Here’s a hack that quickly sorts of which wedding professionals are worth your time to look into or not before you even meet with them. It takes advantage of how many of them unwittingly offer up honest clues about how well – or not – they perform their services.
You can do this under their radar so it’s actually a pretty covert evil mad scientist ninja type of thing I discovered some years ago:
Take a few moments to read what their clients have written about them, but specifically look for this:
There are three types of testimonials you’ll come across. Knowing the difference between these three types of testimonials will help you gauge which photographers might give you ordinary work, and guide you to which ones may thrill you beyond your expectations.
The first type of testimonial is what I call the “exit door” testimonial.
That’s the testimonial from a bride or groom who haven’t yet experienced the service and haven’t gotten anything tangible yet to actually base their review on, but they’re enthused and speak favorably about the wedding vendor.
I call it the “exit door” testimonial because it’s usually given soon after they’ve just contracted that professional, as if they’re commenting while walking out the door of the office. But for all intents and purposes the service is still untried. Instead, it’s fueled by excited anticipation.
All they have is a good feeling.
An example of an exit door testimonial would be, “Fred was so friendly and I just know everything will be amazing!”
Then there’s the second type of testimonial which is a step up from there, which I call the “good guy” testimonial.
That’s where the vendor satisfied the wedding couple – but only delivered perfunctory average service. There’s nothing special about what they did, so there’s nothing special about what the couple says. They’re satisfied… but not anything more than that.
Those testimonials are complimentary but they’re general and about things which should be expected from a professional anyway. In other words, the “good guy” testimonial is telling you the professional achieves basic competency.
Examples of the “good guy” testimonial would be (these are real life examples – the names have been changed to protect the guilty):
“Tom and his assistant were on time.”
“Joe was easy to get in touch with.”
“Mary did a beautiful job.”
“Mike was easy going and fun to work with.”
“Nancy was very professional.”
“Thank you for doing such a nice job.”
“They put us at ease.”
“They were very cool.”
“Bob was very friendly and accommodating.”
“Jane answered all my emails and phone calls promptly”
I’m sure you’d agree there’s nothing remarkable about “showing up on time” or being “very professional.” In fact, it’s kind of expected as a minimum standard, don’t you think?
The third type of testimonial is the best kind. It’s the one you should look for.
This is the one that points to someone remarkable.
I call this type of testimonial the “Exceeded Expectations” testimonial.
Sounds terrific already, doesn’t it?
What’s especially telling about this type of testimonial is that it mentions specifics and details about why that professional blew the wedding couple away.
They’re not just satisfied – They’re beyond thrilled. And they let you know it. In fact, they literally can’t help but mention it because the vendor so exceeded their expectations, it has them raving. And so, what you’re reading is an unbridled rave.
All you’re doing is reading testimonials but understanding the point of view the couples are writing from.
And chances are the professional with the “exceeded expectations” raves is the one more likely to exceed your expectations too over all the others and blow you away.
Well, I’ll just say you can read them for yourself on my reviews page (and on WeddingWire), and you be the judge.
**G.E. Masana (portrait artist and Huffington Post contributer) As Seen In HUFFINGTON POST | MARTHA STEWART WEDDINGS | THE KNOT | NEW YORK MAGAZINE | BRIDAL GUIDE | BRIDES | STYLE ME PRETTY | ELEGANT BRIDE | GRACE ORMONDE | WELLWED | TOWN&COUNTRY **
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