QUESTION: How to you avoid unwanted headaches and set boundaries for your clients in a professional way?
ANSWER: You give them a welcome and onboarding packet!!
Recently Kellie Daab of I Do Collective shared her expertise on exactly what you need in your packets, how to set them up and how to send them to your clients. I took some notes from the well-attended online class (nearly 300 wedding pros signed up!) I hosted on July 27th and wanted to share them with you!
Tip #1: You need a separate welcome packet (given when the inquiry is made by the bride) and onboarding packet (given after the agreement is signed)
Tip #2: You want to use these packets as your way of teaching them that there is a process to working with you, that you follow this process and do NOT break the rules (yes, I’m talking to YOU).
Tip #3: You need to be the manager of this project, and that project being the wedding. You are not the responder to the problems.
Tip #4: Canva is a great tool (and easy to use) for creating stunning packets!
Consider your welcome packet your product catalog. It should contain what your current offerings are and pricing.
You want to show-off who you are in this packet (my added note: because this is a sales tool). What sets you apart? What do you do that is above and beyond? Explain the process leading from inquiry to booking so the bride knows what to expect. Show off your best work in this document as well.
How to deliver to your potential client: The easiest way is to upload the document and link in an email you send when the client inquires. You also could put the file in a PDF and attach it to the email, but be sure to mention what the attachment is as people today are more leery about opening attachments from people they don’t know. For Bloomtastic (my flower shop), we have a PDF version we email to inquiries and we also have a printed version we hand out at the bridal shows and use as a wedding-planning tool (in includes a pricing guide, flower guide, style guide, the process of how to find a florist and select for your wedding, so it’s really a helpful guide).
After the bride has signed the agreement and hired you (Oh! Happy Day!!), you want to give her another packet that explains the process from here, all the way up to when she is going to give you a referral after her wedding. READ: This is the step-by-step process of exactly what will happen, how and when! Don’t leave anything for him/her to guess, spell it all out here and avoid unwanted calls and emails at 2am asking the same question that 20 other clients have asked. You will also use this to set boundaries and expectations. Include topics such as:
- Hours of operation
- How to contact you
- When the client should expect a response
- Emergency contact info (and when it can be used)
- How you want the client to collaborate with you (Pinterest board, Trello, Isle Planner etc)
- The timeline of the process (how and when what happens)
- How the bride can cancel or add something
- If additional meetings are permitted, if so when and how much they cost
- If the bride isn’t happy and wants to complain, how you want her to contact you and when
- Deadlines for payment, revisions, etc
- Payment methods and how to submit payments
And Kellie gave us an extra piece of advice: She said when a question rolls in that is covered in the packet, simply shoot back an email thanking him/her for the question and to reference the packet as the answer is in there! That will eliminate future emails/calls/texts asking more questions that are already covered!
A very special THANK YOU to Kellie for taking an hour out of her day to help us eliminate unwanted headaches and create welcome and onboarding packets! Kellie is an extraordinaire at creating stunning packets and happy to design your packets for you and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org