5 Tips for Meeting a Prospective Wedding ClientJun 29, 2021
The first time you meet a prospective wedding client, you may be filled with both excitement and anxiety! As a celebrant, it is always a thrill to meet a couple and find out more about their wedding dreams, but it can also be nerve wracking for several other reasons. Firstly, it is a great responsibility to play such a pivotal part in someone’s life - the burden of responsibility is huge. Secondly, meeting a prospective couple is an opportunity to help your business grow. That in itself can add to the pressure.
Here we will look at our top five tips for meeting a prospective wedding client, helping you to ensure the first meeting is a success!
Before you meet the couple, you need to spend some time preparing. Appearing unorganised or not having done your research will look unprofessional to potential clients, which may put them off hiring you as their celebrant. Your clients are looking for you to be as calm, prepared and professional as you would be on their wedding day. Think of this as your dress rehearsal.
Have a short list of questions to ask all prospective couples who contact you to arrange a meeting. Your questions should help you get to know the couple and their wedding dreams from the very start. You may like to ask:
- When and where they might like to get married?
- How they picture their wedding?
- Anything they have seen and loved at other weddings?
- Any traditions or rituals they would like to include?
- How they would like to remember their wedding?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can begin thinking about how you could help to ensure their wedding day surpasses their expectations. When you meet the couple, you will already have had a chance to think about readings, the ceremony itself, or any unusual extras that they might like to consider. This can be very impressive to potential clients.
It might seem obvious, but make sure you also take down a contact number for the couple!
Have a Professional Attitude:
From your first contact with a prospective wedding client, it is important to uphold a professional attitude. Although you might not yet have been hired for the role, your clients need to see the service they can expect to receive.
At your first meeting, dress smartly and professionally. Take time to get organised beforehand, and make sure you have everything you need with you. You might also want to think about the most appropriate place to meet. A bustling coffee shop might make it difficult to hear each other, for example. Some couples may prefer to meet you at their home, and this can be a good opportunity to learn more about their tastes and personalities.
Present your Celebrancy Service:
Potential clients who only have experience of a traditional registrar or religious minister may be unfamiliar with what a celebrant can offer. The flexibility of celebrancy may allow you to suggest various packages to clients, including additional meetings to discuss the ceremony in depth and rehearsal ceremonies. It can be helpful to bring a laptop or tablet to present additional or unusual ideas with the couple, or to show them features from ceremonies you have officiated in the past.
If you are new to celebrancy, it is wise to practise selling your business beforehand. Have a clear idea of the unique offerings of your business, and rehearse how you can sell this to potential clients. The couple should leave the meeting feeling exhilarated at the prospect of hiring you as their celebrant.
Even more important than telling clients about your celebrancy service, is to simply listen to them. Many couples will have strong, clear ideas about how they would like their wedding ceremony to flow. By listening to their thoughts and desires, they will do much of the work for you.
Allow clients to talk freely, and repeat information back to make sure you have understood them properly. If appropriate, you can add your own suggestions that will perfectly complement their ideas.
Sending a follow up email after the meeting to recap what you discussed is also an effective way to show a couple that you have listened carefully to what they have said. It also leaves the door open for them to reply and book you for their wedding.
While you may not consider yourself to be a salesperson, any professional promoting a service, including celebrants, needs to be familiar with basic sales techniques. In the sales 101 handbook, ‘following up’ will have a chapter of its own. One follow-up after the meeting may not be sufficient. In fact, many sales people (spanning multiple industries) find that 5 follow ups converts the most customers. Of course, your couple will hopefully be sold quite quickly on what you have to offer. But what’s crucial is that you don’t wait for them to reach you - you should reach out within 24 hours to see how they feel about booking you. If they’re undecided, follow up again.
Although meeting clients for the first time can feel daunting, following these five simple steps will ensure that you are well-prepared for the meeting. Be sure to listen closely to your clients, and make thoughtful suggestions to show them that you value them as individuals.
For further support, click here to find out more about membership with the International College of Professional Celebrants.