Venue Owners, Do You Receive Referral Fees?

a mega phone shouting referrals

You spend the most to promote.  You pay for Google ads and online directories.  You take large booths in bridal shows.  You host tastings and open houses.  Your marketing costs you $15,000-$40,000 annually.

After the couples books your venue, you may be asked for referrals. The couple wants your recommendation for the best Florist, DJ, and photographer. Now all your advertising dollars are supporting other businesses that did not contributing to your marketing budget.

Is this fair? Some venue owners believe other wedding pros are freeloading. How do you balance the scales without misleading your couples?

  • Get Paid For A Booth In The Venue’s Open House: Any event costs money to produce. If you are receiving high grade leads that are pre-qualified it seems reasonable to help cover some of the event’s costs.
  • Receive A Commission From Other Vendors: Let your nearly-weds know that you also sell packages for officiant, photography, and floral services. Ask them if they need help deciding on other pros. The preferred vendor would pay you a commission on all signed contracts instead of being sneaky and receiving a kickback your customers don’t know about.
  • Conduct A Year-End review: If you offer package deals to your customers you have a clear understanding of how much they benefit with your relationship. At your year-end review you might find out that your preferred photographer makes $25,000 a year from your referrals. It’s good to know in dollars and cents the details.
  • Trade Relationship: Some venues prefer to work in trades. The true value might be in updating your venue photos on your website, receiving fresh flowers weekly for your entryway, or offer passed appetizers for your open houses.

How do you handle this tricky situation?

To learn more, check out our Venue Specialty Seminars.

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