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Your Words Matter 

Flowers are one of the most important elements in a wedding. With less than five months until my big day, I’ve been scrambling to book the last remaining vendors on my list.

After receiving recommendations from friends and review sites online, I began calling around town. When I asked Florist A for an in-person meeting to see the shop and meet the owner, I received an email that simply said, “We are busy with two weddings this weekend, and additionally, we require more than two business days to confirm in-person appointments. Please call the office to schedule another time.” Meanwhile, after requesting the same meeting from Florist B, I received an email that said, “We would LOVE to meet with you this weekend, but we’ve got two weddings and I want to make sure to give you the time you deserve. I am available anytime next week – so let me know what time is best for you!”

As you can see, I received basically the same response from both vendors, but the deliveries were drastically different. Neither florist had the time to meet with me, but, regardless of what their proposal says, I have no interest in working with Florist A. If that’s how they treat a prospective client (with, hypothetically, an unlimited budget to work with), can you imagine how they’ll treat a client once they have a down payment in place? Florist B made me feel valued and important, even though I was only another email in their inbox.

When talking to prospective clients or even a friend of friend, it’s important to choose your words carefully. Even if you have no time to meet (or even respond to an email) – let the person know in a personal / human way. Trust me, even a generic, “Have been away from my desk all week – thank you so much for your email! I will be in touch by the end of the week!” is better than no response or a curt, brutally honest response (“I don’t have time to work on a proposal for you this week – might be able to get to it next week.”) And, yes, I received that response from Florist C.

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  1. Rob Biesenbach
    Rob BiesenbachNovember 15,12

    Hilarious. I’m also finding wedding planning brings a treasure trove of customer service nightmare stories. Our first choice for a photographer wasn’t available on our date. We asked if she could recommend someone she knows whose work she respects. Her reply? A terse “Unfortunately I can’t.” At that point we were relieved she wasn’t available after all. A second photographer was also not available but, without prompting, offered two recommendations.

    It’s amazing that people don’t realize how such seemingly little things can be such a turnoff. Or perhaps she has so much business it doesn’t matter how she treats people. Either way, not someone I’d want to work with.

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