Couples often experience what they perceive as “negative vendor conversation” during wedding planning. This conversation is plastered in verbiage such as “I can’t”, “that’s impossible”, or “we won’t”. Interactions that should lead to creative collaboration fall to the wayside, resulting in lost leads and frustrated couples. As a vendor, there is a fine line between honest and negative conversation – forcing many vendors to either cave to a deliverable they cannot fulfill with quality and confidence, or appear as if they are not willing to work with client requests when delivering the dreaded “no” statement.
Below are some examples of how to shift your conversation from “negative” to “creative collaboration”:
Scenario of Seasonal Unavailability:
A bride presents designs on an inspiration board that cannot be achieved due to seasonal availability of the flower presented. This bride loves and needs the specific flower in the exact color shown in the images; however, she is not aware the flower is out of season.
Negative Vendor Conversation: That flower is not in season. Can you send us some other flowers that you like?
Creative Collaborative Conversation: These are gorgeous inspirations. I particularly love your choice in color – it brings out such a soft elegance in your wedding theme. While that flower and color is not available during the season of your wedding, I have pulled together some beautiful choices that are closest to your inspiration.
Scenario of a Crowded Diagram:
A couple wants their sweetheart and wedding party tables placed under the venue’s hanging chandelier to accommodate a hanging floral installation. The location is right next to one of the venue’s floating bars, which could cause a back-up of guests to crowd these tables during the reception.
Negative Vendor Conversation: You can’t place your sweetheart and wedding party tables under that chandelier because it will be too close the bar, and guests will crowd your tables.
Creative Collaborative Conversation: A hanging floral installation would look great on that chandelier; however, it would mean that your sweetheart and wedding party tables are located right next to the bar which may result in crowding near those tables. I recommend that we talk with the venue to see if there is an alternate location for the bar. This will ensure you can have your tables placed under the floral installation, and will allow the bar to be placed in an area that can handle the crowd.
Scenario of the Pinterest Filter:
A groom provides a Pinterest picture of a centerpiece, and relays that he wants an exact replica of those designs on the corners of the bars during the cocktail hour. You notice a distinct filter has been applied to the picture, which has significantly altered the color of the flowers and vase.
Negative Vendor Conversation: That picture has a filter, so the pieces we provide will not look the same.
Creative Collaborative Conversation: What do you love the most about the floral designs in the picture? This image has a filter applied to it, which has altered the color of the vase and flowers significantly. Let’s explore the types of flowers and their true colors to see if they are still a good fit for your vision.
Scenario of a Budget that Won’t Budge:
A bride’s mood board includes a very detailed table décor scheme with luxury linens, rentals, and centerpieces. The bride has a budget that will only cover 50% of the desired table scheme.
Negative Vendor Conversation: Your budget is too small for that table décor. Do you want linens or the rentals?
Creative Collaborative Conversation: Your budget may not accommodate every aspect of the mood board. What pieces are “must haves” and why do you love them? We can find the perfect solution for your vision.
When it comes to creative collaboration, keep the focus on:
1. Understanding and supporting the client’s wishes
2. Providing honest explanation in the “no” response
3. Creating a quality solution(s) that will allow you to work together