So I got a call from one of my dad’s friends. She was calling to make inquiries on how much we would charge her for covering her sister’s forthcoming wedding. I explained to her that our packages start from $2000 and was surprised when she shouted back at me the amount I mentioned. That’s when she asked me “what’s the family price?” I explained to her that I don’t give discounts and she was really surprised for the second time.
For me this was business and one way or the other we all belong to a family. Whether it’s the family of God, church family, family of your enemies or one’s household family, the fact that I’m associated with you one way or the other should not automatically translate into charging less than our standard package. To me business was business.
The fact that you know the CEO of Coca-cola, MTN, Guinness, or Exxon-Mobil does not mean you would pay lesser for their services than what every other person was paying. If that was the norm, then having family as one’s clients would not make one’s business profitable.
As I explained further to her, she was shocked that I would talk to her that way. I wasn’t rude and she knew it: I was just being real with her. As she laughed on the phone she shouted “Mr Seun Akisanmi, is that what it has come to?”. I told her that giving discounts will not benefit me as I do not want to be 70 yrs old before I make enough money to buy a house. I’m not greedy but just think that it wouldn’t be a bad idea if I buy my dream house this year. I’m fed up with being a tenant: its high time I own my house.
I told her that its not good for my business if I give her a discount for the wedding day and someone else calls me later to book us at our “standard rates” for that same day. It won’t be good for my business, family or no family. I told her that it isn’t a bad idea if I’m giving my dad a monthly allowance of $6000 considering all he has done for me & it is with the money I make that would enable me to do that. She laughed.
I asked how much her budget was so I could recommend another photographer I can vouch for. She said she had no budget. I hate when potential clients tell me they have no budget. Usually it implies that they don’t value photography enough to “plan” for it. She concluded that she’ll call me back in 24 hrs. Its 24 hrs after the 24 hrs and I still haven’t gotten the call.
In my experience, the concept of “family price” is one that isn’t too good for business in the long run. How do you eventually convince them that there’s no discount when they come again and again.
Although it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to offer “family price”, its something that tends to backfire more times than you would expect.
Its your call
N.B. Its ok to share this on your facebook wall or twitter if you’ve ever been asked that question: “WHAT’s THE FAMILY PRICE?”
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