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We Need To Stick Together!

Gwen Helbush, cwc, Where To Start, Wedding Management

I’m sure I’m not the only one who uses social media as a way to stay in touch and to share thoughts and feeling about our work.  I belong to a number of groups on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn some public some private for the rest of this post I will speak in generalities to keep the confidences expected in the private groups.  Lately there seems to be more clients bashing and well for lack of a better phrase colleague bullying.  Both disturbed and sadden me.

Ours is a business that relies on trust and team work.  It should come as no surprise to anyone in the wedding business that clients are not well versed in what we.  Ok that may seem obvious but think about it, most of the client bashing I have seen lately can if you look closely enough be directly attributed to the clients lack of understanding about what we do and how we do it.  It can also be attributed to their fear that we are going to take advantage of them.

Now just for a moment put yourself in the clients place:

You are trying to create a once in a life time experience for yourself and everyone you love (No pressure there). You have never done anything like this before and it is going to cost more money than you have ever spent on any one thing in your life.  You are trying to find people to help you, people you need to pay to help you, oh by the way you have never hired anyone to do anything more complicated than make you latte.  So you start calling people who start asking you questions you don’t really understand but you answer because you don’t want to look foolish.  Then you start getting quotes that again you don’t really understand nor do you have any basis from which to evaluate them.  So you feel overwhelmed and perhaps a little embarrassed to admit you are in over your head so you lash out.  I don’t know about you but if I was in that situation I’d be crabby too.

Granted there are degrees.  Clients may have some knowledge in some areas but usually not in weddings and as we all know weddings are different.  So even clients who think they know what they are doing probably still need us to provide information and examples to be sure they really understand what they are buying and how we can really help them.

Believe me my friends I have been doing this a long time I know how painful it can feel to explain yet again what I do, how much it costs and why I’m worth the price I’m asking.  There are days when I want to say “Just trust me I know what I’m doing!”  Of course I can’t do that, I have to remind myself they don’t know what I know.  I have to explain clearly and fully what I can do for them and what I need from them in order for us to work together.  It can be exhausting and there are times when we can get resentful that we have to constantly repeat, explain and justify ourselves.   So sometimes we need to vent to people who understand. 

Don’t get me wrong I also see on Facebook referrals being given and people asking for help if they are in a situation they are not sure how to handle; that is wonderful.  I just think we need to be careful we don’t blame clients for things they don’t know or understand and the same is true of colleagues.

If someone is brave enough to ask a question in an open forum, like a Facebook group, then the least we can do is answer their question respectfully and if we can’t then we should not reply at all.  I have been embarrassed for people who think it is acceptable to reticule someone for asking a question.  It outrages me that anyone in the wedding business would be as unkind as to purposefully try to embarrass someone in what is essentially public for simply asking questions.  Questions I’m absolutely certain they did not know the answers to when they started in the wedding business.

So what is the point you as, simple we have to stick together.  We have to be good to each other, we need to be able to talk openly without the fear of ridicule because if we can do that we will be able to be better for our clients.  If we give each other the opportunity to share the burden that being a wedding professional can sometimes be, then we will have the open heart to be patient with our clients.  If we willing to do that then everyone wins.

So beloved colleagues let’s stick together! Are you with me?