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Old April 22nd, 2010, 09:51 AM   #1
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First come first serve?

I have a bride who has contacted me twice about an upcoming date, but will be unable to give me an answer until next week. Another bride contacted me today and is leaning heavily towards booking the same date today. How do you handle these type situations? Do you consider it fair game for anyone until someone books it?

I know there is the potential for the first bride to give me the run around and possibly not book the date. It seems like if I called the 1st bride and said someone else is interested, it would seem like a cheap car salesman tactic.
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 09:55 AM   #2
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Call the first customer and ask for retainer. If she doesn't then ask for retainer from the second customer.

Whoever pays.

You aren't even obliged to call the first customer if they haven't paid, but it is ethical to give her a chance.
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 09:58 AM   #3
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I try to let my couples know at the consultation that I will hold their date for x number of days to give them time to make a decision (usually 2 or 3), and they then know that the date is open after that. I have had this situation come up before and I took the couple that got me their contract and reservation fee first. I did not contact the first couple to let them know someone else was interested, as like you, i feel this is a very cheap salesman style gimmick (or at least it comes off that way). I did however contact the other couple afterwards to let them know that their date has now been booked. You are right in that the other couple might just give you the run around and not book with you at all. Even if they eventually do decide to book, those couples (the ones that have trouble making up their minds) tend to be some of the more difficult ones.
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 10:47 AM   #4
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"it would seem like a cheap car salesman tactic."

It would, if you were only doing it to make the sale. You'd be informing her for HER benefit, not yours.

If you think you will still sound like a salesman, just relay the dates of when you guys talked and when the new person contacted you. Then explain that you felt obligated telling her, but she is not obligated to book now, but if she doesn't you will make the date available to the new customer.

Bottom line is she's had enough time to make a decision, you shouldn't lose out on a job because she won't commit.
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 11:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Clark View Post
I have a bride who has contacted me twice about an upcoming date, but will be unable to give me an answer until next week. Another bride contacted me today and is leaning heavily towards booking the same date today. How do you handle these type situations? Do you consider it fair game for anyone until someone books it?

I know there is the potential for the first bride to give me the run around and possibly not book the date. It seems like if I called the 1st bride and said someone else is interested, it would seem like a cheap car salesman tactic.
We handle this a bit differently depending on the situation. In your case, I would let the first bride know that you have another bride interested in the date and that the date is still open to whoever places a retainer first. I would do this because the 1st bride has had time to consider your services already, and it's not fair to you to have to hold the date for several days.

Sometimes we will give the first bride 24 hours to make a decision as a courtesy to them. We do this if we meet with a bride for the date and we already know we have another couple interested in the date as well; or if we meet with a bride and then the same day (after her consultation) we receive another lead for the same date.

If we're meeting with 2 brides the same day for the same date, then in the first meeting we will let the bride know that we're meeting with another bride that day for the same date. We'll let her know that we can't hold the date and she would need to provide a retainer to secure it.

The key is to just be a professional and still run your business like a business. If you run it like a charity then you'll end up regretting it. Good luck!
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 03:23 PM   #6
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the first one has had plenty of time, go with the second if she wants to book on the spot.
if the first one comes back, book her as well and send a second crew to shoot it.
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Old April 22nd, 2010, 05:58 PM   #7
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Hi Michael

When a bride contacts me initially I offer her a provisional "pencilled-in" booking to secure the date and she is told that if anyone else shows interest in the same date I will phone her and she must then decide whether to make an appointment with me, sign the contract and pay, or lose her booking.

Of course, the new contact also might be just "looking" so when they make initial contact, I make it very clear that another bride already has booked "provisionally" and offer to phone the first client and then get back to the new client. You can usually tell if they sound serious or not and if they say "get right back to me" then it's worth phoning the original client to get a solid booking.

With my "system" the date is up for grabs on a first come, first serve basis if the date is less than 6 weeks away as I will often get a request for a "provisional booking" a year ahead and then hear nothing at all!!

Chris
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 06:27 AM   #8
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Chris, sounds like your doing too much game playing. You tell a client who may want to book on the spot,
that another person has a "penciled-in" booking, but you have received no money or signed contract.
Penciled in don't mean nothing. no signed contract. no retainer. no booking. You'll end up costing yourself
BOTH potential brides doing things this way, IMHO.
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 07:46 AM   #9
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Hi Scott

I would say that pretty close to 90% who make a provisional booking will come back to me within two weeks and book. I would say I probably get 3 or less brides in the entire season who want the same day as someone else who hasn't booked yet. Obviously once the contract is signed there is no negotiation!!

As such a tiny percentage actually don't book it's not an issue. Most will phone me and say "come and do the paperwork"

Chris
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 11:37 AM   #10
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I always go with a first retainer gets the date. If I have a couple considering the date, but haven't given a deposit, I inform them that someone else wants the date and that they have to make their decision.

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Old April 23rd, 2010, 04:28 PM   #11
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old saying from an old guy.

Money talks, BS walks

First one in with service agreement and retainer gets me, plain and simple. IF there is someone else waviering for the same date I call them and let them know that if they want me they've got to get 'er done. cause I have someone else that wants the date.
I'm too old to be playing games and I only do this with a legit person. No fanasty people, but that's me.
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