Landing new clients is like dating – there are some brides and grooms you click with and others you don’t. While turning down work can seem like the kiss of death for your wedding business, there are times when saying “I’m just not that into you” can actually be a good thing. When you come across couples who trigger the warning signs below, let them go!
When to say ‘Thanks, but No Thanks’:
1. You have a gut feeling
Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts. Maybe you got a feeling about them when you met, or they did or said something that triggered the ‘uh oh’ response inside you as the meeting progressed.
If you feel something is off, listen. Most wedding pros have encountered this situation at one time or another and it’s the times that you don’t honor your instincts that you regret.
2. They don’t value your time, respect your expertise or accept your boundaries
You can usually spot these clients during the initial meeting. They show up late, take a ton of your time, think they know everything about what you do, have several ‘special’ requests (aka, demands) and may even ask for a discount.
Even if you are just starting out, some clients are just not worth the hassle and will cause you more stress in the long run. You deserve to be appreciated, valued and respected by your clients just like what you would expect from a partner.
3. Their wedding is not a good fit for your business
There is a big difference between work you can do and work you enjoy doing. While you may be able to pull off a casual wedding for 30 people at the beach, if you specialize in (or want to be known for) high-end weddings at exclusive venues, then turning down the client fits better with your long-term goals.
If it is not work that you would be proud to show, or a good match for your wedding business brand (yes, you do have one!) and won’t attract your ideal client, then it is okay to say no.
How to tell a couple you’re “just not that into them”
1. Let them down easy, but quickly
If you know at the meeting that they won’t be a good fit, don’t lead them on. Let them know quickly so they can find another vendor. Thank them for considering you and offer a short, professional explanation if asked (“I’m sorry but after hearing more about your wedding needs, I feel we aren’t the best fit for you…”).
2. Refer them to someone else who will be a better match
This is where networking with your competition comes in handy. Based on the meeting you should be able to determine if there is another pro that would be a better match for the client. Passing on a referral puts you in both the couple and vendor’s good graces.
Remember, not every bride and groom will be a good fit for your business, or worth your time and energy. While you might be tempted to take them on anyway, working with one client who shows the signs above may bring more of them your way. Say ‘no thanks’, and keep your business and sanity intact!
Have you ever dumped a prospective client? Why?