Winning Back a Client
This isn't a web related question, but it's businessey.
So the other half of my work is photography (yes, Sagewing, still doing both...), and I've had an ongoing job (through an advertising agency) doing portraits of a particular client's employees of the month.
This had been going very well, and they've consistently called me for several months until one day, about three months ago, when the date they booked for portraits clashed with my work for another good, regular client. I'd given favour to the other client, frankly because they pay more, and the agency used another photographer that day.
Why did the dates clash? I'm not sure; I've told the agency a few times before that my Mondays are committed to another project, and that month they chose to book a Monday anyway. Hence the clash, and hence me opting for the other regular client.
Here's the problem. The agency hasn't called me back since.
I imagine this means that the new photographer worked out and they've been using him for the past three months.
I'd like to be greedy and get back in though. So my question is, what is a tactful, unembarrassing way to re-establish that job with the agency. I'm reasonably close to the account executive, and actually pretty friendly with quite a lot of people in there; So getting in to speak to someone wouldn't be a problem at all. I just am not sure what to say.
Obviously the bigger picture is that I need to grow my work bigger than a one-man show if I want to greedily chase a bunch of jobs at once, because I can't be everywhere at the same time. I have a rough plan to do that over the next five years. But as of right now, I consider that agency and that job a warm prospect, and I'd like to do something before too much time passes and they get used to the second guy.
Thoughts? Criticisms? Suggestions?
Unfortunately, you are behind the 8-ball on this one. The best time to have ensured your relationship would have been at the time the clash occurred and trying to reschedule for a different date (maybe at a reduced cost if the clash occurred on your end versus the client's).
The second best time would have been a week or two after the event to try and get the next month scheduled versus waiting to see if they would call you (again, you could use a reduced cost to try and win them back if you felt the client was worth it).
Now that 3 months have passed, I think you are out of luck. Even a reduced cost session will not get you very far at this point in the game. The relationship that was wounded 3 months ago, has now formed scar tissue that will be hard to remove (especially if there has been zero communication in those 3 months).
My personal opinion, is to move on and chalk this up as a lesson learned. Always communicate. If a clash occurs, don't feel bad trying to reschedule at a reduced rate to ensure you can keep your client (assuming it the clash was on your end). If the client cancels, work hard to get them in again soon so they don't go elsewhere. If that can't happen, follow up a week after and discuss scheduling for the next month (since they just likely finished a shoot with another photographer).
Hope this helps.
Thanks, that all made sense.