Prospecting Strategies That Work for Photographers
When it comes to lead generation, there are two important ways to go about it: Marketing and Prospecting.
To break it down for you, Marketing is the process of advertising your business in print, TV, Internet, Direct Mail, etc to generate a response from someone. Prospecting is the face to face, voice to voice process of networking with people who will either work with you or know someone who will.
Marketing is more expensive and less effective but typically less time consuming to do and feels easier. While prospecting is less expensive and more effective but typically more time consuming to do and feels harder to most people. The reason it feels harder, is because people either don't know where to do it, or they don't know what to say. So they feel uncomfortable or "sales-y"
Today we'll to talk about some effective prospecting locations and scripts that can be applied to your photography business, to help you get more comfortable with this important piece of your lead generation.
First, here are the steps to systematically network for results.
The 10 business card rule is a mindset that you should adopt in your daily routine. This simple rule states that if you commit to meeting 10 people a day and hand out 10 business cards per day you will be quickly on your way to success. Its a simple yet powerful rule that puts you in the mindset of prospecting everyday.
- Use any opportunity to introduce yourself to someone new.
- Ask who they know that is getting married, or could use a service you provide.
- Use the 10 business card rule (described below)
- Ask for their business card or their contact information
- Input their names into your contact database
- Launch a "keep-in-touch" campaign to solidify & reinforce your meeting
Ok so where can you do some great networking? I've found that it can be done everywhere and at anytime but here is a list of places you may find helpful.
- Social functions: Weddings, Parties, Reunions, etc.
- Community Events: Town Days, Sporting Events, School Events, Library
- Professional Networking groups like Chamber of Commerce, BNI
- Social Groups: Exchange, Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, etc.
- Charity Events: Fundraisers, Walk-a-thons, etc.
- Seminars and Educational events.
- Day to Day: Gym, Grocery store, Dry Cleaners, Waiting Rooms.
It's all about striking up a conversation with someone, getting the opportunity to mention your services and receiving their contact information to stay in touch. Here is a sample dialogue you can modify to fit your needs:
YOU: Hi, I'm [Your name, and shake their hand]
PROSPECT: Hi, I'm [Their name]
YOU: [Their name] nice to meet you, what do you do for a living? [Listen to their response] That's great! I'm proud to say I'm wedding photographer capturing that once in a lifetime day, and boy it's been a busy year. Did you know that [Amount] couples got married in [whatever state your in] this year alone and over [Amount] in the country?
PROSPECT: Wow, I didn't know that.
YOU: Yeah its hard to believe. No matter what is happening in the world these days, people are always getting married! I bet if you thought about it for a moment you might even know someone who is getting married that I could help.
PROSPECT: Nope, not really
YOU: We'll if you ever do, I'd love to help you or your friends with anything I can. As a matter of fact I can send you out a free report to keep my clients informed of the latest [whatever it is you can send them, maybe a community happenings update, or your own newsletter]. Would you be interested in receiving it?
YOU: Great! Where would be the best place to send it? [Get their information] Here's my business card [give them a card] If you or anyone you know ever needs great photography and personal service please let me know how I can help!
Another great network connection to make is with someone who gives YOU fantastic service. Here's a little script to make that dialogue go smoother
YOU: [Their Name] I really want to say thanks for the [whatever it was that they did GREAT], In my line of business I've come to recognize great service.
PROSPECT: Thank You! What type of business are you in?
YOU: We'll, I am a Professional Wedding Photographer, but I am really in the customer service business, so I can appreciate great service. Do you have a card?
If they have a card, take it and place them on an appropriate follow up plan. If they do not:
YOU: Well, here is my card. By the way do you know of anyone who maybe getting married or in need of my photography service? I'd love the opportunity to help you or your friends with their needs?
PROSPECT: Yes or No [Listen to their response and respond appropriately]
YOU: [If they gave you a business card] Thanks again and If you don't mind I'll try and keep in touch from time to time with my [whatever it is that you use to keep in touch].
YOU: [If they did not give you a business card] Thanks again, and you know I have this really great [whatever it is you use to keep in touch or thing of value you provide] and I'd like to keep you updated on what's going on in my business, could I have your email or mailing address to keep you in the loop?
If Yes, take it and thank them and move on. If No, politely say no problem I understand and reinforce that you'd love to hear from them if they are in need of your services.
The point of these scripts is to get you comfortable with what to say. Learn them, internalize them, modify them to fit your style and then use them to connect to people. Remember the quality is in the quantity when it comes to prospecting, so do it often and follow up!
About the Author:
Ron Carpenito - Cofounder, WeddingPhotoUSA
With a passion for weddings and the web and over 20 years of experience in the wedding industry, Ron and wife Deb enjoy connecting brides to wedding professionals, writing & sharing about the latest trends in weddings and photography and growing their clients business.