A Useful Learning Tool: From The Other Side… By Jake Palmer

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Last month I talked about the importance of the details of your clients wedding, from the sales process, planning, to the execution of the event. In an effort to help you become better at what we do, I am using the experience of planning my own wedding as a useful learning tool.
For many of you with years of experience in this business, some of the things I am discussing will seem like review, and that’s ok. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own “dance floor world” that we overlook the obvious. I hope that some of the things I can share with you about my experience will help to remind you of what it is that makes us successful, and propels us to the top.
How much time do you spend preparing for each wedding you do? Several years ago, when I worked for a larger “Mc-Wedding” type company, our DJs were required to have one (1) phone conversation with a client no later than Tuesday before the event. I was always amazed at the number of young, cocky, DJs that would never call, or call at the last possible minute. They would spend 10-15 minutes on the phone discussing the dance with the client, then, they were upset when things didn’t go smoothly and they didn’t get a tip. How many pieces of “flair” do you wear? Are you doing the bare minimum, and then letting your talent carry you through the event? What I am talking about is follow through!
It is truly amazing how many vendors simply do not follow through on the little details that seem so important to the bride and groom. You take the time to sit with your clients, talk with them about the image of their event. Coordinate with the caters, hall, photographer, ect… but if you don’t follow through with the details, it’s just time wasted.
Last month I mentioned that details are the little things that most people won’t notice if done properly, but stick out like a sore thumb if not done at all. At my reception this summer, I had a groomsman in a wheelchair, no big deal… I reminded the hall to set up a ramp to the head table risers, they did… but no one thought to remove the chair from his place setting. This is not a big deal, but again, these are the details I am talking about. My DJ, a long time friend of mine, failed to play some songs we really wanted to hear at our dance… why, because I never told him we wanted them. I made the mistake of ASSUMING he would play them. Have you ever assumed something about your dance that turned out to be wrong? Have you ever thought that just maybe your client is assuming something about you and your service that isn’t correct?
Take the time to go through all the details with your bride and groom… and this is important… tell them exactly what you are going to do for them, and how you are going to do it. This way there is no confusion, everyone will be on the same page, and nothing gets assumed, or forgotten.
The other factor here is what I call building value or creating value. What makes those little, unseen details so valuable, is making sure the client knows you are doing them. Cover all the bases so the client knows you are going to take care of more than just the music, then DO IT.
I like to joke with my DJ friends, that if the limo driver is late picking up the Bride and Groom at the church, the DJ catches hell all night. It’s because we are the last contact they have with a vendor. We also spend the most time with them that day, imagine how difficult it would be if they were mad at YOU, because YOU dropped the ball. It’s up to you to create the image of yourself, and the image your client want for their event. The average bride and groom spend almost a full year planning their wedding day… how much time do you spend to make it happen?
Jake Palmer can be reached at jakepalmer@discjockeynews.com.

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