30 years of success For 30 years Kelleher International has been creating exclusive matches. In a Q&A with World Commerce Review, Amber Kelleher-Andrews talks about how her company finds love for top-level executives What can a potential client expect in the initial discussions? Expectations are different for everyone. Most expectations are set during the initial introduction period with Kelleher over the phone or Skype. A large percentage of our potential clients come from current client referrals. When a happy member refers someone, this new individual comes in with a wealth of knowledge about Kelleher and is excited to begin the process. That said, others see us in the airline magazines, articles like the New York Times or Forbes Magazine, and on various news outlets such as the BBC, ITV or American television. When an individual such as this only knows us from press coverage, we slow down the process, and start by learning more about who they are and why they have reached out to our search-firm in particular. This initial phone call is what we call our ‘discovery’. This discovery process is very important for both parties. We discuss Kelleher International’s 30 year history in business, because we are the most experience matchmaking firm out there, and this obviously helps when making a financial commitment. We talk about our high success rate but are very realistic about the process not working for everyone. Each member’s experience is a very personal one and is therefore different from the next. Most importantly, we talk about the individual, where they are in their life, their goals, aspirations, career and relationship status. Essentially, we are looking for a ‘match’ for our organization when we interview a potential client. The more positive they are in life, the more they will attract like-minded individuals and the more matchable they become. We aspire to hold the largest membership of passionate, eligible attractive singles on the globe. In doing so, it has made our job much easier when searching for compatibility, love and true partnership from within our membership database. What are the common questions asked? Everyone is interested in “how we do what we do”. They ask about the process. “How do we find each match?” “Do we meet them in person” and “how do we screen”. Often the question comes up around “what makes us the most successful matchmaking firm in the industry?” I truly believe that our secret sauce is in our clientele and we start from there. We have focused for three decades on building this vibrant calibre of eligible single men and women. Our members are passionate, successful, interesting, worldly, emotional stable and ready for a life partner. If you are single, you learn quickly that timing is everything, and as matchmakers, we specialize in timing. It is the sweet spot that carries a lot of weight when it comes to finding love. We meet everyone in person, screen and vet each candidate. On-line services get brought up often with questions around comparison. People share with us all the time the frustrations around random dating and dating apps and how they are filled with non-committal, semi-depressed people who are just looking to ‘hook-up’. I love these questions during the discovery period because we work in such a different world than this with our members, that I always find it hard to imagine that people out there still subject themselves to such useless platforms as poorly-designed dating apps to find emotionally stable partners. As the process proceeds what can a client expect to happen? Following our in-person meeting, we tailor the membership based on the client’s needs. To do this, we discuss membership options and various matchmaking teams. Since we are a global company, we begin with which locations to search from within and design his/her matchmaking teams accordingly. It starts with how wide a net each member wants to cast, city by city, which directly corresponded with how many matchmakers will be searching on his/her behalf. For example, if you wish to be matched in both London and New York, you will have two matchmakers assigned; one international and one domestic. They will be familiar with the local databases in his/her cities of choice. If one prefers a local search in one city, or maybe a global search, they meet their matches accordingly. Once the actual matchmaking begins, we discuss in detail the profile and criteria of each introduction. There are no blind dates here, which busy people really appreciate. Education, age, location, family values, religion, politics and even sibling order are part of this conversation. Our job is to bring each person to life by creating a compelling profile that accurately describes them. Next they meet their match! Our introductions are never coffee dates, we screen everyone so members don’t have to. They can expect a real match with an attractive, accomplished, compatible individual. Most share a lovely dinner together, which gives them time to get to know one another. After the introduction takes place, we look forward to discussing the date the following day. This ‘feedback’ is essential to the Kelleher process. It is from the feedback that we learn about personality traits, preferences and chemistry. The more we learn about our clients the better our matches become. The rewards come when our clients send us an engagement announcement or invitations to their wedding. We also love to add photos of new born babies to our family dashboard at our headquarters. It’s a very special relationship when you are acknowledged for bringing others such bliss and happiness. A client is successful in his field but shy-how do you handle this? It’s interesting that you mention ‘shy’ because in my experience I find that some people can be very dynamic in their work and yet they can be shy or reluctant to be equally confident dating-especially if they are attracted to the individual at first sight. Kelleher guides everyone in their own unique journey, and since we don’t put dates together randomly, much work goes into the process of selecting a compatible counterpart. Very successful people in all aspects of their lives often have the hardest time finding a lifetime mate. Most rely on their friends, who are already involved or married, and their circle of singles keeps getting smaller and smaller. Some start to wonder if they may be too picky. We have been successful in finding relationships for these picky clients because of our huge database and their never-ending supply of eligible, single men and women to choose from. Again it is our secret sauce; memberships go to clients who are interesting and interested, educated, fit, successful, selective, and yes, dating, but too busy to find their elusive mate on their own. If they happen to be shy at first, it usually doesn’t last long. Typically how long does the process last? Our memberships range from one to two years. In most cases we are successful in identifying their perfect match in this time frame. We do allow for our clients to place their membership on hold at their leisure, so this can extend the membership term as well. We encourage successful matches to get to know each another better. To do this they have the option to go ‘on hold’ and have fun pursuing the relationship without losing any contractual time. It’s nice for clients to know that we understand that they are not in a rush but rather appreciate the various relationships that develop through our unique introduction process. It’s a tremendous learning opportunity for growth in oneself, even if the match isn’t the one they marry in the end. In fact, we have had several business partnerships come from introductions, huge foundations have been created, and a wonderful community of passionate change-makers that continue to stay in touch. In many respects, our introductions are making impactful investments together and getting into social and humanitarian causes globally, all stemming from their extraordinary connections. How does the Kelleher approach differ from the herd? Kelleher invented the concept of commercial matchmaking back in the early 80’s. Thirty years ago video-based dating services were just starting to get noticed, but matchmakers did not exist… unless you go back to the Yenta’s of your Jewish neighbourhoods. When my mother, Jill Kelleher, founded Kelleher International she was essentially ahead of her time. Since we are known for being the first, we have been fortunate enough to be considered trail-blazers of our industry. I like that and it keeps me on my toes, always redefining how we can improve on what we do. Matchmaking has become quite popular over the last 10 years and we have had fun watching the changes within this industry and learning from our growth as well. As my mom says, “We have come a long way, baby!” I think that our members like that. Even though we had had huge opportunities to grow faster, we chose not to become a franchise. Creating a safe, confidential company where clients can appreciate the personalized touch and discretion always came first, and still does. We have grown but at the same time remain in many ways the original boutique mother/daughter matchmaking company that began in San Francisco 30 years ago this winter. Kelleher International is now one big family. Our associates and representatives and clients are so much fun to work with. I love our team of matchmakers. I love that they are so dedicated to the process of relationships and happiness. Because of them and our success, we have grown across the United States and into Europe and we are awarded Best Global Matchmaker year after year. Kelleher’s success is apparent-what do you put this down for? When two people put their membership on hold, we wait with sheer anticipation for the outcome. Not everyone wants to get married, especially if they have been married before and their children are grown. But they are all looking for love and want a rewarding, sensual partnership with their equal. Many come to us to prevent themselves from making the same relationship mistakes over and over again. I had one male client just tell me recently that he was joining Kelleher “to protect him from himself”! I had to laugh, yet it probably rings true for so many. Not everyone is good at picking for themselves. Success for us is different in each person we bring on board. It’s their version of success that we find success. If the match doesn’t end with wedding bells or riding off into the sunset, we begin again. This to me is one of the highlights of having a strong matchmaker on your side. Our team is ready with a new introduction for you! On your own, a break-up can be a difficult time… feeling alone and having to go back to your friends, or bars, churches or wherever you can, to meet someone single again and start all over. But our matchmakers already know you and know your criteria and preferences and are literally standing by. We love and believe in what we do. My mother, Jill says, “Someone once told me that every time a marriage happens, whomever put the happy couple together gets a pair of ‘Angel Wings’”. She likes that. What stories can you tell us about that would interest our clients? This just happened last week. I was searching for a client who lives on the East Coast and I came across a profile in our database of a very interesting gentleman who appeared to be an excellent match for her, but he lives across the pond. He had sent in information about himself but hadn’t yet joined. As I read more about him, I knew my instincts were right and that we should move forward with this introduction, but I was concerned that she would not be open to the distance. It was a stretch to suggest someone outside of the country but it screamed the perfect pair. I contacted him first to see if he would be available and interested in meeting our beautiful East Coast client. He responded positively and was interested in her profile. Turned out he was actually an American from the East Coast as well. In fact, he was moving back to the East Coast within six months. He explained that while his current home is in London, he travelled back and forth on business and would be delighted to meet her during his next trip. They decided to meet with her over the Thanksgiving holiday. Last week, following Thanksgiving, we received the wonderful news that they completely hit it off. In fact, they spent the entire weekend seeing each other and already plan to spend the Christmas holidays together. When I spoke to our client, she sounded like a giddy school girl. He said he “couldn’t believe we could do this and out of nowhere”. He was grateful we considered him and as successful and attractive as he is, he said that he hasn’t meet a women of this calibre in years. She was just the type of woman he was looking for. It’s hard to keep up with all the fun stories like this. Perhaps one day we will assign a job in-house to do just that… keep track! My mom and I have always wanted to start a newsletter called ‘What’s The Buzz’ and keep everyone posted on all the love that goes around and around. Who knows, if I get enough time someday, I’d love to write a book on all this wonderful insight into relationships and actually what makes people tick. Until then, it’s just what we do!
We aspire to hold the largest membership of passionate, eligible attractive singles on the globe. In doing so, it has made our job much easier when searching for compatibility, love and true partnership from within our membership database