Wedding Planner asked for referral fees.. what will you do? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 24th, 2010, 12:17 PM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 2,109
Wedding Planner asked for referral fees.. what will you do?

I worked with several wedding planners that we refer business to each other through the years. There is one that we work particularly close together since 2002, so close becomes personal friends.

Lately she asked me to give her 10% referral. I was surprised. I told her I also refer business to her too. Then she said from now on she will give me 10% referrals of whoever I sent to her. HELLO? My 10% is different than her 10% (e.g. a MC gig is about $300 only). Moreover, I refer customers to her because she is good, not because she's willing to give me a referral fee. She insisted the fee because other vendors (golf club, florist, make up artists) all give her referral between 10% to 25%.

My partner and I decided we won't do that. She negotiated down to we give her wedding video clips and photos instead. Oh sure, I have no problem for that. I have been giving her DVDs that she worked on or she MC'ed.

I'm on the edge of not working with her anymore. The fact is we got quite full booking without her referring business to us for the past few years.

Do you have similar experience?
__________________
LA Color Pros Blog
RODE Authorized Reseller . Comer LED Camera Lights . TakyBox HTML5 Menu Generator
Taky Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2010, 01:11 PM   #2
New Boot
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Posts: 5
Is the issue simply one of principle (paying any type of referral fee) or is it the discrepancy between the fees?

If it's the principle and you've got plenty of business lined up even without her, then I say just move on. If it's the discrepancy, see if you can come up with a flat dollar amount (instead of a percentage) that would work for both of you.

Ultimately, you stated that this person has become a personal friend so I would try hard to find a solution that works for everyone involved before I potentially scrapped the whole friendship.
Tarik Peterson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2010, 01:32 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 2,109
It's not the discrepency. We just don't feel like giving referrals to her that we also have business flowing both ways. Then I also give her DVDs after it was done.

Now the solution is we won't give her referrals, but we will give her DVDs and photos after the wedding.
__________________
LA Color Pros Blog
RODE Authorized Reseller . Comer LED Camera Lights . TakyBox HTML5 Menu Generator
Taky Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2010, 03:53 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Madison
Posts: 330
How pathetic to 'charge' a vendor for a referral.

I'm sorry... but I won't join some BNI or wedding planners group where you're obligated to refer others in the same group.

I refer other vendors because I think they're awesome... not because they give me a kick-back.

And I hope I get referred for the same reason.

I'd invite your 'friend' to refer some smaller, inadequate videographers whose work is sub-par. I'm sure that would do wonders for her.
__________________
I like my oatmeal lumpy.
Blake Cavett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2010, 03:55 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 193
Very similar...

but not exactly same situation. We had a meeting with a planner that wanted to refer us to a client of theirs. We had never heard of the planner, but I went to the meeting. So I show them our work, they loved it, and they booked the wedding with us. It was only then, after the meeting and acceptance of our services, that they asked for a 10% booking fee. We were blind sided.

They said they had several (10ish) weddings that they were going to need videographers in that same year and they wanted to bring that business to me, so I thought about it for a moment. But then I remembered, when I first started in the business, I agreed (with myself) that I would never pay or accept kickbacks... EVER. So I told them I would agree to call of the signed contract for that specific deal, or we could continue, but regardless, I would not be paying their 10% fee. I want people to refer me because they like working with us and because of our quality of work. I do not want people to only refer us because I am paying a fee to them. Likewise, we refer people for the same reasons and even if it is their policy to pay a kickback, we never accept.

Everyone has their own rule, but I have decided, that we will never deviate from that original agreement I made. It is just a part of our business ethics and standards.

I found out after the fact, that they are double dipping... charging the bride a fee to go find vendors and then charging the vendors an additional fee for referring them. It should be one or the other... their choice... but not both.
Dawn Brennan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2010, 04:41 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 2,109
I feel your pain. I also believe that people refer business to me because I'm good, not because I can give them a kick back. To the same, I give my customers a vendor list so they can research on the people that are professional, good and work well with us.
__________________
LA Color Pros Blog
RODE Authorized Reseller . Comer LED Camera Lights . TakyBox HTML5 Menu Generator
Taky Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2010, 04:45 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Lyndhurst, NJ, USA
Posts: 408
Taky, I'd say walk away. If it doesn't feel right for you then do not do it. And if that planner is your true friend then she will stay your friend even without doing business together.
Lukas Siewior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 25th, 2010, 06:36 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 72
She's at fault because that's not how you've done business in the past. She can't just change your business relationship because she feels like it. Who cares if other vendors give her referral fees. You are a qualified vendor who does good work and makes her look good. If she wants to charge extra money to the client, that's fine. But to hit you up now after many years of a good working relationship is unacceptable.
__________________
Chris Fig Productions
Wedding Videographer
Christopher Figueroa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2010, 12:42 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Figueroa View Post
She's at fault because that's not how you've done business in the past. She can't just change your business relationship because she feels like it. Who cares if other vendors give her referral fees. You are a qualified vendor who does good work and makes her look good. If she wants to charge extra money to the client, that's fine. But to hit you up now after many years of a good working relationship is unacceptable.
agreed! x2
J. Chris Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2010, 12:53 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 2,109
I think she has to right to change the relationship. but it doesn't mean i have to comply.

Right now we will give her DVD and photos after the wedding to subsititute the referral fee. But the funny party is, I have always been giving her DVD at every single wedding we worked together before.
__________________
LA Color Pros Blog
RODE Authorized Reseller . Comer LED Camera Lights . TakyBox HTML5 Menu Generator
Taky Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2010, 09:07 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 768
I was recently contacted by a wedding planner... She mentioned a few dates that she wanted to book me for. I hope she doesn't plan on springing the same question on me. I didn't even know that this is how they operated before this thread.
Thanks for the heads up Taky!

Steve
Stephen J. Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2010, 10:13 AM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 2,109
Stephen, I think it will depends on your situation. If you are new to the market, or if you don't have a lot of jobs lining up, it won't hurt to give some nice gesture back to the wedding planner. I sometimes give $50 cash or $50 gift cards out as incentive to new vendors refers me customers.

But for the one I mentioned in this thread, I won't give it to her because we have been working together for many years. Also we referred business to each other many times before.
__________________
LA Color Pros Blog
RODE Authorized Reseller . Comer LED Camera Lights . TakyBox HTML5 Menu Generator
Taky Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 1st, 2010, 09:04 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 446
I think it is unethical for them to ask for a booking fee. This business practice does not have the best interests of the client in mind.
__________________
John J. Moon
www.northernlightfilmworks.com - Event DV Top 25 Recipient
John Moon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 1st, 2010, 10:03 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 2,109
I was talking to a makeup artist on facebook. Obviously, she experienced the same thing with the same wedding planner recently. She asked her for 20% referral fee. The makeup artist simply don't think it's justify to give out 20% of her hard work. Also, she has been referring business to the wedding planner always for the past few yearas.

She is upset even more becauase they were friends for a longer time. The markup artist has offered many free training lessons and trial sessions on that wedding planner before.

So it seems to me this is just an isolated incident with this particular wedding planner.
__________________
LA Color Pros Blog
RODE Authorized Reseller . Comer LED Camera Lights . TakyBox HTML5 Menu Generator
Taky Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2010, 04:18 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Mandeville, LA
Posts: 40
One approach you can take is to say if the referral leads to a booking with your highest priced package, then you'll give her the referral fee. Of course, you'll have to create a high cost package that includes additional price for the referral fee, so you can account for the additional cost.

The thing is, if you give her 10% for the referral, then 10% of your income from the wedding went toward advertising. Of course, if you do no other advertising, then that's not bad. But if you do other advertising, as most of us do, then you have probably blown your advertising budget. Advertising really shouldn't be much more than 10% of your total gross income for a good business model, maybe 15% if you are pushing to build up a business, but once your business is established 10% is really the highest you would want to go. The only way to justify the referral fee would be if it leads to a higher average income per wedding, then it would make sense from a business perspective. Of course, if you are able to do business only by referral, then the 10% referral fee would just be accounted for as advertising and that would be reasonable. But these days, I doubt many full-time wedding professionals of any trade can likely sustain their business only on referrals.

Robert
Robert Welch is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:21 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network