Why Planners Are Top Return Customers


Let’s face it. As a planner, a lot of people will act like they want to be your friend to secure jobs and future clients. But I’m a big believer that you can never build a preferred vendor list purely based on who you like as a friend. But I won’t ignore the obvious: much like building a friendship, forming a strong connection to your planner is an important relationship to foster.

As a planner, it’s all about trust. When you choose vendors, they are an extension of your company. They need to align with your brand, your style and your price point. And most importantly, they need to be a perfect fit for your client. You cannot choose people to work with just because you like them, you have to separate who's a friend and the best fit for your client.

My preferred list varies widely based on style, budget and personality because there isn’t a one-size-fits all recommendation list that applies for every couple. And it’s your job to choose the best vendors for your clients.

I always choose vendors based on who I trust and who I think will work well for my client. But here’s one thing I really want to stress for vendors: it's one thing to have your clients like you, but when you get planners to like you, when you get planners to be on your side, when you've proven yourself to planners...that's a return customer. A planner can get you 10 jobs to every one job that a couple can get you.

So here are three big ways you can build trust with planners:

  • Make it a point to get back to emails within 72 hours. If you can’t get back that fast, at least write and say, “I will get back to you this week.” Making it a priority to back to planners and vendors is huge in establishing trust.
  • Practice empathy and put yourself in their shoes. When tensions are high, try to evaluate a way to solve an issue that would work for both of you. Showing planners that you can keep your cool and lead with empathy will go a long way in building a reputation as a must-book vendor.  
  • Be clear about your needs and expectations. If you need something, want something or something is bothering you…just say it. Direct communication is so important in building trust – it’s amazing how much our working environments can improve when we just communicate our wants and needs.  

Plainly, be kind to your planners. We’re all in this together, and when you have a positive vendor experience rooted in trust, these good experiences lead to tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars of future work.

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