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The Parent-Business Tug-Of-War

by Astra Dwyer, WPICC of On Your Day Events.
This article was chosen as the favoutire article, by Astra’s WPICAlumni peers, in a internal WPIC contest .

Being a mother of four and a business owner is a balancing act meant for a trapeze artist (seriously). The joy (ahem) of 40 little fingers that magically find their way to the keys of my laptop. Four tiny, but vocal, humans that need (and that I enjoy giving) my constant love and attention. Four incredibly tug-at-your-heart-strings bundles of cuteness wrapped in more cuteness, that cause instantaneous heart melting. Oh and I did not forget my sweet, caring and phenomenal 6 foot human I married eight years ago, that is incredibly supportive and attentive to the boys (Yes all boys. You can hear the noise now, can’t you?). We also have aging parents that we love and adore, that need our help on a weekly basis. Now that you have a sense of my world, you may have a hectic family life as well and feel relieved to know that you are not alone. The big question is, how in the world is there time to run a business? Truthfully, I barely had any time and felt that I was burning the candle on both ends and in the middle. There was a constant tug of war happening between business and family. I knew that I could have both, but I also knew I had to make changes so that both could thrive. There are no hard and fast rules to owning a business and having a family. But I will say this:

Be Mindful of What Your Whole Self Needs to Keep Your Whole Self Happy and Healthy

By “Whole Self” I mean spiritually, mentally, physically and of course financially. From understanding this one concept, you will be able to build on the following steps in your own way. Every business owner is unique and all of you reading these steps will take them and use them differently.

1. Assess (and re-assess) your business foundation, not just your goals.

Setting monthly and yearly goals will push you to new levels of success. However without a proper foundation, you will find that you may start to struggle with meeting your goals. Assessing your clients, family life, how much time you have dedicated to both, physical/mental health and how much time you devote to your personal well-being. Where are you suffering? Where are you excelling? Assessing and re-assessing your foundation will make your day-to-day tasks and family lifestyle easier to manage. Your family is always changing. You are always changing. What you decide to do this year may not be what you need to do next year. Ask yourself, how conducive is my business foundation to my personal and business needs right now?

2. Routine is key.

Not just for children, but for you as well. We schedule our days around daycare, feedings, naptime and bedtime. How often do you schedule time for Social Media postings, vendor meet and greets, daily business tasks and down time? In order to be successful, you will need to dedicate at least three hours per day to just your business (not clients) to make sure that it’s running effectively. How did I do that? It wasn’t easy, so I began to dedicate my early mornings as a time to rejuvenate my brain, using prayer and meditation to start my day. After I had this quiet time, I would be in a calm state of mind to review my to-do list for later that day. I pre-scheduled my work hours (each day may be different but I schedule at least three to four) and concentrated on replying to emails and other household/child duties in the meantime. Once I set this routine for myself, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders! I didn’t feel rushed, trying to fit in what I could, when I could. I was MUCH happier with how I was running my business in the background and was able to give my children more of my time and allowed myself to recharge. Ask yourself, what routine do I need to introduce to improve my work/life balance?

3. Understand your value (Oh, and Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t be so hard on yourself).

You are valuable. Recognize that. The sooner you recognize your abilities, the sooner the “what” and “how much” you do, won’t affect how much you believe in yourself. Focus on what you are doing and enjoy the process. I was constantly hard on myself about how many weddings I did per year, I assumed there was something wrong with me if a couple didn’t book my services. I felt as if I failed meeting after meeting. I felt that I, as a person, was not valuable. Thankfully, I had many remarkable reminders from my couples and their families that were extremely happy with their planning experience. Everyone made the same comment- that they felt so relaxed the entire time because they trusted me and had 100% confidence in my abilities. That is what I wanted for them. That was one of my goals! Mission accomplished! With every happy couple, I am reminded why I love what I do and that I am successful. I just had to be aware of how truly valuable I am! Ask yourself, what positive skills or characteristics do you have that you usually ignore?

4. Recognize when your imagination helps you and when it hurts you.

I always thought that I would never compare myself to other wedding planners in the industry and truthfully, I don’t. Then one day, I found myself wondering why I wasn’t busy (Four kids, I know. Funny right?). Why didn’t I have weddings booked every weekend? Is what I’m doing really valuable? It must be me. It has to be me. What am I doing wrong? Oh man, what do others in the industry think of me? Then, my imagination went into overload.

I became focused on what my business wasn’t doing that I lost sight of what my business was doing and what I had already accomplished. I was comparing myself to this mythical business owner that never breaks a sweat, has no issues booking clients every weekend and that everybody loves! Well, I soon realized that if I lived up to this mythical expectation, my children wouldn’t know I’m their mother and that six-foot human (I should really stop calling him that) would ask for proof of ID every time I opened the front door. I realized that a “normal” workload for every planner (and business owner) is different based on their life and personal needs. I am right where I need to be, laying brick after brick to build my Rome. I now let my imagination run wild with all of the incredible possibilities that will be. Ask yourself: what personal thoughts are helping or harming my success right now?

All in all, remind yourself that you are amazing at what you do. You can give thanks for the little or big humans that make your world a better place, the clients that are happy that you made their lives easier and most of all give thanks for who you are as a person. Take the time to recharge. Take the time to accept, love and appreciate where you are right now. The future holds so many possibilities for you. Just wait and see!


Affordable Jewelry Insurance Affordable Jewelry Insurance with Perfect Circle Jewelry Insurance

 

wedding rings

A “Must Do” Before Your Clients Say “I Do”

As wedding planners, our goal is to ensure our clients’ wedding is a milestone that will be filled with cherished memories of their “ever after.” One way we can do that is to encourage them to protect the true symbols of their love – their engagement and wedding rings – with a separate jewelry insurance policy. By mentioning Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company and its Perfect Circle® Jewelry Insurance coverage,you can help your clients live worry-free knowing their special moments and memories are being protected by the established experts in jewelry insurance since 1913.

Many people may have a standard jewelry rider on their homeowners or renters insurance, but the worldwide, comprehensive coverage* from Jewelers Mutual covers damage, loss, mysterious disappearance (unexplained loss) and even loose stones while they are being set by your jeweler, where other carriers can fall short.  In fact, Glamour Weddings recently endorsed  jewelry insurance as one of the three most important things to do to avoid major wedding mistakes.

Your clients will be surprised at how affordable jewelry insurance can be.

Rates depend on where you live. But for most people, purchasing jewelry insurance coverage from Jewelers Mutual will cost 1-2% of the value of the jewelry. For example, if your client has a $5,000 engagement ring, it could cost as little as $50 a year to protect.

In addition to worldwide, comprehensive coverage, benefits of a Jewelers Mutual policy include:

  • Same Kind and Quality: Repaired or replaced jewelry will be virtually indistinguishable from the original, especially important with name-brand jewelry.
  • Use Your Preferred Jeweler: No need for multiple estimates from various jewelers.
  • No Deductible Required: And no limits on the value of coverage.  A minimum annual policy premium is $25.
  • Automatic Coverage: Customers with an existing policy from Jewelers Mutual enjoy up to 30 days of automatic coverage (subject to a limit of up to $10,000) on any newly acquired jewelry items.
  • Exceptional Customer Service: From applying for a quote to the actual replacement and repair, Jewelers Mutual is known for putting the customer first.

What’s more, we’ve all heard stories of clients losing their rings on their honeymoon, so take the opportunity to educate them on the importance of properly protecting their rings BEFORE they take off.  And while doing so, you can share these tips to help your clients keep their jewelry safe and sound while traveling:

  • Choose wisely. Pack light and take only the jewelry you’ll wear while traveling and at your destination. The 4-carat diamond ring you save for special occasions? Probably not. The pearls that go with everything? Definitely.
  • Make a list. List all the jewelry you’ll take with you. Keep one copy with you and store it separately from your jewelry. Leave another copy at home. Also take pictures or a video of your jewelry.
  • Carry it on. Never put jewelry in checked baggage. Instead, wear it or stow it in your carryon bag. If you wear it, take extra care by slipping a pendant inside a sweater or turning your ring so only the band shows.
  • Keep it with you. Put your jewelry in a favorite bag you’ll carry while traveling. Don’t leave your jewelry in an unattended car or suitcase. When checking into your hotel or condo, don’t hand your jewelry bag to hotel staff. Carry it personally.
  • Use the safe. Always store jewelry in the in-room safe when you’re not wearing it

 Connect with Jewelers Mutual:

www.wpic.ca

 

 

 


5 Ways to Increase Your Productivity

wpic wedding planner

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

When you own your own business, time truly is money.  Everything carries an “Opportunity Cost” (the benefit/value are you giving up or missing out on by performing the task at hand.)  Increasing your productivity increases your bottom line, by freeing your time to improve your business or quality of life.

Here are 5 ways to increase your productivity:

  1. Unsubscribe from Junk Email.  Important messages can get lost amongst the plethora of junk emails you have clogging up your Inbox.  For the next month, unsubscribe from every junk or advertising email you receive.
  2. Clear your Clutter.  A cluttered workspace can make you feel overwhelmed and leave you stagnant and unproductive.   Clear the clutter to clear your mind so you are better able to focus and be more productive.
  3. Make a List Every Day.  Each morning before you sit down to work make a list of all that you intend to accomplish or need to do.  Sometimes, all those tasks can overwhelm you into not being able to do anything.  A list will help you focus, keep you on task and remind you what you need to do next.  Personally, I am the “Queen of Post-Its,” there are always lists on Post-its stuck around my desk.
  4. Kill Three Birds with One Stone.  Make every trip count by stacking appointments.  If you have a meeting with clients and another wedding professional, book a couple more meetings in that same geographical area or with that same couple and other professionals.  Need to run an errand, what else can you do on this trip? Bring your iPad and read a business book while you get your oil changed, answer client emails while getting your highlights done.  Never waste your precious time.
  5. Work Out.  It has been proven time and again that physical exercise can improve productivity by keeping you more alert, focussed and energized.  Regular exercise also reduces stress, curbs anxiety and improves immunity.  Just like vehicles need to be tuned for peak productivity, so do people ;)

Photo by Avenue-Photo.com

Danielle Andrews Sunkel Photo by Avenue-Photo.com


WPIC Goes to Couples Resorts in Negril, Jamaica

By: Tracey Manailescu

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

I’ve got Jamaica on my mind…Thanks to Couples Resorts!

After speaking at the Jamaica Bridal Conference and then having a booth at the Jamaica Bridal Expo (see previous blog) in Montego Bay, we were picked up by Couples and taken to Negril.  The last time we were in Negril, the roads were so windy that we needed Graval, now there is a much-improved highway, and it’s a relaxing hour and a half drive from Montego Bay.

Couples Swept Away, Negril JA

Couples Swept Away, Negril JA

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Couples Swept Away -Pro Pool

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Couples Swept Away -Vendors on the beach

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Beautiful sunset at Couples Swept Away

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Ceremony location at Couples Swept Away

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Spa at Swept Away

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Another gorgeous sunset at Couples Swept Away

When we arrived, we went straight into site visits of Couples Swept Away and then over to Couples Negril. Both are utterly charming in their own right. We had the absolute pleasure of staying three nights at Couples Swept Away to experience it as much as we possibly could in a short time frame. We were able to experience the beautiful beach, the fine dining, the bar(s), a massage at the spa, and a catamaran cruise at sunset.

www.wpic.ca

Couples Negril

Jamaica Negril pool

Pool at Couples Negril

Jamaica reception area at Negril

Reception location at Couples Negril

Jamaica Treehouse for massage Negril

Treehouse used for couples massages & private dinners for 2 at Couples Negril.

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Beach ceremony location at Couples Negril

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Couples Negril garden ceremony location

Shout out to the ladies on staff at Feathers at Couples Swept Away! They made our fine dining experience fun and memorable, and kept us laughing the entire meal.

We were able to meet with so many guests who were on their honeymoons, and who were having the time of their lives in this romantic, yet fun, atmosphere. There were also many guests that we spoke with, who were returning guests, or who were planning their next trip back already. I have to say, that I was doing the same, so that my husband and I could experience it as Couples Resorts intended. There is something about Negril that feels so right.  It is so laid back, relaxing, and yet has a fun and playful side to it. The beaches and sunsets are like nothing else, anywhere. Period. You know how some places say they are all inclusive, and for the most part they are.  Well, take a look at what Couples Resorts includes. I am NOT even kidding!!!

Couples Extraordinary Inclusions:

 

Activities & Amenities Tower Isle Sans Souci Negril Swept Away
Airport Transfers and Hotel Taxes MBJ MBJ MBJ MBJ
Exquisitely Appointed, Air-Conditioned Rooms & Suites 226 150 234 312
Telephone
Hair Dryer in Room
Cable TV
Iron and Ironing Board in Room
Coffee Maker in Room
IPOD/MP3 Docking Station in Room
Safety Deposit Box in Room
Personalized Mini Bar
Restaurants, from Gourmet to Casual 6 5 4 6
Fruit and Veggie Bar
Grill pool beach beach beach
In-Room Dining breakfast** breakfast
Bars 4 6 6 8
Piano Bar
Swim-Up Bar 2 1 1 1
Nightly Live Entertainment
Jacuzzi 4 3 4 5
PADI-Certified Scuba Dives
Snorkeling
Water-Skiing
Windsurfing
Sailing
Kayaking
Hobie Cat
Water Bike
Pedalos
Paddle Boards
Body Boards
Freshwater Pools 4 3 2 4
Lap Pool
Mineral Water Pool
Golf (Includes Green Fees & Transfer) ▲
Tennis Courts with Free Lesson * 3 astro turf (all lit) 2 hard (all lit) 4 hard (2 lit) 5 clay 5 hard (all lit)
Air-Conditioned Squash Courts 2
Air-Conditioned Racquetball Courts 2
Fully Equipped Gym, Aerobics, Yoga, Aquasize
Au Natural Sunbathing
Indoor Game Room
Complimentary Wedding Ceremony (with stay of 6 nights or more) ✤
Renewal of Wedding Vows (Pre-Arranged) ●
Complimentary Off Site Excursions
Dunns River Falls
Glass Bottom Boat Ride
Trip to Margaritaville
Shopping Shuttle
Catamaran Cruise
Trip to Popular Sunset Bar
Tour Desk
Complimentary Wifi
Spa Services ♦ ♥
Beauty Salon ♦
Gift Shop & Boutique ♦
Duty Free Shop ♦
24 hr food service, unlimited premium brand drinks, all tips and gratuities
We observe a strict no tipping policy at all our resorts in Jamaica.
✓ Included ‹ Except Atrium, Beachfront and Premier Suites. ▲ Clubs, carts and mandatory caddies not included. ♦ Available for a fee.
✤ Pre-arranged weddings incur a $250 pre-administration processing, government license and marriage certificate fee additional. ♥ Complimentary half -hour His and Her Massage available to Honeymooners and Romance Rewards benefits for repeat guests: conditions apply. * Once per stay. ** Dinner in suites.
Inclusions may be changed or withdrawn at any time, without notice.


WPIC at Jamaica Bridal Expo 2014

By: Tracey Manailescu

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

Danielle and I were invited to speak at Jamaica’s Bridal Expo “Wedding Conference” on Friday, September 19th, 2014 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Montego bay, Jamaica. We presented, not one, but two seminars at the conference. We were in wonderful company amongst the other speakers (as seen below).

We were then invited to “Brides Night Out” at Robbie’s Kitchen which was by invitation only, in honour of the 10 couples who won a trip to Jamaica from Brides Magazine.

We also had a booth in the trade show of the Jamaica Bridal Expo on September 20th & 21st, 2014 to promote our WPIC certification course taking place in Jamaica on January 17th & 18th, 2015 at Couples San Souci.

I have to say we were treated like royalty by the amazing team of Executive Producers: Kathy Ann Everhart, Jo-Anne Paxton and Peter Shoucair J.P.  I cannot say enough about their warmth and kindness, as well as the utter professionalism they each showed throughout the entire weekend. Thank you. It was so appreciated! Not only did they work hard, but they made it look effortless with over 80 exhibitors, daily entertainment, fashion shows, a live wedding onstage, a wedding cake competition at the Jamaica Bridal Expo on the Saturday and Sunday.

www.wpic.ca

Photo: Max Earle

Photo: Max Earle

Jamaica Robbies Kitchen party 2014

Ms. Shoucair, Tracey Manailescu, Jo-Anne Paxton, Danielle Andrews Sunkel

Jamaica Robbies Kitchen Sign

Robbie’s Kitchen

www.wpic.ca

Moet & Chandon Champagne

Jamaica Robbies Kitchen party Tom & us 2014

Tom Curtain, Tracey Manailescu, Joy Agness, and Danielle Andrews Sunkel

We also ran into WPIC Alumni, Jennifer Borgh in Jamaica, too.  Actually we didn’t run into her, we were lucky enough to be treated out to dinner by her at none other than Robbie’s Kitchen the night we arrived.  How funny is that? Good thing we enjoyed it, because we were there two nights in a row!  This lady always makes it fun ;)

www.wpic.ca

Another highlight for me, was when I was asked to be a judge for the Cake Tasting competition. You bet I said yes!  Can you say “yum”?

www.wpic.ca

www.wpic.ca

Whoo hoo! I was asked to judge the Cake Competition at the Jamaica Bridal Expo!

Some of the amazing booths at the Jamaica Bridal Expo:

Jamaica Bridal Expo Sharon Saint T Bair

Sharon Saint T Bair Event Designer and Consultant

Jamaica Bridal Expo Luxe Booth

Luxe Event Design -Showtime

www.wpic.ca

Tai Flora Services Ltd.

Wedding Planner Plus Jamaica

Wedding Planner Plus Jamaica

Moet & Chandon Champagne

Moet & Chandon Champagne

Jamaica Bridal Expo Photodayz Booth

Photo Dayz Imaging Lab

We were given oceanfront suites at Iberostar Rose Hall and the service and staff were so friendly and accommodating.  My awesome housekeeper, “Naudia” even helped me pack up the beach balls in bags for our seminar on the Friday morning.

We had a wonderful time and look forward to next time, Jamaica!


WPIC Does Las Vegas & Wedding MBA 2014

By: Tracey Manailescu

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

www.wpic.ca

WPIC’s Co-founders (Danielle and I) led a seminar on “International Wedding Trends” and ran a double booth with some amazing helpers (Kim Choy, Daniela Caputo, Sue Morris) to promote WPIC and our Wedding Pro Workshops at Wedding MBA in Las Vegas this year. *Also a special mention to Kristy Sherwood and Sara Long for helping us set up our booth.

Some of the highlights that we touched on in our seminar were naked cakes, hand-painted cakes (and we even had real examples) thanks to the amazing and talented peeps at It’s a Piece of Cake, string art for table numbers, clay bouquet pieces, Colour blocking with bridesmaids dresses, dip-dyed wedding dresses, the crazy McDonald’s weddings phenomena in Hong Kong, and mini beach balls which we threw out into the audience to end our seminar.

Also wanted to give a shout-out to the Linen Closet for supplying our pillows and table runners. Wedding MBA collage

There were over 2800 attendees in attendance this year! Unbelievable.

Wedding MBA class photo

We managed to squeeze in some fun (of course) with a WPIC Get-Together with 17 WPIC Alumni from Canada, Barbados and the Bahamas. We went on a 3 hour tour with 24-7 Limousines in an armoured truck around Las Vegas to Little White Wedding Chapel, a private tour of Caesar’s Palace wedding hot spots, a stop at the infamous Las Vegas sign, and ended the evening with VIP entrance to Coyote Ugly.

www.wpic.ca

WPIC Alumni

www.wpic.ca

WPIC Alumni in Las Vegas

www.wpic.ca www.wpic.ca

 

 

www.wpic.ca

WPIC Alumni

www.wpic.ca

Photo courtesy of: Kim Choy

 

We witnessed a vow renewal at A Little White Wedding Chapel, and WPIC Instructor, Daniela Caputo had step in to save the day when the couple didn’t understand the Officiate because she didn’t speak French (the couple were from France).  Daniela jumped in to save the day by translating the entire Vow renewal ceremony :)  Talk about being in the right place at the right time…

www.wpic.cawww.wpic.ca www.wpic.ca

Photo credit: www.imaginestudioslv.com

Photo credit: www.imaginestudioslv.com

 

www.wpic.ca

*All photos were taken by Tracey Manailescu, unless otherwise noted.

 

 


Rock Around the Clock at the Love Mexico Conference

Rock-Around-The-Clock


Co-Founders are Speaking at Wedding MBA and Jamaica Bridal Expo

Tracey Manailescu-Danielle Andrews Sunkel-WPIC

WPIC Co-Founders, Danielle Andrews Sunkel and Tracey Manailescu are looking forward to a busy, yet exciting time for the next two weeks.

www.wpic.ca

We are heading out to Las Vegas for a WPIC Get-Together Vegas-style on Monday, September 15th, 2014 with approximately twenty WPIC Alumni. Then we will be speaking at Wedding MBA on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 on “International Wedding Trends” at 9am. Make sure you come by and say hello to us at our double booth!

www.wpic.ca

Then, we are heading off to Montego Bay, Jamaica to speak at the Jamaica Bridal Expo Conference, where we will also have a booth for the two days afterwards at the Jamaica Bridal Expo to promote WPIC!

www.wpic.ca

We are thrilled to be heading off to Negril afterwards to experience Couples Resorts with site visits and of course, an irie time ;)

We will be taking a ton of photos and experiencing it to the fullest, so we can share it all with you upon our return.

 


Body Language for Initial Client Meetings

Photo by Avenue-Photo.com

Photo by Avenue-Photo.com

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

Here are some tips to use Body Language to your advantage during Intial Meetings with potential clients.

Give a Confident Handshake

A handshake can give the impression of a strong, confident and capable person or a meek, nervous one.  You of course, want to give the impression of confidence and competence.  A finger shake or wimpy, weak handshake doesn’t cut it in professional situations.

wedding planner meeting couple

Strong eye contact, warm smile, firm handshake

Look the client in the eye, and put the web between your thumb and forefinger into the web of their thumb and forefinger.  Your palms should be pressed together.  Smile nicely and apply as much pressure as they do.

Warm Smile

Smile too big and you could look creepy, disingenuous and mistrustful, no smile and you are unfriendly.

smiles

Strike a balance in between with curved lips, little to no teeth and as Tyra would say “Smize!”  Make sure your smile reaches your eyes.

Keep Your Body Open

Crossing your arms makes you look closed off, guarded, and even disinterested.  Keeping your arms open makes you seem more approachable and open to their ideas.

confident young professional

This planner looks friendly, confident and approachable

Another tip is to keep your hands at waist level, straight at your sides can make you look disinterested and if you put your hands too high, you seem way too intense.

How You Sit

Sitting directly across from the couple, is a power situation and could subconsciously turn the couple off.

wedding planner sitting across from couple

The Wedding Planner seems more reserved and formal.

Instead, try angling your body to the side, that subtle shift says, we are a team, I am on your side.

wedding planner having coffee with couple

The wedding planner seems much more at ease and approachable.

Don’t check your phone

It is like broadcasting, “You are not the most important client to me!”

looking at phone

Hide that phone!

Give potential clients your full attention so that they know you will be attentive to you when they are your client.


Would a Bride Sue her Uncle?

couple suing

By Guest Blogger, Andy Ebon, of The Wedding Marketing Blog

DIY brides are well-intentioned. I truly believe that. Money is a limitation for everyone; however, within a couple’s available funds, the bigger challenges are priorities an decision-making.
I confess that my patience with pretzel logic varies widely from day-to-day. Formal sales education taught me it was an important and noble process. A skill to help prospects move toward a good decision, benefitting them.

That perspective has served me well, over time. The key, for me, was to qualify a prospect and understand their needs. If I believed I provided a service that was a good fit for them, then I made every effort to close the sale for our mutual benefit. Conversely, it’s OK to disqualify a prospect.

Entrepreneur’s Disease

One strain of Entrepreneur’s Disease is the belief that every prospect should become a client. If you’re in business long enough, you know that feeling in the pit of your stomach that says

“I’ve got an opening on the calendar, but I might regret taking this client.”

What one does next indicates whether we have learned from prior experiences.

Going For Broke

In moments and days of impatience with brides, who were all over the map, I would sometimes use Andy’s Go For Broke negotiation strategy.

Long before the term DIY, littered the landscape, brides showed much similar irrational judgment. To me (and I stress that this is my personal and considered opinion) brides have some amount of money to spend, but they rarely have a plan about budget priorities. And THAT is the key.

There are certain critical services which just don’t lend themselves to DIY.

Sometimes after completing a booking, a new client might ask me for a vendor referral. A photographer… in this example.

A short version of the conversation might sound like:

“My uncle has offered to do the wedding photography, and I’m seriously thinking about accepting his offer. I had budgeted $1000 for a photographer, and just thought I’d ask you for a referral, just in case you knew of someone who would do it for that amount of money?”

My response might go something like this:

“Is your uncle a professional?”

(bride says ‘no’)

“May I ask you a tough question?”

(bride says ‘sure’)

“In a worst-case scenario, if the photos don’t come out, would you sue your uncle?”

(usually, seconds of silence, then ‘why would you ask me that?)

“Well, when the reception is over and the music is finished, the food is eaten, and the guests are gone, all you have is memories… the documentation of those memories is everything. Professional photographers have all the technical and creative training, AND they have the appropriate professional gear, backup gear, and backups for backup.  I can refer you to a couple of solid photographers and they will cost more than $1000. They will be worth it. And, how would your relationship be with your uncle, going forward, if the photos didn’t come out? Do you really want to take that chance?”

At that point, after the bride got over the shock of the logic, the usual response was something like…

“I never looked at it that way, but you make a fair point. It’s a bigger risk in more than one way. Besides, Uncle Harry is my favorite Uncle. I’d rather have him as a guest, and not be distracted by what might go wrong.”

From time to time, selling involves FUD – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt…. And that’s OK, as long as it is the truth. It isn’t a technique that I employed often, but it worked more than not, because it’s an eye-opening challenge.

More important, it kept a number of brides from making some incredibly bad decisions.

When the situation dictates, don’t be scared to take a risk. You might surprise yourself.

 

andy-ebonAndy Ebon is an in-demand public speaker at conferences and local meetings.  Now in its second decade, Andy and EBS Virtual Communications have refocused squarely on wedding marketing and small business consultation, with the launch of The Wedding Marketing Network and its affiliated companies. With industry experience of 2000 weddings, and almost four decades of hospitality and wedding marketing, The Wedding Marketing Network promises to be yet another exciting direction for Andy Ebon.