If there’s two things we Brits can pride ourselves on it’s our innate humility and penchant for modesty. Unlike our cousins across the Atlantic, we haven’t been taught at a young age to talk ourselves up, brag about our achievements or even to particularly give ourselves credit where credit is due. We may, on occasion, allow ourselves a tiny little pat on the back, but they must be really exceptional circumstances and we’ll quickly change the subject by putting the kettle on anyway…
It is perhaps this self-consciousness that sticks in the throat a little at the thought of having to ask one’s customers to cast their votes in The Wedding Industry Awards after entering. The notion of having to ask people who have paid us for our work to then take time out of their busy lives and give us yet further accolades in the form of feedback is the stuff of nightmares. The idea that these people might see the request as an unashamed piece of self-congratulatory promotion is galling. And worse still, what if we ask them to vote and they don’t? Egg. Face. Everywhere.
Except, and call us crazy if you want, but what if these same clients would actually love the chance to shout about how wonderful you are? What if, just for once, we put aside our self-effacing Britishness for a moment and allow ourselves to recognise a job well done? Don’t you want to recommend great people you’ve worked with, or tell the world about some particularly exemplary service that you’ve received? Sure you do, so why not afford your clients the same opportunity?
Because that’s the other thing about being British you see: we might be pretty rubbish at recognising our own merits but we lose no time at all in supporting the work of others. One might go so far as to say that we overcompensate for own inability to boast by doing so on the behalf of other people whom we value.
So if you’re not sure you want to enter the competition because you have to ‘beg’ for votes, or if you’re wondering how to go about approaching your clients, take a moment to think what it might be like from their perspective and try to realise that they might relish the opportunity to transfer their own modesty into glowing praise for you. You were a part of one of the most momentous days of their lives and there’s a strong chance that, unless they’ve already made you aware to the contrary, they’re going to have a pretty high opinion of what you did for them on that particular day.
It’s not a matter of swallowing your pride to request a vote, so much as displaying that same pride for all to see. Pride in your business, pride in yourself, but most of all pride in the clients you have had the pleasure to work with.