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Wedding Enquiry - follow up?

Witold Henszel , Jun 09, 2010; 08:56 a.m.

After you send off your wedding photography pricing/package to future bride-to-be (after initial contact, be it phone or e-mail or in person), you wait to hear back from her, right? Or do you remain proactive? Send her a remainder of sorts? Maybe some special offer?
Basically I'd like to know why somebody didn't like my offer, so I could improve my competitiveness or target my customers better.
Your insight will be much appreciated,

Witold

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Responses

Jerry Litynski , Jun 09, 2010; 09:44 a.m.

Just like the used car business, the maybe-wedding client is shopping prices. They often do not care about how good your work is. They are shopping prices. The low-price gets the deal (in this case, the wedding.) Some brides-to-be will want to see samples of your work: writing a letter (or several letters) will not work for those looking for the low-price offer.

You can't give your work away, and it seems some *photographers* have the luck of a camera-and-lens-and-flash that fell from a tree...they are out to give away what they can to shoot a wedding (remember the low-price seekers in the above paragraph....)

barry goldberg , Jun 09, 2010; 11:09 a.m.

However you have nothing to lose by following up with a "just checking to make sure that you received my bid and to see if you had any questions". I would do this by phone (not email) as it will give her the chance to tell you if she has someone else, if your price is too high, or whatever. You should do this a few days after sending out any bids.

Witold Henszel , Jun 09, 2010; 12:54 p.m.

Thank you guys.
Jerry - I completely agree about not giving your work away; sadly it is often the lowest price gets the bid - especially in the lower end market - we're not (the wife and myself) bad photographers (at least compared to local competition) and we can't be cheap. We're trying to be middle price range but still affordable.
Barry - I like your idea with calling people on the phone a few days later. As you said, it will give us an idea what went wrong, and they have somebody cheaper/better we lose nothing just by asking.
Thanks again!

JDM von Weinberg , Jun 09, 2010; 01:04 p.m.

As barry says. Just be careful to offer, not push.
When I saw the title, I first thought well, it's nice to follow-up after shooting a wedding, but how soon can you expect repeat business? Even these days.

David Haas , Jun 09, 2010; 02:34 p.m.

For the first question - If I am contacted and asked to send out a quote or information, I typically wait a week - then if I haven't heard anything from them, I either send a follow-up e-mail or give them a phone call. I am very careful not to "push" or hard sell.

As for getting feedback on why they didn't select you or respond - get over it. 99% of the people you send a quote to won't respond or tell you why they selected someone else. They have made their choice and moved on. Their choice can be guided by any number of reasons - some of which you can adjust to, some you can't adjust to and some you won't want to adjust to. Treat the 1% or so that you get feedback from like gold - send them a quick response thanking them for getting back to you and for the opportunity to present your information to them. Also include a brief - "I'm sorry that we were unable to meet your needs for this occasion, however please keep us in mind should any future photography opportunities arise. "

For the more recent question - regarding repeat business - Yes, we all hope that the marriage lasts for a long time and that we don't get repeat business that way, but we also all (or most) hope that they will have children (Maternity, Kid photos) or if they have children (children photos, family photos, Senior Photos) or have friends or relatives getting married.

Dave

Luc Welch , Jun 09, 2010; 10:58 p.m.

Follow up once, about a week sounds good. Any more and you'll be labeled as "that annoying photographer that kept harrassing me"

Salvador Ayala , Jun 23, 2010; 09:01 a.m.

I myself wouldn't worry about sending a follow up e-mail, my current email service provider seems to be fairly reliable, so if the people don't respond back, it's because they're not interested in hiring me after all, and although when I started this business I did get a bit curious as to why, I know most people would rather not be hastled in giving every potential vendor a reason why they weren't chosen. So I do them the courtesy of not bugging them any further. I suppose one short, and carefully worded, follow up email wouldn't hurt. Like most everyone else suggested. But I personally don't think it's worth the bother.

Marek Jaworski , Feb 19, 2014; 08:44 p.m.

I have similar problem and am trying to make the letter best I can.
Could you please give some samples of how this letter should look like? what should be in. Thank you

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