So as wedding event planners you often have battle wounds from events that just didn’t go as planned or sometimes guests that didn’t behave as planned at the wedding. When I first started out in the business I was hungry to prove myself. I was also very passionate about what I did that I naively thought I could help every couple out there plan their wedding, whether it was on a shoe string budget or an extravagant shop stopping party.
In my early days when I sincerely wanted to make a difference and not disappoint I could never say no to my clients. This quite often put me in hot water and stretched me and my resources to the point where I delivered a poor product and service. What I did not realize was that not only was this hurting the actual event, on a grander scale it was impacting my reputation in the market place. I remember a bride that I took on as a client that eventually turned out to be bridezilla as we flushed out and planned her wedding. She was extremely polite during our first meetings, but slowly started to take over every aspect of the planning including directing me on what to do and telling me how things were done in the event planning world. When I did refer her to vendors that I had partnered up in the past and had a strong working relationship she dismissed them as being unprofessional and too expensive. Again telling them how to conduct business.
I remember attending a consultation session with her for a wedding limousine service provider and at the end of the meeting I was truly embarrassed to call her my client. She arrived late for the meeting and when she did make it did not have the courtesy to apologize for her tardiness. She also brought her mechanic friend with her to interview the owner of the limousine company as she did not trust limo companies and wanted to make sure their cars were in proper working condition. Throughout the meeting her mechanic friend questioned the maintenance schedule of the cars, how often did they change their tires and what are their drivers track record and can they interview the drivers too. Jim the limo owner was courteous to a point but drew the line when the mechanic said he wanted to test drive the limo. Needless to say that the meeting abruptly came to an end when JIm informed my client that unfortunately they are not a fit for her wedding.
Eureka! A light bulb went off in my head. You can actually pick and choose your clients and say No when you sense that your client is not a right fit for you. I remember reading somewhere before saying No ask yourself “Is this essential?” – where is it in line with your vision and values. If it is not aligned with the highest intention, then it is okay to say No. I clearly should have realized that, when the mechanic friend walked in. It was my responsibility to end the conversations and set the record straight with my client. Lesson learned and moving forward I clearly screen my clients before taking them on and creating a lasting memory for them.