Chapter 3: How To Choose Your Matchmaker
Choosing the right matchmaker will depend on your preferences and budget. Do you want a matchmaker that is focused on one specific location, or do you want a national or international matchmaker? Do you want a matchmaker that works with a specific religion or ethnicity? These questions will depend on the individual. However, there are a few basic elements that should be followed as a general rule of thumb. Following these guidelines will help you separate the rookies from the experts in order to invest your time and money wisely.
Matchmaker Does Interview & Matching
Choose a matchmaker that is involved in the interview and matching process. Your matchmaker should meet you during the interview whether in person or via Skype or Facetime. This is to help your matchmaker gain an understanding of who you are and the type of person you are seeking. This is very important in order to effectively find your match. Sometimes a matchmaker will have an assistant or coordinator that will be your point of contact, but always make sure the matchmaker is the one actually pulling the strings.
Choose a small to medium-sized company rather than 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. These larger companies also have to staff a larger amount of employees, meaning your membership fee will go into employee salaries rather than marketing and resources for your search. 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.
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. There are many matchmakers who began in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, and are still running quality matchmaking services today. They charge a higher fee due to years invested in building a quality database of singles. We say it’s well worth the extra money spent.
Reviews & 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, Yelp’s odd review filter can put company’s positive reviews into a hidden “grey section” while only showing negative reviews. Make sure to always click on the “read not recommended reviews” link to see all written reviews.
Another thing to keep in mind is that 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. However, any good matchmaker with years of experience should have a few positive, public online reviews on Yelp or Google. Another place to look is directly on their website, where they should have personal testimonials. Another option is to ask for references with whom you can speak.
Balanced Client Database
Choose a matchmaker that has a balanced client database of males and females. 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: As discussed in Chapter 2, 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). In this case, obviously there will be a much higher ratio of females to males.
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 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).
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.
Upfront Policies & 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.
Matchmaker Personality & Ethos
After all is said and done, you need to make sure that you like your matchmaker. This is because you will be working with your matchmaker (or your matchmaker’s right-hand man) on a consistent basis normally during the course of one year. Choose a matchmaker who knows how to listen and expresses a true passion and understanding of this very important area of your life.