How To Choose Your Matchmaker
BY LESLIE WARDMAN
ESTIMATED READING TIME: 4:15 MIN
Experiencing the matchmaking process with a professional matchmaker by your side is both exciting and enlightening. Yet, with the amount of matchmakers recently flooding the industry, it can be difficult to separate the rookies from the experts. How do you choose a quality matchmaker that will help you define and achieve your goals in finding a life partner? The following 11 tips will help you select the right matchmaker to ensure a successful experience.
1. Matchmaker does the interviewing and matching
Choose a matchmaker that is involved in the interview and matching process. Your matchmaker should meet you (whether in person or via Skype/Facetime) to gain an understanding of who you are and the type of person you are seeking. Leslie Wardman, Founder and Matchmaker of Ambiance Matchmaking, has been involved in the interview and matching process since its founding in 2002.
2. Small to medium-sized company
Choose a small to medium-sized company over a large franchise. Many times when a matchmaking company turns into a national chain or franchise, it becomes more about sales quotas and profits than finding your life partner. Smaller companies normally stay true to the company's core values, have a better understanding of their client-base, and have a matchmaker that has been with the company since its founding.
3. Smaller number of employees
Choose a matchmaker that has a smaller number of employees to ensure your membership fee goes directly into marketing and searches for your matches rather than employee salaries.
4. Years in business
Choose a matchmaker that has been in business for at least five to ten years. This is due to the fact that the matchmaking industry has exploded very recently, producing a large (and unqualified) amount of "matchmakers" who jumped in on the hype. However, it turns out that years in business is one factor that proves credibility, long-term success, and a quality client-base.
5. Reviews and testimonials
Choosing a matchmaker with a positive track record can be tricky. Any small business owner knows that all it takes is one disgruntled client on a Yelp rampage to tarnish the reputation they've spent years creating. This can be especially true for matchmakers who may get a negative review for simply not accepting someone as a client due to company policies! Furthermore, matchmakers may work with high-profile clientele who prefer discreetness, therefore, not wanting to announce on the world wide web their successful matchmaking experience. The end result is a one-star review from one bad apple, while many satisfied clients stay mum.
6. Balanced client database
Choose a matchmaker that has a balanced client database. Ask your potential matchmaker the ratio of men to women and which age groups comprise the majority of the client-base. Ideally, male-to-female ratio should stay close to 50/50 and your preferred age range should comprise of at least 25% of the client-base. There is one exception: some matchmakers only accept a handful of affluent men at one time (charging anywhere from 25K - 150K per client) and an abundance of women (normally free membership but no guarantee of dates).
7. Matchmaker experience
Choose a matchmaker with an extensive background in matchmaking. Always choose background and experience over "training." The Matchmaking Institute is currently the only recognized institute for issuing matchmaking certificates, however, it is not necessary and many great matchmakers do not go through this training course. This is because many matchmakers have been in business for more years than this training program has been established (in 2003).
8. "On-Hold” feature
Always, always choose a matchmaker that allows members to put their membership "on hold." This means that when you meet someone you'd like to date exclusively, you can freeze your membership while exploring a relationship with that person. For example, Ambiance Matchmaking allows its members to freeze their account for as many times as possible during the duration of their membership without losing time or matches.
9. Upfront policies and pricing
Choose a matchmaker that will discuss pricing and company policies over the phone. Matchmakers who insist that you meet in-person before discussing pricing are usually heavy on the sales pitch. Membership pricing can vary greatly, ranging from $3,500 to $150,000, depending on the business model and years in business.
10. Matchmaker personality and ethos
After all is said and done, you need to make sure that you like your matchmaker. This is because you will be working directly with your matchmaker on a constant basis (if you are not working directly with your matchmaker, refer to tip #1.) Choose someone who knows how to listen to you and expresses a true passion and understanding of this very important area of your life.
11. Matchmaker knows your city
Make sure your matchmaker has a presence in your city. Your matchmaker should be established in the specific location for at least three years to become familiar with the culture and grow a network. Many matchmakers claim multiple locations across the country, but may only have one or two established offices. Always inquire how many years and an estimate of clients for your specific location. Ambiance Matchmaking's Matchmaker, Leslie Wardman, is a Californian native, born and raised in Los Angeles and currently residing in San Francisco. Needless to say, the company has a large network in California. Leslie has always lived in Chicago for three years, and Oklahoma for 18 years.