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Old March 1st, 2011, 07:35 PM   #1
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Booking Question.. Need advice!

Hey everyone,
I have a question, do you always meet in person before you book? Or have you sold over the phone, emailed them the contact and had them send in or paypal the deposit? I've having a situation right now and i'm looking for advice. I'm probably gonna drive the hour and a half to get there since she wants to do a big package anyways. I also like to make sure we click and get a feel for their personalities.. i just wanted to know what you all do with couples who are farther away than normal.

Also... i have paypal i used it all the time for selling and buying on ebay. Can i simply just send an invoice to the couple from paypal so they can use their credit card? I looked at it and it looks that way.. seems rather simple just wanted to make sure that was all i had to do.

Thanks!
-Andrew
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Old March 1st, 2011, 08:13 PM   #2
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Re: Booking Question.. Need advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Klokow View Post
Hey everyone,
I have a question, do you always meet in person before you book? Or have you sold over the phone, emailed them the contact and had them send in or paypal the deposit? I've having a situation right now and i'm looking for advice. I'm probably gonna drive the hour and a half to get there since she wants to do a big package anyways. I also like to make sure we click and get a feel for their personalities.. i just wanted to know what you all do with couples who are farther away than normal.

Also... i have paypal i used it all the time for selling and buying on ebay. Can i simply just send an invoice to the couple from paypal so they can use their credit card? I looked at it and it looks that way.. seems rather simple just wanted to make sure that was all i had to do.

Thanks!
-Andrew
Have them drive to you. It makes you look desperate if you drive to them. ;-)
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Old March 1st, 2011, 08:31 PM   #3
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Re: Booking Question.. Need advice!

Always meet if you can. Do Facetime, Skype, etc if needed. Or meet halfway through :)
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Old March 1st, 2011, 08:47 PM   #4
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Re: Booking Question.. Need advice!

Hi Andrew,

I've migrated to an entirely electronic process of contracts and I'd guess I physically meet less than half of the couples I work with - less than half actually. I have a nice home office with its own entrance for meetings and they're always welcome, but many choose email or phone conversations. Contracts are sent as pdf's with instructions to print, sign and mail them in or to print, sign, scan and email them back. I then print it, add my signature and date, scan it and email it back. Seems like extra work but I like having everything in the computer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Klokow View Post
Hey everyone,
I have a question, do you always meet in person before you book? Or have you sold over the phone, emailed them the contact and had them send in or paypal the deposit? I've having a situation right now and i'm looking for advice. I'm probably gonna drive the hour and a half to get there since she wants to do a big package anyways. I also like to make sure we click and get a feel for their personalities.. i just wanted to know what you all do with couples who are farther away than normal.

Also... i have paypal i used it all the time for selling and buying on ebay. Can i simply just send an invoice to the couple from paypal so they can use their credit card? I looked at it and it looks that way.. seems rather simple just wanted to make sure that was all i had to do.

Thanks!
-Andrew
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Old March 1st, 2011, 09:02 PM   #5
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Re: Booking Question.. Need advice!

Hi Guys

I'm different!! I ALWAYS go to the couples house...that's what customer service is all about in my opinion and far from being desperate!!! If you want a job done surely you expect the supplier to come to you???
I know I do!! If I'm expected to go and see the vendor then I get the impression he/she is too lazy or just not interested enough to get off his/her butt and come and show me what service is all about!!

I try to always meet my couples..that way I can ask questions and also at least know what they look like!!! To me it's an absolute essential part of the service.

However I have two booked brides who I haven't yet met!! One is overseas (fair enough!) and the other is local but insisted on booking and paying upfront and without any meeting. Guess I will meet her at the rehearsal!!

BTW Andrew ..yes you can use PayPal without any issues at all....just create a link on your website for the couple and send them the link. I use it quite often!!! Some clients like to use their card to get extra points!!

Chris
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Old March 1st, 2011, 10:13 PM   #6
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Re: Booking Question.. Need advice!

in the last 3 years or so I don't think I've met with 20% of the brides/grooms. It's email, phone, they make a copy of the service agreement send it with a check or paypal the retainer and cya at the wedding. I do talk to and email them a number of times prior to the event. those I do meet, some are at my office which is and always has been in my home (we meet in my "viewing room" which is a seperate room from the rest of the house or of they want at thier place or a place of their choice. It doesn't matter to me.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 10:45 PM   #7
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Re: Booking Question.. Need advice!

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Guys

I'm different!! I ALWAYS go to the couples house...that's what customer service is all about in my opinion and far from being desperate!!! If you want a job done surely you expect the supplier to come to you???
I know I do!! If I'm expected to go and see the vendor then I get the impression he/she is too lazy or just not interested enough to get off his/her butt and come and show me what service is all about!!
This makes little sense to me. How would you do a video presentation? On your laptop (with pathetic AM radio audio)? Or (worst-case hypothetical) bring a dvd and now you have to play it on their 15 year old rear projection TV with no surround hooked up and major color convergence issues (which makes your video look like a pile of @#$%)? Meanwhile, their dog is barking, and they are only paying half attention because the phone keeps ringing. Really??? It's such a set up for failure that it could be a comedy skit.

If I'm looking at it from the clients point of view. It's like this ...if a salesperson is in my house I'm going to be extra obligated to buy their service just to be polite to my guest. The house call takes advantage of this politeness and that's why it seems pushy. No thanks. I don't ever want a salesperson in my house for any reason. If I want something I'll come to you.

Lastly, if I wanted to hire a photographer for instance. I want to see their studio. House call ain't gonna cut it.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 11:34 PM   #8
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Re: Booking Question.. Need advice!

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
However I have two booked brides who I haven't yet met!! One is overseas
Just out of curiosity, is it hard to obtain a proper work visa when entering another country? For example, if you're trying to get into the US to shoot a wedding, you'll probably be stopped at immigration and turned away. That's what I heard anyway....

As for us, I'd say we never meet most of our clients until the day of their wedding! Booking is mostly done online.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 01:05 AM   #9
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Re: Booking Question.. Need advice!

Hi Craig

Obviously business is conducted differently on your side of the ocean. I seldom, if ever, need to show a demo. My clients will phone me and book..the home visit is purely to discuss the finer details and sign the documents ...this season each visit to the couple results in a sale so it's worth my while. In the rare occurence that I do show them a DVD (maybe to explain a particular part of the wedding) they have a darn side better setup than I have...usually at least a 42" LCD or Plasma and a home theatre system. I have yet to demo any client on an old CRT TV. I make sure that after going thru my website they can make a decision whether to book or not. Prior to the contract signing, they don't phone me to say "come and sell me a wedding video" they phone and say "we want you for our wedding and want to book and pay"

I run a business and it needs to be efficient.

Warren??? Most overseas couples I book ( maybe 2 or 3 a year) are locals working on contracts (mainly oil/mining) usually in Asia. Having Australian passports means they can come in and out as they please. However I did do a couple this season from Ireland who were getting married to facilitate their visa application.

Chris
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 05:41 AM   #10
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Re: Booking Question.. Need advice!

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Originally Posted by Craig Terott View Post
This makes little sense to me. How would you do a video presentation? On your laptop (with pathetic AM radio audio)? Or (worst-case hypothetical) bring a dvd and now you have to play it on their 15 year old rear projection TV with no surround hooked up and major color convergence issues (which makes your video look like a pile of @#$%)? Meanwhile, their dog is barking, and they are only paying half attention because the phone keeps ringing. Really??? It's such a set up for failure that it could be a comedy skit.

If I'm looking at it from the clients point of view. It's like this ...if a salesperson is in my house I'm going to be extra obligated to buy their service just to be polite to my guest. The house call takes advantage of this politeness and that's why it seems pushy. No thanks. I don't ever want a salesperson in my house for any reason. If I want something I'll come to you.

Lastly, if I wanted to hire a photographer for instance. I want to see their studio. House call ain't gonna cut it.
Last September, I did go to the brides parents home because they came here on the wrong day for an appointment and I wasn't available. Since the wedding was only a month away, I really wanted the job (desperate) so I did go to their home. I played my DVD on their 50 inch projection TV (about 15 years old) and everything was green.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 06:17 AM   #11
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Re: Booking Question.. Need advice!

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Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
Just out of curiosity, is it hard to obtain a proper work visa when entering another country? For example, if you're trying to get into the US to shoot a wedding, you'll probably be stopped at immigration and turned away. That's what I heard anyway....
.
This is true, the US wants to protect its labour force. We have a truck load of gear turned away at the border, the reason being a US AV Company can do the job as well as we do. We had several techs turned away as well for the very same reason. You can lie and say you are just on vacation but just how may "vacations" can you take without giving them the red flag.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 11:37 AM   #12
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Re: Booking Question.. Need advice!

I'm with Chris on this one, but give them options. I usually have them meet me half way and it's usually a safe place like a coffee shop. Craig, hell yeah bro I show my weddings on my MacBook Pro with a 17" screen and it looks great. I can even log onto the web and show them other demos that they liked watching from their home. But usually they just want to see how the DVD menu looks and not so much what the quality looks like. I use to use a 9" portable DVD player and that worked too. Going to them does NOT look desperate it shows that you are willing to work with them and give great customer service. I book 9 out of 10 of the brides I meet, so I guess I'm doing something right.

I had 47 weddings last year.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 12:15 PM   #13
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Re: Booking Question.. Need advice!

I just don't know many professions where they come to you. If I'm buying a car, I go to the dealer. If I need a lawyer, I go to his office. If I need a Doctor, I go to his office. No one really comes to me unless I hire them to do something around my house. If a lawyer is willing to come to me, I'd think something is a little strange with his business. I'm working every weekend and usually turning brides away because I'm already booked..no need for me to drive an hour to a meet someone who may not show up.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 12:34 PM   #14
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Re: Booking Question.. Need advice!

First and foremost, do what works for you.

That said, we have our couples come to us .. and if they are out of state then we do a phone call or Skype. Personally I feel it's important for the couple to come to our studio and see that we are legit, and it also gives us a chance to make an impression on them. I also think you have much better control over the meeting space and environment. When they meet with us in our studio we have total control over the lighting, the sound, the visuals, the layout of the meeting space, even the temperature of the room. We aren't fighting for their attention with ringing phones and kids and pets. We could never have as strong a presentation in someone's home as we do in our studio.

As Michael mentioned, I would never expect a lawyer or an accountant or a car salesman to come to me. And if I called a lawyer and he said he wanted to meet with me in my home, I would lose confidence in him because I'm not getting to see where he works. But again, do what works for you.

One other thing to consider is your time. If you're out driving around to everyone's homes then that's time you aren't getting work done in the office.
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