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Archive 2012 · How to end a consultation gone bad?
  
 
RL15
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p.1 #1 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


So I've done countless consultations. I'm one that provides a "introductory" price in the email as a qualifier. For the most part I've had pretty good consultations. Once i'n a while I'll get a "You are a bit too expensive for us" which I'm totally ok with and understand everyone has a budget.

Last weekend I met with a couple who were from a referral. We've shot 3 other couples they knew and they attended those weddings as well.

They saw our stuff and really liked it and it seemed to be going very well. Near the end we started to discuss price. They were essentially comparing prices from 4 years ago from the first friend to our current pricing and was quite upset that they weren't given the same "deal". As soon as I saw the sticker shock on their face I knew we had lost them. The margin was much to big to try and negotiate something that would suit both parties.

I've seen this before and at this point I usually finish up the consult by saying thanks for your time etc etc and here is the info on pricing and everything we discussed let me know if you have any questions and get back to me if you want to book.

I was ready to get up and leave and the B&G sat there and kept jabbing at us to do it for cheaper and kept handing different lines to nickle and dime it. It was to the point where they were giving some serious attitude as though we were being jerks for not complying. Everytime I thought I had made a closed end statement and got ready to leave they would jab again.

Needless to say I was on the verge of just our right telling them to go @#$%@# themselves but of course I had to stay professional. In this situation what would you have done? Would it be wrong for me to tell them that they are living in a fairyland and just walk out regardless if they are mid sentence? They had us there for almost 20mins trying to get us down.

This leads me to believe one of two things:
1. They know they can't find the quality for a better price so they want to try and snag us by low balling
2. They really don't know the price of photography

Regardless what would be a good exit strategy without being outright rude? Just leave?



Feb 28, 2012 at 04:46 PM
joelconner
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p.1 #2 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


"Well...sorry to cut this short, but I have...um...a...food...in the oven."


Feb 28, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Dan Grisez
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p.1 #3 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


They sound like the perfect candidate for a craigslist photographer!


Feb 28, 2012 at 04:53 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #4 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


I have had this happen multiple times. Sucks
When we raised our prices we lost our referral base. It was really hard for us.
I give a detailed price list to all inquiries so they know straight up what the price is. That helps.
I also do not negotiate. I help educate them why the price is different. If they cannot afford us...then oh well.
Again sucks

What we are working on now with our new website is to prequalify clients to the point that once they contact us they are ready to meet and book. They are going to know price ranges, our style, and exactly why we do what we do. When the meeting comes I want to be able to hang out, tell stories, eat, drink, and have fun. Build the relationship we all value. If all the other formalities are out of the way then it leaves the door open for the important stuff instead of meeting to try to negotiate a price that is non negotiable....

Just tell them sorry you cannot change the price, explain why and leave it at that.
They will be sorry eventually. Not your problem.



Feb 28, 2012 at 04:55 PM
gridironphoto
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p.1 #5 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


I would not look at this as a personal insult or anything, but these 2 had probably got it onto their minds that with the earlier pricing and their appreciation for your work that they would be getting something that they really wanted.

They may have been jerks about it, but by leaving the door open, there is always that chance that they may retool and spend the money or at least you left them with the impression that you are a cool, calm and fair person that is confident about his business.



Feb 28, 2012 at 04:56 PM
ricardovaste
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p.1 #6 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


Sounds like you handled it well. If they were being persistent and you kept professional and consistent with what you're saying then there's not a lot else you can do. Sometimes people can be pushy, sometimes a pain in the ass, sometimes just outright rude. You have to deal with it, and it sounds like you have. If someone is expecting your rates to be the same from 4 years ago then they're not being realistic at all, but they're definately in the minority there so not a great concern for the future.

I'm pretty new to this, so only have one similar experience. The father of the groom (who I assume was paying) said to my face (looking quite disgruntled himself) "wow, well that's expensive then" at my bottom package. He continued to be quite aggressive on the matter (in my mind atleast), and so I just tried to explain what they actually get from the service, what my strengths are & how it benefits them (etc). I came away feeling pretty awful about it all, just from the vibe I got off him & the general atmosphere. Before that the meeting the bride had said she was keen to book me, and then did a week later, so perhaps some of it was in my head... but better prepared for such reactions next time now...



Feb 28, 2012 at 05:10 PM
RL15
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p.1 #7 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


Haha thanks all.

We've gone back and forth on the idea of providing detailed price lists. May have to revisit this especially because our business model is very different this year.

We don't negotiate on price. We try to sell the person on the quality and let our work speak for itself.

Already decided we do not want to book the couple regardless at this point. There are way to many red flags.

It was more that I wanted to get the hell outta there that got my annoyed. I have never tired so many ways to tell a couple we are ending this session now without bring outright rude.

This was literally the worst I've delt with after countless consults. I guess thats why I was thrown off.



Feb 28, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Inku Yo
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p.1 #8 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


I think it's ignorant for people to think that prices don't go up after 4 years... for anything. Gas prices, for example. You can't get the same car model at the same price as 4 years ago.

Actually, cars might be a good example. With each passing year, the model improves, new features are added, etc. You will never find a new 2008 model in 2012. Why would you want a new 2008 when the 2012 is so much nicer?

You could tell them you'll shoot in your 2008 style (which means you'll shoot like shit) for less.



Feb 28, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Inku Yo
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p.1 #9 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


Wait, were they Asian?


Feb 28, 2012 at 05:19 PM
RL15
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p.1 #10 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


Inku, trust me... We pulled every trick out of the bag and every justifiable reason... We used a similar example to that. They were expecting almost the exact same price 4 years later and in additiona include an album =S.

And... To answer your next question you are good my friend.



Feb 28, 2012 at 05:27 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



amonline
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p.1 #11 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


They really wanted you. If they can make it happen, they will. If not, so what?

As for getting up, it's as simple as packing up and saying something like, "well, I do have another engagement... you have all my info and what I can offer... I'm willing to entertain possibilities around what we've discussed... please contact me as soon as you can to lock the date if you can find a way to make it happen... if not, I wish you guys the best of luck with your wedding plans... please remember that another client can lock your date if they present me with a deposit and contract before you can..." It's not that big a deal. If they really want you, all they'll hear is that last part.

My worst one was a jerk that worked out every single little detail down to final price, with tax, and deliverables, and THEN demanding the RAWs when he already knew I didn't offer them. He was a weekend photo warrior that wanted to "play". He wasted an hour of my time setting it all up just to drop that bomb on me at the end. I said no and shared my reasons why and he pushed for another 10 minutes about it. In some cases, I would have given it thought and worked out something with him, but he was being a jerk with attitude (wanting them completely free; no ifs, ands or buts) and I had to pull the above to end the consult. I never heard from him and he never booked a photographer for his wedding. I felt completely sad for the bride after seeing the results on her FB page months later. The only images she has are really bad "friends" shots.

Sometimes, you just have to let the train wreck.



Feb 28, 2012 at 05:27 PM
amonline
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p.1 #12 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


Inku Yo wrote:
You could tell them you'll shoot in your 2008 style (which means you'll shoot like shit) for less.


That's book worthy right there.



Feb 28, 2012 at 05:28 PM
RL15
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p.1 #13 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


amonline wrote:
demanding the RAWs when he already knew I didn't offer them.


They pulled this one too. "Give us RAW and discount. You wont have to edit and saves you time!!!"






Feb 28, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Wolfe_boy
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p.1 #14 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


This post is an advertisement for showing clients a “well equipped” price as opposed to the base price you charge. I can’t imagine a worse turn for a consultation than severe sticker shock.


Feb 28, 2012 at 05:51 PM
jprezant
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p.1 #15 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


It sounds like your "closing statements" weren't convincing. You can't leave any wiggle room.

"I want to thank you guys for coming to meet with me again, I'm sure you have a busy
schedule as well. feel free to take this information home, and discuss it. I know that
pricing is an issue, and everyone has a budget that they're trying to stick to. If you
can't make it work, no hard feelings and I'm sure you'll be able to find someone to do
a great job at your wedding. You know my number if you have any other questions."

then stand up, and extend your hand for a handshake. That's the end of a meeting.



Feb 28, 2012 at 05:53 PM
andrewho
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p.1 #16 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


+1

jprezant wrote:
It sounds like your "closing statements" weren't convincing. You can't leave any wiggle room.

"I want to thank you guys for coming to meet with me again, I'm sure you have a busy
schedule as well. feel free to take this information home, and discuss it. I know that
pricing is an issue, and everyone has a budget that they're trying to stick to. If you
can't make it work, no hard feelings and I'm sure you'll be able to find someone to do
a great job at your wedding. You know my number if you have any other questions."

then stand up, and extend
...Show more



Feb 28, 2012 at 06:04 PM
andrewho
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p.1 #17 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


Refer them to me :P j/k.



Feb 28, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #18 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


"I don't think we are going to reach an agreement, thank you for your time and all the best for your wedding" then stand up.


Feb 28, 2012 at 06:17 PM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #19 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


Sorry guys the prices are the prices. If you'd gotten married 4yrs ago like your friends I could give you their price.

Tell you what I'll make you a deal. You give me a gift worth $2,000 and I'll knock $1,500 off the price.



Feb 28, 2012 at 06:18 PM
RL15
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p.1 #20 · How to end a consultation gone bad?


jprezant wrote:
It sounds like your "closing statements" weren't convincing. You can't leave any wiggle room.

"I want to thank you guys for coming to meet with me again, I'm sure you have a busy
schedule as well. feel free to take this information home, and discuss it. I know that
pricing is an issue, and everyone has a budget that they're trying to stick to. If you
can't make it work, no hard feelings and I'm sure you'll be able to find someone to do
a great job at your wedding. You know my number if you have any other questions."

then stand up, and extend
...Show more

The sad part is I actually said and did something similar to this.... Only to be interrupted as I got up.....

Oh well I'll take it as a one off since I've gone through so many and never had an issue even close to this.....

Thanks for all the advice. I think I was fishing for someone to say I would be in the ok to tell them off lol.



Feb 28, 2012 at 07:05 PM
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