Who doesn’t love the clients that come to you easily as cake, those that know what they want and are pretty good at describing it? They don’t take a lot of time and effort on your part, but you still earn a good amount of money working with them.
Such clients are a blessing! But what about those which are not easy to crack? How do you deal with a difficult bride? It’s even more complicated, you have to put in much more time, and perhaps the results are worse than your expectations.
Many of my students often complain about bridezilla clients and how mean they can be sometimes. If you don’t know what bridezilla means, it’s a term used to define women who are picky and demanding about everything, they want the wedding of their dreams, and they want it perfect in all its details.
Bridezilla clients are difficult but not impossible to crack! I teach these strategies to my students in my mentorship course, and they work like a charm!
Let’s get started to learn how to handle difficult clients as a wedding professional!
When working with bridezilla clients, the first thing you need to know is that not every client is like this.
It’s important to keep in mind that there’s a stressed one behind every difficult woman. They are often tense because of the wedding preparations; they have to choose everything carefully and be sure they don’t make a bad decision.
Granted, every bridezilla client will be difficult at some point, but not all of them are difficult to work with. You need to know who you are dealing with to establish proper communication channels.
One of the ways you can determine whether this is going to be a smooth process or not is by asking them about their expectations.
As a wedding planner, if you get a long list of all the details they want and you feel overwhelmed, she’s probably going to be difficult to work with.
Another sign to recognize difficult wedding clients is when you ask them about their budget, and they say: “I don’t know, but I want it to be perfect.“
Last but not least, if they complain about everything during the meeting and you’re catching yourself wondering “how am I supposed to come up with this,” you’re in trouble. That’s a difficult client.
These little tips will help you determine whether this is going to be difficult or not, and they’ll help you prepare and plan for this kind of wedding.
But if you come to the conclusion that these two are bridezilla high maintenance clients, what should you do then?
I have a few sure-shot strategies that I use with my students, and they never fail.
This is the simplest and most efficient way to ensure that you have proper communication with all your clients. And if it’s a bridezilla client, it’s even more important!
If you’re unclear and give in to her demands and requests and promises, she’ll understand that eventually and start pushing her boundaries even more.
Take your time explaining what you can and can’t do, what’s included in the package she chose, and what’s not.
When you do this, she’ll see that you’re there to help her get the best out of everything, and that will gain her trust.
Although you need to be flexible and your main goal is to please your difficult client, there’s a limit, and you can’t give in to everything she asks for.
When it comes to decorating the venue with personal details, if you give in too many times, she’ll get used to it and will expect you to do it for everything! But there are some things you can’t give in on, like a specific color scheme or a certain type of flower.
If she wants you to change something, explain why it can’t be done. If she doesn’t understand, help her see that this is for the best, for both of you!
3) Don’t Let Her Get to You.
This is probably the most important tip I can give to event planners dealing with a bridezilla client.
She can make you crazy, but don’t let that happen! You need to remain calm and be the voice of reason.
Don’t take any comments or complaints personally, because she’s just stressed and that’s why she behaves this way.
If you remain professional and don’t let her get to you, she’ll calm down eventually.
I always advise my students to hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
Although you should expect the best and hope she’s going to be a dream bride, always prepare yourself for more stress and difficult situations.
Don’t promise what you can’t deliver, but set your boundaries from the beginning and stick with them.
She asks you to decorate her venue with flower petals and asks that they match the color of her bridesmaids’ dresses. But you can’t match petals and dresses, so you explain that to her, and she gets angry with you.
But if you explained from the beginning that you can’t accommodate those unreasonable demands, she’ll never ask for something like that, and you won’t have to worry.
If you prepare yourself for a lot of stress, pressure, and anger from your difficult client, you won’t be surprised when it happens.
This strategy has been around for years, and it’s still the best t make your clients happy!
Set realistic timeliness dates, but always be early. Wedding planning isn’t easy.
For example, if the bride tells you she needs her invitations one month before the wedding, promise that you can deliver them within one week.
But hand-deliver them at least a few days before that, and you’ll more than likely win her heart.
When you over-deliver, you’ll gain her trust, and she won’t be able to find anything wrong with your services. That’s how you cope with demanding clients.
Remember that it’s very important to deal with difficult clients with care, regardless of whether they’re kind and understanding or difficult and demanding.
Doing this will help you keep the majority of them happy, which means more clients in the long run!
This may sound silly, but that’s a sure-shot way to handle high-maintenance clients.
Humor is a great way to break the ice and gain someone’s trust.
If you can make your client laugh and relax, she’ll most likely calm down and show her true colors.
This isn’t to say you need to be a comedian and tell jokes all the time, but maybe work some humor into your conversations.
She’ll see you as a friend rather than another wedding vendor if you seem more laid back and can make her laugh.
When you can make your clients happy and laugh, they’ll love you for it!
Communication – or lack thereof – is a huge problem in the wedding industry. If you can’t communicate well with your client, it won’t matter what you do because she won’t like you.
My students ask me all the time, “What do I say?”
It’s easy: ask her what she wants! Tell her and ask if she likes it if you think of an idea. If she doesn’t, go back to the drawing board and come up with a new idea.
And by all means, don’t make your client feel stupid for not knowing what she wants.
Uncertainty doesn’t mean you should stop communicating! It just means you need to come up with some new ideas.
Whether you’re dealing with a bridezilla or she’s laid back and easy to work with, communication is key.
Always, always communicate with your client about everything!
Listen up, event planners! No matter what, always use positive reinforcement with your clients.
If something is going well, let her know!
Compliment your client on her beautiful wedding gown or the decor that looks great.
If you notice some things aren’t exactly what you’d like them to be, suggest ideas on how they can be improved.
This will show your client that you’re always looking for ways to improve the wedding planning experience, and she’ll be more likely to trust your judgment.
Using positive reinforcement will also make the client happy and appreciated.
And when your clients feel good, you’re more likely to have a positive experience!
Let’s talk about the ground rules of every business. Be sure to document everything you do with your client! This can be as simple as writing notes on what you talk about or using an online project management tool.
Whenever you provide an event planning service, ask your client what she wants you to document it as.
For example, say the bride wants to book a makeup artist for her bridal portraits.
She might not care about the type of contract you use, but she probably would like to know how much she’ll pay.
That’s something that should be documented!
Once you get into the habit of writing down what you did, you can refer back to it whenever you need your memory refreshed.
Take another scenario: maybe you’re delivering flowers yourself. Do the flowers need to be arranged?
Does your client want to know how long it takes you to arrange them, or how many people it takes to deliver them?
The more information you have, the better! You can use software like Evernote or Todoist to keep track of all your client interactions.
It also saves you from any business phone calls, and the most important part is that you don’t forget any of your work.
These are simple tools that can help you organize your notes, ideas, projects, and more.
You might be thinking, “But I’ll forget when to do things!”
That’s why you can use software like Todoist to create alerts for specific tasks.
For example, if you’re doing a cake tasting with the client, you can set an alert that will tell you exactly where and when to show up.
You might seem old-fashioned to deal this way, but the truth is that using a scrapbook or journal is another excellent way to document your current and other clients’ interactions.
Many of my students keep scrapbooks for each of their clients, and it’s really helpful when they’re looking to review what they’ve done.
It’s always a good idea to keep track of what services are provided and how much they cost. That’s in your best interest and worth dealing with. That’s how you convert a difficult person into your perfect client.
It can be easy to forget small details about your clients, but you’ll increase the chances of providing a better service by documenting everything you do to clients.
And that’s exactly what we want here, right?
Well, this must be your last resource but don’t be too scared of it.
As a wedding planner, you know that your clients will depend on you and your team for almost everything related to their wedding day.
If they’re not happy with your services, what are you supposed to do?
That’s when you have to understand that “No means No,” and it’s important to respect the clients.
If something is not going well and the bride insists on a certain decision that is very difficult for you to handle, it’s best to sort out your differences instead of getting stressed.
As professional event planners, you should know that there’s no place for ego and pride in this industry.
So, if the bride is not willing to listen and insists on getting her way, you might have to think of quitting!
So, yeah! It’s not worth it!
Be prepared to handle difficult clients by keeping these tips in mind. If you make your client feel like her vision is your top priority, you can’t go wrong.
Not only will it make her wedding day go smoother, but you’ll leave the client feeling happy and satisfied and close the deal like pro.
It’s the biggest reward of all!
That’s it for today. See ya next time.