Over the thousands of suppliers in the wedding industry, how do you get couples to choose you?
It’s not just because you’re affordable. A lot of couples are willing to stretch their budgets just to get the wedding supplier they want.
It’s not just because of your popularity or name recall. Couples are wiser now and they know that some suppliers are just hyped up. The wedding industry is also a great place for new talents. More and more couples are willing to gamble on amateurs with great portfolios.
However, don’t think that your work will “speak for itself.” Some couples won’t mind discarding suppliers even if you give quality work.
Based on various fora, engaged couples will shortlist you if you…
1. Reply promptly.
The first thing couples do is make an inquiry. The faster you can reply to the inquiry, the more likely you’ll be shortlisted. I’ve read numerous brides who crossed off possible suppliers because it takes forever before they reply. I personally appreciate suppliers who reply within the day. For me it’s a sign that they mean business with me. You’ll probably lose a client’s interest if you don’t reply within 24 hours.
Just a suggestion, if you can’t reply within the day, create an automated response for all inquiries. Even if it doesn’t contain the answer couples need, it’s an assurance that you’ve received the inquiry and that you’ll reply soon, hopefully.
2. Reply professionally, politely and patiently.
Your prompt reply alone won’t make couples consider you. The way you answer inquiries can make or break a possible client.
Please reply professionally. You don’t have to reply in English. You can use Filipino or even Taglish. But couples appreciate suppliers who reply in a professional manner. Include the right heading and greetings to your emails. Your capital letters and signature also matter. In text messages, use completely spelled words.
Please reply politely. Anyone making an inquiry is a possible client even if they look they can’t pay you. Couples don’t expect you to treat them as kings or queens, just clients you would like to have.
Lastly, please don’t impatient with queries and updates. All couples are apprehensive and a bit anxious before the big day. They don’t expect you to reply with every beck and call, but they need you to provide the answers they need.
3. Work within budget OR Admit that you can’t work within the budget
Most couples saved and sacrificed for their weddings so they have a budget limit. Suppliers who can adjust, tweak or modify their services based on their clients’ needs usually have great reviews. Suppliers who made it on my shortlist are those who are willing to work within our means. I admit that some couples try to take advantage of suppliers but most don’t. They have an idea of current price ranges. When I gave my budget to our cake supplier, I wasn’t expecting a big cake. Hence, I was okay when the cake supplier told me they can give us a 2-tiered cake.
If you can’t really work within the couple’s allotted budget, be honest enough to tell it. Don’t give vague answers such as , “We’ll try” or “Let’s see.” I almost dropped a supplier because of this vagueness. I thought he can work within our budget but when I followed him up, he gave me a quote that’s way beyond our budget. I had to renegotiate our contract. Such a hassle! And even if he was nice as a person, I now have a tainted view of him. It just seemed dishonest.
Please don’t say you can work within a couple’s budget when you really can’t. Don’t be afraid to lose clients because they can’t afford you. Couples who have good experience transacting with you will still recommend you to those who can pay your services.
4. Make suggestions
Your clients have only their weddings to prepare. You are a wedding supplier and you catered to more weddings than your clients. You are more knowledgeable about weddings than couples do. Don’t hesitate to make suggestions if you think they’ll be helpful to your clients.
I appreciated how our florist made suggestions on what flowers to use for our wedding theme. She also showed us sample bouquets and how we can save. I don’t have any idea about flowers so was really grateful to her. She wasn’t our first choice as a florist but her suggestions made us feel she cared for us. So, we got her.
5. Have an informative website.
Ever heard of Facebook? Okay, please have at least an active Facebook page. It’s really easy to post your contact information, rates and sample works there. Don’t delete your clients’ feedback too.
It would be better if you have an actual website and have all possible information that clients would need. It would save us time in shortlisting suppliers.
In essence, your success as a wedding supplier depends largely on how you relate to your clients and how you show that you care for your clients’ wedding.
How about you, any other tips for wedding suppliers?