make money from photography

When Is The Right Time?

Mark Lait

Mark Lait

One of the most interesting things that I have found over the years is that people will enter a competition multiple times.

As per our standard process, when someone enters one of our competitions we call them and they can react in any number of ways, they can hang up on you, they can tell you they’re not interested, they can be overwhelmingly grateful that they have been chosen as one of our winners, they can ask to be called back and then not answer the call when you do so.

It’s easy to think – ‘well who needs you anyway!’ but you can’t afford to think that way – if you treat them the same way, you’ve fallen to their level and … you’ll never be able to establish a relationship with them.

We have a system that flags each prospect’s response after a call, one of these is ‘not interested’ – fair enough, not everybody is going to be interested in what you have to offer.

So you can flag someone as not interested in your CRM, and you can run another campaign, a month later, a year later – 5 years later and ‘hello’ look who’s there! That same person, they’ve entered a different competition, for a different kind of session.

This time it might be pet photography, when last time they entered a competition for family photography, but there they are again – and they are interested now. So what’s changed?

Something I learnt a long time ago from a business coach that I was using at the time was that ‘timing is critical, timing is the key’ just because someone says they are not interested or not ready means they are not ready right now. And that changes, it changes for everybody.

We’ve had people come into the studio who were marked as ‘not interested’ or the notes told us they hung up or were rude or whatever – and then they’ve spent thousands of dollars.

Why? Because now a need has arisen in their lives and it can be any number of reasons. We’ve had people come in because their pet had to be euthanised the next day and suddenly there is urgency to have those memories. We’ve had ladies come in because they have just finished a relationship and they need to feel beautiful again.

There’s a reason why people come, they mightn’t have been ready at the time, but they are now

I’ve learned over the years to take a holistic approach to the behaviour of people – you can never predict it.  I’ve learned not to get angry, not to take it personally, not to get upset … not to think that that person’s an idiot and I used to do all of those things once – as humans we don’t take kindly to any kind of rejection but that person’s just like you and me, they’ve got feelings, they’ve got emotions and things going on in their lives that you know nothing about so – you’ve just got to work with that.

If you encounter that kind of negative behaviour I was talking about earlier it’s important to understand that this just the ‘the bravery of being out of range’ and while they might hang up on you at one time, at another time, and, face to face, they are as sweet as sugar.

It’s just a control thing, when they hang up on you there are no consequences but face to face, it’s different so they behave differently.

If you can adopt this approach early in the game, you’ll not only have happier clients and better conversations with people, you’ll become a better person in yourself, I can see how much I have changed over the years. Now that we have a business which relies on  calling people to discuss an offer, I think it has been a humbling experience for all of us to see how people can behave, we’ve all become psychologists!

One of my favourite sayings is, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear and that’s directly relatable to the consumer. When they are ready, the opportunity will appear for them.

In our glamour division, when we have that initial negative reaction from a phone call, time goes by and things change. One day someone will be looking in the mirror and think ‘I wish I was as fat as I was when I thought I was fat’

Gravity is unkind as you age and plays cruel tricks on you, things aren’t where they used to be and you have to push them back up or squeeze them in and all of a sudden there is an urgency to act.

We’ve seen this over and over again.

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