… play nice wedding vendors!

Have you seen this blog post from my fabulous friend, Sasha Souza on her Sparkliatti blog? A new wedding planner pretends to be a potential “new bride”. Hmph.

Just in case you think I was exaggerating in my last post. There is no need for this type of actions, my sweet friends. Let’s play nice and not waste each other’s time.

happy selling!

don’t approach other vendors like this…

When starting out with your new business, there is a never ending stream of questions that have to be answered. Believe me, it doesn’t get easier as you move forward.

I’m sure that anyone who has been in business for more than a few years has received an email simliar to this one (please take a moment to read):

Um, where do I begin with this.

I suppose the planner that received this “inquisition” should be grateful that she was NOT contacted by a local aspiring wedding planner. While it was suppose to be “general ideas”, I counted 15 specific questions.

Receiving an email like this is similar to someone walking into your home, seeing your children and saying, “My gosh your children are so beautiful. Do you mind if I take one of them?”. Building a business and growing one is very similar and personal to raising a child.

What deeply concerns me is when I see new business people acting lazy and not putting any effort into learning the art of starting a business for themselves. Would you contact people that you have never met before and ask for money? The earned business knowledge and the time it would take to truly answer all these questions, is worth a dollar figure. I get it. This industry looks so easy and glamorous. Everyone wants to be a photographer, planner, baker, DJ, etc.

TEACHING MOMENT: A better approach would be to FIRST try to build a relationship with another business person that you respect and may have more experience than you. Let this relationship grow organically till you both have trust. THEN you can ask a few questions and MUTUALLY share information and ideas. You must have something to share with others, even if you are new to the industry.

There really is no excuse to send out emails like this. You have so much opportunity at your finger tips! Facebook, Twitter, online groups, conferences, workshops and more! So it is simply ridiculous not to take advantage of these opportunities. But you need to work for it!

I’ve asked for help and have shared information (just yesterday morning I sent a copy of my corporate agreement to another planner who I have not met in person, but have forged a relationship online for several years. We’ve even exchanged Christmas cards last year). My BFF, Jennifer Ramirez-Jasiczek who lives in Texas, shared a lot of her information when we “first met” online 9 years ago. But trust me, we first built a relationship. It’s an investment worth having.

Emails like this, however, will close the door. Forever.

Your thoughts or experiences with this? 

ps It also sucks to ask for comprehensive notes from another vendor who invested in attending an expensive conference. They shell out the $3k and you ask them for all their information. What are you giving in return?

pss Thanks to Elisa Delgardio with A Flair for Affairs for sharing this email with us.

happy selling!

excuses are like (fill in the obvious blank) …

Hello lovely event professionals!

It has certainly been a minute since my last post. I have been struggling with some personal family issues (don’t light a candle for me, all is well) and have finally been putting my “house” back in order. I’ve debated writing an honest and transparent post about it and perhaps one day, I will. The only reason I would is to let you know that I am right there with you. Personal struggles definitely affect your business and every other aspect of your life.

May I be perfectly honest? While the rest of the country seems to be on a tiny, minuscule upswing from this wretched economy, my little corner of the world has been struggling. You see, I live in an area that is kind of like a bubble. When the “coasts” and the “big cities” are feeling the impact, we don’t … until a few years later. Much like wedding trends.

Of course, every year I freak out. Will I book enough events? Will this come through? Will I get new business? It’s the same old song and dance. Life of the self-unemployed.

I’m seeing the trend of brides and grooms that WANT your fabulous services, but ask to pay 2010 prices. Perhaps they have their own budget problems. I can complain about it (more like whine, while I drink wine). But what’s the good in that? And what’s a little planning business to do?

Number One: I will admit, I’m a little behind the ever constant evolution that needs to happen when you own a creative business. See above the first paragraph for this reason. But that does not mean defeat. Just need to work a little harder.

Number Two: I will stop making excuses. Boo-hoo and all that. Done.

Number Three: I am now working hard with my team to change things up. Okay, so here are my prices … but what can I offer my clients that is so special, that our services no longer become a “want” but a “need”. I want them to lust after us.

I’ve said it a thousand times, we do not target the “luxury market”. However, many of our clients are financially wealthy. So, we are rethinking what we will do to WOW! that potential client and draw them to us. I read one of Sean Low’s blog posts recently and he mentioned that you can’t raise your prices, just to raise your prices. That resonated with me. It’s true, for what we do. (ps I will finally get to meet this business genius speaking at Backstage Bridal Pro Academy later this year. Are you coming?)

So what’s going on in your neck of the woods? Is everything a bed of roses or are you not getting inquiries? I hear the real talk, behind the social media. You aren’t fooling me with your “We are fully booked” comments.

So get off your ass and get out there. Seriously, close this blog and go do something. Right now.

I am.

happy selling!

wedding market news

On Wednesday I was invited to be a guest with @WeddingMarket on their Wednesday chat. Many event professionals have been invited to participate in this chat and I was very honored to be asked.

We talked about, “GET REAL Sales: Close ‘Em”. What else?

Here is the transcript and the deets on that chat:

http://weddingmarketnews.com/profiles/blogs/get-real-sales-close-em-with-saundra-hadley

Now I have to tell you it was super hard to keep up with the fast feed … so if I didn’t get to answer your question, please feel free to post it below and I’ll answer for everyone to see.

happy selling!

uses for facebook

Facebook.com is an enigma. Some people get it, some people don’t. Even after all these years.

Personally, I have found it to be a wonderful tool reconnecting with long lost friends, college pals, my third grade teacher, wedding professionals, my son’s friends, local business people and more.

For my event planning business, we of course, have business fan page. Which takes more effort to add content, but it’s a good marketing medium to be all business, event photos and showcase my clients.

However, I will tell you that I personally “friend” my clients to my personal page. This works well for me. Wedding planning is a personal business. We are let into their inner family circle with all the joys and problems that may arise. Why wouldn’t I let my clients into mine?

For instance, it’s great at a consult for them to ask about my dog (Ranger Hadley) or my son. And if I post, I’m “off the grid for family time”, my clients tend to respect it and appreciate the fact I’m making time with my family. It’s personal. Transparent. Emotionally connecting.

For sales purposes, I look up potential clients on Facebook … it lets me see what they look like and see if they know some of the same people as I do.

Be careful; you can’t fib. You can’t make an excuse to a client that you had to cancel a business meeting and then you are FB posting from the bar.

Okay, so …. some people post too much information. Rest assured, while I am “myself” (always) on FB or any other social media, I do NOT post every movement I make. That’s what twitter is for, no? HA!

While I have friends on my Facebook, make no mistake that everything I do for social media has a “business-related” mindset. To be more direct: I don’t show my ass in public.

Which brings me to what Facebook should NOT BE USED for.

  • Blabbing super personal information out for everyone to see. Okay, you went the doctor. I don’t want to hear about your yeast infection.
  • Vomiting all your deep, dark problems. Why do wedding professionals want to discuss openly about their relationship problems?
  • Attacking others. Ah, the Internets makes everyone feel 10 feet tall, no? As a professional, perhaps you should pick up the phone if you have something to say to someone. Calling people out reflects poorly on you. And will get you labeled as bat sh!t crazy.
  • Not necessarily bad, but a couple of personal pet peeves:
    • Quit asking everyone and their mother to fan your business page. People who WANT to fan your page, will FAN your damn page.
    • Please use discernment when inviting all 700+ people to your luncheon that is located in Timbuktu. Take an extra second, and focus your invite list to your local demographic. Repeat offenders will get you unfriended.

Thanks for listening. Let’s remember out their in social media … the stuff you post, would you say it out loud to someone’s face if they were standing in front of you? If so, carry ‘on.

ps Anyone else want to vent about an personal pet peeves?

happy selling!

 

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