Your first consultation is all about getting to know them and what they want from their wedding! You should keep it simple and at this stage you are not going to be giving your designs away.
It is a getting to know you exercise, remember the know, like and trust factors ,they need to see you to feel like they know you and like you, be confident and be yourself and they will trust you
What are the options? Remember time is money.
Zoom – my preference for first consultation
Why zoom? It is free, it saves you time, travel, unnecessary expense, you can see them, same as face to face , its relaxed, they can share their Pinterest etc , good for evening consultations as you don’t have to travel out alone.
Shop/ studio and home – good if you have a space to work but you will need to go to the space, you will feel comfortable as you will have your things around you but it is time and possible travel , face to face consultations take longer as you will probably make a coffee and chat more, if you are using your home try and have a space away from the chaos of everyday life
The Venue – this is much later down the line, remember they have not booked you yet and you are working at this stage for free! It is extremely easy to get excited at a venue, chat loads and give away designs and options without realising it.
Coffee shop – this to me looks cheap and like you have nowhere to go, it reminds me of corporate interviews in the holiday inn, avoid coffee shops if you can plus it will cost you a fortune paying for everyone’s coffee
This first consultation is a balance between giving them enough to put the fire in their belly and book you but keeping the designs back which can be tricky but needed. You do not want to give everything away for them to take your ideas to Franny’s budget flowers down the road that will do your designs for half the price!
Remember you are selling a vision not a product,
What do you need to know?
Budget – this is the sticking point that makes us all feel uncomfortable, but it is essential that you ask, you do not go to a car showroom without a budget in mind. I always try to work to a budget rather than individual costs. I recommend you sell a vision for the day rather that individual products
Date – important if it coincides with a significant date which could increase prices, do not forget international days of interest as well as UK, think about Bank holidays here and in Holland which may affect delivery into wholesalers
Venue – This will give you a good indication of budget, if it’s a venue you don’t know, don’t panic and think you have to visit, you don’t, just google it and you will get the info you need to know for now
Couples generally spend around 10% of wedding budget on flowers so this will give you a good indication of what they want to spend
You know your style so stick to it, that is what they have come to you for , my style is very relaxed with lots of foliage and I think of that regardless of whether the venue is outside or inside.
If your couple ask if you have worked at the venue before be honest and tell them you haven’t had a wedding but you know the venue, they don’t need to know you have just googled it. If you can talk about the space that will give them confidence, don’t lie because that will trip you up, be honest and confident and reiterate that you will visit the venue with them if they book you
Remember that have come to you as the expert, they may or may not know what they want ,they may have spent months planning a Pinterest wedding and be warned you will see the same images time and time again.
You need to steer them away from these, encourage them to leave the designs to you, you will take these as inspiration but put your own twist on them.
Be confident! If you are confident your prospective couples will be confident that you are the right florist for them.
If you want to learn more, check out my The Wedding Edit Masterclass