When your phone rings do you get excited?
Or do you think that it is just another potential customer who will waste your time just asking questions about price?
Are you expecting them to ask that famous question… How much do you charge?
What you say next is either going to, cost you money, or make you money.
So is there a secret to answering a phone enquiry?
It’s the same as anything else. Be prepared so that you are ready.
If you haven’t prepared yourself with a system to handle the phone call you’re probably going to lose the customer to a competitor.
You don’t want your customer to leave you, saying “thanks, I’ll think about it, and get back to you” They never do of course.
So what’s the answer?
In business we spend a lot of money to attract potential customers, so when we get “cold” leads or any general enquiries, we must handle them in such a way that we can maximise the number into customers.
So try this process of questioning the prospect about her needs, getting to know the triggers that motivate her, and build rapport that will generate trust. The end result is a much better chance of successfully taking a booking, or at least having a client in the future.
Throughout the conversation it’s important to talk to her in a friendly and conversational way that does not sound like a scripted list of questions that sounds like an interrogation.
Of course, we need to tailor our list of questions according to the specialty you’re talking about, but I would suggest having a phone script that you can draw upon before you move the discussion to the topic of the price and investment.
We need to build a relationship quickly, so that the person on the other end of the phone feels a natural affinity for who you are and what makes you different from all the other photographers.
Key questions to ask in answering a client enquiry over the phone are.
Here is an example of a phone script for a portrait photographer.
Have you seen our website?
What did you like about our photos? We specialise in emotive relaxed portraiture etc.
Tell her about your brand and what separates you from other photographers.
Was there a time frame that you wanted the photographs taken?
Could be an anniversary, or special birthday. You also need to know the time frame to check your availability and create a need for the customer to book.
Who was to be in the photographs?
You need to know whether it is one subject or a big group, to give you some idea how long the session will take.
Where did you hear about us?
You need to know what marketing strategies are working.
Do you have an email address?
You need to know this so that you can put the email address into your database, so that you can start sending your regular emails that you send out to everyone on your database.
What’s most important to you about having a professional take the photographs? You need to know the answer to this question should find out the dominant buying motive.
Listen carefully to her answer, you may be given a great opportunity for her to reveal, in an emotional way, why she should work with you.
Tell them your session fee plus a guide to prices of your products.
This is the main reason that the customer is phoning, to get information.
Tell them your photography and ordering processes.
This will give clarity to how you do business.
Tell them that “the only time that you can decide what you want is when you see
your photographs, and it is at this time I will go through all of the products, and pricing,
and from there it is up to you”.
Tell them what makes you “different”, and emphasis it, so that you can create value in the customers mind.
Tell them that you are happy to send further information by email. This would be information, not a price list.
Tell them that you are happy if they are in the area, for them to drop by and see your samples. Then they can see exactly what they are getting for their money.
A key point is to add their email address to your database, so they are going to get regular emails with information, and special offers, that may cause them to make a booking further “down the track.”