Meeting future brides in person (or online via video chats) is the first step towards converting an existing lead into a booking. If you are wondering how to successfully conduct a client meeting, I am excited to invite you to learn how I treat each wedding photography consultation, and how you can improve yours as well!
If you are struggling with what questions to ask, and how to get booked by engaged couples, this post is for you!
First things first, and I can’t stress this highly enough, HAVE A PLAN! It is important that you handle each and every client consultation with confidence and care. Follow the same pattern, whether your consultation is via video chat or in person. Here’s the pattern I follow:
- Greet the couple
- Ask how wedding planning is going
- Ask how they met and how he proposed
- Talk about the engagement session
- Show sample album
- Talk about wedding day
- Walk through the contract
This is my super easy to remember bullet list that I created for myself to guide me through wedding consultations. Let’s talk about each point individually!
I usually meet my future clients at a local Starbucks. When they arrive, I greet them and ask them what they would like to drink (my treat). I am not usually a coffee drinker, so I am always curious to see what others like and try new flavors each time. After we get our drinks, I usually break the ice by asking them how the wedding planning is going.
ASK ABOUT WEDDING PLANNING
“So, how is wedding planning going?” is usually the first question I ask. People like to talk about themselves, so by asking them this question, I am doing exactly that. I am allowing them to talk about themselves, their wedding, the vendors they’ve booked so far, and just getting them excited about the process. Next, I am looking to see if we share any similarities because I know that the more a bride trusts me, the more likely she’ll book me.
Here’s how you can build trust during a client consultation: let them know if you’ve worked at their venue before, or if you’ve worked with another vendor they are using for their wedding (florist, caterer, DJ, etc.)
ASK HOW THEY MET AND HOW THEY GOT ENGAGED
“So how long have you known each other, how did you guys meet?” – the bride usually likes to answer this one. This time I am trying to see if I can find similarities outside of the wedding world and connect with them that way as well. Like if the bride mentions a place I’m familiar with, or if their story reminds me of something that is relevant, I make sure to mention it. Then, looking at the groom, (I intentionally try to include him in the conversation) I say:
“How and where did you propose?” – again, I try to find a way to connect with them through their story.
TALK ABOUT THE ENGAGEMENT SESSION
After listening to their engagement story, I usually ask something like “Do you have any ideas for your engagement session?” Then I go more in depth about what an engagement session entails.
Notice that up until this point I haven’t said anything about myself or my business!!
Next, I tell them what they can expect from their engagement session. Things I talk about are:
- how long the session will last
- how many images they can expect
- the turnaround time
- what to wear to the session
- how to pick a location
SHOW SAMPLE ALBUM
After that, I transition from going over the engagement session details to showing them our albums. I explain to them why albums are important to preserving memories. Their wedding album will be their first family heirloom! This is also a great opportunity to showcase my portfolio. I also talk about the designing process and what all it entails.
TALK ABOUT HOW THE WEDDING DAY UNFOLDS
Next, I go over what to expect on their wedding day. I talk about my approach and how long each part of their big day takes to photograph (details, family formals, bride and groom and bridal party photos, etc.). Here is a list of things I make sure to touch on:
- first look
- digital delivery of images
- ordering of prints and canvases
- how many images to expect
- the turnaround time
I also make sure to ask if they have any questions about wedding photography, what their needs are, and what expectations they have for their wedding photographer.
WALK THROUGH THE CONTRACT
I find that I don’t do this as much as I used to, but I still believe that slightly touching on each paragraph in your contract is a good idea. You want to make sure that everything is clear before they book with you. This is also a great time to remind them what they need to do in order to book your services (sign the contract and pay the retainer fee).
I usually end with the following question: “Do you know when you will be able to make a decision?”. I don’t push my clients to book on the spot. I believe that it’s important for them to talk about it and consider their options before they commit to anything. More than anything, I want them to be happy and confident with their choice. After that, I thank them for coming, wrap up the meeting and give them a gift (optional).
My consultations usually last anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour long. I hope this information helps you go into your next client meeting being confident and having a solid plan to guide you through the entire process!
Do you have any questions about wedding consultations or photography in general? If so, leave them in the comment box below and I will be happy to answer them in a future blog post.
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