Standing your ground when talking with clients

“You know, John Smith Photography is including an album and engagement session in that price. Can you match that?”

“What are you saying? That I’m just like John Smith? I’m so much better than that!”

That’s what we think. But it’s not what we say. What most people do is stumble through a guilt-ridden response about why they can’t offer those things, as if there were something to hide. Maybe they’ll find something to offer to compete. Sometimes, they’ll just outright cave. When we reply in the framework of the challenge, we implicitly accept its values. In this case, we’d be accepting our photography is the same as John Smith. If it weren’t, why would we even be answering this … Read more...

What’s wrong with right and wrong

A simple point about right, wrong, and clients. By the time you start to frame issues in the words of rightness and wrongness, the odds are you’re already in the wrong. Maybe not technically. But insofar as fulfilling the purpose of your business is concerned, it’s a measure of last resort, and that’s never where you want to be.

What do I mean? Here’s an example. Suppose 15% of your clients are unclear about your file delivery process. It’s not downright awful, but it sure isn’t great. Suppose you never improve it. Then, one day, someone is finally mad enough about it to complain on a forum. Maybe because they asked you once or twice, and you innocently forgot. Maybe … Read more...

What clients are telling you

Here’s a quick tip. Always listen whenever a client jokes about their appearance. No one is going to tell you “I’m really insecure and ugly.” But they will say things in jest, like “Can you do anything with this chin?” or “I sure hope my nose doesn’t ruin the photos!” Take these jokes dead seriously. Because they’re not saying “I know I don’t look great, so if you show this part of me, I understand.” They’re saying “Please, please, please, do not emphasize this part of me that I don’t feel good about.” If I’m worried enough about some aspect of my body to reference it in a conversation, you can pretty much double down on the fact that I … Read more...