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How To Be The Best Client (And Get Stuff For Free)

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I will admit it -- I was getting burned out last year from dealing with some unruly potential clients. Then I realized why. I'm a laid-back kind of gal and don't tend to click with those that are high-maintenance. I was feeling pretty bad about myself for a bit but then thought about it and said screw it. I don't want to work with those types of people anyway.

I had the pleasure of doing flowers for my client Kristin's wedding, and she was lovely -- the best kind of bride (or client in general) that you could ask for! It reminded me why I love what I do. When we came back for the breakdown after the wedding ceremony, and everyone was dancing on a marital bliss high, you could feel the love -- it made all of those other stressful business moments worth it. I realized that all these gem clients have the same characteristic -- they trusted me to do what I do best and left it at that. No million follow-up calls, or just as bad, if not worse, not getting back to me ... ever.

Kristin was so amazing that I wanted to give her everything for free! Please, please take the flowers! Take the vases! When we met, she was so great that I lowered my prices dramatically to work within her budget just because I wanted really badly to do her flowers. At the venue, the Ebell Club of Long Beach, the coordinator said, "Don't you just LOVE her?" And I said, YES! She told me they upgraded all of the chairs and more for FREE because Kristin was so easy to work with, no hassle. Being nice and TRUSTING your vendors is the #1 thing that will make them WANT to give their services away!

So how did it go from the beginning? I met with her for a consultation at a café near her work. She had the colors and style she liked, and we bounced ideas back and forth to come up with something she would love and that would stay within her budget. I guided her through some design style so that we still got those colors but made it a bit higher-end when it came to style. If you are looking for a drill sergeant that tells you, "This is what you'll have," that's just not me. There are those vendors that are like that, and that's fine if your personality meshes well.
On the spot, Kristin hired me, and after some proposal changes to get within her budget, she sent me the deposit. We met once more to finalize all of the details, and she emailed me with questions about linen colors and escort card ideas.

Thinking back, that's how it goes with all of my clients. Getting worked up about the flowers will only cause you more stress. So go with someone whose work you like and let them do their thing. The client that allows me to do what I do gets the best I have to give. Without that pressure, I can say, "Hey, this will look way better," and you know what I hear? My flowers looked even more amazing than I thought they would! Now that, my friends, is what keeps me going on days when I have some bridezilla telling me I don't take charge enough, 'cause you know what, I don't need to.

So, the point of the story is, be nice, like really, really nice, and genuine, and I promise you, you will get stuff upgraded or compensated because when you're that nice and trusting. People appreciate it. They remember you and want to help you. They say to themselves, "How can I make this even better than it's already going to be?" That includes the florist, venue, caterers, rentals and photographers. If you bug your photog a week after the wedding, they are not likely to throw in that extra album just because.

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