Wedding Planners: Here’s How to Follow Up on an Inquiry


An inbox full of inquiries is never a bad thing, but it can quickly feel overwhelming when each of them is on a deadline. In modern society, we've seen a shift in consumer behavior that shows that buyers are doing extensive research on purchasing decisions, and they're quick to skip over any company that doesn't reach them on their level. 

This means that, as wedding professionals, we often need to adjust our expectations and habits to reach better our potential clients (who, as we know, stay the same age as we grow older!). Today’s digital trends mean that those in the age range for proposing, planning a wedding, and starting a family have different expectations than even the last generation.

Let’s look at how to best follow up on an inquiry and turn a prospect into a client.

Respond in a timely manner

The industry “standard” for ideal response time is within 24 hours during the week and 48 hours on the weekend. While some may stick to this policy, it’s a bit outdated at this point when you know your prospects are glued to their phones for most of the waking day. This behavior has created a need for instant gratification, so I believe the ideal response time is as soon as possible.

I try to respond to inquiries as soon as I get them but generally stick to a two-hour window for replies. Nowadays, 24 hours is too late for a response; your prospects will likely have moved onto someone who responded much quicker. Any longer than 24 hours, and you may as well not reply, that's a sign you need to rework your email processes to ensure a quicker turnaround time.

Take advantage of auto-responders

Fortunately, technology has made email timeliness far easier with automated responses that can fill in the gaps when you’re away from your inbox. Find a platform like Honeybook, Aisle Planner, Dubsado or 17 Hats that can accommodate a workflow that automates responses to inquiries from your website. As soon as someone clicks send on your form, they’ll get an immediate response that lets them know you’ll be in touch. Then, of course, be sure to follow up shortly after with a more personalized email that demonstrates your brand’s authenticity.

This is an excellent strategy for simplifying the response process and ensuring that your clients feel heard without feeling like you need to monitor your inbox 24/7. On a similar note, out-of-office responders are great for days you know you'll be away for a few hours at a time. A day filled with back-to-back meetings? Weekend with four events planned? A simple out-of-office email with your expected response time is a quick and efficient way to keep clients satisfied.

Be kind, welcoming, and personal

For many clients today, the initial communications from a brand will tell them whether or not they choose to pursue a relationship with the company. This may have nothing to do with the services you offer, your pricing, or your portfolio; modern couples are quick to nix an option if it doesn’t meet their expectations and move onto the next big thing.

Thus, it would be best if you treated every inquiry like it's the most important thing in the world for you. After all, the couple emailing you truly does believe their wedding is the top priority. They don’t care that you have other events or other clients; they want to know what you can do for them. Share in their excitement, celebrate their love, and speak to them with a friendly and personable tone. The more they can connect with you, the closer you'll get to winning the sale — and it all starts from that very first email or phone call.

These tips can help you craft a great response in a timely manner, but it's also worth noting that you may need to prepare for follow up emails. Not every prospect will respond right away, and even less will be inclined to set up a meeting off the bat, so you'll likely need a few more touchpoints to ensure that you're staying top of mind. We typically check in three days after initial contact and, then, again in seven days. If there's still no response, we take them off our sales sheet. It's not to say they won't come back to us (it indeed happens!), but it becomes no longer a good use of time to follow up without a response.

Jennifer Taylor is the principal of Jen Taylor Consulting, a consulting firm that works with creative businesses of all sizes to implement streamlined workflows and organized systems to find more time and space for business growth and personal development. She is also the owner and founder of Taylor’d Event Group, a leading event planning company that serves local and destination clients in Washington State and Maui, HI.

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