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Dallas Wedding Planner: How To Conduct Interviews And Consultations

Nov 30, 2007
The Initial Interview

Your initial interview with a prospective client begins with the first telephone call or email inquiring about your services. The object of the initial email or telephone call is to schedule a personal interview or consultation.

Your voice should convey confidence, professionalism and knowledge and you should have a courteous attitude. If you have a form at hand during your initial discussion with the bride or whoever is representing her, you will be able to gather important information for use of follow up or at the first meeting.

* Determine the planned date of the wedding
* Find out how they were referred to you
* Find out what type of event they are planning
* Find out what services they need
* Tell them what you can do as a Dallas wedding planner
* Tell them what you will discuss during the interview
* Write down the date, time and place of the interview
* Get directions and address of meeting place
* Get home, work and cell phone numbers
* Get a mailing address

The Personal Interview or Initial Consultation

Once your initial consultation has been scheduled you will have an opportunity to show your signature style - the one that will set you apart from the other Dallas wedding planners that the bride may have interviewed. The bride will be looking at your presentation style, your personal appearance, your office area, your literature, your planning skills and education. Developing your signature style will not happen immediately but it will evolve over time as you make more and more presentations. Take a few minutes to relax before your appointment. A warm, enthusiastic greeting goes a long way toward establishing goodwill and trust.

You will be assessed from the moment you meet the bride to their drive back home and until they sign your contract. Many brides will form their opinion of you and your company in the first few seconds of observation. Making a connection during the initial interview is important in making your own decision whether this bride will fit into your company client base. It is important to remember that every potential client that you meet will not necessarily be the best fit for you.

There are important items to have available at your consultation meeting:

List of services or service packages

You may have a "Full Service, "Weekend of" or a middle of the road package listing services in each category.


Pictures say a thousand words and capture the overall feeling of the event. A well- designed portfolio is a benefit.

Service Fees and Contract

As with any profession, a contract is needed to secure the relationship between you and the bride.

As you listen to their ideas throughout the meeting don't just look interested - be interested. Show genuine enthusiasm and take notes as they speak. Follow the rule of 95% listen and 5% talk. Potential clients don't care about you - they care about what you can do for them.

After listening to their needs, it is time for your presentation. Keep them involved in the decision process. Have a form with you in the form of a questionnaire and if something has not been answered while the bride is telling you about her vision, take a few minutes to get this form completed so you have a correct perception of her thoughts. Go through each of the services you think would be appropriate for their particular event and tell them why. Explain what your services will include and be sure the bride understands them clearly.

When the interview is complete, be sure to ask for the sale if you want it. Many Dallas wedding planners make the mistake of going through the interview process and not asking for the business. Ask when the client will be making a final decision and request that they let you know either way.

Unlike photographers, florists and venues, consultants do not have anything tangible to offer our clients except our expertise. We have ourselves to represent and we are our own product. Clients make the decision to purchase our services based on the perception of us that we present through our appearance, literature, advertising and personality. Be sure to put your best foot forward!

The Importance of Certification

A professional with credentials will have experience in wedding-related activities through accredited training and will be able to handle all aspects of wedding planning. The confidence level of a certified Dallas wedding planner will be gained through knowledge and preparation. Confidence breaks down the barriers of uncertainty and doubt and will be transferred to your clients during your interview process.
About the Author
Shari Johns is the owner and founder of As you wish... wedding & event planning of Dallas. She has been a Dallas Wedding Planner for 6 years & founding AACWP member.
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