is there flexibility? Be sure you understand the expectations in this dynamic.
4. Are you planning to hold your wedding locally?
This question might seem standard, yet it’s important to know if your potential client is in your geographical area or if they are considering holding their wedding somewhere that requires traveling. Because you would also need to consider travel fees in their budget and your pricing if you chose to take it on.
5. Tell me a little bit about yourselves and what you’re looking for in a planner.
Create the space to learn about them, including what they do for a living and where planning a wedding falls into their current schedule. Additionally, hearing their expectations helps you know if this client is looking for a formal or laid-back working relationship. For example, do they expect you to be on call 24/7 or to communicate primarily through text vs. calls or meetings? You can then use this moment to explain your communication processes and availability.
Perhaps they even know their Enneagram number (and some planners even give a personality quiz!). Some people might not expect this question, but since you will be working closely with this couple, you should consider how your personality types might interact.
7. Are you comfortable with your wedding planner making decisions for you or will you prefer to be directly involved?
As you know, some clients might like leaving decisions to the planner and others might prefer sourcing their own chair options. That’s why your ideal client’s expectation will align with your approach and decision-making style.
8. What led you to reach out to me?
Find out what drew this client. Do they like your portfolio? Did they find you on social media or by referral? Use their answers to identify where potential clients are coming from. Then, you can continue investing in the channels that are drawing customers.
9. What are your wedding non-negotiables?
Asking this question helps you gauge if what they want fits your experience. It will also help you determine if your current business structure is set up for you to successfully produce the event they want. And if you aren’t there yet, you can use it as a chance to explore how to scale your business so that you could provide that option in the future.
10. What questions do you have for me?
This question gives you an opportunity to see how the client responds to your answers. In order to produce the best wedding for them, they will have to trust you to handle this milestone moment in their lives. Do you get the sense that they will listen to and trust you?
Trust Your Gut Response
Lastly, pay attention to how you feel at the thought of working with this client. One thing that planners often say they regret is taking on a wedding that they knew wasn’t a good fit from the first conversation. Whether it’s how they talk with each other or if they’re late, don’t ignore your gut instinct.
What’s Best for You and for Them
Remember, the right fit is not just good for you. It’s also good for that client, who can then find the planner best suited to them. Ultimately, by qualifying and choosing the right clients, even when that means being brave enough to turn something down, you will get to work with couples who fuel your passion for wedding planning.