Photographer’s Guide To Becoming A SESSION-BOOKING PRO When Answering The Phone!

No Matter How Good Your Photography Marketing Is, If You Mess Up On The Phone, You Lose!!

No Matter How Good Your Photography Marketing Is, If You Mess Up On The Phone, You Lose!!

Photography marketing is one of the most challenging aspects of running a successful photography business. So because you and I have put so much time and effort into getting the telephone to ring, when it does ring, you want to be darn sure you are handling it correctly and most effectively. This way, you book as many callers as possible. Otherwise, you’re just wasting all your photography marketing efforts and money!

Many photographers think that “selling” is a bad word – they think that it means to manipulate people, pressure people, or force people to do something they don’t want to do. This is totally incorrect!

The fact of the matter is that no matter how “good” your photography is, it will not sell itself. And no matter how “good” your photography marketing is, if you mess up on the telephone, you lose.  In this digital age of photography, a prospect has so many options and choices for photography, that unless you know how to effectively sell yourself and your photography services, you’re not going to have enough business to stay alive & prosper.

Honestly, the most important tool you own is your telephone, because ALL of your clients are going to pass through this tool at some point in making a decision as to whether or not they want to hire you to create their photography.

So let’s take a look at several of the most common “stalls” you receive on the telephone every day of your photography career, and reveal the proven best ways to handle each one of them.

But first a quick definition: a ”stall” is something a prospect says so she can get off the phone and not have to make a decision, commitment or appointment of any kind at the moment. People don’t like to make a decision – because it might be the wrong decision. So they give you a “stall” and that gets them off the telephone politely and quickly.


STALL #1:  “I’ll have to check with my husband and call you back.”

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AGREE? DISAGREE? I challenge you to a debate (or a patting-on-the-back)! COMMENT on this post below, and let’s start a conversation about these telephone techniques. They really work, and I’ll tell you more about them.

YOUR RESPONSE:  “I totally understand.  Let me ask you this: What do you feel he’ll say when you check with him?”

SPECIAL NOTES:  Notice you say “What do you FEEL…” – not “What do you think…” Why? Because if you ask someone what they “think” it throws them into “left brain” which is the logical side of the brain. By asking, “What do you FEEL…” you are putting them into RIGHT BRAIN which is the emotional side of the brain. This is important, because people invest in photography for emotional reasons, not logical ones.  This may seem very unimportant to you, but I assure you, it’s extremely important if you want to build a successful photography business.


STALL #2:   “I’m just shopping around, I’ll call you back later.”

YOUR RESPONSE: “I understand. If you don’t mind me asking, what exactly is it that your shopping for? When you find the” perfect photographer” – what is he or she going to be like?”

SPECIAL NOTES:  What this question does is start the prospect trying to describe what exactly she is looking for. By doing this, you are gaining insight into her “Dominant Buying Motive” – which is the major thing she is looking for in a photographer.


STALL #3:   “I’ll have to think about it and call you back.”

YOUR RESPONSE:  ”If you don’t mind me asking, what is it that you have to think about? Maybe I can be of help to you.”

SPECIAL NOTES: This question helps keep the prospect talking – and also shows her that you sincerely want to be of help to her.


STALL #4:   “I’m just calling around to get prices, I’ll call you back if I decide to go further with this.”

YOUR RESPONSE:  “I totally understand. But let me ask you this: How important are these photographs to you?”

SPECIAL NOTES:  This question is what I call the “Qualifying Question” – one of the most effective questions you can ask a prospect – because the answer to this question gives you an excellent indication of how “qualified” she is. The word “qualified” does not mean that she has the money to invest in your photography. No. This question lets you know how much she VALUES what you do. And a highly “qualified” person values what you do very much!


Can you see that if you memorize these responses to these common stalls, you will be much more effective on the telephone?

What you’re trying to do is to help the prospect FEEL, on an emotional level, and decide to take the next “baby step”  with you – which is to come in and “chat” with you in person, for no charge and no obligation.

Always remember that a big decision is made up of a series of small decisions. So you want to gently walk each prospect through a series of small decisions, one at a time, until she ends up hiring you as her photographer.  This is NOT trickery or manipulation – that is NOT what I’m talking about here. This is simply good human relations and great service. Understand that hiring a photographer is a big decision for most people.

- Charles Lewis
M. Photog., Cr. – PPA

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2 Responses to Photographer’s Guide To Becoming A SESSION-BOOKING PRO When Answering The Phone!

  1. Ori
    August 14, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I’m going to use these methods and see if there’s a progress :)

    • August 14, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      Hi Ori,
      You will be thrilled with the differences & improvements in your results!
      All the best, and let me know how this is working for you!

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