As an event planner, you’ve undoubtedly faced your share of nervous clients.
Of course, you do everything that you can to ensure that your clients have a stress-free event-planning experience, but sometimes they tend to get caught up in “what if” scenarios, and before you know if you have an anxious client on your hands who’s stressing out about the menu and guest list and worrying themselves sick about the weather.
How can you deal with clients like this? Is there a way to help them relax?
While you can’t tame every flighty client, the good news is that you can help to alleviate many of their fears. Here are four simple things that you can do to help your clients sit back, relax, and start looking forward to their big day.
Clear communication is the first step in helping to keep your client’s nerves down. Make sure you listen to them when they’re explaining what they want for their event, and be sure to note things that seem to hold special importance to them. For instance, if the bride-to-be mentions roses three times in the course of your conversation, chances are this is an important detail for her. If your business client’s eyes light up when they’re talking about having a certain DJ at their conference, you’ll want to try to make it happen. Find out what really matters to them, and then do everything you can to ensure that it happens.
2. Establish Clear Expectations
Speaking of communication, make sure you establish clear expectations with your clients upfront. Promising them the moon and the stars is fine –if you can deliver –but overpromising, and under-delivering is a recipe for disaster. Instead, make sure your clients know exactly what to expect, realistically, that is, not vague ideas of grandeur! They’ll be happier and less anxious as a result.
3. Create a Backup Plan
Having a backup plan is vital. Not only for your peace of mind, but for your clients’ as well. If you have entertainment lined up, make sure there’s a band that will be able to step in should the other group cancel at the last minute. For outdoor events, ensure sure you have a tent or marquee on hand. Planning ahead and looking to stem potential problems that could arise will help you to put many of your client’s worst fears to rest. Success!
4. Keep Them Updated
Finally, keeping clients informed on what’s happening can work wonders. Most clients love to be kept in the loop about developments –and informed ahead of time about changes or updates. Surprises are great –but not in this line of work! So make sure your clients are kept in the know.
Nervous clients are just part of the job –after all, you’d be nervous too if you had a major event on the horizon! Often, nervous clients just want to know that everything’s under control. Keep your clients updated, well-informed, and on the same page as you –and you’ll be able to help keep them calm, relaxed, and looking forward to their big day. No “what if’s” about it!
How do you handle nervous clients?
Image: Freddie Peña