Wedding Planners – 5 Rules To Follow When Giving Free Consultations To Brides


Wedding Planners - Follow These 5 Rules When Giving Free Consultations

Like many wedding planners, you are probably offering free consultations to brides who show an interest in hiring you. It’s a great way to give potential clients an opportunity to get to know you and learn about your expertise. It’s also a way for you to get to know them, learn what their needs are, handle any objections, and set up face-to-face meetings to further discuss their needs if you believe they are truly interested and would be good clients for you.

However, before you find yourself giving away hours of your time without getting any clients, here are 5 rules to follow regarding doing free consultations:

1) Do the consultations over the phone, not on email

Don’t let a bride tell you she doesn’t have time to talk and just wants to send you questions via email. One email with questions can lead to another and another and so on.. and you may suddenly realize you have planned half a wedding without getting any commitment from a bride. Save email exchanges for after the bride becomes your client.

(By the way, use a headset when you are on the phone so your hands are free to take notes.)

2) Make appointments

Your time is valuable and chances are there are many things you have planned in your day. When a new bride calls and wants to talk, answer a few questions but set up an appointment for a consultation. Get her phone number and email address so you can reach her in the event that you are not able to keep the appointment.

3) Set a time limit of 20 minutes

When you set up the appointment, let the bride know the free call is a 20 minute consultation and suggest she think of questions she wants to ask about your services. In this amount of time, you and the bride can to get to know enough about each other to decide if you want to go further and have a face-to-face meeting. If you do not set a time limit for your call, you can easily find yourself still talking an hour later, offering more information than you intended to give for free.

4) Prepare for the calls

So you don’t get carried away, create a worksheet or checklist of questions that you must have answered during your call and know what you want to tell a bride about your services that will help her understand that she needs you.

Also, be prepared with answers to questions a bride might ask you about the weddings you have planned and your rates.

5) Remember the ultimate goal of a free consultation is for you to have a client

Let the bride ask questions, get your questions answered, and at the end of the 20 minutes, if you believe the two of you are a good match and she intends to hire you, get a commitment to meet in person so you can discuss details and prepare a contract.

Every free consultation may not lead to a new client, but will give you experience talking with brides, learning to market and sell your services, and may even give you some insight into services brides need from you that you can offer in the future.

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