Do you work FOR or WITH your clients? It’s an important question and one that I believe, deserves careful consideration.
Do you patiently wait for all of the answers to the questions you’ve put to your clients? Or do you try to collaboratively discover the solutions to the questions you’ve laid before them?
There is no wrong answer to any of these questions. However, if you choose to carefully consider this question – and your response to it – you will better understand the kind of experience you are providing for your clients.
If a clear, personal answer does not present itself, consider these scenarios:
When asking a wedding couple what songs they would like played for their wedding ceremony, do you simply request that they answer, on their own time, through an online planning form? Is it up to them to provide you with all of the answers at their leisure, researching what they would like without your input? If so, I would suggest that you simply work for your couples.
On the other hand, is part of your planning process to sit down with them in person in order to talk about the music styles that fit their personality? Then do you share with them what some past couples have done that matches up with certain likes and dislikes they have? If so, you are more likely offering the type of service that works with your clients.
For instance, you can walk into IKEA, select a sofa, pay for it, and take it home. No problem exists with this situation. IKEA works very well for its customers and has a well-deserved, positive reputation for that.
On the contrary, you could pay a visit to a local specialty furniture store that sells nothing but the best living room furniture available. Upon stepping through the front doors, an individual greets you and offers to help if you have any questions. After letting you explore on your own for a little while, they might approach you again and begin asking you some questions that lead to conversation about your furniture needs. Then, only after discovering the particulars to your family, what the room is used for, why you would like to replace the current furniture, and what your likes and dislikes are, will they start to suggest helpful furniture options for you.
It goes without saying, that the latter of the two furniture shopping examples is probably going to cost more money. Both are sound business principles, and both offer solutions to the same problem of requiring new furniture. But one works for you (IKEA), and one works with you (specialty furniture store).
Do you work for or with your clients? Much like the furniture shopping example demonstrates, there is no right answer to the question, but the compensation and reward you receive for your service might change. And that is why I insist you ask yourself this question.
In case there was any doubt in your mind, the service I provide is meant to work WITH my clients. If they would like to hire someone to work FOR them, I will (and have in the past) gladly refer them on to another DJ. To be simply given instructions and expected to perform them as requested is not the type of service I choose to offer. I want to become an integral part of each and every decision that is made as it relates to the overall entertainment experience of every person at the event. I am the professional in my field. This is why I should be hired, and this is why I am hired.
Do you work for or with your clients? Does the answer reflect the type of business YOU wish to operate?
Based in Manitoba, Canada, Wedding Entertainment Director® Dave Ternier is a single operator mobile DJ & MC for his company, Special Request Weddings. He is also the host and primary author of aDJthought.com, an industry blog focused exclusively on mobile wedding DJs.