By Lane’ Richards
It’s the middle of wedding season and you have a million things to do to. The last thing on your mind is wondering when you last checked in with your client. Whether that’s someone who may have just booked your services, or a client who’s wedding may not be for several months. You’re not thinking about how to continue nurturing your client relationships as you can’t even keep up with the emails piling up in your inbox.
Here are a few tips on how you can create and maintain a meaningful client relationship without compromising your time and workflow.
Once you’ve booked a client, what’s your follow-up game? How do you first thank them for them trusting you with the details of their wedding? Do you check in with them regularly? How do do you communicate important policies or details including reminders? How soon before a wedding do you confirm the details? What’s your game plan after the wedding?
The last thing you want your client to feel is that you’ve fallen off the face of the earth. Create an email sequence that’s scripted and in template form which will not only save you time, but create consistency in your messaging. To get started, create a timeline beginning with the time they sign the contract. End your timeline on either their wedding date or, better yet, their anniversary date. Why their anniversary date? Because it’s another opportunity to catch them by surprise and mail them an anniversary card. You never know when they’ll need your services again so stay at the top of their mind.
From there, start mapping out intervals of when you want to send your emails. Automate your process by utilizing a Client Relationship Manager (CRM). A good CRM allows you to send emails while you’re working, based on a timeline workflow.
Serve not sell
One really important thing to remember is that while you may have helped plan hundreds of weddings, this is likely your clients first. As the saying goes “you don’t know, what you don’t know” and couldn’t be more true for a bride or groom planning their big day. As a wedding professional, you’re not only solving a problem for your client, you’re educating them along the way. When you stop thinking about your client as a transaction and start looking at them as someone to serve, big shifts begin to happen in your business. You’ve not only taken the stress off of you, but your clients will truly start to feel heard and that you’re there for them, not a paycheck.
Don’t rely solely on email
We’re addicted to email, but that doesn’t mean your client is. In fact, they may not be receiving your emails and you’d never know! To help save time on quick questions, send a text or better yet, pick up the phone and call them. This can eliminate countless follow-ups and take the stress off your clients thinking you’ve disappeared.
Give your full attention
You’re on a call with your client but in the background you’re also checking email. You think you’re being productive, but did you know multitasking is a myth? That’s right, there’s no such thing. What you’re doing is called task shifting. This is where you’re shifting your attention back and forth from one thing to another. Studies have shown that it can take up to 17 minutes to shift your full attention back to what it was you’re doing. So when you’re in a client meeting, give them your undivided attention. If you don’t, you’re not only likely to miss out on them saying something important, but you’re giving away precious time. And besides, your client will know when you’re not truly present. You want a relationship that demonstrates professionalism and that their time is valued.
With these tips, you’ll have a system in place allowing you to be more productive all while creating raving clients.
Lane’ Richards is a multidisciplinary entrepreneur and creative behind Something Borrowed Portland, an award-winning event design and specialty rental company based in Portland, OR. Her newest venture, Wedding Pro Coaching, offers mastermind business coaching and educational programs to wedding industry professionals who need help building, running, and growing their businesses in the crowded wedding industry.