From a Wholesaler’s Perspective: What we look for in prospective accounts

Wholesale relationships are great for everyone involved – the supplier, of course, makes a profit from selling their products while the buyer gets what they need for a competitive price. In the past, we’ve covered ways to qualify wholesalers and how to ensure that you’re working with a trusted professional who will look out for your needs.

This time, however, we’re talking about what we look for in a great buyer. We love working with people from all different backgrounds and professions – event planners, photographers, designers, florists and more. With that said, we’re sharing what makes us love working with event pros.

Knowledge

Of course, we don’t expect you to know everything about our products. That’s our job! We are more than happy to give buyers a run-through of our stock and help them locate exactly what they need. However, we do love when our clients come to us knowing exactly what their needs are and how they plan to use it. That doesn’t necessarily mean having specific product knowledge, but rather knowing generally what you want to do so we can help narrow down the best options for you. “Pillar candles that will last for at least eight hours” is a lot more specific than “centerpiece candles.” Decisiveness is a virtue!

Frequency

We have found that our best relationships are with those who order from us frequently. The more we work with them, the better we understand their needs which allows us to notify them of changes in inventory, new products and other news that may affect them. It also allows us to build a rapport with a diverse selection of event pros, which brings us to our next point.

Personable

As with all business relationships, there should be a level of friendliness and we love working with fun and personable people (this explains why we love the wedding industry!). We appreciate those who are open to sharing their personalities with us, as we love getting to know our partners!

Developing mutually beneficial relationships within the industry allows everyone to succeed and build a support network. Know what you’re looking for and be yourself – you can’t go wrong!

Audrey Isaac is the spokesperson for 100 Candles, a wholesale market for candles and lights. Since 2002, thousands of wedding and event professionals have entrusted 100 Candles with their wholesale candle accounts. For more information, please visit http://www.100candles.com/

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Using the Off-Season to Build Client Experience

(Editor's Note: Today on the blog, we welcome the return of frequent guest contributor Jennifer Taylor of Taylor'd Events! Read more about Jennifer at the end of the post!)

Your client experience is, essentially, your business. By treating your clients well and going above and beyond with them, you open your company up to positive testimonies and potential referrals.

Oftentimes, the peak season can keep us so busy that above-and-beyond isn’t in the scope – if anything, you just want to make ends meet. Sound familiar? If so, then it may be time to take this upcoming off-season to get organized and streamline your client experience.

As your year’s weddings wind down and you find more time for development, take a step back and analyze your overall client experience. If you have a former client who you trust will be truthful, consider reaching out to pick their brain. Ask yourself:

  • When does your client experience start?
  • When does it end?
  • How are your communication habits with clients?
  • Do you generally receive good feedback?
  • Do you keep in touch with your clients after the wedding?

The answers to these questions should not only give you an idea of where you currently are, but also guide you to further steps you can take to improve the client experience. For example, if you routinely send phone calls straight to voicemails, it may be time to kick the habit and start answering those calls. Communication is key to a positive experience, so don’t assume that great work will balance out your lack of email responses. Be professional and treat your clients the way you would want to be treated in the same situation.

One of our favorite ways to build client experience is to simply stay in touch after our agreement ends. Planning a wedding is one of the most intimate things one can do and, after working with a couple for a length of time, we like to consider them as our friends. This could mean keeping track of their birthdays and sending a sweet card or even sending over a small gift for their one-year anniversary. If you’re more of the digital type, it could even be as simple as a shout out on social media – anything to show that you care!

The perk of developing these client experience procedures during the off-season is that you’ll be primed and ready to use them once the wedding season starts back up. If, for example, birthday cards are your thing, be sure to grab their birthdays from the initial consultation. If you’re more into the anniversary idea, mark your calendar for one year from their wedding date.

Although you’re probably pumped to spend your weekends enjoying the latest Netflix offerings or jumping on a plane to somewhere tropical, be sure you’re taking advantage of your off-season to grow your business as well. You’ll be grateful you did once peak season rolls around!

Jennifer Taylor is the owner of Taylor’d Events Group, a planning firm that specializes in celebrations of all kinds in the Pacific Northwest and Maui. She is also the creator of The Taylor'd Plan, a self-administered class for wedding planners to grow and improve upon their skills.

Tips for Making the Sale With Add-Ons

Tips for Making the Sale With Add-Ons

Even if you’re satisfied with the numbers you’re making, chances are you wouldn’t be one to say ‘no’ to an extra boost of revenue. (Believe it or not, ten out of ten entrepreneurs would like to increase their earnings!)

If you haven’t considered building in ‘add-ons’ to your business, then it’s time to rethink your business structure. More often than not, engaged couples are in need of standard décor items for their wedding day – think candles, linens, or even boutique candy favors. By upselling these types of products, you can not only make more money, but you’ll also be saving your clients the time and effort of buying them from a brick-and-mortar store. (Not to mention the savings, but we’ll get to that!)

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Training Your Staff to Make the Sale

Training Your Staff to Make the Sale

As a small business owner, there will come a time when you need to share the wealth when it comes to sales. Whether you want to take on more clients or you simply want to delegate the sales process to free up some time for yourself, it’s key to instill your sales processes and procedures on your team.

By training each staff member the same way across the board, you can ensure that every prospective client is being treated in the same manner. This is essential for staying true to your brand, which isn’t just about colors and logos but speaks to client experience as well.

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The Art of Finding a Mentor

The Art of Finding a Mentor

(Editor's Note: Our guest post today comes from a true professional who's generously blogged for us before - welcome Kevin Dennis of Fantasy Sound Event Services! Learn more about Kevin at the end of the post!)

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be time to start the hunt for a mentor. The wedding industry is chockfull of experienced professionals, so there’s no need to ever feel like you’re in this alone. Once you have even an inkling of the direction you’d like to take, it’s time to find someone that inspires you and can answer questions.

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