Blurred Lines Part 3 – Defining and Managing Expectations
When it comes to defining and managing expectations, it is important that no blurred lines exist. When your client has signed the contract, both you and your client should know what to expect. You have responsibilities to your clients, but they also have responsibilities to you.
Lines come blurred when we forget that the bride has hired us. She does not own us for the next 12 – 18 months. Set boundaries for yourself and for her. The place to begin setting your expectations is at the first meeting. Here is an example:
Consultant: “I expect you to provide the information I need, when I need it to get the job done.” (completed forms, vendor lists, seating chart, etc…) Include certain deadline dates if necessary.
Have this discussion at the contract signing, so that later you can remind her that this was what was agreed upon.
Communication is also very important. Be sure to log your phone calls and send email confirmation of what is discussed. For example, “I thought you said.” “I heard what you said, but did you hear what I meant?” Be very clear. This can save you from a costly lawsuit.
By making sure there are no blurred lines when defining and managing expectations, your relationships with your clients will continue to grow, and your overall experience will be much more enjoyable for both of you. In turn, your clients will recommend you to others.
Our last article in the Blurred Lines series will discuss how Perception is Not Always Reality.