There's a DING in your inbox, and lo and behold, it's the Showit Robot! There's no better- or more intimidating- feeling, but once an inquiry comes in how do you handle it?
Here are my top 5 tips for handling an inquiry.
1.Get back to your inquiry right away- if you want them to be your client.
People are impatient. We live in a fast-paced, social media driven world where delayed gratification is a thing of the past. Even if you are out and about, a quick, 2-second e-mail from your iPhone is better than hearing nothing at all. Usually I'll respond like this: “Hey gorgeous!! I am actually out at a session right now, but I would love to chat more with you about your e-mail as soon as I'm back in the office!! Can't wait to connect soon!”
Granted, I am a boudoir photographer and a woman- so you can tweak your responses according to your specialization and gender. If you're a 280 pound, rippling mass of muscle man that specializes in oh, say, baby photography, you may want to respond differently.
As soon as I am off my phone, I will set an alarm or event on my calendar to remind myself to get back to that client. I'm a creative, and prone to forgetfulness- and technology helps me keep my head on straight.
2. When you do get back to your client, use their name.
If your Showit Robot identifies itself as Jennifer Morrison, but then signs their message with Jen, I will call her Jen when I respond. I'll also make sure that I answer any questions that were included in the original inquiry- which brings us to #3, and it's a big one.
3. Send Love, not Templates.
Once I've made sure that I've answered questions, I also make sure that I show an interest in the client PERSONALLY. While part of my email is always part of my standard response, I always make sure that I customize it for EACH INQUIRY. This is a big one, because I always want to make sure that my clients NEVER KNOW that they are the 50th e-mail Iíve received that day. It is my goal to make sure that they always feel like they are the most important person Iíve ever heard from, and today, clients can usually spot a template from a mile away.
Then I will make sure I respond something like this:
Great to hear from you, and thanks so much for your kind words! The dudoir photos I took of Adam Levine were some of my favourites- is that how you heard about me? (**AUTHORíS NOTE: A girl can dream, right?!**)
I definitely shoot in Arizona, and would love to be your photographer!
Right now I am getting pretty busy with the new†season fast approaching, but I would love to sit down & grab a coffee with you to chat about your photo session. This will help us get to know each other a little bit before your shoot, because the first time you meet a boudoir photographer should never be in front of their lens. I want you to be totally at ease with me before I even pick up a camera. ?
Like youíve probably seen on my website, sessions with me start at $350 and include professional hair styling and makeup application with lashes. All other products are a la carte. Iíve attached a complete list of pricing for you to check out, and when we are sipping coffee I can go through everything with you. Iíll have samples of my Little Black Books and also Luxury Albums. ??We can go through what you like in hair and makeup, chat about what your ideas are for your shoot, and you can tell me all about your husband so we can make this the best Christmas present heís ever received! I just know heís going to love it- itís the gift that keeps on giving, right? ūüėČ
???You can get in touch with me any time by e-mail, or you can shoot me a text or call me on my cell- 555-435-8976.??
Talk to you soon, gorgeous!! ??
Stephanie Moore Photo
Show me love on Facebook: www.facebook.com/stephaniemoorephoto
Follow on Twitter: StephMoore1265??
The bold areas of that e-mail are standard paragraphs that I send to all of my clients. I build the rest of the e-mail tailored to my client, because they are unique and deserve to feel that way. This is oftentimes your first line of contact with someone- make it count!
4. Let your personality shine!
Let's be real for a minute here: as photographers, we all want our ego stroked. When you get an inquiry, your heart beats a little faster, because there's a chance that the client-to-be is going to say OMG! I LOVE YOUR WORK SO MUCH AND I HAVE BEEN SAVING MY PENNIES SINCE I WAS 14 YEARS OLD TO AFFORD YOU FOR MY WEDDING!!
I know that none of us want to think about it, but a lot of the time we get inquiries from clients that have OBVIOUSLY been sent to 15 other local photographers. You know the ones I'm talking about- “Hey, what are your prices? Thanks.”
I used to get mad at those clients. Like, really!? You can't even take 3 minutes to customize your e-mail?? You are obviously NOT my ideal client. GOOD. DAY. I SAID GOOD DAY!
Once I put my ego aside, I realized something. These clients may not have had time to send me the e-mail I feel I deserve. Maybe they were unaware of my brilliance (ha ha) or maybe they were in the middle of changing in a phone booth to save the world. Regardless- if I ignore it, then it's lost. If I decide to respond ANYWAYS and knock their socks off in a sea of stock responses, they could be a client gained for life.
5. Don't over think it!
Ultimately- if an e-mail from the Showit Robot comes in, the client has contacted you through your website. That means that you've already given them a reason to hit Contact Me. Don't panic! Replying in a timely fashion with confidence and personality will help to establish a baseline of trust with your clients, and by the time you're to the consultation stage, it'll be a home run. Have fun with your e-mail responses, and when the Showit Robot talks to you, talk back.
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