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Old June 19th, 2006, 01:06 PM   #1
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Dealing with client via email

Hello, Everyone

I've got a referral and this person wants to know from price to benefits for thier wedding but....using email as the PRIMARY form of business communication. This his first contact with me.

Should I disclose everything about my business via email?

I don't even know this person so what you would seasoned pros do?
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Old June 19th, 2006, 03:07 PM   #2
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Seeing how email is part of everyone lives nowadays, I wouldn't discard it as an excellent means of communication.

Initially, many people get the information they need first via email or website during the early or research stages of their search for a videographer.

I've learned to accept that - as well as many calls that sound promising but are just folks doing some research, getting prices, etc.

What kind of details are they asking you to disclose about your business? If they want pricing and package details; provide them with a general list of a few packages you have. If they are looking for something specific, get the details of what it is they want and provide pricing for that.

I've turned several email inquiries into successful contracts. Of course after several emails we finally discuss further details via phone.
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Old June 19th, 2006, 03:08 PM   #3
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Get a number from them to call and explain that that is the way you do business - an email cannot do justice to your work.

Sounds like your opposition trying to scam you
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Old June 19th, 2006, 03:32 PM   #4
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It's how I deal with most of my clients, though its the voiceover side of things. They email a script, I time it, invoice them, they pay, I record and upload and everybody's happy.

IMO Unless they are asking personal information about things like your taxes etc, and just want to know packages and prices, what's the big deal?
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Old June 19th, 2006, 04:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Rochefort
Get a number from them to call and explain that that is the way you do business - an email cannot do justice to your work.
Many of the couples book with us view the work on our website, communicate via email and don't actually meet or speak with us directly until a meeting prior to the wedding. I see no reason not to communicate via email and for those who are concerned with sharing information wih the competition, I'm curious as to why you would be a member of a forum that is all about the sharing of information/secrets/tips between member of the same trade.
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Old June 19th, 2006, 04:50 PM   #6
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Same here

Im doing a wedding this July 1 and I never met the bride and groom yet. Only tthrough emails. She live far from where I am but she said that after seeing my work online..she wanted to book me. didn't even have to do any sales speech.
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Old June 19th, 2006, 07:39 PM   #7
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all correspeondance i have is via email.. some by phone but email about 99% of the time.

all docs/contracts are given as prints to the client when i meet them, but price lists are in pdf format.

If they want to see how i conduct my business they can go online. Before my site came online, many sites were half arsed efforts and dodgy sell sell sell crappola. Within 12 months of launching my site, 90% of teh competition had updated theirs. As a supplier, most of those i supply were also my competition, so i had a bit of an "insider" thing happening, so i knew what was happening. In addition to that, many sites have tried to copy our texts word for word, and the basic layout and design structure.
It happens, but being in the game for so long, and with the referals which come our way, people know that our site is authentic and not just a copy of our competitions marketing techniques..
When i notice my competition tryin to leach someof our texts i suually contac tthem through my supply channle and make a friendly comment on how it looks like my own. They usually change it out of courtesy and if they dont, i dont give them discounts on their camera gear or offer them any advice anymore..

i never put prices online as this answers client questions before they even bother talking to me, id rather have the chance to communicate directly with them as opposed to giving them answers here and then and never hearing from them again

i never put video clips online as THAT clip they see may not be to thier tastes. SO i may be limiting myself to what i represent the companies possibilites if i select afew clips as the styles i may put online, may not be to any one particulr persons tastes. Instead, i ask tehm what theyre looking for and show them the closest thing i have to their tastes. this way they only see what i want them to see and id say in 4 years, only 3 people have gone with another company (more fr price than anything)
this method takes longer, but its a better way of scoring a client as youve done ur research and u can filter out the stupids from the clients that are worth ur time.

one thing i learnt the hard way, was to never bust a nut for a buck.
If the client seems like too much of a hasslle, they usually are..
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Old June 19th, 2006, 07:52 PM   #8
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I have arranged wedding video work via e-mail on occasion. It is as good as any communication method, but much slower. I have conditions I impose upon myself when arranging work by email. They are as follows:

Whenever I communicate with anyone in writing regarding business I am very careful to take my time writing.
I want my written words to precisely communicate my intent.
I want my written communications to be correct in terms of both grammar and spelling.
I want to be brief and to the point.
I must be as prompt as is realistically possible, meaning any and all e-mails are answered within 24 hrs.

More than anything else, these items have always generated very positive comments from my clients. In very genreal terms I have found my e-mail clients are corporate employees and are accustomed to business etiquette regarding written communications. those that observe the business rules of etiquette are favorably received. Those that don't create for themselves an element of caution.
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Old June 19th, 2006, 08:06 PM   #9
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"I want my written words to precisely communicate my intent.
I want my written communications to be correct in terms of both grammar and spelling.
I want to be brief and to the point.
I must be as prompt as is realistically possible, meaning any and all e-mails are answered within 24 hrs. "


Good call.. i usually go up to 72hours for existing clients, 48 for new wedding clients and 24 hrs for corp.

as for layout, i have gneric emails i ahve written for almost every element, so it a matter fo copy and paste.
Tweaking is done as needed to accomodate personal needs, but email is also a written form which can work against u if taken in teh wrong context, so u MUST be sure that all info is 100% accurate and up to date.

anything u say, can and will be used against u at the earliest opportunity..
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 07:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
If they want to see how i conduct my business they can go online.
What site? And don't worry, I'm not going to make wedding trips to Austrialia. lol. Ok, maybe for free 1st class flight, 1st class accomodations, rental car, and my own pet crocidile.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 07:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaime Espiritu

Should I disclose everything about my business via email?

I don't even know this person so what you would seasoned pros do?
I'm not a seasoned pro, but one thing I do when I get a question via phone or email about pricing etc, I ask a bunch of questions in return, because a wedding for X amount of dollars might be your giong rate, but not if it's 500 miles away and you have to figure in travel.

When you ask follow-up questions, you can quickly get a feel for A) how serious they are about you and video and B) if they are making most of the decisions or is it someone else, i.e. planner, parent etc.


So, no, I don't pour everything back into an email, like Peter said, you don't want it to come back and bite you in the arse. Ok, Peter didn't use the word ,'arse', but I know he would if he had thought of it.

It's a tough world out there, be careful.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 12:28 PM   #12
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funny this topic...
i go a fonecall from a "seemingly" curious bride to be who jsut happened to be starting off with deciding which day she shoud have her wedding..

after copious amounts of questions (were talkin afew too many indepth questions) i decided that i would ditch the call and forget all about them.

irrespective of whether or not they were a legit query, some of the questions were just too "not normal" in addition, some of the comments made were a little too close to home and made in a way where she was fishing more for business info than anything else.... I could go on about how this one call rang bells (pardon the pun), but i wont bore u

be aware that YOU WILL get calls and emails from the opposition jsut dont waste ur time on explaining EVERYTHING...

IMO its far wiser to get info if ur upfront about your need for it, as opposed to using guile to fish info from the competition...
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Old June 27th, 2006, 08:26 PM   #13
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Thanks to everyone

I just want to thank everyone for their ideas and replies. It's great to hang around here to get challenged and improve skill sets. I hope to catch up to everyone's very high skill level some day....
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