October 30, 2019
You’re meeting with a prospective client during a sales consultation and know you need to discuss important policies, but what do you say and how do you deliver the message? You don’t want to scare the client away with all of the details, but you also don’t want to feel like you’re hiding anything. So what do you do? Let’s take a closer look at what and how to communicate important policies with ease.
Important policies you should discuss during the consultation include how you handle damages to rentals, late returns, order changes and cancellations, what you need to confirm the order, important delivery and logistics details, how you handle order changes, order minimums, and any important dates or deadlines.
I like to address the “elephant in the room” policies prior to viewing inventory as they can help serve as a way to prequalify your clients. Always take the time to communicate important policies, even if you’ve already shared them via email or in your contract. They may not have had a chance to read everything (or may never do so) and you don’t want to leave any rock unturned.
Keep your conversations short and succinct. When you ramble, it draws out the conversation and can confuse your client. You can say something as simple as “Before we start creating your proposal, there’s a couple of quick policies I want to make sure you’re aware of.” And then in a couple of sentences outline your policies. To wrap up the conversation, ask “Is there anything you’d like me to clarify further for you?”
If you charge a damage waiver or collect a “picture perfect” fee, your conversation could go like this:
“We collect a 10% picture perfect fee/damage waiver to cover wear and tear to rental items. We want you to focus on your big day, and not worry about how much it’s going to cost to clean the wine that spilled on the sofa. It covers everything from knicks, dents and scuffs to furniture, to wine, food and even bodily fluid spills on upholstered seating. What it doesn’t cover is damages resulting from negligence, such as leaving items out in the rain.”
This not only goes for communicating your policies but discussing your pricing as well. When you’re not confident talking about those “red flag” areas of your contract, you might come across as being untrustworthy. And remember, clients need to know, like and trust you if they’re going to purchase from you. If you’re nervous, they’re going to pick up on the nervousness and think that there’s more that you’re not sharing. Don’t give them a reason to look for another wedding pro to work with and own the discussion and your policies.