The Phone: Your Best Free Marketing Tool
by June Kuiper
Do you avoid talking to your clients on the phone? Do you take a little longer than you should to return a client phone call? Are you afraid that you will say something really foolish on the phone?
If you’ve answered yes to any or all of those questions, please know that I’m right there with you, and truthfully, sometimes the thought of making an an actual phone call can feel downright paralyzing. Who doesn’t love hiding out in one’s pajamas, responding to emails at all hours of the night, between rounds of Words with Friends?
Frankly, today needs to be the day when you take the first steps to overcoming your phone fears. Connecting with clients by phone could possibly one of the most effective, most inexpensive marketing tools at your disposal. And, good news! You can still wear your pajamas when you make a phone call!
We recommend three simple steps for preparing for phoning your clients:
1. Have a reason why you’re calling. Here are some possible topics. Pick one.
- You’d like to offer them a special session at a special price.
- You’d like to help them schedule their session for 2012.
- You’d like to get their feedback on your last session and make sure they’re enjoying their images.
- You’d like to ask them for a testimonial.
- You’d like to personally request their referrals.
2. Create a script.
For example, if you’re planning some sort of mini session opportunity, here is a possible script to get you started:
“Good morning, Mary. It’s June. I’ve been thinking about how much fun our photos were last summer. I just adore your family and I wanted you to be the first to know about the mini sessions I have planned. It would be the perfect opportunity to capture some beautiful images of Ava Grace for her two year birthday.”
Preferably, you’d like Mary to schedule a mini session on the spot, but even if Mary doesn’t schedule a session, you’ve made one more connection with her without spending a dime. Don’t be afraid of possible rejection. When Mary thinks of photographers, she is more likely to think of you and your thoughtful attentiveness. Now that’s what marketing is all about.
3. Before you call, practice your script.
Meet with a trusted friend to roleplay. Have your friend act out different responses with you, from reaching voicemail to positive, neutral, and negative responses to your offer. Practice breathing comfortably while you speak and sounding confident and prepared.
4. Follow up with a personal note or email.
Regardless of the response you receive, follow up with each and every person you phoned. Simply let them know you enjoyed re-connecting with them or thank them or provide promised information. Do it right away, within 24 hours.
I challenge you to pick up the phone in the upcoming weeks. In today’s competitive industry, it’s more important than ever to build relationships with our clients. While email and text messages are incredible ways to communicate, there is something extra powerful, extra personal about enjoying genuine conversation with our clients.
If you make some phone calls to your clients in the upcoming weeks, we’d love to hear more about your experience. Share your story with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and you could win a $75 shopping spree to the Photographer Cafe shop. Find all sorts of essential marketing tools and beautiful templates at Photographer Cafe.