The phone rings… you don’t recognize the number… you hesitate answering… is it a telemarketer?
What the heck, you answer. The voice at the other end of the line introduces themselves. They’ve been referred to you by a business peer. You can feel what’s coming next… it’s an emergency.
It’s a no-show, a last moment cancellation… due to illness, family emergency, travel nightmare… could be any reason. The question is: Can you step in and fill the void?
Sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you can, although depending on the lead time, it’s fraught with potential challenges.
The cynic in us says, “The customer probably made a bad choice and now they’re stuck.” – Maybe… other times it’s truly an uncontrollable situation… an automobile accident… or who-knows-what.
In these situations, money is usually not the issue. Only the foolish customer tries to negotiate when the roof has fallen in. Our instinct is to perform heroics and charge our normal fee. With credit card acceptance, it is now easy to confirm the event, on-the-fly.
The Big Question is:
Are you ready to jump in and do a credible job?
When in desperate straits, most clients don’t expect the same synchronized service from you, as they would from a previously contracted company with months of roll-up time.
It’s for you to sense whether your company is a close enough fit to score at lease 8, on a 10-point scoring system.
Are you ready…. right now?
“Right now” might be the same day, a day or two ahead, or a bit more. Getting from zero to full speed.
Preparation means having every employee’s cell phone number. Same thing for every wedding professional and venue contact you work with on a regular basis. And, the cell number for every friendly-competitor. If you can’t solve the problem, maybe you can find them a solution while you put the customer on hold.
Preparation means having last week put away, this week prepared, and being ready for a surprise that might come your way. Sometimes the ‘surprise’ might be in-house. And you can be proud of your readiness. Other times you get the call from a competitor who needs an assist. And the toughest situation is from a client who has been left in the lurch for any reason.
The fee you earn is not the primary issue. It’s the by-product of your readiness, the mindset, and ability of you and your staff to always be in a position to save-the-day.
Another by-product is the goodwill that spreads, immediately, from your peers, working that event, and the client. Don’t feel the need to pat yourself on the back… you won’t have to, because people will take note, and share the news.
It’s a marketing windfall, a fee for service, and most of all, a grand feeling of satisfaction.
Are you ready to step in?
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