As a professional in my field, I always try to rectify any conflict prior to escalation beyond the point of no return. But, recently I had a situation where it went too far and I had to let the client go. Firing clients is not an easy thing to do – it’s very disheartening and upsetting. One of my mentors, Marcus Lemonis, says “people, product, process.” I have and always will trust my process and have achieved great success following his business acumen.
Recently I have had to have numerous doctor visits and been very sick with an ulcer anxiety over this situation. I take my career very seriously, and want to perform to better than expected standards. I have been emailing, calling and texting to show this client that you simply cannot handle the vendors on your own, cut me out of the process, and expect those vendors to report to someone different on the day of the event. As my vendors and partners know, It simply will not happen. Despite numerous references, abundant social media profiles, and vendor confirmation on my stellar reputation, the client and I parted ways just weeks before their big day. Honestly I cried – both because I felt like I failed despite giving 100% and then some, and because I know how much stress this client is going to face in the coming weeks trying to pull everything together without me as their planner.
My process for full planning is a very strict process that involves me being the orchestra leader, my vendors as the band, and my clients as the guests of honor. Throughout this process, I make sure that their wedding or event is run completely smoothly and flawlessly and any glitches that arise are easily overcome because we are all well prepared in advance and work together cohesively.
When a client micro manages the planner, calls vendors second-guessing the efforts of the planner, refuses to make important decisions, and wants to be overly involved after a decision has been made, (especially when the planner has a distinct pedigree such as my own) it causes many problems for all involved and, worse than that, it causes vendors and partners to lose confidence in the skill set of the event planning industry as a whole. The client often doesn’t realize that when working as a team, we often pull resources together for staffing, setup, tear-down, and event management that just doesn’t happen when the orchestra leader is no longer involved.
My advice to anyone reading this is to be sure to trust your process knowing you are doing the right thing, stand up for what you believe in, and always be true to yourself, even in hard situations.