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Old November 30th, 2014, 02:55 PM   #1
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What to talk about on first meeting with couple

I guess the main thing I tell myself is that it's not a sales pitch. I hate making sales pitches. I believe, rather, in laying out information and letting people make up their own minds. The main thing they want to get from the meeting, after all, is a sense of who you are, and whether they could get along with you.

I'm usually really open, and just looking to answer whatever questions they have, and trying to get some idea of who they are, what they like, etc. I ask about how their wedding planning is going, and see where the conversation flows from there. At some point or other I'll simply ask, "So what questions do you have for me?"

I find the main things I end up talking about are:

-- (1) details of my packages;
-- (2) specific questions I want to know about -- what type of wedding, and then whatever unusual things to expect;
-- (3) general things I want to mention to them -- editing time, how my pricing works (I generally use staggered payment instead of pay everything before the wedding);
-- (4) discussing the details of their runsheet, as much as they've planned it. Now, this sort of thing might be better discussed at a second meeting before the wedding. But I often find that's it helpful to discuss in advance. For one thing, the earlier any information, the better. But it also forms a useful structure to the conversation, because as they talk, you'll keep finding jumping off points to talk about other things, and then you can come back to discussion of the runsheet;
-- (5) I generally don't show many samples, if any, and prefer not to. They've already seen lots of samples after communicating with me by email before the meeting.

Now, there isn't time to talk about everything. So if you have to limit the topics for discussion, which ones should you concentrate on?

I've recently been thinking, in fact -- would it be better to use the first meeting as educational, as a lesson?

Some couples have been saying to me recently that they don't understand the huge range in pricing: photo/video can cost from $500 to $20,000. They don't understand why video costs what it does. And as someone else said in this forum recently, they often want good quality video, and are prepared to pay for it, but are ill-equipped to judge what it is! (I've encountered this attitude with respect to other things as well -- people wanting to have good quality wedding rings, but not having any idea in how to assess quality of gemstone.)

So might it be better, on a first meeting, to teach the couple? To talk about what to look for in judging the quality of a video? Is it even worth breaking down your own costs and explaining why you charge what you do, or is that unwise, for whatever reason?
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Old November 30th, 2014, 04:13 PM   #2
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Re: What to talk about on first meeting with couple

As far as I am concerned the video is secondary, I want to find out about my clients, their kids, their dog, how they met etc. I want them to know about me and my background so that there is a link before we ever talk about business. If they don't like you, the quality of your work is worth little, so we get to viewing examples of my work later after the initial 'getting to know you'.

I let them look at as much or as little as they want and do no sales pitch whatsoever. I let my work talk for itself and answer any questions that they have. I explain very briefly how I work and tell them about any free options that they can choose to have or not. I never take a booking on a visit as I like them to think about it and get back to me, but I do leave them a booking form. My viewing to booking ratio has been high over the last few years, having missed 2 bookings in the last 3 years.

Roger

Last edited by Roger Gunkel; November 30th, 2014 at 04:13 PM. Reason: Spilling
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Old November 30th, 2014, 05:32 PM   #3
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Re: What to talk about on first meeting with couple

Hi Adrian

I walk in, say hi and then say one sentence to the bride. "Tell me about your wedding" .... She has been planning this event for ages, hubby-to-be only pretends to be excited and now she has someone that she can tell all her plans to.

By sitting and listening I can get a huge amount of info and I'm the bride's favourite person too!! When she is done I ask her what coverage she needs and we complete the paperwork.

I'm probably the worst salesman in the world so you know how tough it would be for me to sell a package to a bride so I need her to sell herself and just assume that she will book anyway (which they normally do)

Chris
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 02:26 AM   #4
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Re: What to talk about on first meeting with couple

nothing really - I don't meet the majority till the day of the wedding - at a guess in the 43 weddings I've done this year I would have meet 2 or 3 brides before the wedding.

In my preliminary correspondence I always say I'm happy to meet them wherever & whenever suits them but very few take up the offer.

Most will ask questions via email and I arrange to chat on the phone with others but as far as actual face to face - very few.

Maybe my face scares them off!!!
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 03:28 AM   #5
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Re: What to talk about on first meeting with couple

Were British so we talk about the weather.
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 08:54 AM   #6
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Re: What to talk about on first meeting with couple

Hey Danny

From what I have heard from wedding guests that fly over here for weddings it closer to complaining rather than talking ..but I guess it's still home?

We have it good and we also complain that it's too cold in Winter (a mere brisk day for you guys) and it's too hot in Summer (with a week of 42 celcius I think we can complain) but nothing like that so far and it's already December and we have barely made the lower 30's on a few days.

It is great here for outdoor weddings though and little chance of rain spoiling a wedding !! Bet it's getting a wee bit chilly already where you are?

Chris
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