Hello again! For those of you who have not been following my diary this year, I made the decision to concentrate my marketing on the bridal segment. In my effort to become for profitable, I really wanted to specialize and sell myself, and not the vendor’s product. Education comes in many forms, and therefore, I am eating, breathing and sleeping destination weddings, honeymoons, and brides. One confession I must make: I am watching a lot of reality bridal television I’ve watched enough TV to last me a lifetime! You know the shows I am talking about…I am saying Yes to the Dress, learning how to sell from Amsale girls, observing When Girl Meets Gown, and searching on line for past episodes of Married Away. I find it interesting to observe other wedding professionals–wedding planners, bridal shop sales people, and all other wedding vendors that work with brides—and how they overcome client objections, and what it really takes for these businesses to close the sale.
Without a doubt, the show that I am most disturbed by is Bridezillas. I can only hope none of you allow any customer to speak to you in this way, and treat you the way I see some of these horrible women behaving. Certainly the amount of drama is directly connected to the ratings. At times, I have heard my fellow travel professionals used the term,”bridezilla” in a humorous way as they share the woes of the difficult, demanding bride.
As I listened to myself talk to a resort wedding coordinator who was not prompt in getting back to me, I started to wonder if I have become a product of my environment. Have I become “Agentzilla?” Ours is a business that can be stressful and requires great attention to detail. The bridal market is no different, and may be worse. The bride needs to know if her date is available, the price must fit her budget, she wants every possible amenity under the sun, and I have to price match it all to an Online Travel Agency whose flight schedule includes an overnight but she doesn’t understand why my price is more. Whew! Does this sound familiar to anyone? It can be very easy to get pulled into the situation, and snipe at a vendor who isn’t getting me a promo code as quickly as I would like. But getting back to my uptight conversation with the slow wedding coordinator; do I have a reason to ever speak to another professional with anything other than respect and courtesy? No, never! Isn’t this the same respectful treatment we ask from our own clients?
Next time I feel the situation escalating, I will remember that old adage about “doing unto others..” Otherwise, I am no different than the foul mouthed, rude TV bride.
Amy Hobbins, MCC, CTA, is a 20 plus year industry veteran. She has managed both the corporate and leisure side of a full service retail agency, as well as teaching evenings at a travel school. She is the owner of Journeys Unlimited Travel, with an emphasis on destination weddings and the honeymoon market. Journeys Unlimited Travel is known for its full “travel concierge” services available to their clients.