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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 26 May 2013 (Sunday) 21:28
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2 inquiries, same day.

 
MichaelAnthonyPhotography
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May 26, 2013 21:28 |  #1

Hello all! Just want to know how you would deal with a situation.

Couple #1 contacted me about a wedding day next year. I met with them, and held a consultation, went well.

Couple #2 contacted me about the same day, I met with her, consultation went well.

Couple#2 contacted me and had me customize a contract I am willing to accept.

Because couple #1 contacted me first, and their venue is much higher exposure for my business, I gave them first dibs. Bride accepted and stated her intentions to book.

Contract was send on Wednesday, couple emailed me Friday promising to have contract by Saturday night, It's Sunday now and no contract.

I don't want to lose both weddings, however I don't want to be too pushy with couple #1, because I am not even 100% sure at this point if couple #2 will still book with me, as it has been a week since getting there acceptance.

How should I proceed with placing a deadline on couple #1 without sounding too pushy or ahole like?


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FlyingPhotog
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May 26, 2013 21:34 |  #2

First Firm .. First Served

I wouldn't hesitate to tell Couple #1 that while they may have contacted you first, you have additional inquiries about that date. If couple #2 wants to book you cash and contract in hand then Couple #1 loses out.


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Trent ­ Gillespie
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May 26, 2013 22:33 as a reply to  @ FlyingPhotog's post |  #3

Our policy is, whomever delivers the contract/deposit first, gets the date. Often times, if they have a hard time fulfilling your booking requirements, they'll have a difficult time with final payment as well. We've ran into the same exact scenario before, and we'll always take a cooperative couple over the lazy one, even if there is a difference in money and venue.

When this does occur, I usually give the first couple 48 hours to deliver a contract. I feel that is an appropriate amount of time... and not too much that couple #2 is going to feel like they wasted their time.


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peterboroughphotography
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May 28, 2013 07:37 |  #4

Go with the couple that signs the deal first or you could end up with nothing


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memoriesoftomorrow
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May 28, 2013 09:15 |  #5

The first to sign and pay gets the booking.


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umphotography
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May 28, 2013 09:21 as a reply to  @ peterboroughphotography's post |  #6

Same here. Fist couple that I receive deposit from gets the date. I only do 1 per day. What i would do is notify the one you really want to cover and tell them you have another inquire but would prefer to cover their event because its sounds like a better fit for you ( or what ever reason you want to tell them ). I would go with the couple you feel most comfortable with.

We ran into this a few times and thought about a second team. we tried it a couple of times ( 2 seasons ago) where we hired another photographer. Wife went with one and I went to the other.... was not fun so we stopped that completely. You cant book them all. Book the ones that work best for you syle and needs.


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coolpbkid
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May 28, 2013 13:20 |  #7

I would be honest and tell them both what is going on, so the first couple to commit gets that date. Honesty is the best policy and I'd rather shoot one wedding than no wedding.


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cdifoto
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May 28, 2013 13:22 |  #8

First to pay gets to play. If they're both really close to being firm on it, I'll let them pay the deposit right away over the phone/web and we can sign it all up later. Logistically it's easier to take a payment than get a contract signed.


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p27rpy
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May 28, 2013 16:38 |  #9

I would give couple #1 first dibs, but since they are taking longer than expected to sign, I would have to let them know that I will be booking with the couple that signs first. They've got to understand, as their delaying could ultimately cost you both weddings.


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cdifoto
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May 28, 2013 16:57 |  #10

p27rpy wrote in post #15976763 (external link)
I would give couple #1 first dibs, but since they are taking longer than expected to sign, I would have to let them know that I will be booking with the couple that signs first. They've got to understand, as their delaying could ultimately cost you both weddings.

The problem with that is, you can't give anyone dibs and then say first to sign gets the day. Giving dibs means you'll wait for them. It literally means calling first. Therefore "first dibs" is also redundant.


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mirrorrim
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May 28, 2013 18:41 as a reply to  @ cdifoto's post |  #11

I had this happen, great couple, they had all sorts of fun plans for photos, wedding on the beach in NH...would have been a beautiful wedding. They definitely wanted to hire me, but 2 months later there was always a reason why they hadnt sent the check/contract yet. I told them upfront that if I received another inquiry for the date, I would give them a heads up, but after that it was whoever got me the contract+retainer first.

I get an inquiry for the same date and give the 1st couple a heads up. They are frantic and keep telling me they are going to book me. "We really really want you. Is there ANYway you can hold the date for us?? We promise we will get you the retainer ASAP!" A week later I have the consult with the 2nd inquiry and at the end of the consult I give them a heads up.

The 2nd couple gets me the contract and retainer the next morning :D Never heard from the 1st couple after I sent the "sorry, I booked the date," email. I would not want to risk not booking #2 and then #1 never pans out. And if they are this slow/disorganized/what​ever, I dont want to have to deal with that for final payment, planning the photography, formals, travel expenses, etc.




  
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PhotoMatte
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May 28, 2013 20:55 |  #12

Whenever I interview a couple I always tell them they have 'First Dibs' for 7 days, even if I hear from someone else during that time. If that happens I will always contact the first couple and let them know I have someone else who's interested. If Couple #1 then makes an immediate booking, they get the date. If they stall, and Couple #2 has money-in-hand, then Couple #1 loses out. I had to insist on this back in 2007, when everyone wanted to book a July 7th date (ie, 7-7-7).


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memoriesoftomorrow
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May 28, 2013 21:30 |  #13

I've had 5 couples enquire about the same date in the space of 24 hours before. A few of them wanted to arrange a meeting but another couple called up and just said I want to book. No meeting. I gave them 48 hours to pay the deposit. If it wasn't there by then the booking went to someone else. The people who wanted to meet missed out.

I've met with couples before and in the week or so after meeting them before they have got back to me another couple has called up and booked the date.

Over the years I've learnt that someone saying they want to book is one thing. Someone actually doing it is another.

As cdifoto said... No pay no play.


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tim
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May 29, 2013 03:52 |  #14

You did the right thing offering the date the couple who you thought you could do the best job for, and would help you the most. They didn't make the deadline, so they lose out. You could call them and say "you have one hour to return the contract as I have someone else ready to write out a cheque", or just let the second person book.

Your call.


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SMP_Homer
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May 29, 2013 10:58 |  #15

I'd never tell a couple that they need a decision now because another couple is standing behind them with a chequebook in hand...

had similar issues a few times... this one time, made arrangements on a Wednesday to meet a couple that Sunday... on Friday, another couple contacted me - explained that date is not yet booked, but I have committed to meeting someone for that date on the Sunday, and if I were to come out of that meeting w/o a signed contract, I would be free to discuss her plans at that point. She was ok with that, and asked that I contact her as soon as I know....
Met the 1st couple... the first words out of their mounths "we have scheduled meetings with 2 other photographers this week, we're not going to make a decision today"
Right then, I debated... do I end meeting, saying this will be a waste of all our times? Will they see this as a pressure tactic on my part? I said nothing... answered the questions as best I could, etc... and at the end of the meeting, just as they mentionned, no commitment made...
I emailed the other bride to let her know date was still available - by the time I drove home, I had received a transfer for the deposit, and the next night she had my contract filled out...

almost a week later, couple #1 got in touch with me... when I saw the email, I right away thought I'll need to let them know date is filled, etc... but didn't have to... they were now asking if I were available for an alternate date instead... and then that was booked as well!


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2 inquiries, same day.
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