Why I Don’t Book Clients From Email

By Sarah Petty

Sarah PettyIn my photography business, I follow the boutique business model.

I’m not right for everyone. In fact, I’m not right for MOST people who are shopping for photography. I hear no a lot and by now I’m used to it.

I’m not the photographer you go to if you just want digital images for Facebook. I focus on creating custom art for my clients’ homes. I have a passion for decorating kids’ rooms that reflect how special and different each child is. And I’m definitely not the cheapest photographer in town.

So… when I’m booking a new client, my system is completely different.

I do not book clients by email.

Have I tried it before? Yes. But I found after 13 years in this business, is that it didn’t work for the type of clients I want to attract. My business model is about developing high-touch relationships with my clients. It’s about building a relationship with a client. It’s about creativity and one-of-a-kind experiences. And all of that is lost over email. We can’t bond. Everything seems SO formal. And they can’t see what makes me different from every other photographer.

So what do I do when I get an email asking for my prices or if I’m available on a certain day? I pick up the phone and give the prospective client a call. And I have a 15-minute phone conversation. I use my 7 step photography booking system. I ask specific questions. I follow a specific order of what I ask and when. And if the client is right for me, I book them from the 15-minute phone conversation. It works every time to ensure I never pick up my camera unless I’m going to meet my sales average with the session.

And when I don’t book a client, I know exactly why so I don’t beat myself up or go searching for reasons my business model may be broken or my pricing is wrong. If you’re trying to book clients via email and you’re following the boutique business model, I challenge you to pick up the phone and call your potential client.

Stop hiding behind your computer and talk to your prospective customers. And if you’re not sure what to say, this can help.

About Sarah Petty

Sarah Petty was named one of the most profitable photography studio owners in the United States by Professional Photographers of America. She is a New York Times best-selling marketing author of Worth Every Penny: Build a Business that Thrills Your Customers and Still Charge What You’re Worth, MBA and boutique marketing expert who has inspired thousands of boutique business owners to use beautiful marketing to take their business to the next level. Sarah teaches marketing at her company Joy of Marketing, www.joyofmarketing.com.


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