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We & I

There was an article written by Peter Merry, a big supporter of the DJ industry, which was a concept that I have been preaching to many of the customers I consult with. So many people in the wedding industry like to throw out the term “we” as if they have 30 people working for them. Why would you want to appear bigger then you are, if it is just you!

If it is just you, use that to your advantage and let your prospects and customers know that you are the person they deal with all the time. Sure you may have some part time help, but for the most part, because it is just you, that is the best reason why they should book you.

Big companies are always trying to get better at making their company more personalized and thought of as a smaller company, why are you trying to do the opposite? Being just you has a ton of advantages and you should take all of them! I know some people say that you want to seem bigger and that will get you more work, but in today’s world, I believe that as long as you can deliver the same experience, if not a better experience, you will continue to be awarded the work.

Here are some of the top reasons that you can use as sales tools if it is just you:

-          I only take a limited number of events and I want to make sure we are a good fit

-          You only deal with me

-          I make sure to personally devote more time to each customer I work with since I don’t take that many customers

-          I can build a better relationship with you leading up to your wedding, which will ultimately make for a better job on my part

What are some other things you can think of that you can use to your advantage?

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Office Hours

Time is one thing we never seem to have enough of. We always complain that we want more and wish we could squeeze another hour into the day. Most of us wedding professionals could probably work 24 hours a day and still not have enough time to get caught up. Well, at least you think you will never get caught up.

Most of us never have time to do the fun things in life. Our families complain they don’t see us enough, we rarely take time for ourselves and our life kinda flies by. I have a little hint that I think can fix that.

First up, you will never be totally caught up. The quicker you can understand that, the quicker you will start to have more time for other, more personal things. But the best thing you can do is create office hours. Office hours are great because they not only tell your client when you are working, but they also tell YOU when you are working.

It takes a little time in the beginning to get used to, but believe me, it creates a whole new mindset for you. Think about it…right now you probably just work. No start time, no end time. If the phone rings, you pick it up. No matter what time of day. Imagine if you didn’t have to?

The best part about office hours is that you can create them. So lets say you want to work 10am to 7pm. You post those hours everywhere, including your voicemail. When your customers call or research you, they know when to expect you. You now know when you have to be at work and when you have leave. It starts to set a structure for your business life, which in turn helps your personal life.

“But what about the phone ringing at 8:30pm…and it’s a prospect!” That’s easy. Don’t answer it. They will leave a voicemail or call back tomorrow. Just like you and the rest of the world does when they want to talk to someone. People don’t expect to talk to someone at 8:30pm at night and if they value your time, they will understand.

And the excuse of, “Well if they talk to my competition at 8:30 at night, I might lose that job”, I got news for you, if that prospect made a decision to book your competitor, based on one phone call at 8:30 at night and doesn’t feel the need to call other professionals, that wasn’t going to be your client anyway.

You need to enjoy downtime every day, not just once a week. Throw up some thought out office hours and see how your day starts to get more under control.

 

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People that get things done

Hiring people can always be a challenging task. None of us are actually good at it. We have either hired enough wrong people to see a pattern, or we just are really lucky. I read an article last week that I thought was really interesting and I couldn’t help but think that hiring people is more of a review of someone’s life, instead  of looking at what they are going to do for you. More a look back, than a look forward.

I think many of us make the mistake and look into the future and get excited about what this person will do for you and the company, when we should be looking at their past for the proper clues. And when I say the past, I don’t mean where they went to school or how good their GPA was. I mean what have they done. Plain and simple, show me what you have done with your life as a whole.  What are you proud of. What are the accomplishments.

If I can see what you have done, it is going to tell me what you will do. Past performance is the key to future predications. Don’t get me wrong, you have to dig a little to see what qualifies as to what they have done. People will talk.  And talk is easy. So you have to ask the right questions about what they have done. Some of my favorite are:

-          Tell me about a time that you had to make a tough decision that was related to the business you were working for. What was it and what was the outcome?

-          Tell me about a typical business day in your life?

-          Tell me about a time that you disagreed with a decision and you wanted a different decision to be made. How did you handle it?

Companies that are filled with people that get things done will be more successful. You need to find a way to attract those people to your company as quickly as you can and keep them. And the interview process is where it starts. Stop looking at resumes and start looking at who they are as a person and what they accomplish in a given amount of time.

Doers will always be more important than a GPA in my book!

 

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Mistakes

Look, part of life is making mistakes. Some of the best things were made by making tons of mistakes first. You are going to make mistakes in your business. So you have to at least try things. And you have to at least learn. Then try again.

 

Successful people don’t actually see the mistakes as mistakes. They just keep doing things a little different until they get it right. But I think it is hard for people that aren’t exactly use to being their own boss. They get scared, they worry, and the scared and worried start to run the business. Trust yourself. Know that you will make a mistake, but trust me, it will be totally worth it.

 

This not only goes for you, but also for the people that work for you. They have to make mistakes to grow too. So let them make them, even when you know they are making them and could easily stop them. Let them learn themselves.

 

I have made so many mistakes. I will share them with you over the next few days. My third biggest mistake was trusting the wrong people. I had some early events in my career that I thought I had the right people on board. Trust takes a long time to build, but I was young and really thought all people had the same intentions as me. This experience made me get stronger at interviews, be more exact on what I wanted accomplished and make sure we have constant communication.

 

What were some of your mistakes?

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End result worth more than the risk or repercussion

Far too often we find ourselves not doing something because we don’t see the end result clearly enough. So we don’t push through the pain or hard work of getting there. It is not until we see the goal and the clear results of that goal for us to actually take action.

For instance, many of us wedding professionals give up our weekends because it is part of our job, as well as the fact that we love what we do and that we are compensated pretty well for it. To us, the repercussions of not being there for our loved ones and friends on the weekends is worth the reward of how we feel when we work.

The exact opposite holds true for self employed people. The risk of running your own business is what makes the end result worth it. Because the repercussion of going back to work for someone else is just not acceptable. But there are a whole other group of people that think the exact opposite. The reward of being self employed and the freedoms that come with it, just isn’t great enough for some people. So they choose to stay in the working world. The repercussion of failure  just isn’t worth it.

I think it is also interesting that the same people can have different feelings on two different concepts, but yet be so entrenched on one of those thoughts that you would think they would always feel the same way no matter what the situation that came at them. For instance, the self employed business owner who is so risky in business, but yet does the same thing every day, day in and day out, because he doesn’t want to be too risky or be a little different.

Or the person who doesn’t want to start their own business because it is too risky, but continues to live life to the fullest and never settle down on one job. Constantly changing their mind and trying different things.

So if we can’t pin point it to the person or personality, what can we determine is the cause? Easy, the goal. If the goal is not clear enough. Not concise enough. We won’t be able to see through the risk or repercussions of doing it. If the idea of adding a new stream of revenue to your company doesn’t give you a big enough reward to get you off the couch and watching that TV show, you are not going to do it.

The goal has to be clear. And when that happens, the reward becomes very real. And when the reward becomes real, the risks and repercussions go by the wayside and you turn into a machine that only accepts success and failure is not in the forecast.

So, what goals can you clear up and re-focus on? 

 

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