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Old May 13th, 2010, 07:49 PM   #1
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far far away booking

Hi guys,

We have our own rule where we dont take bookings for weddings that are still more than one year away.

However, we don't know what to say to the couples who come in and want to book us straight away.

What would you tell them? Here's an example of a scenario:

It is a sunny beautiful day of 15 May 2010

bride "Hi, we want to book you and our wedding is 11 june 2011

me "sorry we don't take bookings over a year away"

bride "oh so what happen then if we leave and come back again at 12 june 2010 and there's another couple who book in first since they came in 11 june 2010?

me "uh oh.. you're.... late?"

bride "but I came in a month before that couple!"

me "uh oh... yes..."

advice??
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Old May 13th, 2010, 08:57 PM   #2
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Well, you came up with the year cutoff time for what reason? 12 months, 13 months. What's the difference? If someone wants you that badly, it seems strange to turn them away for what is essentially a random cutoff time.

Are you worried about missing out on a projected price increase?
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Old May 13th, 2010, 09:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
Well, you came up with the year cutoff time for what reason? 12 months, 13 months. What's the difference? If someone wants you that badly, it seems strange to turn them away for what is essentially a random cutoff time.

Are you worried about missing out on a projected price increase?
Hey vito,

reasons are:

1. I might want to go on holiday :P
2. I might up my prices
3. I might want to go to my very own family's wedding day!!!
4. I might decide to make a movie or whatever it is..

basically I like some freedom to decide what I want to do...

I mean, a year is enough for us to generate bookings anyway.. I don't see why I should book people wayyyyy in advance.. except for income security.. which I'm not that worried about.. I believe we can always book other people in a year time.

I just don't know how to respond to the couple when they ask the golden question

bride "oh so what happen then if we leave and come back again at 12 june 2010 and there's another couple who book in first since they came in 11 june 2010?

Santo
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Old May 13th, 2010, 09:30 PM   #4
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Well, if you want to stick to your one year cutoff, then you might tell them "we open at 9am. You might want to show up at 9am one year ahead of your date to make sure you are able to book us."
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Old May 13th, 2010, 09:40 PM   #5
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That's what contracts are for. I've booked over a year and half, no problem. Again, contract contract contract.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 09:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
Well, if you want to stick to your one year cutoff, then you might tell them "we open at 9am. You might want to show up at 9am one year ahead of your date to make sure you are able to book us."
ermmm.. no i don't think I would be that rude :)

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Originally Posted by Steven Davis View Post
That's what contracts are for. I've booked over a year and half, no problem. Again, contract contract contract.
Hi Steven,
I don't think you understand completely, we don't want to book weddings that are more than one year ahead. Its not about contracts :)
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Old May 13th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #7
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Since you're confident in filling your schedule anyways, I would just let the couple know that you don't reserve dates more than 12 months out. You can then offer to take her information and start a waiting list for that date. When the 12-month mark comes around you can then contact anyone on the waiting list to see if they are ready to book or not. Either that or just say what you already said and have her try and remember to contact you at 12 months. Personally, it seems like too much work to start a waiting list but maybe that would work well for your purposes.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 09:52 PM   #8
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Well, I didn't mean it to sound rude. But if you want to stick to your cutoff, there's not much else you can tell them except to show up one year ahead.

Is this a common problem? If not, why not just make an exception this time? You're the boss, after all...
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Old May 13th, 2010, 11:56 PM   #9
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Still to the cut off then. I have enquires as far as Dec 2011! I worry about the same reasons as Santo so I told them I'll follow up with them about 1year away from their date.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 01:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
Since you're confident in filling your schedule anyways, I would just let the couple know that you don't reserve dates more than 12 months out. You can then offer to take her information and start a waiting list for that date. When the 12-month mark comes around you can then contact anyone on the waiting list to see if they are ready to book or not. Either that or just say what you already said and have her try and remember to contact you at 12 months. Personally, it seems like too much work to start a waiting list but maybe that would work well for your purposes.
yea waiting list would be "a little bit" annoying...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
Is this a common problem? If not, why not just make an exception this time? You're the boss, after all...
doesn't happen everyday, but enough to give me mild headache sometimes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Seah View Post
Still to the cut off then. I have enquires as far as Dec 2011! I worry about the same reasons as Santo so I told them I'll follow up with them about 1year away from their date.
same boat are we?

I just had a discussion with my wife and we are considering to let go and change the rule to "no bookings for 2012 before we get to 2011" if that makes sense. but we will however have to face the fact that we may book someone 20 months in advance.hmmm... waiting list sounds like birds chirping now....
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Old May 14th, 2010, 06:40 AM   #11
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It's nice to know customers want to book your services sooo far in advanced. But maybe they want to lock the price as well?

I see following solution - schedule your vacations and other private events for 2011 already - write them down in calendar and do not take any customers for those days - this way you'll be safe with your private time (IMO private time is equally important as business time). Then create pricing for 2011 and 2012 year and book accordingly.

This way you will be safe with both quality vacation and money.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 06:46 AM   #12
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Hi Susanto,

I simply say that I'll put their name on my calendar and will contact them if anyone else inquires about their wedding date. That way if they don't hear from us they know the day is still available. That assumes that you do want a booking on that day though. It'd be a tough thing to do to call and say you're not shooting but don't want to shoot their wedding either. One thing that isn't a issue for us is that the pricing is based on the year of the event rather than when they book.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 07:44 AM   #13
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Hey Santo,

and June time is one of the few times we get to actually have a rest....
Not sure about the waiting list idea cause you'd have to find a system to manage it.

Perhaps you could add a levy for a 2012 wedding - ie + $500.
I wouldn't take a booking for anything over 14mths - people do plan that far in advance, and if they want to book you + $500 b/c you'd probably be looking at a 10% - 20% increase at that stage anyway.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 07:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susanto Widjaja View Post

What would you tell them? Here's an example of a scenario:

It is a sunny beautiful day of 15 May 2010

bride "Hi, we want to book you and our wedding is 11 june 2011

me "sorry we don't take bookings over a year away"

bride "oh so what happen then if we leave and come back again at 12 june 2010 and there's another couple who book in first since they came in 11 june 2010?

me "uh oh.. you're.... late?"

bride "but I came in a month before that couple!"

me "uh oh... yes..."

advice??
I think your customer service skills need work. If I encountered that conversation with someone I would nix any thoughts of hiring them. Myb you wrote it differently than you actually said it, but still you're mindset is certainly not customer first and the snark attitude needs to go.

I think either you should offer to take down their information, and get back to them, or give them your business card and explain the complexities you having with booking too far into advance with running into your own personal conflicts (vacations, family weddings etc but certainly not raising your prices) and ask they get back to you about a year from the wedding date.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 10:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukas Siewior View Post
It's nice to know customers want to book your services sooo far in advanced. But maybe they want to lock the price as well?

I see following solution - schedule your vacations and other private events for 2011 already - write them down in calendar and do not take any customers for those days - this way you'll be safe with your private time (IMO private time is equally important as business time). Then create pricing for 2011 and 2012 year and book accordingly.

This way you will be safe with both quality vacation and money.
hmmm have to plan my vacation in advance eh? good idea... the thing is we're more the type of people who don't plan too much lol. Me and my wife would just decide on vacation at two months time or something... which is not really beneficial in this situation..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Peregrine View Post
Hi Susanto,

I simply say that I'll put their name on my calendar and will contact them if anyone else inquires about their wedding date. That way if they don't hear from us they know the day is still available. That assumes that you do want a booking on that day though. It'd be a tough thing to do to call and say you're not shooting but don't want to shoot their wedding either. One thing that isn't a issue for us is that the pricing is based on the year of the event rather than when they book.
Yea... thats number one on my list of solution now... i think we just need to make that waiting list thingy..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rochelle Morris View Post
Hey Santo,

and June time is one of the few times we get to actually have a rest....
Not sure about the waiting list idea cause you'd have to find a system to manage it.

Perhaps you could add a levy for a 2012 wedding - ie + $500.
I wouldn't take a booking for anything over 14mths - people do plan that far in advance, and if they want to book you + $500 b/c you'd probably be looking at a 10% - 20% increase at that stage anyway.
I doubt people would be happy to pay +10%... they would rather wait till the time they can actually book. But its not a bad idea though. never though of it that way before

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Barnett View Post
I think your customer service skills need work. If I encountered that conversation with someone I would nix any thoughts of hiring them. Myb you wrote it differently than you actually said it, but still you're mindset is certainly not customer first and the snark attitude needs to go.

I think either you should offer to take down their information, and get back to them, or give them your business card and explain the complexities you having with booking too far into advance with running into your own personal conflicts (vacations, family weddings etc but certainly not raising your prices) and ask they get back to you about a year from the wedding date.
Hi David,

I certainly did not say to my clients the way I wrote it here.. it was just an exaggeration.. :)
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