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Old October 16th, 2011, 11:04 PM   #1
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Consultation: your place or mine?

This may be a minor point, but I'm wondering: I am assuming that most of us operate out of our homes; at least a large percentage. So, for the initial consultation, signing the contract, etc., do you ask the B&G to come to your house, or do you volunteer to meet them at theirs? Or perhaps at your/their place of business (Again, I assume many of us have regular day jobs...) It would not be practical nor appropriate for potential clients to come to my regular office, so I find myself wondering just how to approach this.

What works well for the initial face-to-face? (Starbucks?? LOL)
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Old October 17th, 2011, 12:26 AM   #2
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Re: Consultation: your place or mine?

Hi Ben

Unless they have an issue then I always, always go to them. My thinking is that they are the clients and I'm the service provider so it's up to me to make the effort, get off my butt and go to them. I feel it's a better attitude than saying "you NEED my services so come and talk to me" I think in maybe 10 years I have had one couple come to my home office as they insisted!!

Making the effort certainly pays off for me and I have an almost 100% closing ratio and probably have had maybe 1 or 2 at the most who want to "think about it" ... I do stress that they are under no obligation but the norm is a signed contract at the end and money in the bank....if you did it from home I'm really not sure if it would make a big difference???? Coffee shops seldom work for me..I had a bride who wanted to book for 2013 and wanted to meet this week at a coffee shop ...she has since cancelled the appointment!!

Maybe if you are at their house, they figured the only way we are going to get rid of this guy is to sign????
Works for me!!

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Old October 18th, 2011, 07:32 AM   #3
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Re: Consultation: your place or mine?

I always ask them where is most convenient for them, coffee shop near work, their home - I come to them. I find they're more relaxed in familiar surroundings.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 08:10 AM   #4
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Re: Consultation: your place or mine?

For me that depends. Here there have been cases of fraud by people who say they are photog and vidog that I prefer that they come and see my work. It is more asuring to a client if they now where you live. That doesn't mean there are always cases that you may have to go to them. They might even have to make a leap of faith as in the cases were they come from abroad to your area to get married and they have only seen your website and demos.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 08:13 AM   #5
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Re: Consultation: your place or mine?

Where has the least distractions? Dinner cooking, dog running around, kids?

You want them to focus as if they were in the cinema.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 04:22 PM   #6
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Re: Consultation: your place or mine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Creighton View Post
This may be a minor point, but I'm wondering: I am assuming that most of us operate out of our homes; at least a large percentage. So, for the initial consultation, signing the contract, etc., do you ask the B&G to come to your house, or do you volunteer to meet them at theirs? Or perhaps at your/their place of business (Again, I assume many of us have regular day jobs...) It would not be practical nor appropriate for potential clients to come to my regular office, so I find myself wondering just how to approach this.

What works well for the initial face-to-face? (Starbucks?? LOL)
It would be soo ideal if you have them come to your own studio at home. that is my ultimate dream : )

//I know this could sound weird, but we meet our clients at a starbucks : ) only the starbucks that we pick which is about 5minutes away from our house. the safest and closest.-. If they don't want to meet there, (which doesn't happen a lot) , then we ask where they want to meet.

we just meet them to answer some of their questions (usually the ones they found on wedding blogs).
we don't show them our videos or something like that, because before we meet with them, we send them all the LINKS to things/samples that will be on their DVDs not on our website.. main features, etc.

//going to their place - might take longer time? dvd setups, etc...gas expense. mind you that they haven't booked you yet.

//them going to your place, home studio nice setup, perfect!!! (time, gas, effort = savings)

//we live in a one bedroom apartment but it would be ideal if i have a 2-3 bed house with garage for studio space. I live in san francisco bay area, so house prices here are soo overrated : ) You are lucky to rent at $2500 a month with that.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 06:26 PM   #7
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Re: Consultation: your place or mine?

I'd just like to add that my "consultations" are more a contract signing/information gathering session than a sales pitch. Probably 99% of my brides will phone me to book not "come and sell me your service" so the venue isn't really that critical for me.

I have my website organised so they can make an informed decision before contacting me so the usual bride will decide what she wants, then phone and say "I want to book" when are you free???

If your "sales" orientation online needs them to watch a movie and for you to sell them a package then probably, yes, the coffee shop is NOT the place to be but your professional studio would be the ideal venue. Because of my unique talent of being unable to sell an Eskimo a warm Sealskin jacket in mid Winter I have to rely most of the time of letting my site do the hard work so my meeting is purely to gather extra data and sign the contract!!

Chris
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Old October 18th, 2011, 06:50 PM   #8
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Re: Consultation: your place or mine?

I'd say 99% of my meetings with clients are at their wedding venue; ceremony or reception depending on which is easier.

It's neutral ground and gives me a chance to vaguely plan camera positions and spot any potential issues in advance. It's sometimes an opportunity to meet the venue coordinator too, and I've found a relationship with that person really helps on the day.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 02:12 AM   #9
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Re: Consultation: your place or mine?

Sigmund, time was the main reason so your dead right there. Seeing 1-2 people in a day with all the travelling took all day. We now see them at our studio we can see 3-4 people and still have time to do other things.

Have you factored the cost of travel and time into your prices?
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Old October 19th, 2011, 11:45 AM   #10
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Re: Consultation: your place or mine?

Danny you're right! Seeing them usually takes my time, that is why I try to meet them closer and about 80% wants to meet and I think it is factored in, but relative to the package price it is negligible.

when you say studio, you mean, a place where you rent or just a part of your home?

if you mean a studio that you actually rent, I wonder how much would that cost here in SF. I dont know about your area there but a one bedroom apartment is $1200 on average. so for a studio space, i imagine a higher rate per month.

do you see 1-2 people a day or per week? if you do meet that amount of people per day, you are ballin!

// I truly believe there is a greater chance of booking clients if met in your own studio. but it will depend on your business goal, and i will assume you have to book more 30 weddings at 4k-5k average or more.
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