MAKING IT WORK
Even in an age filled with digital signatures, Google calendars, and online proofing, there’s a chance you’ll need (or want) to meet with your clients in person. We’ve gathered several tricks of the trade to help you run your client meetings smoothly!
1. Be prepared. Prepare your samples, forms, or proofs the night before. Arrive early and set the mood: being late or unprepared sends the wrong message about how you run your business.
2. Talk less, listen more. Know something about your clients (or potential client) before they walk through the door. At initial consultations, ask questions to get to know them better and see if they’re a good match for the type of business you run.
3. Personalize the experience. Especially at end-of-session or purchasing meetings, make it personal. Have your client’s favorite snack or beverage, or allow them to bring family members along for the experience. Show them that you’ve done your research or that you remember what they told you months ago at your initial meeting.
“I love getting potential clients excited about the prospect of photographs by sharing my creative ideas that are specific to them. Whether it’s envisioning a marketing campaign for a business or visualizing a large portrait grouping for a family portrait client, my creativity and enthusiasm is 90% of the reason why they will choose to hire us.” – Whitney Scott
4. Be different. Set yourself apart from the other photographers they may also sit down with. Infuse your personality into the branding on the materials you present. Be comfortable with how you present your pricing. Do something that makes you stand out from the rest.
“I shoot 90% kids and families, so making time for sippin’ coffee and chatting over canvas samples is tricky, but I bring something to each family session for “fun” at the end.” – Tracie Daum
5. Be yourself. Though it sounds like it might compete with “be different,” being true to yourself will automatically set you apart from the competition. Show your true personality. Smile. Laugh! Let the client know you’re an actual person with a heart who cares about emotion and capturing beauty, not a machine with a camera.
“I go in wearing flip flops. No sample albums, no price list, no hand outs — just me, dressed to filter out clients I wouldn’t want to work with and to [help me] connect with active, adventurous and mischievous couples.” – Tim Halberg
6. Follow up. Don’t drop the ball and assume the meeting is over just because the client walked away. Give them a chance to think it over, but send a personal email or a follow-up phone call to let them know you want to be a part of their day. After a sales meeting, if you haven’t already, blog about the photo session. Give the client a reason to talk about you to their friends and family members.
What are some changes you could make to your client meetings to make them more successful? Comment below!