I'm literally writing this just minutes after booking a family portrait session over the phone.
Because I had an immediate insight after chatting with a super nice lady for about 15 minutes and getting the booking on the spot.
She didn't book me because she thinks I'm the best. The most luxurious brand. And certainly not the cheapest (because I'm not).
She didn't book me because of my style, editing, or even "what makes me different."
She booked me because I CALLED HER BACK.
And I didn't just call her back, I called her back on the SAME DAY.
And I ASKED for the booking.
If I had called her back tomorrow?
She would have booked with a different photographer that actually called her back.
Because you see - for her, yes, she wants professional grade photos. But, she wants the certainty of booking her family portrait session specifically on December 20th, the date all of her children are in town.
And she aint got 3-4 days to wait around for all of the other photographers to get back to her.
She has a life.
That's right - when we as photographers wait 2,3,4,5 days to call people and actually expect they have been patiently waiting for us the OBVIOUS best choice to call them back?
Well, when we do this, we are being completely unrealistic, and are opening ourselves up for self-destruction.
Because when we do that -
1. We are led down the daily shame spiral of NOT calling people back and feeling terrible about it.
2. When we finally do call them back, we are mad at ourselves because they booked someone else and woe is me everyone is better or cheaper if more different or...or...or... DEEP BREATH!
The truth is, whoever they booked wasn't probably better, or cheaper, or more unique....
....They were just faster, and followed through better.
So today my #1 tip for booking sessions is this:
Answer the phone, and if you can't answer, call back within hours and at LEAST the same day. Get an email inquiry? CALL THEM!
It's so simple, yet I have been guilty of waiting two or three days to call people back and then being disappointed when they do not get back with me.
My #2 tip for booking sessions:
Ask for the booking over the phone. After you go over what you do and why what you are going to give them is going to rock their Santa-striped socks off, do this:
"Do you want to go ahead and get that on the calendar?"
Then take their credit card number, and give them the most amazing portrait experience they could imagine.
P.S. Wanna go on a photo walk with me? Join me for my Photo Walk at WPPI in February! It's PW36: Posing and Creating Confidence with Tweens to Boost Your Slow Season! Click for more of a description - and lets hang out!