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Um, why are you negotiating with me?

It seriously makes me chuckle when I read what other event professionals chat about on online forums. In a recent discussion that I read, a planner was talking about the audacity of a prospect that wanted to negotiate her services that she provided. “What does she think this is, eBay?”, she wrote.
Yeah, I get it. Doesn’t the prospect know how much time, energy and mental anguish we spend before we deliver a proposal to them? We go through the details and the special nuances of their event and have already picked through the best investment that we can deliver to them, while still making a profit. And they have the NERVE to try to negotiate a better price point? Hmph!
Well, get over it. Every scrap of written material is telling brides to not take the first price given to them. They have family and friends telling them to ask for better prices. And, as planners, don’t we negotiate with other vendors on behalf of our clients? Cake cutting fees at venues? An extra half an hour from our entertainment? Extra flower petals for a flower toss from our florists?
Sure we do! You need to wipe out the indignation of the request and instead have quick answers for a rebuttal. Before I give a proposal out, I look carefully at the event and in my head, play devil’s advocate. What if they want to reduce the price? What services can I remove? What am I willing to budge and what am I not willing to move on?
Have those answers in place and you won’t be floored when someone asks you. The quicker you can answer their questions, the better off you are. It’s part of doing business, especially during this tougher times when couples are trying to make their dollars stretch.
And….it’s okay to say, no. This is my service/product. This is your investment. Smile and stick to your guns, you may be surprised at your results.

It seriously makes me chuckle when I read what other event professionals chat about on online forums. In a recent discussion that I read, a planner was talking about the audacity of a prospect that wanted to negotiate her services that she provided. “What does she think this is, eBay?”, she wrote.

Yeah, I get it. Doesn’t the prospect know how much time, energy and mental anguish we spend before we deliver a proposal to them? We go through the details and the special nuances of their event and have already picked through the best investment that we can deliver to them, while still making a profit. And they have the NERVE to try to negotiate a better price point? Hmph!

Well, get over it. Every scrap of written material is telling brides to not take the first price given to them. They have family and friends telling them to ask for better prices. And, as planners, don’t we negotiate with other vendors on behalf of our clients? Cake cutting fees at venues? An extra half an hour from our entertainment? Extra flower petals for a flower toss from our florists?

Sure we do! You need to wipe out the indignation of the request and instead have quick answers for a rebuttal. Before I give a proposal out, I look carefully at the event and in my head, play devil’s advocate. What if they want to reduce the price? What services can I remove? What am I willing to budge and what am I not willing to move on?

Have those answers in place and you won’t be floored when someone asks you. The quicker you can answer their questions, the better off you are. It’s part of doing business, especially during this tougher times when couples are trying to make their dollars stretch.

And….it’s okay to say, no. This is my service/product. This is your investment. Smile and stick to your guns, you may be surprised at your results.

Happy Selling!


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3 Responses to “Um, why are you negotiating with me?”

  1. Karry says:

    Agreed! Great points that everyone needs to remember during tougher economic times.

  2. Kathy says:

    Uhm, I’d be worried if they didn’t try to negotiate. It’s almost normal and expected nowadays! And I totally agree with you on know what you can take out and what you absolutely won’t negotiate on and you can easily adjust. Your client expects you to negotiate on their behalf so why the umbridge??

  3. Kristy R. says:

    I have found being flexible enough to impress/accommodate the client while maintaining your brand integrity really improves booking. For example, I can simplify a design to be more budget conscious without significantly sacrificing the impact of the look.

    Thanks for the fantastic post!


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