First Cold Wedding Consultation

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by swoop_ds, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. swoop_ds

    swoop_ds TPF Noob!

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    Someone contacted me on my website and wants to meet next week. I assume that she has been through my portfolio and has seen my pricing structure.

    Normally, the face to face meetings that I've done have been with "warm" clients, in that I have spoken to them about things on the phone or via email already.

    What should I bring to the meeting and what should I go over during the consultation?

    Thanks,
    -Dave
     
  2. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Why not turn it into a warm consultation by doing some more conversing before the meeting. And remember luck favors the prepared so maybe print a hard copy of your portfolio and pricing.
     
  3. pmcphotography

    pmcphotography TPF Noob!

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    Seems "lukewarm" to me. They've seen your stuff, obviously like it, and hopefully have looked at your prices.

    I usually bring my laptop with a slideshow from my last few weddings, and have the ability to show them a complete wedding if they want to see one. Bringing an album isn't a bad idea if you offer one, as well as a price list for them to take.
     
  4. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    First of all, why are you going to them? They need to come to you. This will higher your value in thier eyes.

    I meet all clients in my home.

    Secondly, I meet with lots of clients who are not just looking and meeting with me, but several people. A face to face is to your advantage. They want someone they can click with. That's almost as important as the photography.

    As for the meetings, here is how I do it:

    They come to MY home which is totally decked out in huge portraits. There is a giant display of albums. I welcome them in, and ask them if they would like a soda or some wine or whatever. Normally they say yes, and while I am preparing that, I invite them to wander around and check out the portraits, etc.

    When I return with the refeshments, I ask them what package they are interested in. The answer doesn't really matter, because I am going to try to sell up, regardless.

    I've already made them a folder which contains a contract, the packages, the add ons, etc. I also include a questionairre which really puts them in the ether. I always speak as if I've already been hired.

    For instance, I don't say, "If you book me, I'll do x". What I say is, "This is how we are going to do it. It's gonna be soooo cool".

    I show them full wedding samples because most photogs don't do that. I show them tons of albums. I show them all the other cool stuff they can add to thier package, and inform them that I accept credit cards (because we all know that isn't real money.) :)

    I go over my entire folder, and read the contract to them in layman's terms.

    I also slip in little tidbits that I do that my competitors don't do. I NEVER MENTION NAMES BECAUSE THAT IS TACKY. But I know who my competitors are, and so I say that I DO X. What will instantly click with them, without me saying one disparaging word is that the OTHER GUYS don't do that.

    Then I show them before and after of retouching. They are always super impressed with that.

    But here is the big part that a lot of people DON'T do. They don't ask for the money. They don't ask for the commitment on the spot. Sometimes they can't because the wallet isn't there, or they are meeting with others, etc, but you still HAVE to ask.

    What I do is say, "Can I answer any other questions"?
    They ask or say that I've covered it.

    Then I ask, " So should I go ahead and lock in your date"?
    At this point just shut up and stare at them. They will answer you.

    They will either say yes, or they will bring up a point of why they feel they can't at the moment. This opens up the discussion again. Give them reassurance to why they can. Ask them to book again.

    If they still resist, you have done all you can, and you give them a big hug and tell them you can't wait to work with them. NOT "I hope we can work together", but "Wow, I can't wait to work with you. You guys are GREAT!!!!"

    I book 90 percent of all people I meet. :)

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    But it worked, right? :)
     
  6. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    And that happens sometimes in meetings. The money isn't there, and there isn't anything you can do about that.
     
  7. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    You know, half the problems that photogs encounter is the ability to sell. I know wicked terrific photogs who can't sell anything. They don't ask. They don't try to close. Yes it is frustrating, and you feel like a total idiot, but you have to do it.
     
  8. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    And it can for anyone. Just ask for the money. So many people don't do that. You will be amazed at how many times they say yes.
    Why?
    Because no one else asked them.
    All the best to you this year my dear!
     

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