Question: “What questions can I ask to make sure these are the best clients for me?
I want to make sure that not only am I a good fit for them but are they a good fit for me. I only want to DJ weddings where I would want to be a guest. But there is a thin line between questioning potential clients and possibly insulting them.”
Answer: Filter out the clients you don’t want and attract your ideal couples with targeted marketing.
I love this question because it forces you to identify and target exactly the clients you want. When you specialize, your wedding business becomes irresistible to the couples you want to attract.
Much like a doctor who specializes in cardiac care or a computer repair tech who specializes in iMacs, having a wedding specialty will attract the couples who are the perfect match for what you do and value it enough to pay well for it. You get to work with couples you love AND get paid what you deserve.
So why isn’t everyone specializing?
When you say “YES” to specializing in one specific market, you must say “NO” to serving others.
In fact, you’re going to alienate the clients you don’t want. And that’s the point!
But most wedding pros don’t have the courage to specialize because it feels “risky.” It’s easier to be a generalist or jack of all trades with a vanilla message…just like most of your competition.
You don’t have to be rude or offensive to attract your ideal clients and (gently) refuse the ones who aren’t a good match for you. In fact, if you qualify your couples right beforehand, they’ll filter themselves out.
4 Steps to Qualifying Couples Without Being a Jerk
Step 1 – Climb into your clients’ heads and learn exactly what they want, need and fear.
You need to really know who your ideal couples are in order to attract them and avoid everyone else. What is their age? Background? Culture? Style? Personality? Career? Education? Interests and hobbies? Think back to your most awesome past clients, the ones you wish you could clone and work with at every wedding. What were they like? You can also learn more about them by:
- Surveying your ideal couples.
- Talking to them.
- Reading their favorite blogs and magazines, watching their favorite TV shows.
Do some research and start paying attention, and your ideal client profile will become clear, like it did for us. We identified two types of wedding clients who were drawn to us. The first were blue collar couples, many of whom were teachers or police officers. They had mid-budget weddings, but were very concerned about having music that wasn’t embarrassing or cheesy, which meant they were willing to invest more in hiring us. The second group were educated, professional “hipster” couples who lived in Manhattan and worked in the finance industry. They had mid to high-end budget weddings and had eccentric taste in music. This second market is actually more fun and profitable for us to work with. If you haven’t yet worked with your ideal couples, use your imagination. But don’t let that be an excuse for not talking to people! You need to learn what they think and feel, along with the words they use to communicate it.
Step 2 – Use the words of your ideal clients to attract more of them.
Your ideal clients will tell you everything you need to know to become irresistibly attractive to more couples just like them…if you ask.
Notice the words they use to describe what they want and more importantly, what they DON’T want.
Our couples would routinely use the phrases “not cheesy” and “not cookie-cutter” to describe what they didn’t want for their weddings. So when we used those words on our website…you guessed it!…they immediately knew they were in the right place.
When you use these same words and address these concerns in your marketing, your ideal couples will immediately know that you “get” them. In other words, they’ll know you specialize in working with couples just like them.
Your research will also reveal where and how to market your services to find more of your ideal clients.
Step 3 – Deliberately alienate the clients you don’t want.
You won’t have to worry about rejecting couples who don’t fit your ideal client profile if you do this right. It involves deliberately using language and images on your website that will drive away the couples you don’t want.
What can you include in your marketing that will separate your ideal clients from the pack?
Our ideal couples hated those “cheesy” group dances. So when we said, “We won’t play the Chicken Dance at your wedding,” they knew we were right for them.
At the same time, couples who loved group dances would run the other way.
A photographer friend of ours wanted to work with laid-back, fun couples. She deliberately included a photograph of gorgeous Jimmy Choo heels caked with mud. It drove away the uptight, prima donna brides before they’d even contact her.
Step 4 – Nicely “fire” couples as soon as you know they’re not the right fit.
Even if you qualify your couples by targeting your marketing for your ideal, occasionally someone will slip through the cracks.
The questions you’ll ask to identify them will depend on the likes/dislikes you’ve uncovered about your ideal clients. Usually something like, “What have you seen or heard at weddings that you like and don’t like?” should do the trick.
Other open-ended questions can probe for the “deal breakers” without giving away what you’re doing.
The best practice is to let them go as soon as you realize they aren’t a good match. Keep your eyes out for the 3 signs that it’s time to fire a client, and when you’re ready to let them go, use these scripts and emails to gently break up with a nightmare client.
It’s better to hurt someone’s feelings now than it is to work with a couple who causes extra work and headaches, and then leaves you a bad review.
What do you think?
About the Author
Stephanie Padovani and her husband, Jeff Padovani, are the dynamic husband-wife duo behind Book More Brides, the #1 online resource for transformational marketing, business and motivational strategies for the wedding industry.
Stephanie and Jeff Padovani met and fell in love in the corporate world, and have been working together ever since. They are famous for entertaining and empowering wedding professionals with low cost, effective marketing strategies and powerful “anti-price shopper” communication techniques…that don’t require sleazy, high-pressure sales tactics or competing on price.
Want more wedding business tips? Visit BookMoreBrides.com to get your copy of the free report, “The Price Shopper Email: How to Immediately Convince Brides of Your Value So They’re Primed and Ready to Book.”
Filed Under: Sales & Marketing
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