You have a good friend and you find out that they hired someone else. What happened?!
This is a common problem and fortunately there are some easy answers.
Everyone knows more than one photographer
It’s been estimated that everyone knows at least three photographers. I think that number is higher. So who gets the work? Their favorite friend? The one who was friends first? The one that they owe a favor to? Nope. It’s going to be the one who comes to mind first and who answers their phone. The best way to make sure you’re the first one that comes to mind is to stay in touch with everyone you know at least once a month. That doesn’t mean you have to be selling, just be a friend. There are a lot of ways to get organized and stay in touch. One popular way is to set up a recurring monthly reminder to contact your top friends and prospects. Even if you simply send out a monthly favorite photo of the month email you’ll be doing more than most of your competitors.
When you get the inquiry, it’s vital to respond immediately. Even friends will go to the next person if they don’t hear back quickly. Even if you don’t have time to respond, text them and tell them you will get back to them asap. Just say something so they won’t move on to the next person on their list. As an interesting statistic, research shows that a response within 5 minutes increases your chances of closing the business by 2,000%!
How do they know you?
They know you as their friend but they don’t know you as the top professional photographer that gives great service. Sometimes it’s even harder to show a friend what a great professional you are because you are something else to them. Because of that, it’s important to always show up on your game no matter what, especially if you’re presenting to a friend.
You still have to earn the business
It’s natural to think that you deserve the business because of your friendship, but you don’t. No one is obligated to hire you. If you had the opportunity to talk with your friend about their upcoming project, did you show up with your best presentation or did you just show up to take the order, assuming you already had the job? Did you bring your samples and all your support materials? Did you show your friend that you’re a professional and give them a top-level professional presentation to earn the business? If not, you didn’t earn the business. We have a saying; “Friends is Friends and Business is Business”. You want your friends to hire you and recommend you because you’re a top professional and the best one for the job, not just because they like you. Who deserves the very best, most professional service you can possibly provide? Your friends do.
Chuck Vosburgh has more than 30 years of experience as a commercial photographer and recently released an online course:How to Sell Photography Without Becoming a Salesman. Learn more athttp://vosburghphoto.comChuck can be reached atChuck@ChuckVosburgh.comor 727.319.2800