“On date in question, 5 different clients contacted us about at the same date. We booked first one to submit the booking form and deposit. Then we sent out an email to the other 4 clients informing them of this and if they still needed a photographer we would refer them to one.”
Answer: Be clear, firm and understanding.
Step 1 – Apologize.
Hey, we both know it’s not your fault. It’s your right to require a deposit in order to secure your services for the date. She’s the one who missed her chance.
Still, you must apologize. She’s upset and angry, so let her know that you understand. This helps stop the anger from going further.
Step 2 – Explain your policy in plain English. And apologize again.
Calmly explain that you only hold a date when the deposit is received because it’s not fair to other couples who contact you. Tell her that you’re very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused.
Step 3 – Tell her what you CAN do.
Now that you’ve said, “No,” it’s time to salvage the situation by saying, “Yes.” Your recommendation of other photographers is an excellent idea. Let her know that these are photographers you know and trust personally, and who do similar work.
Take it to the next level by contacting them to find out if they’re available beforehand, and then let them know that they’re expecting her call.
Step 4 – Prevent this angry bride situation in the future.
Make it clear to every couple you meet with that you can only hold the date when the contract and deposit are received. If you have other couples inquiring about that same date, let them know about it up front. This gives them fair warning and a chance to move fast to secure the booking.
If you verbally promise to hold the date for a couple, follow through on your word. Although you’re not legally required to reserve the date for them without a deposit and signed contract, it’s important to build a trustworthy reputation by keeping your promises.
The better your communication with your couples, the less often you’ll run into this uncomfortable situation.
What do you think?