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Old July 10th, 2008, 09:19 PM   #1
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Interested brides requesting the same date...

We have been contacted by 3-4 interested brides concerning a date that is currently available, but they all want the same date. How do you handle this? Do you book with the first person that has money in hand? Do you owe the first couple to contact you a heads up while putting the bride that is ready on hold? We have already met with one couple that seems very interested but was contacted recently by another that sounds as if they are ready to pay today. any input/advice would be much appreciated...
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Old July 10th, 2008, 09:41 PM   #2
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Based on only booking one event on any given day, I give the first opportunity to the first person who has both inquired and met with me, but at the end of the day, I base it on three things:

> Who gets the contract to me first and what suits me best
> Stress level and location of the contracted services and locations
> Personality match between myself and client

I go with what not necessarily nets me the highest sales dollars, but what nets the most profit with the least amount of stress and the best match overall.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 10:19 PM   #3
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I give the 1st bride a call to let them know I have another party interested in the date, do you still want to use my services? If they say yes, I tell her she's got 24 hours to get me money and paperwork or the date will go to the other party. Then I take the 2nds paperwork on a 24 hour hold with the understanding that I nay not be able to do the job if the 1st one comes thru. If not then I give the money back or tear up the check whatever they prefer.
It really hasn't happened to me too often but when it does I want to be fair to all including myself.

Don
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Old July 10th, 2008, 10:31 PM   #4
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Here's my take on this.

Your clients should be made aware that you are selling a service, not a commodity, and that you obviously cannot provide service to multiple clients at the same time. Therefore, you will not reserve your time and service for any potential client until you have a signed contract and have collected a retainer. They should be able to understand and appreciate that. Plus, it's kind of a "s**t or get off the pot" message that either gets them to act or at least not waste your time.

The "best match" philosophy is a good approach but what seems like a good match in advance can be misleading IMO. On the day of the wedding, you'll be dealing with a boatload of people more than the good couple. All the other people, obstacles, venue personnel, drunks, snobs, and what have you could turn the day into a nightmare. Sorry to sound so negative but you've got to expect the worst because there is always the possibility you might actually get it.

I'd go with whomever has the bucks to me first. You've heard the old saying. A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.

Personally, I would never call a potential client to say I have another inquiry. IMO, it's too easy for the potential client to misinterpret the call as a ruse.

Jeff
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Old July 11th, 2008, 01:24 AM   #5
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I've been through this a number of times, and my policy is to give the couple who called first a 24-hour period to get me a check AND a signed contract. If that 24 hours goes by and I don't have that check/contract in hand, it's on to the next couple in line.

You don't have to act like a jerk, but you don't have to get played either. I've also had couples who said they were ready to book and then kept dragging their feet and eventually admitted that they couldn't get the money together. This news only came after more than 3 weeks of waiting, and by the time I got the news the other couple had already moved on. I never did book that date that year.

This was several years ago, and it is EXACTLY the reason I have my current policy.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 03:24 AM   #6
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We had exactly that this week. Both brides requested samples at the same time, both expressed an intrest to book at teh same time and both then confirmed they wanted to book. When I say at the same time I mean it, emails within 1 hour of each other.

I told them both after they confirmed they wanted to book that another party was intrested. provided the booking and payment URL and said we offer a first come first served policy and that we cant reserve a date on a verbal request as this is not legally binding, as you say they can change their mind and we cant do anything about it, all the while the customers who were willing to pay dissapear and your out of pocket.

In our case one lady paid almost instantly but the other wasnt happy. Told us how dissapointed she was as we said the date was available (2 weeks ago it was) and she felt we should have reserved it as she expressed an intrest 2 weeks ago. The intrest she expressed was asking for a sample, nothing else.

Our booking T's and C's are also clear that in the event that 2 parties book the same date then preference goes to teh first to pay. She didnt even get as far as filling out the form.

Were still in 2 minds about telling the client from the outset that somone else is intrested in the day. In my mind its a total sales pitch, how many times has somone said to you "Book now as it wont be here tomorrow" when you know full well it will be. I think this will cause more people to just drop you there and then. We decided to only tell them somone else is intrested AFTER they confirm they would like to book.

We also used to hold dates for 2 weeks from them verbally agreeing but dropped this.

I have seen some forum posts about brides complaining how they want to book a venue for 2 years away or more and dont think they should have to pay a deposit as its so far away. Most other brides agree with them but as a business it doesnt make sense.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 07:17 AM   #7
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I have never been able to pay my bills with promises and my creditors don't take them anyway so it gets down to the old saying. 'Money talks...everything else walks.'
first in with money gets the date. I do call to let the 1st people know I have someone interested in the date and only once in a while do people feel it's a come on. Most of my work is referral and people know from their friends or from talking to me I don't BS them about bookings. Either you want me or you don't. If you do, then let's lock it up. That's how I've always been and it's worked for me for the last 37 years in both still work and video. YMMV!

Don
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Old July 11th, 2008, 08:27 AM   #8
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It is not unreasonable to put minimum bookings on certain days, and for popular dates it can work well to require at least one of your mid packages. We explain this to the couple by saying that requiring certain minimums on a couple days throughout the year allows us to take on a lower number of weddings overall, and therefore devote more attention to each couple and continually work a making your product better.

If I had a weekend that was sounding as busy as yours, I would certainly be careful not to book your smallest package to the first bride and them miss out on something much larger the day after.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 08:54 AM   #9
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Thanks a ton for all the input guys! The first couple that contacted us is wheeling and dealing with wanting more for their money (and they are friends as well), but the second bride (which is a friends sister) won't be ready to pay till mid august but she wants a bigger package....I'm going to contact the first couple and see where they stand and let them know that we have other serious inquiries about the date.

I remember back when I got married and the stress of picking the vendors. It would be upsetting if we had found the right person, met with them, and then when time came a few weeks later to pay up they were booked and them not give us a heads up. But then again, I now see the vendors viewpoint as well...
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Old July 11th, 2008, 02:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach Stewart View Post
We have been contacted by 3-4 interested brides concerning a date that is currently available, but they all want the same date. How do you handle this? Do you book with the first person that has money in hand? Do you owe the first couple to contact you a heads up while putting the bride that is ready on hold? We have already met with one couple that seems very interested but was contacted recently by another that sounds as if they are ready to pay today. any input/advice would be much appreciated...
I haven't been lucky enough to have bookings stacked up like that at the same time. I just this year had a potential client call about a date I already had booked, signed, and paid for. But should it happen, I was going to go with the 24hr notice idea. Give the first come person a chance, but not at the expense of booking the date with whoever is actually interested & committed.
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