1.) EMAIL INQUIRY
1209 receives all inquiries by email only, typically through our website. This is really important and helps to better keep track of all the initial requests for information. I reply to all inquiries within 48 hours or less (unless we’re in the middle of working on a wedding, which I do set up an auto response so potential clients are aware). I never want anyone to feel ignored because I know they are super excited about planning their wedding! Usually, the inquiry shares very little information about the wedding, yet asks for an overall quote. I kindly explain that I am unable to provide an exact number right away because every wedding we work on is completely different from the next due to several factors: guest count, bridal party size, flower choices, season, date of wedding (if it falls on or very close to a major holiday), intricacy of designs, etc. I ask the potential client for some basic information, along with a few inspiration images to go along.
2.) DETERMINE IF WE’RE A GOOD FIT
When the potential client sends the information I’ve asked for, I carefully review it to determine whether or not we would be a good fit. We do not take on every wedding that comes our way. Why? Maybe what they are asking for is not our style of work. Or maybe what they want us to provide is not reasonable to make happen based on their budget. Or sometimes I have to determine whether or not a wedding is worth doing if the date falls on or close to a major holiday because it will take away from quality time with family. So I will respond with an email either sharing that we are interested in hearing more, or that we am unavailable and recommend a few florists who I know would be of better service.
3.) 30-MINUTE TELEPHONE CONSULT
If we are interested in hearing more, I’ll ask to set up a quick phone call consultation. This helps me get to know more of the potential client, hear about what they do for a living, what they like doing in their day-to-day lives, understand their style, as well as allows me to share a little bit about myself and 1209. This is a critical part to the beginning steps of my process because if we are to work together, I want to make sure we like each other before moving on. I’ve learned from past experiences that this makes for a much better working relationship. I have a list of additional questions I ask so I can get even more details about the wedding so I’m able to determine cost. I don’t let these phone conversations go for more than 20 or 30 minutes, and can normally tell from the conversation if it’s going to be a good fit for us or not.