If you’re a high-volume photographer, you probably realize that just because you did a good job this season, there’s no guarantee that your account will rebook with you later! If you wait until spring, you may lose the business to an eager competitor who is more proactive about getting a firm commitment from your clients. Secure next year’s business by rebooking NOW, while the good experience you provided is fresh in the mind of your clients.
An easy way to rebook is to have a “Photography Commitment” form filled out and ready for your decision-maker to sign when you deliver your photos, or on the make-up day. At that time, encourage the client representative to select their picture date for next year to guarantee their first choice of dates. If they can’t book dates now, list them as TBD (To Be Determined.) All other details can be negotiated later. Get the signature of your decision-maker and you’re done! Even though this is an informal approach, you’ll find it highly successful in getting clients to commit early to do business with you next year and feel a commitment to stick with you.
Are they hesitant to sign a recommitment with you? If so, ask why. It’s possible that there might be problems that occurred that you’re unaware of. If there is a problem, make every effort to fix it ASAP, report this back to your client and re-engage them in the effort to rebook for next time. If this still doesn’t work, you might have a bigger problem on your hands than you first thought. Dig in and recultivate a positive relationship with your account in hopes of saving it.
One takeaway from this is that everyone loses an account from time to time; often through no error on your part. Who knows why some clients decide to change photographers even though you’ve been providing exemplary service; sometimes for many years. Traditionally, about 15% of accounts change photographers in any given year. The safest strategy is to always be adding new accounts so that if you need to replace one that’s lost, you have more prospects ready to contract with.