About 3 minutes of babbling and a desperate need to take a damn breath later, I was self-sabotaging my inquiry calls. I’d be nervous as all get out on the phone with a new inquiry and wanted the booking SO BAD. With practice and a simple formula, let’s makeover your calls for more control, more success and more time for breathing 😉
You get a new inquiry on the phone, now what? Let’s start at the beginning. What is the goal of an inquiry call? These calls are a two-part process. You want to first understand your potential client’s underlying needs. Once this is achieved (and only when), you can move into attempting to book this session.
My problem was brushing off the clients’ need and going into a word-vomit, in-depth spiel about what I can do for them and what they would get. I wasn’t intentionally giving potential clients the brush off. I think to mask my nerves and to best control winning them over, my reaction was to near grovel them with everything I could do for them. Have you ever caught yourself talking too much and thinking to yourself, “must stop talking now!” on an inquiry call? Oh yeah. Been there. Once I realized this, I decided to do ONE simple thing – a total game changer.
That thing: More listening, less talking.
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The more you listen, the more you can hear the real emotional need your potential client is after. People buy on emotion (the real transformation you’re offering) and value level of this emotion, not just logic (the features of your session – the hours with you, number of images, etc.). Once you learn the emotional needs, it’s as simple as repeating back their needs in a way that fits into your offer. When you present the booking opportunity, they have to believe you’re going to satisfy their big why (emotional need) in order for them to say yes to the session.
To quickly learn potential clients’ core values and how you can serve them best, simply give them the opportunity to talk about themselves.
Of course, I’ve got your back. No need to memorize these Q’s. You can download them in a pretty, interactive worksheet to have in your hands (or pulled up on your computer) when you’re on your next inquiry call.
Do you see how these questions are emotion-focused and not focused on the detailed, material things, like ‘wall gallery or album?’ Once you start to understand why your clients are looking for photography services, it’s time to present the offer in a way that satisfies their big why.
Repeat their question responses back to them by painting a picture, in words, of their story as a photo session.
The key is to explain while also creating an expectation that the photo session won’t be all about a strict schedule or acting out these details. You see, it’s not about all the details – like how your potential client thinks of her daughter who likes to pull up her desk & chair and “work” along side her or the way her husband wears a ball cap and works in the driveway on the Airstream to pass the weekend time – for example. It’s about the FEELINGS she gets when these details are happening. If you can portray how you can achieve making these feelings last through your photography, your client won’t be able to say no to this season! You are providing something deeply intimate.
To learn more about presenting your offer and session planning for documentary sessions, check out Intentional Documentary.
Alright, that’s a lot to work with, so I’m going to end here.
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Comment below with your strategies or inquiry questions you’ve found helpful in your business! Let’s help each other out within this incredible community <3
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