Turning Leads into Customers for your Wedding Business

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Recently I had the opportunity to chat with AAWEP Advisory Board Member and Founder and CEO of Easy Weddings, Matt Butterworth.  We spoke about how Easy Weddings can help wedding industry suppliers successfully advertise their wedding businesses online.
What I wanted to highlight today from that conversation was a point Matt made about customer service. Customer Service is at the corner-stone of every business.  To be served with professionalism and attention to your specific needs, is the expectation of every customer and what you must be delivering, not when you have the time, but all the time.
I know that most of you who are in business, or thinking of going into business, will know this and have every intention of delivering on that expectation, but the reality is that most businesses that fail in the first year or so, may be able to put their failure down in part, to poor customer service, or to put it more specifically, a poor understanding of what it is your customer expects from you.
Good customer service rests on a number of factors, but today I want to focus on prompt attention to enquiries.  In this digital age, where your competitor is as accessible to your potential clients as you are, all with the click of a few keys of a computer or mobile device, you have to have a way of responding to enquiries promptly, even if you are running your business part-time, whilst you work a full-time job.  That fact doesn’t matter to your potential client, in fact, knowing that it interferes with the way you are going to be able to do business with them, might scare them off.
Juggling a new business and your career, that makes it all financially possible is absolutely doable and something that many of our Graduates have been successful at.  But if you don’t have a plan for how you manage leads and client expectations when you are not able to pick up the phone, or answer an email, you will lose business.  When someone is your client, you can outline the ways in which they can contact you and your availability for things such as meetings, much more easily than you can at the point where you are trying to make them your client.  Additionally, you will find that your potential customer will be drawn to the first person to comes back to them. Bang!  That business now has a competitive advantage over the ones that took longer to respond and there is hard work involved in turning that around.
How Long is too Long?
Forget 24 hours.  In the digital age, we are talking 2-3 hours.  That means that if you are not answering your phone during the day, you need to engage a company that can do that for you.  It means that you need to use your lunch hours, breaks and travel time between home and work, to answer emails (everything is mobile now, so choose a device that works for you and set up your email templates on there so you can quickly respond to those initial enquiries).  These points go for wedding professionals working in their businesses full-time too.  If you want new clients to follow on from the ones you are so busy with, you are going to have to have a strategy for answering their enquiries too.
Don’t let what I am saying scare you off launching your new business.  You will find that there are all sorts of ‘virtual’ services available to small business owners, who need help with answering the phone and managing daily administrative tasks.  You may even have a girlfriend who would enjoy a few hours of work a week and is more available than you to take calls during the day.  How you do it will depend on you and your particular needs.  The point is that you need to put a plan in place that will enable you to effectively manage those leads, so you have the chance to turn them into customers.


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David Tutera

Leading Wedding & Entertaining Expert, David Tutera is hailed as an artistic visionary whose ability, uniquely creative talents and outstanding reputation have made him a tremendous success in the lifestyle arena. Tutera has created a name for himself by taking his passion for designing spectacular events and transforming it into a lifestyle.

He continuously exceeds the expected with an unmatched level of inspiration, imagination and innovation to create the latest trends in entertaining. Tutera’s grandfather, a successful florist, first noticed his grandson’s artistic ability at an early age and encouraged David to pursue his destiny. At age 19, with the sound advice of his grandfather and only one client, David opened his own event planning business.

Today, David Tutera presides over an award winning company built from experience, dedication and Tutera’s natural talent for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. His name has become synonymous with style, elegance, creativity and vision. David Tutera has a natural talent for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. His name has become synonymous with style, elegance, creativity and vision.

Honored by Life & Style Magazine as “Best Celebrity Wedding Planner,” David’s impressive client list includes Jewel, Star Jones’ wedding, Real Housewife Taylor Armstrong’s wedding, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul’s wedding, NY Giants Antonio Pierce’s wedding, Shannen Doherty’s wedding and events for Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Brandy and Ray J, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Lil’ Kim, the Official Post Grammy Parties in New York City, Elton John, Barbara Walters, the Rolling Stones, Nancy Reagan, Prince Charles, The White House, private events for the Vice President, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Susan Lucci, The John F. Kennedy Center, as well as countless film premieres and celebrity parties for royalty, politicians and socialites.

Tutera has also designed events for several charities including the Prevent Cancer Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids) and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. David has made guest appearances on Today, Extra!, Good Morning America, The View, CNN, The Rachael Ray Show, The Talk, Steve Harvey, Wendy Williams and many more. In addition People, USA Today, In Touch, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, In Style, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Bridal Guide and Town & Country have all featured his work.

Tutera has also made special television appearances in the popular daytime soap, The Young & the Restless and TV Land’s The Exes. David lives in Los Angeles with his husband Joey, daughter Cielo and their rescue dog Lucy.