We see and hear this question frequently among colleagues, the media, social media groups, etc.
"When it comes to a successful business relationship (the client and business), both sides have to consider the other party's best interests without disregarding their own."
Sometimes clients and prospective clients alike assume that wedding industry professionals are price gouging, and some may be, but most are not. We would argue that some are not charging enough, which is not sustainable as a business. On the other side of that coin, we often hear wedding and event industry professionals complaining about the complaining! Well, here's the thing: When it comes to a successful business relationship (the client and business), both sides have to consider the other party's best interests without disregarding their own.
"...step into the reality that
it may be too expensive for you."
Customers: It's not rude to be curious about where your money is going. It is rude to assume that all industry professionals are greedy. Let's all get out of the habit of saying "you're too expensive" and step into the reality that it may be too expensive for you. Don't take offense to that. This goes for EVERYONE. Whether it's a person's income, set budget, other financial responsibilities, etc., everything isn't for everyone. What may be too expensive for one individual, may be just right for another. If a vendor is out of your budget, then that is not the vendor for you.
"If a business relationship is not of mutual benefit, it's best to move on."
Example: We had a young lady come in and wanted to use our venue. We told her the price. She proceeded to explain that the price was too much, and she had other things she needed to pay for in regard to her event. We didn't budge on the price. We know that every sale has to cover our expenses and make us a profit (which would have been too low in this case), or we have to turn that project down. In her case, she felt we were asking more than she was able or willing to pay, so she didn't want to move forward. We agreed. In this situation, we BOTH had to consider our own best interest, so this business relationship wasn't a good fit. If a business relationship is not of mutual benefit, it's best to move on.
A week or two later, someone came and booked a full-service wedding with us on the same date the young lady had originally wanted. The booked client willingly (and happily) paid the amount we were charging. Two weeks after that, we booked the largest event in our history (at that time). God quickly confirmed to us that we aren't "too expensive", but what we have to offer won't be a good fit for everyone. Every client isn't for us nor are we the best business for every client.
"...understand that people who aren't a part
of your industry have no idea
how things work on your end."
Wedding and Event Professionals: Don't be offended if a potential client wants to know where their money is going. Don't be offended if a potential client tries to negotiate. Neither one of these things are outwardly offensive. Now, we aren't talking about the intentional "gimme everything free" low ballers that exist everywhere, but some low ballers don't know they're lowballing. Some of the most successful financial advisors encourage people to watch their budget and to negotiate prices when possible, so some are simply using wisdom. That said, you don't have to negotiate or explain your prices. Just understand that people who aren't a part of your industry have no idea how things work on your end. They don't understand the labor nor costs it takes to get to an expected end. We can't decrease prices to accommodate every prospective client, but a simple explanation can go a long way with some budget-conscious clients.
At The Hidden Gem Event Venue, we'll take a small bit of time to explain our costs. We're a full-service venue operating 5 businesses in one- 1. The space, 2. Catering, 3. Bar Services, 4. Decorating Services and 5. Wedding planning/coordinating. When it comes to overhead costs, labor, products, etc., we have a LOT to consider when it comes to our pricing. We respect everyone's financial situation, but we also have to consider our own when taking on a client.
"...offering a simple explanation of our fees in layman's terms has actually helped us to
book more clients."
All things considered, we as entrepreneurs have NO CLUE what our true costs will be until we get into the thick of things in our business. How then can we expect others who are not in this industry to understand and not ask questions? Now, we shouldn't be spending more than a moment or two to explain ourselves. However, offering a simple explanation of our fees in layman's terms has actually helped us to book more clients. It doesn't happen every time, but it's worth it when it does. Being transparent when it comes to fees often gains trust and respect.