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Episode #25 - Red Flags

This blog is a transcript from our Facebook live recording on 26th December

If you've ever have a nightmare client or regretted taking on a wedding booking, then definitely listen to this! As wedding Florists we'll all encounter these clients at some point in our careers and it leaves us feeling drained and frustrate

Speaker 1:0:06

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 Laffy , and as a wedding florist of over 10 years now and a certified 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 to social media content creation today.

Speaker 2:0:35

Well , hello and welcome back to Wedding Florist Social. Uh , thank you so much for joining me again , it's an honor to , uh, you know, every time somebody listens into my podcast, and I'm really grateful for you. So thank you so much for coming back. Today. We are talking about red flags. It's a bit of a juicy one today, <laugh>. Um , what do I mean by red flags and , well, we've all encountered them. First of all , um, I suppose today's a bit of, a bit of a winge , but in a constructive way, <laugh> , uh, we've all been there, haven't we? Where, you know, we get one of those couples, the , the couples that give us , uh, so many red flags along the way. And sometimes it's obvious at first, sometimes it's not. Sometimes they slowly creep in as time goes on. Sometimes we don't even realize till it's too late. And, you know, the , the , the whole booking leaves you feeling anxious and like you've done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson or something like that. We're talking difficult clients and nightmare jobs today, in particular, the warning signs, the , the , the red flags that are often there. Sometimes we ignore them. You know, sometimes we let one or two slide and sometimes we want the job so badly, we just book the couple in anyway. I mean, I myself have kicked myself a , a number of times , uh, for , for taking on bookings like that. And, you know , when I've looked back in hindsight and there were just red flags absolutely everywhere, and these sorts of bookings end up being really draining, you know, mentally and , and physically. And you end up doing twice the work and, and or putting in twice the mental energy into , into this job. And as you should have , and you absolutely regret it and mean you're exhausted afterwards and, you know, you never wish to, to see that couple ever again. Some , sometimes, you know, we have that sort of couple where people say, right, I am never doing a wedding again. I am done with flights . Um, when this isn't when we do our best work, is it, you know, if if you've got someone like that, if you've got a client like that and you don't feel good doing it, you don't feel good working with them or creating anything for them and it's just not, you know, you don't, you're not gonna produce anything great for them because your heart just isn't in it, basically. Um , you know, if you're feeling, if we're feeling anxious or full of dread, you know, every time we get so much as an email from that person pop up , you know , I think we've , we've all had something like that, then you're just not gonna be your best on the day, are you? And you're not gonna give them the sort of service that they, they need or want, cuz you want the ideal forest for them and they're not the ideal client for you. And that's, that's absolutely fine. You know , um, <laugh> , I hate that one that happens actually. You know, when you see an email pop up , you know, you get a notification on your phone, you're probably trying to relax on an evening, and maybe you are relaxing and, and then you see an email pop up and you're like, uhoh , it's that person again. And you just, that's , that's just not a good basis to be working on is , and nobody wants to work like that. So what disease red flags look like? Uh, they take many forms, <laugh> , um, they, you know, it could be something quite mild such as , um, you know, your process or boundaries, for example. Uh , not being respected, you know, saying they can't meet during your working hours or, and asking you to meet outside of them. Um, it could be, you know, mentioning something in the inquiry stage. And, and I had this the other day actually , uh, such as saying, oh, you know, we , we have, we're having our main , main wedding elsewhere, so we don't have much of a budget for this , uh, English wedding or wherever you are. Um, a k a <laugh> , the flowers aren't I important to us, so we don't want to pay much. And I , I don't know about you, but I , I've never done great work for people who aren't , um, really into flowers. You know, if they, if they don't like flowers, if they're not bothered about flowers, if they're just going through the motions of stuff they should have for a wedding, then that's not my type of client and I don't really wanna do anything great for them. Cuz it would just fall on deaf ears as it were. Um, oh, you know, it could be the sort of thing where it's unclear whether it's a red flag or just, you know, simply it , it could, could be just a case of when the , if they need a bit of educating, you know, sometimes it's, it can appear as a red flag, but you , but actually they just, they just need to be told and guided and that is fine too. Um, oh , you know, it could be something quite obvious such as asking for multiple consultations , uh, nitpicking the, the , all of the details in the quote , uh, you know, openly insulting you by telling you that they can get it much cheaper elsewhere. You know, we , we've all had clients like that, I think, and we can all relate to it somehow. Um, you know, if you've , if you've done a quote for someone or maybe , maybe they're asking exactly how many roses is in that design or , um, can we see , uh, versions of , uh, you know, different versions of this design so we can make our decision. Um, you know, I I , I dunno about you guys, but I don't do mockups or anything either because I just, I just think it encourages this sort of behavior, you know , even if the person's not being nasty, it's just not the sort of person I wanna work with, you know? Uh , um, that's entirely your personal choice if you want to do mockups by the way. But I just feel like it encourages this behavior, this environment of sort of mistrust. You know , I want someone to book me and go, you know what, whatever she makes for us is gonna be amazing. We, we know, we've seen what she does before. We love it. Great. Just do some of your, your floral quarter magic for , for , for me, Vicky , please. Um, you know, that's the sort of client I want. Uh , I don't want the kind of client that is , uh, you know, has an exact picture in mind of , uh, what they have for their wedding. Uh , or , or else it's , they'll complain. Um, they're just not very nice for people all to work with anyway. You know, it's , it's , it's course it's impossible for us to, to do that. I think, you know, we work with a natural product in a creative medium. So even if I, you know, had an exact recipe for the, you know, the , the flowers that the , you know, the exact varieties and 10 stems of quicksand , roses and , uh, you know, six stems of white stock sauce , you know, whatever it is . Um, and , and I had those exact ingredients in front of me , um, and made the same bouquet twice. It's not going to look the same both times. And that's because we work in a creative medium with national products. You know, if I made a mockup for someone right now with those exact same ingredients, especially with something like quicksand roses , where it's very, you know, sometimes within the same packet, they can often be different colors or, you know, things like that. Um, you know, so if I made that same book okay twice, it's gonna look different because nature and creativity, that's why. Um, so I think, you know, I I I want someone to book me on the basis of trust and, and honestly, that creates a much better atmosphere for, for people to, to , to work together on, you know, cuz you've gotta get on well with them and enjoy working with them and vice versa. You know, they've gotta enjoy their wedding planning process. I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want people thinking , um, you know, after the wedding day. Oh gosh, yeah . So Vicky , you've created something great, but it was a nightmare to work with. Asher could never get in touch with me or , um, you know , know anything like that or , or , you know, I was really worried about what would turn up on the day or something. Uh, I don't want people thinking that. I want people thinking, oh, it was a dream to work with her, you know, she was there for any questions. I had full confidence that she would make something, you know, beautiful for the day. Like whatever she was gonna bring on the day , it was gonna be beautiful. And yeah , I want people to look forward to that. I don't want people trying to micromanage me and nitpick at every detail and you know, I , I just don't think you can charge enough for that, in my opinion. You know, if someone wants that kind of service, that's fine. They can go find that sort of florist who will , you know, bow to their every demand and, and, you know, create a million mockups for them and , um, you know, specify exact varieties of rows and, and all of that sort of thing. Um, there's a florist out there for them . They , they can go find that person. That person isn't me. And , um, for a lot of people it's not, that's not you either. Um, I , I , I just, I , I don't think you can charge enough for someone like that . And it , it's, it's so stressful, you know, let , let's say you do bow their every demand and, and specify this , this exact rose that they've seen on Pinterest, for example. Then it gets to the time of the wedding and those roses aren't available. For example, I'm using the example of roses, but, you know, it could be any flour . Um, you know, the , the , maybe that variety isn't available or maybe they are available, but they are three times the price that they normally are, and you, you are caught short, you have to eat that. Um, you know, they , they , they , they , you can't charge them extra at that point. You ha you have to eat that. Um, or , or maybe, you know, that it's, it comes to the end of the season earlier than expected and the are just really kind of rubbish quality, you know, that can often happen , uh, at , at the very beginning, our end of a season because we are getting the, the , the , the drags of, of the, the , the crop I suppose. And , uh, you know, or maybe things have been kept in fridges over in Holland for a while because they're sort of just rolling out the last of the stock and it , it's just, it doesn't make any sense to specify things like that way , um, even to discuss them because that , you know, the , the , this , you know , it just gets their hopes up for , for their bouquet looking exactly like that Pinterest picture. They thinking, oh yes, okay, quick sand roses . That must be those nice blush roses , uh, sandy nuy colored roses in the picture. Um, or maybe they've seen a picture on interest, whereas a quicksand rose is more of a blush color, you know, and , and , and nature is just, it just doesn't work like that. So I think, you know, for me personally, and I would definitely recommend this to everyone else , um, you know, try and spot those red flags in in the beginning. You know, if somebody is not respecting your boundaries, whatever that might be, you know , um, that maybe that they're saying you , you maybe if, especially if you've said to them , um, excuse me , uh, you know, while, while my , uh, I run consultations in at such and such a time, you know, maybe certain day or certain hours, and they say, oh, we aren't available and can you meet on Sunday instead, and you don't work a Sunday, don't feel obliged to do that. I mean, that, that is to me, disrespectful. Um, I'm sure they aren't meaning to be nasty, but this is just the start of something <laugh> that could get, get worse. You know, if , if they're not respecting your boundaries , um, right now it's only gonna get worse. You know what, what what you need to do is guide them and just say, and you know , stick to your boundaries because you, you have a life <laugh> to, to lead as well. You know, you have to , uh, do your own things. For example, me , I I run them on an evenings , uh, sorry, run . I don't run them on an evenings, you know, I, I run them Monday to Friday. Um, I think it's half nine till five, and then Saturday's 10 till three. And that's wedding dependent as well. You know, if I've got a wedding on that Saturday, I'm not gonna do them till till about two, two o'clock in the afternoon. So I'll probably only be able to fit one in on a we on a day like that. And I do that because , um, I have a life, I , I like to relax on an evenings if, if I , uh, have a , a consultation. If I booked a consultation in for like seven o'clock for example, I wouldn't re relax on the runup to that. I , I, that's my whole evening taken up. Even if you're just spent an hour with the person , um, my whole evening is taken up by it. Uh , I, I would be trying to eat my evening meal with my husband at about six, for example, and, and not enjoying it cuz I'll be thinking, right, okay, I've gotta prepare for that consultation and , um, what are they gonna ask? And, you know, things like that. Um, that's just how my brain works. And, and I just, you know, I , I hear people sort of saying , um, with regards to things like that, that , that they're afraid that they'll miss out. Basically, they're afraid they'll miss out on the business if they don't take those consultations whenever the person asks for it. Um, and, and that's just simply not the case. You know, I , I think people are always free. They're always able to find the , the time, you know, especially in this day and age of working from home and things like that, I often have people just nipping out of work for, for consultations and then going right back to their work. Um, if, if you are important enough to them, they, they will make the time when you are available, essentially. Um, so, so please don't feel obliged to do something that doesn't work for you. Um, so that, you know , that, that just covers one of the red flags, <laugh> . But I think generally the , the , the , the red flags , uh, whatever they present themselves as to you , um, it's just really not worthwhile working with someone who, who presents those red flags and who , who, who, you know, you , you hear a little alarm bell ringing in your head like, oh no, this doesn't, this isn't gonna end well. Or I don't get a good vibe about this person. You are well within your rights to, to tell 'em basically, and, and, and to say, I'm sorry, I'm busy. I'm not available, or I don't think we're a good fit. You know , it's perfectly acceptable to say that you can actually say to someone , um, I don't think I'm the right florist for you. You can recommend someone else who you think is, there's a, there's a different florist for everyone. There's a different clients for each person. You know, what, what you enjoy working with this might not be the same as what I enjoy working with. Um, but you are well within your rights to, to not take that booking any further if you have actually booked them. And you are in this stage where you're thinking, oh my goodness, you know, I wish I hadn't forgiven those other red flags or, you know, whitewashed over those things that were clearly red flags at the time, but I just sort of, you know, forgave them or pushed them aside and now I'm really re getting it. Um, that then, then you can, you can by all means, exit that contract with with them. You , you are in control of what happens with your business. You are in control of what your business looks like and who you work with. So if you have to fire a bride or a groom and say it to them, I'm so sorry, I can no longer do your wedding. Um, don't be afraid to do that. If that's gonna be good for your mental health as as , as a business owner, then a hundred percent do it. Cuz otherwise you're gonna spend the next few months kind of not feeling very good at all. You know, you're go , you're gonna , it's gonna be stressful. It's gonna be mentally and physically draining and, and honestly just, it's , you'd be better off without them. If, if it's at the stage where it's too near a wedding to do that. It may be that, you know, you maybe just have to just suck it up and get it done. But it could be perhaps that you need help , um, with that wedding. You know, maybe you get someone else to do the majority of the, the front facing stuff, but, you know, if if that's the case, you know that , then, then it's <laugh> it , it's , it's a tough one, isn't it? It , I know you feel really bad about , um, sort of leaving a book in or whatever, but sometimes it is kind of just, just too late. But sometimes these red flags don't present themselves till it's too late. So please do at that point, if you are in that situation, just put your foot down, set those bound , remind them of those boundaries again, cuz I've heard of Flores two , you know, everything's going fine and then it gets to nearer of the wedding and the couple turn into a nightmare because maybe they're suddenly panicking or they're thinking, oh my God, how is everything going to look on the day? How is everything gonna come together? And , um, what exactly is it that we're getting again? And, you know, they come, they come with loads of, you know, Pinterest boards with hundreds of images on again. And you know, even though you've already discussed <laugh> , the vibe and the style and the colors and all of that sort of thing, they , they , they , they suddenly panic and they're at this stage where they're like , what , what , what we're gonna have, what is it ? What is everything going to look like exactly on the day ? And I , and I think at that point it's just a case of putting your foot down and controlling the situation. Just remind them of your boundaries. Remind them that we do not need to have another three meetings before the wedding in the next month. Um, you do not need to email me 300 times to uh, double check this and that and the other. Um, just, just put your foot down and just say, look, no, this is what we agreed to go ahead with. Happy to make small changes, but you know, this, this is what we talked about. This is what we agreed. Fill them full of confidence that you do have their vision in your head. Um, but certainly don't let it get to that stage where you are feeling really, really bad about the , about the booking. And like, you can't wait for the wedding to be over cuz nobody wants to be in that position, do they? Um, if any of this is kind of, is ringing true to you by the way, guys, do, you know, feel free to, you know, drop me an email , um, uk. Um, you know, please do, you know, get in touch with me somehow and , and let me know, maybe you've got some stories of red flags that you wish you hadn't ignored as well. I would love to know , um, I'm , I'm doing this podcast so that it can, it can help you guys because I don't want any of you working like that. I don't want any of you feeling like, ugh , I really hate my job <laugh>, because you know, sometimes one client can do that for you and you're thinking, oh my goodness, I am done. Um, I don't want you feeling like that. I want you feeling amazing. I want you to have businesses that, well , you know, where you have clients that fill you full of this joy and energy and you think, yes, good job done , well done me and pat yourself on the back. Um, and , and you , you feel energized after a wedding as opposed to , um, thank goodness that is over the kind of feeling , uh, that that's the sort of clients I want for you. And whatever that means for you. Cuz it'll mean something different to ev every flourish listening. Um, you know, I want that client for you. So, so hopefully this podcast has kind of helped you, helped you to relate a little bit , um, but also helped you to , um, I dunno how to deal with it a bit and giving you the confidence to sort of back out of those situations or regain control of them as well. So thank you so, so much for listening and we'll see you on the next episode.

Speaker 1:21:24

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

Speaker 2:21:39

Forward to seeing you there.

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