Most photography client enquiries these days are online. They come via email, via a contact form on your website or via social media messages. Sometimes the potential client won’t leave their phone number so you have no option but to reply online too. Hopefully you always send a really fast, friendly and professional reply (we’ll talk about that another day) BUT, what about when a potential client enquires with you and leaves their phone number – how and when do you respond?
Well watch this video and learn how to handle it like a pro so that the decision to hire your business is a no-brainer
Let me start with this – clients who leave their phone number tend to be more serious about their enquiry. This is an important thing to them. They also tend to be higher spenders. So because they take it more seriously, because it’s important to them, because they know they might be spending a lot of money – they want to TALK to someone before they book.
I know these are clients you would like to work with, right? It’s a no-brainer really. They value what you do, they’re prepared to spend more. They’re usually a joy to deal with.
If so then stay with me for this one. First of all I want you to take your business owner’s hat off for a moment. For the next few minutes you are a customer, ok.
So just for talk’s sake let’s say you are looking for a cleaner. You’ve reached the end of your rope with your chaotic house and you’re desperate to make things easier. Something I can identify with all too strongly. But lets also say that despite what it looks like at the moment – your home is pretty important to you and you want to make sure that you hire someone very professional and trustworthy and skilled. Let’s say you’re not just looking for the cheapest cleaner you can find. Let’s say you’re looking for quality. So you do some research by asking around and also looking online and you find three different domestic cleaning businesses to get in touch with. You send them each an email and you leave your details, including your phone number.
So you’re actually a good bit down the line with each of them. You’ve either had recommendations or you’ve been impressed with what you’ve seen online. You’re now just waiting to see what happens next with each of them and then you’ll make your decision.
Let’s call them cleaning business 1, 2 and 3. I know – I’m super imaginative!
Well cleaning business number 1 gets your email but they’re right in the middle of something. They read it then quickly forget about it. A couple of days later they suddenly remember about it and compose a quick reply on their phone and send it out to you. It is a brief message with an idea of price and availability and an invitation to get in touch if you want to go ahead.
Cleaning business number 2 handle things slightly better. They reply to your email after just a few hours. They have a template email and an eBook that they send out for these things. It has lots of great information in it and it’s pretty friendly and professional. They also invite you to get in touch if you want to know more or go ahead.
But guess what? It doesn’t matter.
Because within an hour of sending out your enquiries your phone rings and it’s cleaning businesses number 3. The lady on the phone is super friendly and professional and asks you all sorts of questions about your home and your family and your needs. You have a great conversation with her and you feel that she really understands exactly what you’re looking for. After she’s asked you all about your needs she then goes on to tell you what you can expect from her business if you choose to go ahead. She tells you about the products they use and the extremely high standards they set for themselves. She tells you how you will feel when you return home after your weekly clean has been carried out, she paints the picture of how life will be for you now that you don’t have to worry about cleaning your house. She gives you all the information you need and, whilst you’re chatting she sends a brochure to your email with all the frequently asked questions and their answers and all the pricing information so that you can discuss it with your partner if you need to. But the chances are you won’t even need to discuss it! The chances are that you arrange a visit right then and there, right? Because she’s taken you the rest of the way. Remember, you were nearly there with each of those businesses anyway. You had done your research. But she brought you the remainder of the way and a whole lot more. And she did it all whilst you were still in the buying zone. She struck whilst the iron was hot and knocked your little socks off.
You’re nearly begging her to take your money. Why did you choose cleaning business number 3? You chose that business because this is something that matters to you. You’re not bargain hunting.
You VALUE this thing you’re purchasing. The minute that business reaches out to you by phone your subconscious is telling you – they are professional, they are trustworthy, they are reliable. Then halfway through the very friendly, helpful conversation your subconscious is telling you – they actually care about what they do, they are going to look after me and my home, they are going to enhance my life.
Now let’s step back into your photography business. Honestly, in terms of responding to enquiries, which cleaning business are you most similar to?
Are you like cleaning business number 1 with your delayed response time and your generic email? Or are you more like cleaning business number 2 with your relatively quick email response and eBook?
Because if you really and truly want to work with clients who value what you do then you need to be more like cleaning business number 3.
Yes of course its quicker and easier and less scary to just email someone back. But as with everything in life – taking the quicker, easier, less scary path will never lead you to success.
When a potential client leaves a phone number with their enquiry – they’re sending you a pretty strong message that they would like you to phone them. Or at the very least – they don’t mind if you phone them. So phone them!
Because whilst you’re responding via email or Facebook messenger – another photographer is USING that phone number! They’re swallowing down their phone phobia and they’re winning that customer over by making a far stronger, human connection with them than you’ve been able to make with your written message.
So you have a choice. Continue to avoid the phone at all costs and kiss goodbye to great clients who spend more. OR get over it already! Answer the phone when it rings or call people back when they leave a number. Show them how important they are to you. Make the time and make an impression.
If you really want to get great clients – you need to get on the phone!
This is one of ten steps I talk about in our latest webinar which is all about how to have fantastic clients lining up to do business with you (even if you’re more expensive). Check it out and grab a spot.
What about you? Are you phone phobic or do you love calling your potential clients to talk about their enquiry? Let me know in the comments.