One of the most important things that you need to do when marketing your business and selling your services is build trust. And, even though the reasons might seem obvious, it is important to remember because we can all get caught up in the race to book the client and forget that what you really need to do is earn their trust. Today then, we asked four wedding pros to share what they do in order to build trust during the booking process. Read on for their advice and then think about how you can change your approach to get clients to know, like, trust, and book you!
Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it
In order to establish trust with clients, I am a firm believer in doing what you say you are going to do. If you let your potential client know you would have the proposal sent to them on Friday at 3:00pm, it better be in their inbox by Friday at 3:00pm. This establishes that you stick to your word from the very beginning.
I also firmly believe that being honest about your experience as a wedding professional will help you build trust as well. One question I get asked during consultations is “have you ever worked at our wedding venue before?” If I haven’t, I am honest and let them know that while I haven’t worked at your venue, I will ensure to have a site visit, reach out to the venue manager, review the venue contracts and make myself as comfortable with the venue as possible prior to the wedding day. Being dishonest about your experiences, at any point, will automatically create a sense of distrust. – Krisy Thomas from Southern Sparkle Wedding and Event Planning
Dig in and make sure you’re actually the right fit
Trust is very hard to earn and incredibly easy to lose and, at Eclectic Hive, we understand and appreciate that we can’t be everything to everyone. It’s impossible particularly as a boutique company. To earn our client’s trust, starting from the initial consultation, our first goal is to dig in and ensure that we are compatible for all of our sake. We really want to hear from our client first. Our job is to listen and understand the vision of the project from their point of view as well as hear their needs and expectations of us. We want to tune in to what is important to them specifically and make them feel heard. We are also looking for information that lets us know this is a good fit for our team so in the case that it isn’t, we are up front with the client and can put them in the hands of a more fitting team (saving us all a lot of time). By taking the time to really understand the project and offer solutions to potential obstacles up front, and discussing openly and honestly the costs to execute their vision, we have achieved the critical first step in earning their trust.
And, just as it is important in any relationship (personal or professional), being a great listener, being open and transparent helps you prove that you are in it with them. Do this well and you will earn their trust and your next client. – Jill Livingston from Eclectic Hive
It starts from the very first phone call
Trust is an incredibly important piece of the puzzle for wedding pros. It can be reinforced from referrals, reputations, and reviews, but my experience tells me the make or break moment in building trust is during the first meeting or phone call. Because of this, I have two priorities when building trust during an initial meeting or consultation. First, is making sure the couple knows they’re being heard. To do this, I repeat their question the way I’ve heard it before I answer. This engages my mind to the question and potential nuances of what the couple is asking. These few extra moments also give me time to think things through and prepare my answer. In addition, by repeating the question the way you’ve heard it, this shows the couple that you’ve truly heard the issue at the forefront of their mind in that moment and that you’re prioritizing clarity in answering their question.
Second, is answering all questions through the lens of my brand promise. By doing so, I’m building consistency in the message I’m sending. No one likes surprises, especially a couple hiring someone to help with their wedding day. By being consistent with my messaging there’s no question about my ability to deliver exactly what I say I’ll deliver. – Bryan Miller of Bryan Miller Photography
Pick up the dang phone!
Building trust with a couple or family is one of my biggest business objectives. So, how do I approach that? As a wedding planner, I try to be human. I think that’s the secret sauce for me. I’ve never been a fan of sugar coating the process. I’m here to help you make the process easier—yes, but I’m also here to help you navigate through the not-so-fun parts. I can be your BFF, your mom, your sister, and your wedding planner and, with that, you might not always like what I have to tell you. But, if I’m always yes-ing you, I’m not doing my job. I also try to build trust by being knowledgeable, asking a lot of questions, and sharing authentically on social media (I use social media to really show who and what we believe as a company. If you’re following along with us on social media, you likely already know where I’m coming from.) As a brand, we try to keep that message very consistent.
Other ways that we build trust? We respond to inquiries quickly. We answer the phone! We post our phone number on our website and actually answer when someone calls. In these times, when people are looking for connection, I think it’s really important to just talk…the good old fashioned way! And, I know we’ve all been trained to set boundaries with our clients but I let myself break the rules sometimes in order to build trust. If I can answer you on Sunday morning, I will. If I can take a call at 7PM, I’m here for you. We only accept a handful of clients every year for this very reason – Sherry Scott of Ruby Collaborative
Want to learn more about how to earn your client’s confidence? Read more about building trust online and building trust before you’ve even met your clients to step up your game!
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