Potential client... holiday $$?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by adrienne_delaney, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. Just got an inquiry for New Year's Eve at a nice venue that is only 5 minutes from our home. This venue is $$$$$ as we checked it out for our upcoming wedding as well. So, of course Bridey is looking to cut corners left and right.<br><br>

    1. She referenced a promo that expired on February 1st. If it were a normal situation, I would be like, sure- I forgot to take it down off the website (even thought it clearly states when it runs until). I prefer to have a client first customer service approach.<br><br>

    2. We are a team. We don't do 'one photographer for X dollars and then get the 2nd for an additional $250' etc.. We offer a flat rate (based on season) which gets you both photographers for a full wedding day. Pretty simple.<br><br>

    Bridey says "How about half off for just one of you?"<br><br>

    ?! wat. I haven't ever thought that as an option unless we had nothing better to do that day, because money is money.<br><br>
    The other issue is that it's NYE, and you want to be near your sweetheart for the midnight kiss... so there's that<br><br>

    Are there ways to respond (sales-pitch wise) that could turn this into a full price contract? The venue is very nice and would help us get some more local exposure.<br><br>

    Do any of you add an up-charge for holiday dates? (New Year's Eve, Memorial Day Weekend, 4th of July, Christmas, etc)<br><br>

    I have thought of just saying, thanks but no thanks- but the saleswoman in me wants to turn this into another booking.<br><br>
  2. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    One sales pitch approach would be to outline that it was quite clear the Promotion ended Feb 1st - but as you had not taken it down from your website you are open to discussing taking on her job WITHOUT applying the 150% loading that you normally apply for NYE, Christmas, Easter Sunday Good Friday; Valentine's Day . . . whatever day is important to you.

    If your business model is "2 Photographers" - then I advise you to be stalwart in keeping that system - even to the point of being accused of being blunt - I know I have been accused of that - something like:
    "This is the service that we offer, because we are very good at providing the results that our customers want with our proven system of using two Photographers - we understand that some customers want a different service and different outcomes to what we offer."

    I don't believe I have increased fees or rates simply because of a time or date: what I have done is NOT accepted a "small" job (for example 4hrs work) on Saturday night when the enquiry was (for example) 12 months out - the point being that it would stand to reason that I would expect to close on a bigger job for any Saturday night. Mind though, that "refusing" a job might not be 'legal' in all jurisdictions - or there might be the correct and incorrect way of so doing.

    Mind also that I think that the question: "How about half off for just one of you?" - dependent upon the Prospect's body language at the time of the words spoken - is an huge RED FLAG: and I would search your INITIAL gut reaction to advise you what is the best for you to do.

    adrienne_delaney likes this.
  3. WARNING, WARNING, RED FLAG !!!<br><br>

    The question of "half off for only one of you" implies to me serious penny-pinching.
    She picked an EXPENSIVE site, but now is being cheap on the other stuff to offset the cost of the site. So now YOU are being squeezed to pay for the site.<br><br>

    My guess is that she will want the full coverage the the 2 of you normally do, for the half price of only one of you.
    Besides "half off" is only for 1 person is only the shoot, not the post production which will cost you the same amount. So you end up loosing on that.<br><br>

    The problem is, if your coverage model is based on 2 people shooting, it may be difficult to reconfigure for 1 shooter. What you shoot and where you position yourself has to be replanned. And it will be a lot more work for that 1 shooter. I would keep to your 2 shooter model, or turn down the gig.<br><br>

    Be CAREFUL. Sometimes it is a better business decision to decline a potentially MESSY gig, than be caught in the mess that is likely to happen. It is called "not worth the trouble." This is not a sales decision, it is a business decision.<br><br>

    In your pricing model, I would have an up-charge for certain days, like holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, etc. Because you are giving up your own special days to shoot the gig.<br><br>

    I hope you also have a deposit/booking fee and prepayment requirement in your contract.<br><br>
    • Include a contract provision such as: "Photos will not be delivered until the contract is paid in full."
      Do NOT turn over ANY photos until you are FULLY paid. Once you turn over the photos, you loose all your leverage to get paid, and may never be paid any remaining fees due to you. Taking her to court to collect is potentially bad publicity.
    • Emphasis to her that until you are paid the 50% booking fee (to be applied to the final cost), she only has a "tentative" booking on that date, and anyone who PAYS you for a gig on that date could bump her off.
    • Set a firm date for when the final payment is due.
    • If your payment model is "full payment before the event." Make sure it is in the contract, and that there is verbage for an automatic cancellation of the contract if the final payment is not RECEIVED by X date. "Check is in the mail" does not count. You want it in your hands. This should be no later than 10 business days prior to the wedding, to allow the check to clear the bank. And tell her that auto-cancellation means that you will NOT show up at the wedding.
    • If you payment model is final payment on delivery of the photos. As said above, Do NOT turn over ANY photos until you are FULLY paid.
    • I advise you look through the wedding section, you will see many woes about not being paid.
    adrienne_delaney likes this.
  4. Further thoughts.<br><br>

    Your model of using 2 shooters is to give you photo coverage you want for the event, not the basis for your pricing.
    So a 50% cut in fee, requires not just cutting one shooter, but also cutting half of the coverage. So what half of the wedding does she not want pictures of? Maybe shoot the grooms family but not the brides family? Not likely. So I can see that she will want the same full coverage, but at half the price. The math on this does not work.
    Also, at a 50% discount + the promo discount, is the gig even financially worth taking on, given the amount of work involved and what else you can be doing on that day?
    As William said, once you commit, and you have her booking fee in hand, you would be forgoing a better paying (not discounted, and maybe even up-charged) gig, that you could get on the same date. This is a gig that I might take on "at the last minute," when I have no chance of booking a full price gig for that date. But I would not take it as a primary booking, when there is so much time before that date to get a full price gig.
    The other thing is, what if word gets out that you gave her a 50% discount? Then you will have to deal with other brides that also want a 50% discount. How will you deal with that? That is one of the dangers of discounts.
    Based on my class in business law, and what I read above which is missing a lot of data, there was no offer to do a job, just an advertisement (the web site).
    Secondly, the potential client (the bride), by countering with a 50% discount, is establishing a new contract offer, having turned down the original rate. So the original offer (even if there was one) was refused. In this case, Adrienne would be the one to accept or refuse the counter offer.
    Man I hate how the forum software removes the paragraphs and make it all ONE paragraph, that is HARD to read. I had to manually put html code into the text.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  5. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I agree on both points that you make. <br><br>

    For clarity now if my opening comments were not clear:<br><br>

    My first para ("One sales pitch approach . . .) was NOT meant to imply that there was either an offer to do a job or an obligation to honour the (outdated) advertisement - what I was answering in my first paragraph was Adriene's question - <br><br>

    "Are there ways to respond (sales-pitch wise) that could turn this into a full price contract? <br><br>

    (Expanding): One of my points being, from sales perspective, the Prospect having already introduced the topic of the advertisement, one method of responding would be to continue that topic. Doing so usually does three main things: develops rapport; provides a continuum and easy flow of conversation and addresses/answers the topic/question which was introduced by the Prospect.<br><br>

    Then, Adrienne could develop that topic of the advertisement, mentioning that it had expired, but in its place make a counter offer of not charging the usual 150% loading for New Years Eve.<br><br>

    If the Prospect accepted that offer then that is the outcome that Adrienne specifically asked about - i.e. 'a full priced contract' <br><br>

    *** <br><br>

    However - my overriding general advice, (same as yours) is that I would be very wary because red flags went up in my head too.

  6. You could counter by telling her that New Year Eve is 10 months away, which is a lot of time to get a full rate gig. And given the 10 months to the date, the only way you can book her is to book her at full rate + holiday up-charge. You can give her the promo, if you want to, but make it clear that you are giving the promo despite the fact that it is expired.<br><br>

    Or you could do a tentative booking, subject to being cancelled if you get a full rate gig.
    But again, is the 50% fee worth the time and effort? I would tend to say no.<br><br>

    You could also counter with a smaller discount, maybe 10%. And maybe this is what she is expecting by asking for a 50% discount.<br>
    She may then counter you with 40%, then you at 20%, then her with 30%. <br>
    But is 30% still too much discount?<br>
    You need to decide on a floor for the discount and stick with it.<br>
    Remember the discount you give sets precedence. Others will want what she gets, and word WILL get out.<br>
    This is a business decision, not a sales decision. <br><br>

    Part of business is knowing when to walk away from a bad deal.<br>

    If she sticks to wanting a 50% discount, I consider it is a bad deal, for YOU.<br>
    You do not HAVE TO take the gig.<br><br>

    BTW, is the florist or caterer or limo or . . . also going to give her a 50% discount, to help pay for the venue? I doubt it.
    adrienne_delaney likes this.
  7. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I would NOT get into any bargaining negotiation about discounts.<br><br>
  8. William
    Please forward to the forum techies, that this merging of multiple paragraphs into a single paragraph makes for very poor reading responses.
  9. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member


    Yes it has been reported several times in "Site Help" and yes it is frustrating and yes the techies are working on it: Glenn has this issue as one of the priorities to fix.<br><br>

    In the mean time I am using the HTML Code < br > < br > (without the spaces) to make my commentary sit in paragraphs - I note sometimes I have to refresh the screen to see that code take effect. <br><br>

    That code is a "Line Break" so two of them will make a"paragraph break". <br>
    If you want simply to begin a new line, the just use one.<br>
    As I have done between these last three sentences.<br><br>

    I will remove this and Gary's request above it at a later date.<br><br>

    Here one of the referenced threads, in Site Help.<br><br>

  10. Thanks William. <br><br>
    I just have to remember to put the double break into the response.
  11. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    OK, like I said, I'll leave this side conversation here for a while for others ti read it (not to continue the topic) and then delete it. <br><br>
    Hopefully this bug will be fixed soon.
  12. I guess I'd lament, explaining
    • We can't re-shoot a wedding. Being professional means getting a job done by hook or by crook, although a camera goes on strike or, even worse, continues clicking although it doesn't nail focus or a memory card eats it's contents. For these reasons we shoot as a team, to make sure one of us doesn't miss something important, is in the right spot or brings at least a backup shot of the formals home.
    • To provide our modest pricing we cut expenses. We run only one well maintained car and share the $10K backup camera in it's trunk. So if one of us has to stay at home they can't generate further income.
    • Your math is unfortunately off: it takes us 1 day to shoot and 2 days to postprocess & edit your wedding. so one of us staying at home would only save you 25% at the very best.
    Going from there I'd apologizen that I'm not very interested in a deal that puts me out of my comfort zone due to it's happy go lucky approach towards things and quote a to her uncomfortably late deadline until which you'd try to find a better gig for that day, offer staying in touch but refuse final booking for discounted price. - I am neither shooting weddings for a living nor running a business. All I know: I would not mark up mainstream hollidays especially like NYE. - If you get that one off you'll just end spending a lot. I'd love to shoot, no matter what, then especially if I had a partner involved into a photography business.
  13. I had followed up with the bride's request by requesting more information, what hours and how large of a wedding. That way we could determine if it was worth working for some sort of custom pricing. She never replied back, so I'm not terribly worried about it.
    We usually have some sort of casual event to attend NYE, so if we are still available and can work out a reasonable pricepoint, then we'd probably still work it out.

    As far as all the contract-money-work stuff, We always have our contracts signed and deposits in. We have on the occasion had couples pay the balance later, but nothing more than a sneak peek facebook post was given until payment clears. We read too many horror stories to mess around with that stuff.

    Thanks for the responses :)

Share This Page