When we have a client interested in our services, we’re finding more and more that we’re booking people over the phone and not necessarily after we meet. We do still meet a lot of our clients, but we always try to have a phone call first to make sure they’re a good fit before we schedule a meeting.
When we’re planning for a client phone call there are a few goals we have in mind:
1) Find out details of the couple’s wedding: date, ceremony time, location, etc.
2) Find out about the couple: who they are, how they met, what kind of wedding they’re planning
3) Educate them about who we are and the experience we provide
4) Find out if their budget allows us to photograph their wedding
5) Find out what’s important to them in wedding photography
6) Close the sale (or get close to it) or set up a meeting
Don’t Forget the Basics
We work off a Lead Intake Sheet during these phone calls that were created to go along with our Script. [see lead workflow part 1] It helps us document all the important information, and make sure we ask the questions we need to during a phone call. It also lets us find out what’s important to the couple and what they are wanting from their photography. I always take a few minutes before the call to fill in the information I know (bride & groom’s names, location) before the call just so I can be as undistracted as possible while we’re speaking.
When we start chatting, I generally try to find out a little bit about how they met and a few details of their wedding. I start off trying to find out information about them, and then move on to talk a bit about us and how we work. I’m trying to get as many “yeses” as possible during the phone call, so after I’ve told them a little about our experience, I ask “is this how you imagined a photographer fitting into your day?” We’ve found this to be really helpful in getting them to think about how the experience with our company would act on their wedding day.
Once I’ve gone over the client experience, I go over the pricing guide I’ve sent them to make sure they understand the pricing and how our packages work. I also always try to find out how soon they want to book a photographer. This helps me gauge their interest level and know if they’re even open to booking over the phone. It’s also a good idea to ask if they have any concerns about the process. I want to make sure I calm any fears before the process begins to make the situation as smooth as possible.
We generally don’t close the sale on the phone, because often couples have to consult with others before they are ready to make a final decision. Once we are coming to a close I always ask permission to follow up with them in a few days depending on what they’ve told me about making a decision so that they don’t feel I’m bothering them by emailing them after our phone call. I’ve also found my couples more likely to respond if I’ve asked permission.
Having a phone call with a client has been just as effective for us as meeting in person. It’s all about making a connection with the couple and presenting them with something that they want. We still don’t book every lead we talk to by any means, but we’ve found just as good of a closing rate over the phone as in-person. If you’ve been thinking about trying to schedule phone calls rather than always doing meetings, hopefully this little series will help you come up with a great process that will get you bookings!