The Difference My Friend – Is You. Be Yourself

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There is no doubt that just the briefest of searches online reveals just how big an array of planners, designers, florists, photographers….cake makers and dress designers there are out there at the moment. If I can say, they are all special in their own right, and each has something to offer the vastly differing budgets of the clients with whom we work.

An obvious question however has to be that which surrounds such a competitive market and what must at some point be a supply V demand issue. Imagine then being the client who has to make that choice. To be in the position of trying to choose one of many companies who could do the job and worrying whether or not you made the right choice?

So what are clients looking for when choosing a company and is there such thing as a wrong decision?

Below are a couple of my thoughts and one or two on selling – you!

Clients Want To Work With People They Like:  I have said it over and over, but relationships are key, and regardless of your talent, clients want to know that you are someone with whom they will enjoy planning their event. I personally feel very privileged when clients take the time to write to me post an event, but more so, mention that I am a nice guy to do business with. I have been lucky enough to work with some great people over the years, and above all else – returning to use their services relates to them as people and how they are as people says a lot about how their business is likely to run.

There is no secret to Sales:  Honesty, be genuine, open and down-to-earth with your clients.  They can detect false promises and more than that, false people, from a mile away and ego has no place in the service industry (although easier said than done).

Straight to the point: There is a lot of competition out there. Be clear about what sets you apart and don’t be afraid to flaunt it. I had to think long and hard about what that was for me before launching WHiTEPAPER – did the industry need another planner? HELL YEAH!

Chin Up: Being a little different and thinking out of the box is not for everyone. Prepare yourself already for the fact that your vision for events may not match everybody else’s. You need to keep your chin up therefore and think positively  – take the time to look back and see just how far you have come as you stare onwards and in to the distance, and where you want to be.

Value Yourself:  DONT BE ARROGANT! Work hard and a confidence will be created, a stepping stone on which you can build and approach new clients. However, never forget just where you came from and who may have given you that chance when no one else would. Work hard will take you so far, but if you had not been humble way back when, you may never have got your foot in the door in the first place. Value your work and the price you put on it – but don’t think that the work alone is enough for longevity within this world.

With hundreds of thousands of weddings taking place each year I would like to think that there is enough work for everyone. Be true to yourself, and fair to your clients. Smile, breathe and remember the journey you took to the top and set your foundations well.

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When a good idea gets a knock back

I met a really cool lady this week, who was working on behalf of a high end transportation app  – not necessarily the newest idea out there, but something executed really well and something I felt that I could integrate in to my business packages as an added value element that no one else would be using. Now in the world of transportation and hotels, there is always the need to think about the concierge department, and how anything that might take away from their ability to service the guests – after all, no point in robbing Peter, just to pay Paul – but I thought I had covered my bases when approaching my boss with the idea, figured I had the answers to all the potential questions.

Alas not

Currently at this time, and for reasons I will leave to one side, I am required to build up a certain amount of courage in advance of taking an idea to my boss – but to give credit where it is due this time around, the idea was granted with positivity, if not pushed back on for reasons I understand, and felt were not worth pushing further. My idea could still work from a different angle – but there is always that challenge internally, when you think you have a great idea, and yet for whatever reason someone else does not.

So what to do?

Well, the initial answer is easy. Don’t ever stop having the ideas and putting them before your own decision makers. In the event that it gets a push back, you never quite know how things will go down the line, and whether or not your yourself can use the same or a different version of the same idea at a later date, or be the front runner for passing it to someone who can. The challenge is if, from knock back after knock back, you decide next time around that not having the idea is easier – then there is cause for concern. Don’t be that person…..

Mistakes, I’ve made a few

I used to think that things going wrong at an event, was an indication of my ability as an Events Manager – I would come away from any experience potentially weaker than stronger. I would take each and every incident to heart, and in doing so let it eat away at me until I became so overly critical that I had missed the point completely.

And what is that point?

It doesn’t matter how well an event goes, or how well you think it has gone – there is always something to learn from each and every event that we do. Each client is different, their expectations vary too and with that, we can only work towards ensuring that as many of our bases are covered as possible. There still may well be an occasion when something goes awry. How we deal with that at the time, to make certain that our guests are aware of as little of the drama as possible – is what then creates a feeling of both safety and security on the part of our clients, that we can deal with the unforeseen and that next time around we will be even better prepared for what may come up.

Those in the industry that think they know it all don’t tend to last all that long – as no one will ever be able to tell them that they were wrong, and it is unlikely that their work is so outstanding that the client will be willing to let that attitude pass – rather feeling that next time around they can find a more flexible personality to work with. My best advice would be to meet any problems head on – own up and take responsibility if a challenge that arises is directly your responsibility, and note down how things were handled and what lessons can be learnt, if it wasn’t.

Take the experience and let it make you stronger.