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Old February 10th, 2009, 11:21 AM   #1
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Meeting with clients...

Do people here typically meet with clients in thier homes/offices or do you meet them in public in a location that is in the middle of the 2 locations?

I'm getting to the point where I don't feel like driving an hour to meet clients UNLESS I know they are signing. Time is money and I can get a LOT done in that 1-2 hours.

Am I just being grumpy? lol?
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Old February 10th, 2009, 11:29 AM   #2
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I feel your pain. However, it's a necessary evil...or at least how we (me and my sig. other) run our business.

I like to meet up and figure out what their looking for in their video, and I hope spending those 2 hours will save me time in the future and make a better product.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 11:42 AM   #3
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We personally always meet with couples in our office. Someday I will have a studio and that's more of a given that they would just come to you, but I am currently working out of my home. We have a nice layout and dedicated office so that helps, but in 4 years I have only gone to 1 person. Most people don't really ask and I just tell them that we will meet here. This is my office...it's where I have everything setup and ready to go . I don't want to be in situations where I'm trying to show someone a video on a portable player or on their 9" tv with their cheap dvd player that doesn't work.


Matt
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Old February 10th, 2009, 11:45 AM   #4
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What if you don't have an office? What would you actually say to someone who requested a 1/2 way meeting?
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Old February 10th, 2009, 11:57 AM   #5
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I guess it's a bit different for us anyway because most of our clients are within a 20 min drive from us. If I were in your position, I definitely would just do what I needed to even if that meant still driving to meet them. Do you tend to meet a lot that do book or do you end up wasting time and get enough that don't book that it doesn't feel worth it?
I think to ensure a better meeting, I would focus on the initial phone call and make sure they got as much info, demos, ect. from your website and a phone meeting prior to actually meeting with you. I don't know that part of your situation but that's what I would do to possibly ensure a higher booking rate. Essentially you would want to be past the basic questions...pricing, hours, etc. before you actually meet with them. Hopefully that helps a little bit.

Matt
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Old February 10th, 2009, 12:04 PM   #6
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We're running into this issue too. We work out of our home so, we typically will meet them at a public location. We're still in the fledgling stage, so we will go out of our way to meet clients.

I don't want to derail the thread, but is it necessary to eventually have an office when doing this full time?
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Old February 10th, 2009, 12:10 PM   #7
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Hi Kelsey,

I usually go to a prospective client's place. If they want to go meet with me at office, I make it a point to tell them that I operate from my house. I also make sure that I send them a proposal in advance via email saying I will be answering any questions or concerns they might have. It also makes them aware of the retainer fee in advance, luckily they will sign-up and you don't have to visit them again for the "retainer".
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Old February 10th, 2009, 12:14 PM   #8
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We have an office and meet clients there. You might also be able to team up with a couple other vendors that just need a "store front" and split the cost on an inexpensive office. There are a couple vendors here that share a space and they each pay $100 a month which is very affordable.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 12:35 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone!

these are all great ideas/suggestions!

What about responding to people when they say "I'd love to meet....yada yada" that I usually meet people at "XXX" which is in actuallity only 20 mins outside my neighborhood?

In truth...I'm just not down on the coffee shop meeting. It feels like a blind date: I'll be in a red coat with a brown hat. Do you arrive early or on time. Who pays? UGH. Just give me your money and a map to your wedding!! lol!
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Old February 10th, 2009, 01:39 PM   #10
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Hi Kelsey,

We love when we can meet people in the studio....ten minutes away from my house,But I tend to meet about half of my prospective clients either at their homes or at a coffee house of some sort.There is usually a starbucks some place in between.We don't book 100% of these out of town clients...... but 80% is better then 0% right?

Ryan
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Old February 11th, 2009, 07:42 AM   #11
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I work from the basement of my home. It's a dark cool place, (great for editing), but I couldn't bring any clients down here....it's not the setup for a first consultation with a bride and the dog would probably bite her head off.

So I meet with them at a place and time convenient to them. Generally at their house or a cafe or a bookstore. Ohh...and I always buy them coffee, (I guess I would offer it anyway if I had my own studio).

So far, every bride I've met i have booked. Maybe it's my Aussie accent? It certainly isn't my looks :)

Manny

Last edited by Manny Caras; February 11th, 2009 at 07:44 AM. Reason: forgot to add something
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Old February 11th, 2009, 07:52 AM   #12
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I haven't met with customers for over a year now. (but before that, it was nearly always meet halfway in a friendly pub type scenario)

They've seen my work online, received the pack, talked with me on the phone to informally chat and go through the Plan of Action sheet....seems enough really. Definitely recommended. Real saver on petrol too :)

I can see why Togs would need to meet with customers, but it's not nearly half as essential in this field.



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Old February 11th, 2009, 10:51 AM   #13
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Thats the route I am taking now Richard, although I always pause and never know what to say when they email asking when we can meet, some are insistent! How do you get out of that scenario without losing the booking!

Especially when it entails a 100+ mile round trip...

Just a thought.

Cheers.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 11:37 AM   #14
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What I've found is that once I've gotten to the "lets meet" stage, its close to a done deal given that we've already spoken in some detail and they've seen samples of my work. That's just been my experience. I have a pretty nice office set up at home but still not comfortable bringing clients in ( they might be allergic to my cat or dog!) I always suggest a neutral location like a coffee shop or hotel.

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Old February 11th, 2009, 04:54 PM   #15
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hey John,

again, it's the confidence trick. i simply say to them:
'...actually, i've found in the last year that it isn't all that necessary to meet up seen as we can have a really nice informal chat over the phone and go through the Plan of Action together. And it'll save us both a trip too! If you find after the phonecall you'd still like to meet up, then i'll happily arrange that'


And to this day, I have never had to meet up after the friendly phonecall. A half hour phonecall is efficient, cheaper, and reaches the same goals, compared to meeting up. As I say, totally recommended.
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