Friday, January 17, 2014

Getting Your Money Out Of your Non-Paying Customer

I just got the following email from a fan of the show....

Hey bud!!  I have a quick question for you.  I shot a wedding in July, which was six months ago now.  The client paid the booking fee and everything but they haven't ordered their pictures yet.  Do you send a reminder email to your clients when something like this happens?  I want to send one but I don't want to seem too pushy.  How do you go about reminding them that their images are still available for purchase? 


I responded with the following....

Tell them the following...

"This note is to remind you that you still have not ordered any photos from your wedding. It has been 6 months, and it is now time for me to purge those photos off of my hard drives as I make room for newer customers. I will continue retain the RAW original files for a short time, but the edited images will be removed completely in 5 days. This means that should you come back to me later, you will only have unedited images available for purchase. To re-edit those image will require an additional fee. I will need you to respond directly to me via a phone call at 555-1234, if you wish to work out other arrangements, as I am more than willing because I know how things can happen. 

ADDITIONALLY - ALL ORIGINAL IMAGES WILL BE REMOVED COMPLETELY AND LOST FOREVER BY MAY 1, 2014. At that point, your images will be gone forever. So please respond by picking up the phone and calling me."

Now I am going to fuss at you for breaking my rule. NEVER do a wedding unless the wedding is paid in full. Period. Now you see why I said this in both my business class, and my wedding class

Now to everyone else....

This is a great lesson for us all. Never shoot a wedding unless paid in full. Period.


Michael Jones said...

I make it a rule to have the balances paid in full 2 weeks before the wedding date, if not I will send a polite email telling them the 2 week point is here and we need to settle the balance or I will assume they have changed plans and will be opening the date for other clients

Rodrigo Mancilla said...

So no payment on delivery of the images? I'm very much customer oriented (but don't want to be stupid either). It makes sense, post processing time in my workflow takes a long time for a wedding, would not like to have all that time be wasted.

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