Professional client communication skills are a key to building a successful wedding business. However, it can at times be a difficult skill to navigate. For instance, at some point during your career as a wedding professional you’ve probably been blindsided by a person trying to tell you how to do your job. These interactions can range from an individual who sincerely wishes to assist you. Then to one who thinks they know the situation better than you. (Right?). We invited Dr. Kay Julien of Strombreaker Conflict Coaching to join us as a guest today on the I Said Yes! Wedding Pros Blog. As a result she is sharing five do’s and don’ts for professional client communication during emotional moments. They are not applicable in every context. But will be useful additions to your communication toolbox as you serve your clients.
five do's and don'ts of client communication
To start, don’t immediately start talking or become defensive when approached by an unhappy person. Additionally, do not tell them to ‘calm down’. Certainly do listen first and collect information. You may think you know what that person is saying. However, there is a good chance you don’t.
First, ask questions. Furthermore, repeat to them what you think they’re telling you. This will help them clarify what they want from you. Next, make sure you are both defining the matter the same way. In return, your response will effectively hit the target.
Second, don’t delay addressing a troubling situation because you think you do not have time to deal with it. So do tackle tough issues early. Certainly, where there is smoke, there is fire. Indeed simmering problems won’t magically go away. Assuredly they will only get bigger. Dr. Kay Julien says, “Slow down. Make the time to resolve difficulties as soon as they come up. If you put them off, you can be sure it’ll cost you more time in the long run.”
Third, don’t dismiss the person coming to you because they’re not your direct client. Undoubtedly, your client will hear the story one way or another! Instead, do value them as an appreciated participant in the couple’s big day. Further, be inclusive in your manner with professionalism and kindness. Also be attentive. Acknowledge what they are presenting to you.
Dr. Julien suggests the following option if you feel they’re overstepping. Say something like, “Thanks very much for your input. Let me run this by (your client) and get back to you.” Following up with your client will also give you additional time to determine how you want to handle the circumstances.
Fourth, don’t get into a power struggle. Particularly when you encounter opposition. Do remain focused on the specific wedding concern at hand. That is to say, a power struggle will divert you from addressing the wedding subject. Continue by resisting to follow the tangent. Therefore, be direct and bring the conversation back to the specific topic. Say something like, “For now, let’s figure out the answer for . . .”
Fifth, don’t have tunnel vision when you are asked to make a change. Instead, do adopt the perspective that there is more than one way to slice that pie! After hearing about a desired change. Zoom out. Then come up with a few creative solutions. Following this, invite those involved to choose the option that best fits their desired resolution. This action will allow your expertise to continue to guide the process, and keep them involved in the decision-making.
As we finish up with this helpful information on professional client communication. We leave with a note from Dr. Kay Julien, “Cheers to you – skillfully being a pro!” She is passionate about helping not only you as a wedding professional, but also your engaged couples. To help your engaged couples with conflict resolution, have them contact Dr. Kay Julien to schedule an appointment.
For more do’s and don’ts for your wedding business. Go to the I Said Yes! Wedding Pro Blog.
Cover photo provided by Steven Miller Photography.