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Episode #22 - Should you run consultations in the evening?

This blog is a transcript from our Facebook live recording on 28th November

It's so important to set boundaries as a business owner and as Wedding Florists, we feel a pressure to try and accomodate couples when it comes to having an initial consultation. Should we hold consultations at times that aren't convenient to us but may get us a booking because it's convenient for the client? Have a listen to today's episode and find out!

Speaker 1:0:05

Well, hello there, my fellow Wedding Florist friend, and welcome to the Wedding Florist Social Podcast. This is the podcast for Wedding Florist to learn all about acing their online presence. I'm your host, Vicky Laughy , and as a wedding florist of over 10 years now and a certified by digital marketer, I want to help you get the right clients, get more followers, and never be stuck for content ideas again, click the link in my description to get your free wedding florist guide , social media content creation today. Hello, my fellow florist. Thank you so much for tuning. Ian , again, thank you for joining me. Um , I hope you find today's topic interesting. I , um, talking about should you run consultations in the evenings. Now I've, I've entitled the podcast that, but it really does stand for , um, should you run consultations at times when you don't want to run them, essentially. Now, I think this is quite an interesting one, and , and it, it stemmed from a, somebody posting something on one of the florist Facebook groups that I'm on actually, and I can't even remember which one now, but they said , um, that , that , that I think the , the basis of it was they , they had a client who was wanting to have a consultation with them, but they were only available in the evenings or something along those lines. And the evenings is really, doesn't work well for this person. And they , they were kind of asking the group to see if they run consultations in the evenings and to , to see if maybe she was kind of gonna be missing out. Essentially, this florist was afraid they would be missing out , uh, if they didn't run consultations in the evenings. And this of course prompted a lot of comments , uh, with varying opinions on the matter. A lot of the florist did run consultations on the evenings , um, some ransom on a Sunday and things like that. Um, now I have, I have some opinions on the of my own about this subject. I think a small business owners as , as , as wedding flott , we , we have to set the boundaries. We absolutely have to set the boundaries and whatever, whatever's right for you, you know, my, my time boundaries will not be the same as yours necessarily, but whatever's right for you, you need to stick to those boundaries. And it goes back to this , um, a subject in , in the last podcast about kind of putting your own interests and things like that first and keeping control of the situation and not kind of , uh, giving , you know, working around the , the client and the client's needs all of the time. If you let the client dictate things like this now, it's not gonna set you up for a very good working relationship. So, you know, if they're saying , uh, something that's completely different to your working practices, whatever those are, then, and , and they're determined that they only want to meet at a certain time or they're trying to dictate when you should meet, then that would be kind of a , an alarm bell for me. To be honest, that's not the kind of person that I like working with necessarily. So set your boundaries a hundred percent. So for me, when I , um, when when somebody replies, sorry, when somebody inquires, I send them an automatic reply. So with an email template , uh, set up to say things like , uh, you know, thank , thank you so much for inquiring, et cetera , et cetera . Uh , uh, I'd love to invite you in for a consultation. And then I also say, I run consultations between the hours of nine 30 till five Monday to Friday and 10 till three Saturday wedding dependent. Of course, I do not run consultations on an evenings. I do not run consultations on a Sundays. Um, and you know what? My business does absolutely fine, <laugh> . Um, you have to set those boundaries at first though. You , you have to lead them and tell them what your time availability is so that they can then choose which of those times is best for them. So, you know, it , it , it , it might be that, for example, I had this the other day when , when I said this to , to a couple inches and I , she said, Oh, we , we , we , we finished work at five o'clock, so would you be available at six on a Friday? I'm sorry, I'm not working at six o'clock on a Friday night. <laugh> , uh, you know , she , she, to be fair, was very nice about it. She wasn't being pushy, but , but I said , um, sure, well the consultation don't take ages. Would you be available for a Zoom call on a lunch hour or something, for example? If not, I'm available on the Saturday afternoon and we ended up going for the Saturday afternoon and everything's fine. Everything's lovely there , there were a lot of members on this Facebook group that were saying , yes, I ruin them in the evenings. Cuz cuz people work during the day. Well do they <laugh> Well, this is it. Uh , I think, I mean, yeah, of course clients work all the , all the different times though this , this is a case of some people, assuming people work Monday to Friday, nine till five, you'll assuming a situation about a customer similar to what I said in the last podcast. It's your assumptions and, and you know, you are thinking, oh, that they , they must work nine till five, so I'm gonna run consultations in the, the evenings to accommodate them. Um, but that's not the case. Uh , and and , and also from , from your point of view, you know , well I I , I certainly don't like working in the evenings cuz that's the time I like to take, to relax. I wanna be with my husband, I wanna chill out for the , for the evening. I eat on an evenings. I don't want to sit down for my evening meal and then sort of be thinking all the while I'm , while all the time I'm eating it thinking, oh, well I must prepare for that consultation at 8:00 PM Uh , I just, I just can't do that. You , you know, that would ruin my entire evening <laugh> and I'm just not willing to do it. I don't , I don't like working on an evenings and it takes me a while to sort of , um, zone out of it afterwards as well. So just don't like to do it. And on Sundays as much as possible, I like to leave those completely free. You know, I like to maybe go somewhere with my husband or , um, just have a relaxing day. I'll catch up on the housework or whatever it is. I, I don't want to be thinking about , uh, putting makeup on for Zoom consultation and having to prepare a quote and , and things like that. So yeah, the , it's just not for me. I , you know, a lot of people were saying, Yes, I do this, so because my clients' work or something like that. Well , uh, I'm sorry, but if they can't make time to plan their wedding, you know, it's, it's, it's not gonna work. <laugh> , you know, they , they should be making time during the data plan for their wedding and you know, I can guarantee you other suppliers will only be accepting consultations during the day, or if it was a case of there was a wedding open day or something, or a wedding tasting in like a cake tasting thing or something that that was on, you know, Monday afternoon, the tourist heck make time for that. So why is it different for you Now, you'll have different times, of course, you know, the things that work better for you. What , what one very respected fellow florist runs them on a Sunday morning between the hours of, I forget the hours, but you know, she has set hours and that absolutely works for her. Absolutely fine. You know, that , that , that's not something that would entrust me, but that works for her and that's the important thing. So, but , but the important thing is she tells those people when her availability is, and they choose out of those times. Absolutely. So should you run consultations in the evenings? Um, there isn't , there isn't a yes or no answer to this, but you should run consultations only when you are available. You need to remember, enjoy running your business. Your business needs to work for you and around you, not against you. This is something I've often said. So, you know, constantly being dictated to by clients and their availability is just gonna pull you all over the place. Um, I'm lucky in the sense that I don't have children, so I don't have to sort of think of doing a lot of stuff on the evenings, like, you know , preparing the school uniforms for the next day or , um, you know, making their evening meals or, you know, doing the homework with them or anything like that. Uh , but , but if you do have children, then I think your time should be spent doing that and not disappearing to your workshop or going on a Zoom call for a consultation with a couple who may not even book you at the end of the day. So set boundaries, control the , uh, control the boundaries. Uh , you should be the one , uh, dictating what happens and when not the client. Essentially. I'd be very interested to hear if you, if you do run consultations , uh, in the evenings or on Sundays on things like that, do, do feel free to drop me an email at uk and um, just, you know, gimme a bit of feedback, tell me what you do. That would be amazing to hear. I'm always very interested to hear how other people do things, but you know, whatever is the case for you, you should absolutely , um, stick to your guns as it were because if you let the client control things now, even though it's in a nice way, it's not in a malicious way. If you let the client take the reins now, it's gonna be like that for the rest of the journey. It really is. So control things now , uh, you , you , you need to be guiding them not the other way around. And in fact, guiding them, telling them when you are available , um, guiding them as to as to what's gonna happen and when will actually probably make them feel more , um, more cared for and more, more like this person knows what they're doing and you know , um, and it's when they feel in control that , um, it kind of diminishes your control as , as well. And I'm saying the word control a lot, <laugh> . But , uh, you absolutely need to retain that control in order for you to , um, continue to enjoy running your business and , uh, doing something that works for you. And please don't be afraid that you will lose a book in just because you don't , uh, want to meet on an evening when a client says they're available. You will absolutely not lose that booking. And if you did, then did you really want that client anyway? You know, if a client really wants you, then my opinion is that they will, they , they will accommodate you and, and , and they will work around you. Um, if they're just stuffed or any old florist , then you know, they're gonna book, book the this person who is available the soonest or whoever works around them. That's fine that , you know, whatever works for them. But I'm trying to teach you guys that, you know, you should build businesses that work for you, not against you. So there you go. That's my thought for the day. Uh, this is me just just winging it. Actually, I've not even prepared, even prepared any notes or anything today. I dunno if you could tell, but this has all stemmed from something I've , I've heard on Facebook groups a number of times. Um, so I hope , I hope it's been useful for you. Um, if it even helps you in your business, let me know. Drop me an email or um, you know, join the Facebook group and drop me a line on Facebook group or whatever. Do, do, Let me know cuz if that's helped you in your business and if that's given you some of your time back on an evenings or Sundays or whenever the the case is for you , uh, that would be amazing for me to hear. Uh , so yeah, thank you so much for tuning in to GA today. I hope it's been useful. And , um, flower on. Well , thanks so much for listening all the way to the end of Wedding Florist Social. Remember to hit subscribe so that you don't miss out on any future episodes. And if you want access to some free community and support, then head across to Facebook and look me up on the Worldwide Wedding Florist Community Group. I look forward to seeing you there.

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