I’ve recently observed an upswing in wedding businesses pushing “experience” as the most important selling point of their brand. It surprises me, because that seems to be a very old-school approach to sales, especially within the wedding industry. I don’t personally believe that experience, in and of itself, is of primary importance to today’s engaged couples.
That isn’t to say that experience doesn’t have worth, because obviously it does. But if you define experience as “having been in the business forever,” or having “seen it all,” well, I don’t think that matters so much. Talent matters. Knowledge matters. Creativity matters. Versatility matters. Intelligence matters. Personality matters. Most importantly, the ability to understand your clients and their ideas matters.
The thing about banking on experience as your number-one asset is this: where’s the tipping point? When exactly did you become acceptably experienced to work in your field? If you’re marketing yourself as being better than your competition because you’ve been doing this for 20 years, are you then willing to acknowledge that you aren’t as good as another competitor who’s been doing it for 30? Were you just an unqualified hack when you’d only been at it for 5 or 10? (Somehow, I suspect everyone would answer “no” to these questions. Somehow, the “magic” number seems to be whatever amount of experience they happen to have in that given moment.)
I read somewhere a phrase that went something like this: “What’s important isn’t the experience you have, but the experience you give.” I loved that. I thought it reflected perfectly what should be the real focus of a business owner: not your own resume, but how whatever’s on that resume can translate into an incredible service/product for your client.