Selling your wedding planning services can be pretty terrifying. To this day, I still get a little bit nervous before complimentary consultation calls! However, I have created a tried and true workflow and system for my consultation calls and have gained so much more confidence!
I often see my coaching clients ask questions about complimentary consultations and how to make it a stress-free part of the booking process. It’s common for them to get worried about the exact questions they need to ask or all the nitty-gritty details to cover on the call, which overwhelms the potential client!
Your complimentary consultation is all about providing a glimpse into what it might be like working with you – not a detailed list of everything that is in your packages. It’s about showing your VALUE! So, today, we are going over everything you need to know about Complimentary Consultations, from what it is to the Do’s and Don’ts!
What is a Complimentary Consultation?
Your complimentary consultation is simply your initial inquiry call, sometimes called a discovery call. This is when you connect with a potential client, learn more about what they are looking for in a planner or coordinator, and gain more details on their event. You will ask them questions to get to know their vision, and ultimately, guide them to a package that best fits their needs. Once you have an idea of the right packages for them, you will share more about what you do, and how you can help them. The ultimate goal of this call isn’t just to book the client, but also to show them the VALUE you bring to the table!
The Do’s of Complimentary Consultations
One of the biggest Do’s is to show the client how much you care. This call isn’t just about selling but about building a relationship. Couples book wedding planners who they connect with!
Ask Engaging Questions
Engaging questions will encourage them to share what they envision for the day and the details they have planned thus far. There is no need to have a huge list of “getting to know you” questions – let the conversation flow naturally! This will help it feel less like an interview and more like grabbing coffee with a friend.
Listen and Slow Down
Often, when we get on a call and get nervous, we overtalk or talk really fast. Your consultation should be focused on listening – not talking! Really hear their needs and let them share their vision with you. Speak in layman’s terms. Avoid using industry terms the client may not understand. Remember, most of your clients have never planned a wedding before! So, they will not be familiar with our industry lingo.
Show Your Value
The biggest part of your sales process on the call needs to be demonstrating your VALUE! Give them a glimpse into what it is like working with you. It’s not just about reading off a bulleted list of what is in each package. That will just overwhelm them! Instead, you want to focus on the benefits of hiring you as their wedding planner. By the end of the call, you want the client to feel like they absolutely need you by their side! Create a clear picture of what the outcome will look like for them. Always keep the 80-20 rule in mind and give, give, give, then sell.
Don’t Overthink It
Don’t worry too much about having the perfect list of questions to ask them. Instead, focus on building a connection with them by asking genuine, relatable questions to get the conversation going.
For example, if they noted on their inquiry form that they heard about you through a friend, start by talking about said friend and how small of a world it is that you two know them.
Educate From Day One
This is most likely a very new and overwhelming experience for your client. They don’t know what they don’t know! That is why it is up to you to educate and provide guidance. Educate them on your process, the offerings you provide, and of course – the value! Be sure to share your A La Carte Menu, as well as guide them towards the best package to fit their needs and desires. This way, they are aware of additional services they can add on from your A La Carte Menu, right from the get-go.
Share the love you have for what you do so they can see and feel how much this means to you! This way, they leave feeling confident you are the one they need a part of their day.
Most clients will pick a wedding planner within a few weeks of reaching out. So, create a sense of urgency by giving them a deadline date by which you will hold their date. I typically suggest a week. Let them know that after that week, the date is available to other inquiries. And make sure they know the booking process and what the next step is should they wish to move forward.
In my free guide, Complimentary Consultation Workflow, I go over the exact steps that you should take during your complimentary consultations! I even include done-for-you email templates and conversation starters to get you started off on the right foot!
The Don’ts of Complimentary Consultations
The longer (or more) you talk, the more likely you are to lose a sale. Keep it simple and to the point! While they may be new to planning, they have probably done a lot of research online. So, they don’t need to be oversold on why they need a wedding planner or coordinator. Instead, they need to know why YOU are the best fit for them!
Never Refer to Competitors
By bringing up your competition, you highlight others in the industry that they may not have even considered before working with you. Keep the client focused on your company name and no one else!
Businesses will overpromise just to get a contract signed. And that hurts both you and your client and sets you up for an unhappy working relationship. It’s important that you are not only qualified but have the bandwidth to perform the job required. If your client is asking for something you do not do or offer, it’s okay to let them know that is not part of your packages.
Don’t End The Call Or Meeting Without A Deadline Date.
Create a sense of urgency for a prospect to make a decision and have an answer back to you by a certain date. Don’t hold their date indefinitely! Give them a strict deadline for getting back to you with a yes or no.
Don’t Forget to Follow Up
Life happens, and people forget. Don’t ever be afraid to follow up with a potential client once the deadline date passes. Just because they don’t get back to you doesn’t mean they won’t book. I suggest scheduling a follow-up email to go out a day after the deadline date passes, checking in to see if they are still interested.
Master Your Complimentary Consultation
As a wedding planner, being able to execute complimentary consultation calls confidently is important! Clients do not book unless they feel comfortable with you and trust you as a professional. I know that this can be a stressful call and often one that newer planners struggle with. To help, I’m giving you access to the exact Complimentary Consultation Workflow my team and I follow – for FREE!
This free guide goes through all 12 steps of the complimentary consultation, from how to start the call, how to share your offers, and how to follow up. I’ve also included email swipe templates and conversation starters as a bonus so you know exactly what to say! The Complimentary Consultation Workflow will give you the confidence you need to land your next ideal client with ease!
One of my biggest beliefs in my business is that systems + workflows make every single aspect of wedding planning easier. And that includes consultations!