fbpx

Episode 244: Take Matchmaking to the Next Level with Karen Mooney


If there’s one thing that sets apart successful business owners is that they recognize business opportunities and they take advantage of them. Karen Mooney found a golden opportunity when one too many friends had complained to her about their difficulty in finding a partner.

In this episode, Adam Stott and Karen Mooney talk about the story of how Sara Eden Introductions started. Over the past 33 years, Karen has been responsible for literally thousands of marriages and long-term relationships. Her clients include a host of well-known media personalities, although, understandably, she is the soul of discretion when it comes to revealing their names.

Karen Mooney is the Founder and CEO of Sara Eden Introductions which she started in 1988. At the time she was working for the Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department at Buckingham Palace. With the name ‘Sara’ meaning Princess and ‘Eden’ meaning paradise and love, it was with a nod to the past that she started on a future that has seen her become the UK’s leading matchmaker and relationship expert.

Show Highlights:

  • What does the market look like when Karen Mooney started the business
  • Adapting the business in the age of the Internet
  • The key to finding a perfect match relationship
  • Importance of focusing on your client’s success

Check out Sara Eden Introductions at sara-eden.co.uk/

Join the Ultimate Three Day Business Event and learn more Business Growth Secrets

Be part of our Facebook Group Big Business Events Members Network

Connect with me on Instagram at @adamstottcoach

Transcript:

Please note this is a verbatim transcription from the original audio and therefore may include some minor grammatical errors.

Adam Stott:

Hello, everybody and welcome to this very special episode of Business Growth Secrets. Super excited. I’m back with another amazing guest. Somebody that has been in business for 34 years, in the relationship business, you know, fantastic business where she’s become one of the most well known matchmakers and owns the business that is the best known matchmaker in the United Kingdom. Had tons of press been responsible for hundreds of relationships or probably 1000s of relationships and marriages and people getting to know each other and bringing happiness into people’s lives. So I’m really looking forward to speaking to the founder CEO Karen. So Karen Mooney, welcome on to the podcast, as Sara Eden Introductions. How are you doing buddy? Are you good?

Karen Mooney:

I’m fine. Thank you very much for inviting me, Adam. Thank you.

Adam Stott:

My pleasure. I’m really, really looking forward to getting to talk to you. Of course, somebody who has been in business for 34 years, had a lot of success. And one of the things that we train our clients on, Karen, is that we really need to know our defined target market that people want to serve. I think part of your success is you’ve got a laser focus on that. I mean, you in terms of the first thing you said to me is, this is who we help.

That’s the first thing we had in the conversation we had backstage, you know very well, you’re helping you make a difference. So yeah, great business, I’m really looking forward to a bit about the story of the business. So why don’t we go all the way back, we have to go all the way back and get to know a little bit about how you came to build this business?

It’s been running for 34 years, has been featured in pretty much every national media outlet and every national magazine and gained some real credibility? Where did this idea start from? Because a lot of the people listening to the podcast at early stages, sometimes, I think adds a lot of value to them. So to understand, you know, where we started from?

Karen Mooney:

Yeah, of course. But it was 1988 and I was in my trenches at the time and it was quite difficult to meet people, we were all working very hard and everything. I broke my shoulder and I suddenly saw, you know, all my friends were coming to see me and my male friends and my female friends, they were all complaining, they couldn’t meet people. And I thought their business in this, you know, the date line was around, but for full professionals, you know, who wanted a long term relationship ultimately. And so I thought about it and thought yes, if I am going to take a chance.

So I handed in my notice, and I took a chance and it paid off. I started to eat with not very much money at all. And the rest is history. We’ve been responsible for 1000s and 1000s of relationships, and children to lots of babies. In fact, last week, we just received another wedding invitation, which was lovely last Friday.

Adam Stott:

Oh, lovely. So when you started it off, were you nervous? Did you have some ups and downs in the beginning? What were your first sort of deals like your first bits that you did you know, the first matchmaking, you know, your pricing? What was it like back then? Right? Because it was quite a fresh idea. Right?

Karen Mooney:

It was quite a fresh idea. And people used to get the thing in the introduction agency, those get confused with Escort agencies and things. So I had to know, you know, we’re dating to find a partner for a long term relationship. And he knows states as well there was a bit of a stigma. So we used to have to fight to overcome the stigma.

So all the press produced in the early days, and managed to get some more attractive members to go into newspapers and things as well so people could see it was people like normal people, not people that were perhaps super shy or or, or something. It was just people looking for a long term relationship. By joining Sara Eden, they meet similar people who will be looking for a long term relationship. You know, certainly through years, we’ve had many, many funny stories. And one of the funniest ones, I think, was this couple who works for the same company, they actually fancied each other. But with each other out they came to serried and met.

Adam Stott:

Brilliant. Shows you that there’s certainly an industry there. And obviously, with everything that’s been going on, recently, with your Tinder, you’re like to this different thing, it shows you that the markets there, but somebody and this is the thing I say to a lot of our clients a lot of the time, you know, there is a high level option isn’t there for a business that can provide a better service than and you said to me when we jumped on this is for the person that doesn’t want to be on a mobile phone swiping right, swiping left, but you’ve really gone through the test of time, has it changed over the years, you know, be 34 years in business, because it tracks you what’s been what’s been some of the challenges,

Karen Mooney:

It’s changed a lot over the years. And, you know, we’ve had the advent of the Internet as well, which had a bit of an effect when it first came out. But now, it’s clearly defined, because you’ve got the younger generation who will swipe left and right, the sort of people we look after, are looking ultimately for long term relationship, or the older clients, I mean, the great in the pandemic, and we took a lot of older clients as well.

We’ve got people in the 80s now, which is lovely. They’re not necessarily looking for a long term relationship, but they want people who have been vetted to a certain extent. And they’ve got this similar to themselves. So perhaps, you know, they want to go to the theater or whatever together. It has changed, but it’s come full circle, and we are certainly busier than ever now.

Adam Stott:

Really, brilliant. Okay. So that’s amazing. So along the journey of you growing the business and going out there, you mentioned press a minute ago, you seem to have had a ton of press, what’s your attitude towards paid media and branding and been like throughout the journey? I’ve been to.

Karen Mooney:

I think it’s and I think it is important. And I’ve always run my business sort of, ethically as well, you know, we, the sort of people we take on, if we don’t think we can help somebody, we won’t take them on. We can’t guarantee getting everybody into a relationship. But you know, we certainly give it a go 75% of the people who come to us come through word of mouth through recommendation.

Adam Stott:

It’s brilliant. And if you’ve had a few it’s been a few people have been really challenging over the years. Have you ever had somebody think this person is never going to meet the ideal person? And finally, it’s come along? Have you had some ones like that? 

Karen Mooney:

We’ve had a few challenges through the years. Yes, definitely. Yeah, people sometimes because I’m realistic expectation, so join and there’ll be have really scared potations and as time goes by, they suddenly want somebody who’s you know, six foot man who expects something and he’s, you know, got to have this that and the other and a woman, a man might have unrealistic expectations for a woman as well. So people have to be realistic. You know, if you perhaps know Claudia Schiffer, then you can, you know, be choosy. But then you’ve got to be realistic. Definitely.

Adam Stott:

Okay, absolutely. So what kind of relationships? Do you sort of train people on how they go, and they die? And things like that? And how do they all give them advice, as well.

Karen Mooney:

Sometimes people have not been successful in finding a relationship, because they’re too narrow in tune, they’re too narrow, and they won’t think outside of the box. Often we’ll have to say to people, look, you’re giving off the wrong sort of vibe, you know, you need to come across as friendly, approachable person, who people want to meet as a night, you know, a nice person, if you come across and you’re very rigid in your bit face or whatever, you know, it’s not going to work.

And certainly sometimes we get people who feel like they’ve been interviewed, you know, when they speak to somebody initially, and often that can be nerves, because, you know, they don’t know what to say, or they’re just nervous because they like the person who’s sitting there photographs who’s read their profile, we’ve told them a bit more about person as well. And so I’m just a little bit nervous. So, you know, we can act as the intermediary there.

Adam Stott:

Yeah, and God can blast through those nerves and things like that. So because we’re on obviously, this is Business Grow Secrets. I wanted to ask a question, which I think it’s gonna be a good question for the audience, especially being that you’re an expert in relationships being behind 1000s of relationships. If you’ve got a business owner, I am a female business owner or a male business owner whatever way it is, and the other side of it. You’ve got somebody who isn’t a business guy. And how does that impact a relationship? And how can that be something that people work together on a little bit, I mean, over the years that my current partner is a business owner.

I find it much, much easier as a business owner, to be with somebody that is a business owner, you know, we understand each other more, we understand the challenges and things that we go through. Whereas also, I’ve had partners in the past that haven’t been business owners, and they don’t quite get it. Right, because you have a laser focus in running a business and yourself as a business owner as well. What do you think about that? I mean, what would you say to someone in that respect? Is it down to communication? Is it down to actually maybe you should look for some are more similar circumstances do so? What do you think your opinion would be?

Karen Mooney:

I actually think it depends on the person. Because as a business owner, thinking about, you know, what run your business and what’s happening and everything. So I think it depends on the person if you have a partner who’s too narrow, and they have got no idea what it’s like running a business, I don’t think he can work necessarily. If they’re in a profession, perhaps the doctor or lawyer or something, I think that can be sometimes complimentary, but I think a lot of it depends on the person.

But hat person has to understand that as a business owner, you know, you have to put your business as a priority, not necessarily of the relationship. But you have to prioritize, you know, because it’s your responsibility to make sure your staff as well. And the business runs smoothly and is successful.

Adam Stott:

Absolutely. So you feel that actually looking for somebody similar to us is a good idea, would you say, do you think for people? Or do you think that somebody has also made some demands of them?

Karen Mooney:

In my experience, similar types, you don’t have to react with a nap. But you have to think in a similar way. Opposites can attract, but it tends not to be long term. You know what I mean? 

Adam Stott:

I absolutely understand what you mean. I just, you know, from my perspective, I just wonder, I thought it’d be interesting, you know, for people that are in relationships that are listening now, to understand those aspects. And whatever it is a case of, you know, maybe similar types working together, is maybe a better model from someone who’s done it many, many times. So for example, if a business owner came to you, and there’s two business owners, two business owners, would you go actually, these two people, both run businesses, they both have a similar mindset that I could get along with? Or do you think actually, both of these are going to be too busy for each other? What do you think?

Karen Mooney:

That’s, I mean, that’s why it depends on the person, doesn’t it? Because sometimes, if you’re a business owner, it’s quite nice to have somebody who’s not but can understand. Because you know, that they can be supported. So it really does depend on the person, but you still have to think in a similar way, if that makes sense.

Adam Stott:

Absolutely. And how do you get to the depths of a person that comes in with you, it sounds to me got you get very, very focused on the individual? How do you take the time to understand them? What is it? Do you have the process? Obviously, I don’t expect you to give a quick tip away, but just a bit of a brief outline of how you kind of work with that person and get to understand that person?

Karen Mooney:

Yeah, of course. Well, firstly, they fill in a personal profile form, or nowadays as well, I mean, when I first started, there wasn’t such thing as the internet or anything, you can find out a lot about the person on the internet current, you know, and bearing in mind, our people are professional, or business owners or whatever, or people in the media. And when we interviewed, we asked him lots of searching questions, you know about their life, their childhood, how they grew up, you know, we were not being too nosy. But we just need to get a feel for that person what they’ve been through.

You often find that if somebody wants somebody who’s trustworthy, faithful, that means that block partner wasn’t trustworthy and perhaps wasn’t faithful. So, you know, we get a feel for that person after how they see this off in three years time. You know, do you want to get married? Do you want to just find a partner to have? Enjoy life with what you want to do? 

So we get a feel for that person, we ask them their five most important goals in life as well. And then we can match that person with somebody else. And what happens is when they come along, once they’re interviewed, we ask them to bring three forms of ID and we ask them to sign a confidentiality contract. Love our people. A high profile of the well known. And then we’ll show that we’ll make a selection of profiles that we think that person would like.

And then they choose who they want to meet initially with our help. But it is quite interesting because sometimes we do have to make people think outside of the box. And they appreciate it because it’s, you know, giving our input helping them find relationships, because their success don’t forget is ultimately our success.

Adam Stott:

Of course, and I think that’s the bit I mean, that’s a really key point what you just said there, and I and a brilliant way to run a business. If you really focus on your clients success, being a part of your success really does mean that you serve the client. And I think that’s a really good tip for people that are listening right now. You know, I always say exactly the same thing, the more successful our clients start, the more successful we are. And that should be I think it’s a lovely thing to have running through the veins of your business. Because it means that, like you said, 75% of your people are word of mouth now. And of course, if they’re word of mouth, it means that they know someone more than likely has been successful with you. Right?

Karen Mooney:

Exactly. Which is brilliant, because, you know, if we get somebody matched up, they like to tell their friends about us and vice versa. But it’s quite interesting, you know, because we often get phone calls from people who we actually don’t know, they’re in a relationship through us, because they never told us. But somebody will come through us and they said, you know, do you know, Sarah, Michael, whatever they met 15 years ago through Siri, really? And? Yeah, so it’s nice. Yeah.

Adam Stott:

Oh, that’s amazing. Right, cool. And in terms of now, you know, where you’re at. Now, in terms of growing the business, you said, 75%, your business comes from word of mouth? Where does the rest come from? Is it from the media? Or is it from online marketing, digital marketing, what the other things you do to grow the business?

Karen Mooney:

A lot of it’s a lot of its media. We obviously use it, we obviously advertise on the internet as well, you know, Google is great, isn’t it? You know, I first started, there was no such thing as Google. And we had to rely on old fashioned newspapers and things like that. Yeah, and social media, we do a lot on social media as well. And that, you know, I think, just getting the name out there getting people, you know, to understand, you know, what we’re about, and, you know, we can’t perform miracles. But, you know, we have a very good success rate, too. So, you know, we have some fantastic people who’ve been made a sort of biblical match to yours.

Adam Stott:

And I’d be really interested to know, because you said you would define the target market as essentially professional, busy people that don’t want to use the internet to meet somebody, they want a more, you know, organized, like a nicer approach to going out there and meeting people. Right? Has that always been the way that always who your target from the very beginning has changed over the years as your type of client that you serve changed over the years? Has that always been quite steady in the same place?

Karen Mooney:

No, we’ve always looked after professional people, or, you know, but I think the good thing is now the age group has increased. So hence, we can take people up into the 80s. So we have lots of fantastic retired people, you know, as well. Yeah, it’s the type of person that could be six sincere in their search for finding people. But as I said, the younger people, sometimes they want to get married, have babies, or they want to find somebody to practice with a second time around. But of course, people in the 70s and 80s, they just want to find companions and people to travel with.

Now they can, of course, it is the type of person that’s important. And they want to meet people. I think also the older we get, as well, we have to think you want to make people who are financially secure as you, you know, that is important, too. So we take a look, we do a lot of the vetting and take a lot of the groundwork out of just meeting somebody on the internet.

Adam Stott:

Absolutely. No. And I think it’s brilliant. So of that demographic being that there probably isn’t that much there from rights in that way. And especially when you go on when he’s talking about the internet, the techno technological side of it, and people quite intimidated by the tech aren’t they don’t want to do something wrong. You know, they want an easier approach for sure, I can see how that would be a really growing market.

So in terms of what you would say, for your businesses and building, how important for you has been relationship building in actual business? And if you take the similar approach to build relationships or business as you would for matchmaking, but obviously influential relationships, something that we talk to our clients about, is about how sometimes one opportunity, one chance, one person I can really change everything, one relationship, and how important business relationships are. Where do you sort of stand on that?

Karen Mooney:

I think business relationships are very important as well. Because I think, you know, in order for your business to run, you have to work with other businesses to make it work, don’t you? You know, you have to have your social media people, you know, whatever. And I think it’s very important to have an open, honest, and good relationship with the people you deal with and make it fun.

Adam Stott:

Yeah, absolutely. Of course. Okay, cool. Well, certainly, if somebody was looking to work with you, Karen, where would be the best place for them to go and find you? Would you say with that fee, to go onto your website and to go and check out what you do? And what’s the first step of what they would need to take if they wanted to meet the partner of their dream work?

Karen Mooney:

They need to phone us or look at the website and inquire through the website. And then one of my staff would give them a call, and send me information to learn more about exactly how we operate. They’d need to make an appointment either to come to one of our offices, we’ve got an office in Westminster, and we’re in central Windsor. I started in central Windsor to the castle and we’re still opposite the castle not saying build. Yet, it’s lovely. In fact, the Duke’s bedrooms are alive and used to often drive his carriage past our door. Yeah. But so, yes, then they come to our offices or make a virtual appointment, and have a chat, talk about them, their life, the sort of things they want in the future.

Once they signed a confidentiality contract, and everything, we then showed them profiles of people we felt were suitable for them. If we didn’t think they were suitable, or we didn’t think we’d have somebody, we couldn’t help them. Be very honest, and say at that time, if somebody’s too particular in their specifications, or the sort of person they want to make the big age group and their big age gap or something, you know, that’s not necessarily going to work. Absolutely, yeah.

Adam Stott:

So obviously going to go and check you out. And you mentioned you’ve got an Instagram page as well. And the Instagram pages, Sara Eden Introductions, and I can see there’s tons of different stats and information on there about relationships, finding your dream partner, which will be really useful for people no doubt. 

Karen Mooney:

So, exactly. I think people are always surprised when they come along and see the sort of people we’ve got, we’ve just got amazing people. And it’s lovely, particularly when they stay in contact as well. You know, we’ve got a few weddings happening this year, double generation weddings as well, that were canceled three times because of COVID. So yeah, it’s a lovely job, you just have to be with people, just have to be realistic in the flow. Personally.

Adam Stott:

I would just finish off by what would you say? Would you be your three tips for finding your dream partner? Would you say, apart from that? Apart from getting in touch? So what would you say given three tips if you wanted to find a good partner? Or the partner of your dreams? What would you say?

Karen Mooney:

Yeah. Don’t, you know, go for personnel, obviously, you’ve got to find the person attractive to you. But also, you need to laugh together, you need to have a you need to have fun together. It’s not all about looks, you know, looks can fade as you get older and gray. You have to have fun laughs together. Want similar things in the future? And yeah, one similar things in the future and have fun in your relationship as well. That’s important.

Adam Stott:

Absolutely. So some great advice there for sure. Well, I want to say a big, big thank you for coming along, Karen, you know, well done on the success of the business. In over 34 years, obviously dealing with major high profile people getting tons of media attention. You’ve done a fantastic job. And I love the fact that you said the business, you know, success of your clients runs through your veins. I think that that’s really, really important. And it shows really good advice for any bits. We’ve been hearing today that if you can put your clients’ success first, then your results are going to be reflected in that right of course. 

Thank you very much for coming on. If you’ve been listening today, make sure you go and check out Karen’s business, Sara Eden introductions you can check them out on Instagram. You can go and check out their website and if you’re looking to meet somebody, you know, certainly I don’t imagine there’s a better person, a more qualified person in this country to go and talk to. So hopefully you’ve enjoyed that and enjoyed listening about the story of the business and understanding the media and the moves that Karen’s made to grow. Thanks for coming on. Karen, you’ve been amazing. Really enjoyed our chat. Everybody have that? And everybody, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to subscribe and make sure you leave us a lovely review. If you enjoyed today’s episode. 

Hi, everybody, Adam here, and I hope you love today’s episode. Hope you thought it was fabulous. And if you did, I’d like to ask you a small favor. Could you jump over and go and give the podcast a review. Of course, I’ll be super grateful if that is a five star review with putting our all into this podcast for you, delivering you the content, giving you the secrets.

And if you’ve enjoyed it, please go and give us a review and talk about what your favorite episode is perhaps every single month, I select someone from that review list to come to one of my exclusive Academy days and have lunch with me on the day meeting hundreds of my clients so you want that to be yo then you’re going to be in with a shout if you go and give us a review on iTunes. Please of course do remember to subscribe so you can get all the up to date episodes. Peace and love and I’ll see you very very soon. Thank you.

Leave a Comment