Its Business day Thursday so let's get right to it.
Business Day Thursday: Don't Give Your Business Cards Out At Weddings!
Okay, you must think I'm crazy making a statement like that. But, it's been my philosophy for as many years as I've been in the wedding business. You might be asking yourself, "Then how in the world am I going to be able to pass my name on the potential new clients?" Folks, I'd like you to consider something. When I started my business I was happy and thrilled to pass my business cards to prospective brides and grooms that I met at the weddings and events I was photographing.
The funny thing is I seldom heard back from any of the people I gave the cards to. Here's why. Historically I found overall my years in business that when you pass a card to a prospective client, that card will be lost in the purse, still be in the jacket pocket as a coat heads to the dry cleaners, are just simply be misplaced really killing any chance of you hearing back from the person you gave the card to. Historically I found that about 15% of the people that I gave to cards to at wedding receptions made the effort to try to contact me again.
I think that a 15% return on your marketing efforts – passing out a business card – is a pretty darn poor return on your efforts. How about if I could guarantee you he 100% return on your efforts? That's exactly the topic of this post. Now don't get me wrong here. I don't think business cards are a bad thing. In fact I'll give my business card away at conventions and programs all the time. But in that case I'm not looking for the recipient to necessarily be making contact back with me. I'm passing out my card to them for a reference should they need to contact me in the future.
Just Don’t Do It!
But when it comes to passing out business cards at a wedding, it's a completely different matter. You want that potential client to contact you and hopefully do business with you. But as I said the possibility of that happening settles in at a very dismal 15% rate of return.
My strategy, for many many years, has always been to ask the person requesting my business card, while never offering mine, but always ask for theirs instead. If they didn't have a business card I'd ask them to write their contact information on a cocktail napkin. In either instance, I had their contact information and I knew I would be a lot more pro-active in re-contacting them. That would guarantee me a 100% rate of return on my efforts. As you can see, this practice dramatically improves my chances of booking a potential client.
The Power Of The iPad
In today's digital age it is so easy to follow-up with clients that request your business card at a wedding. I blogged about this before here DigitalProTalk. One of the most effective ways to counter the business card request is to have your trusty iPad with you everywhere you go. Then, if you encounter potential client, asking for business card, just shown your portfolio on your iPad.
If they see an image that they really like, offer to send it to them. Now you’ve captured their email and have it for reference for future wedding planning or whenever. The potential client will be amazed with your responsiveness and I that same moment you've got their e-mail address for further follow-up.
The whole point is this – to be able to follow-up with a prospective client proactively knowing that you will make the return call 100% of the time. Waiting for your potential client to call you after passing your business card to them for slim pickin’s when hoping to pick up new clients.
So, In Conclusion:
Whenever you encounter a potential client, whether it be at a bridal show, a wedding reception, a special event of wedding planners, or any special event; be sure that you get their contact information 100% of the time. That will guarantee you, if you’re not the lazy sort, a 100% guarantee of reconnecting with them. When we take it upon ourselves to proactively contact our leads we will see a dramatically higher rate of return of booking is prospective clients.
Hey gang, that's it for me today. We've got our webcast later on this afternoon and I've got a few things I still need to do to prep for it. I sure hope to see you online in a few hours. Everybody have a great rest of the day and I'll see you soon.