I’m Sorry the Plans Have Been Canceled…
Sunday afternoon a little after 2 pm, I get one of my favorite emails: “A new lead has been assigned to you.” Which is how my CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software lets me know that a potential client has inquired about working with me through the online contact form on my website. If you own your own company you know that every single request for a photo shoot is like a job interview.
You know the rest of the drill: a couple of emails and phone calls to get all the details of the shoot, how many photos, usage, scope of production, etc. Estimates are written, dates are set and preparations are made. Ten days later I confirm the shoot date and am looking forward to another happy client.
Then I get my least favorite email first thing in the morning on the following Wednesday: “I’m sorry, the plans have been canceled.” Rejection. Remember that this can mean anything, project got axed, client’s needs changed, their business partners had other ideas or – like in this case – he’s found a cheaper photographer.
How do you react? Do you demand your deposit anyway? Call the client and let him have it over the phone? Do nothing? Cut your rate? Curl up into a ball and cry? I’ve not found that any of these solutions work particularly well. Usually what I’ll do is write a nice and polite email response, thanking the client for considering me to create his photographs and (almost always) I will contact them down the road.
In this case, though, I get a phone call at 10 am the following Monday (the day we had originally scheduled the shoot): “Are you available to shoot now?”