In the world of wedding, vendor relationships are key to success. You simply can’t do it alone. It’s important to the success of your business that you take the time to build solid relationships with local vendors. If you can create a community of vendors you’ll have a much easier time meeting the needs of your clients.
Okay, you’re probably thinking, of course I need to build relationships! How do I do that?! Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve got some great tips that you can use to build solid vendor relationships and a sense of community. You can look after each other and help each other succeed!
- Attend networking events
This might seem like a terrifying prospect for some of the more introverted planners out there but it’s essential to your success. You can’t build a relationship with vendors if they have no idea who you are. Put yourself out there at networking events or fairs and talk to people about their business.
Remember, too, that your relationship with vendors is mutually beneficial. You need someone to meet a need of your client, they need to sell their product or service. It’s a win-win.
- Make connections with others in your industry
Yes, other wedding professionals might be competition, but you shouldn’t treat them that way. If you work to build good relationships with them you can pass business to them when your calendar is full, and they can do the same for you. You can also get tips and resources from them and share the same with them. Cooperation is key.
- Make networking goals
Make a goal to meet a certain number of vendors each week in off-season. You’ll want to make a list of vendors in your area who you’re interested in meeting and reach out to them to set up a date and time. Then learn about them and their business and decide how you can both help each other (what will they get from doing business with you?).
- Keep in touch
Send thank you notes after your meeting, connect on social media (and like and comment on their posts), and send follow-up emails. You want to come off as genuine and not salesy, so take a genuine interest in them and their business. If you maintain contact with them they’ll remember you more easily and think of you when opportunities arise.
Building vendor relationships can seem intimidating, but it really is just about developing genuine relationships with other people. You don’t have to become best friends with every vendor, but you can take interest in their business while sharing about yours.
If you remember that building relationships with vendors will help you and them, you’ll be able to pitch yourself in a way that gives the vendor something from the relationship, too.
How have you built vendor relationships? What’s worked well for you? Share your tips in the comments and we’ll discuss!