Interview with Elite Connections Vice President, Tammi Pickle

Elite Connections Interview

With nearly 30 years in the business. Elite Connections International is one of the most proven matchmaking services on the planet. And we say the planet because Elite Connections services clients from all around the world and not just in the US. Today, Matt Seymour took some time to interview Tammi Pickle, the Vice President of Elite Connections International. In their discussion, the two talk about Elite Connections impressive track record, the things that stand out from that 30 year history, what potential clients can expect, and what may be in store for Elite Connections in the future. If you’re ready, let’s jump into the interview, available via video or written transcript below.

Full Elite Connections Interview Transcript

Matt Seymour:

Hey everyone, this is Matt from Healthy Framework. Today, I’m very excited to be joined by Tammi Pickle, the Vice President of Elite Connections. Tammi, thank you so much for joining today.

Tammi Pickle:

Thank you so much for having me, Matthew. Excited to be chatting with you.

Matt Seymour:

Yes, thank you. Well, let’s get right into it. First up, can you tell me what separates Elite Connections from the rest of the matchmaking services that are out there?

Tammi Pickle:

I think it’s us and our team and how long we’ve been in business. So my mom started the company 29 years ago. She actually was single. She was a single mom with me as a little kid, and she joined a matchmaker and she went on one date and met her husband and she just thought it was such a great way of meeting people. She thought she’d be single forever just being a single mom and not doing online ads at that time, or PennySaver ads, I think it was. So she just thought, “What a great way of meeting people.” So then she started her company just a few months later and we’ve started with one office and now we have about 13 nationwide and international offices. We have a great team that works with us. So I just think that size of our database and the size of our team and how passionate we are about what we do and helping people differentiates us to other matchmakers out there.

Matt Seymour:

Yeah. And especially that length of time, I think you said 29 years that your mom found it. That’s incredible. And that’s got to be fun to have that family tie to it. Excellent. Moving along, how would you describe the ideal customer that Elite Connections is designed for?

Tammi Pickle:

So we work for higher caliber professional, somebody that does want to invest in a matchmaker. Typically, someone that’s tried the online and app dating or would never go that route, and they just want the personal touch that we are meeting and screening and interviewing and background searching and vetting and just kind of making sure everyone is who they say they are. So it’s just investing in finding that right person for you and not wasting your time. I’m not saying people don’t meet on the apps, but sometimes it’s a lot of talking and people are being deceitful about who they are or what they look like or all of it. So we’re doing all that vetting and screening, so our clients appreciate that.

Matt Seymour:

Tammi, obviously hiring a personalized matchmaker is more expensive than using a traditional dating app. How would you rationalize the cost of someone who may be concerned about that higher price tag?

Tammi Pickle:

I think it is worth every penny to find the one you’re looking for. Especially if somebody is really wanting to find someone and they’re not meeting them on their own or through the dating apps. We pay so many different people to help us in many avenues of our lives. Why wouldn’t you hire someone that has the massive database that we have of people to choose from that might be a good fit that you wouldn’t normally come across on your own? So I think the price tag is definitely reasonable to be able to find the person you’re looking for and spend the rest of your life with.

Matt Seymour:

Yeah, it makes sense. I mean, I’ve seen some stats. I don’t recall any of them right now, but it’s the amount of time people are spending on apps is absolutely astronomical. And for you guys essentially help do a lot of that footwork for your clients, which-

Tammi Pickle:

Right. Exactly.

Matt Seymour:

Like you said, using any professional service. So excellent. Another interesting question is, would you say, are there any drawbacks to using a matchmaker that people should be aware of?

Tammi Pickle:

I would just say sometimes people come to me and they’re like, “Oh, so do I get to meet lots of people at one time?” And I’m like, “No, no. We just kind of do one match at a time, focus your energy on that person, see how it goes, and then if it doesn’t work out, we’ll move on to another match.” And we have hold time for that very reason like you’re dating somebody, you want to see how it goes to that person. But we don’t do multiple matches at one time. I mean, how can you even focus your energy on more than one person? I don’t know how people do it. Maybe when you’re younger and you don’t have the kids and the careers and things, I don’t know, but I don’t know how people do it, so we don’t work that way. So it’s kind of one match at a time, but I’m honest and upfront with my clients that I work for, and I haven’t had any complaints.

Matt Seymour:

Great. Excellent. So obviously you guys have been in business a long time, 29 years, if I recall correctly. Would you say, is there anything unique about the way you might find matches for someone that you guys have developed over all these years doing this?

Tammi Pickle:

We have a lot of recruiters in all the cities that we help our clients in. And we’re always going out to events and functions and red carpets and fundraisers and whatnot, and we’re always running into single people and bringing people in. And so many times I’ll be somewhere and I’ll be like, “Oh my gosh, are you single? You’d be perfect for my client that’s local and I know her,” so I do that all the time, which is kind of funny. “Oh yeah, I found them at Stone House and I think you guys are going to be great together.” And then social media, and we’re just always reaching out to people in different areas and spreading the word. And so yeah, we have a lot of different ways that we recruit for our clients, but I would probably think just out and about and at dinner or happy hour or whatnot, “Are you single? You don’t have a ring on”.

Matt Seymour:

I like it. I like the approach. Something that I’m intrigued, especially as I talk with different matchmakers, is to see, have you ever struggled to find an ideal match for a client? And if so, what’s the process when that happens with you guys?

Tammi Pickle:

Yeah, sometimes it’s hard right off the bat, you don’t quite know exactly what someone’s looking for. You might think that they’re pretty open-minded in what they’re looking for, and then I start sending them people and they’re like, “No, no, not my type. No, no.” And you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I thought you’d be much more open than you are.” So it is sometimes a struggle to just open someone’s eyes to meet someone to see if there’s a connection versus, “No, no, no, no, no, no. Well then you’re never going to meet anyone if you just say no to everybody.” Sometimes it’s talking that person into meeting someone in person and see if there’s a connection. And sometimes I do have to push that on my clients, and I’ve made a lot of successful matches that way that I pushed them to meet and they didn’t really want to, but they did, and then they ended up together. So I know what I’m doing, trust me, and it’s one day. If it’s not a love connection, it’s not the end of the world and just do it.

Matt Seymour:

Makes sense. Trust the process, trust the professional. You guys are good at what you do, so folks should listen. All right, I like it. Another interesting one is, would you say, are there any misconceptions about matchmakers that you’d like people to better understand?

Tammi Pickle:

We are not miracle workers. It is a process like we talked about. Sometimes people think they’re going to find the one after the first or second match. Sometimes it takes longer. Sometimes you got to kiss a few frogs before you find a prince. I mean, it’s life. And sometimes people get frustrated. They’re like, “Ah, I’m not finding the one.” Well, sometimes it does take a bit more time and it’s timing and finding that right person. So it doesn’t always happen in the first couple matches and be patient and don’t give up.

Matt Seymour:

That makes sense. I mean, I could see people making the investment to work with someone like you and then thinking, “Okay, next week or whatever,” but it takes-

Tammi Pickle:

Yeah, I’m going to have a boyfriend by the holidays. Well, it doesn’t always work like that.

Matt Seymour:

Yeah, I’ll try though.

Tammi Pickle:

Yeah. I will do my best.

Matt Seymour:

Perfect. So Tammi, I’m wondering are there any metrics that you might be able to share with us? Obviously not looking for the secret sauce or anything so to speak, but maybe things like the average time it takes to find a match or success rates, number of clients, anything along those lines that you’d be willing to share with our readers?

Tammi Pickle:

Yeah. So we have thousands of clients in our database. Typically, members join with us for six month or year long memberships. And then we have the best success rate with that length of time that people join with us. And our success rate is 86% that will introduce our clients to someone they date for six months or longer.

Matt Seymour:

Wow.

Tammi Pickle:

So eight, 10 or so will help them find the one.

Matt Seymour:

Very cool. That’s amazing. That’s a pretty solid stat. Excellent. My favorite question to close this out is, do you have a favorite success story that you’d like to share?

Tammi Pickle:

Okay, so yeah. One of my favorite matches I made, it was with these two amazing people, and they were single, and she’s like, “Oh my God, I’m never going to find anyone. I really want to have a baby,” and he wanted the same. And so I set them up and right after the first date, they were like, “Oh my gosh.” And it doesn’t always happen right after the first date, they were smitten and they were so into each other and they ended up getting married in Scotland and having a baby, and they’re still together, and I think this is going on 20 years now.

Matt Seymour:

Wow.

Tammi Pickle:

So that was one of my favorite. And I’m still friends with them to this day. They still hang out and fill me in on their daughter and their lives and their travels and-

Matt Seymour:

Very cool.

Tammi Pickle:

It’s so rewarding to be able to help somebody find the one.

Matt Seymour:

Yeah, I’m sure. Especially seeing it and kind of crafting it behind the scenes beforehand right? You’re like, “I think these two.” So it’s got to be interesting then to see it all come together like that with everything.

Tammi Pickle:

Right. Right.

Matt Seymour:

Perfect. Excellent. Well, thank you again, Tammi, for joining. Really appreciate it getting the chance to speak with you, learn a bit more about the organization there, and maybe we’ll do this again sometime in the next six months or a year to check in again. But thank you so much for taking the time to connect with us and share updates on the company there.

Tammi Pickle:

Yeah, thank you so much for having me.

Matt Seymour:

Absolutely.