One of the most important aspects to booking potential new clients meetings with them in person so both you and they can get a feel for what it would be like working together. Clients want to be able to consider your personality, mannerisms and just want to see how you make them feel before they book.
However, client meetings can be one of the most nerve racking experiences that you will ever face as a photographer especially if you’re inexperienced with face to face meetings.
There are so many things to consider like what questions should you ask, when should you ask them, what should you do if it the conversation goes dead, the list goes on. Here are a few key factors to keep in mind with your next client meeting and how to walk in with confidence.
As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. When your clients first walk in, stand up, walk towards them with a friendly smile, and greet them with a handshake. Think of it as going out to meet new friends for dinner. What would you do to be personable and friendly?
Although you may not think much about this, as soon as your client walks through the door they’re internally judging you on your appearance. Consciously or unconsciously they are looking at you, your shoes, pants, and shirt.
Making a little effort to wear shoes that don’t have dirt all over them or scuff marks making them appear 100 years old will help give the impression that you care about your appearance and therefore will care about your clients.
Treat it like a first date
When you first sit down with your clients slow down, don’t rush into asking all the deep and meaningful questions. Treat it like a first date and get to know them a little first. Ask open ended questions to get them talking about themselves and their relationship. You need to get their trust first before they will feel comfortable opening up with you.
It’s not about you
While the client is there to meet you they really don’t care about you at this stage. If you sit down, pull out a price list, start explaining prices and inclusions and start telling them about what a great photographer you are and what you will do for them – you’ve most likely already lost them.
Ask them about something they are really interested in, themselves! Ask them about their wedding plans, how they met, when and where their wedding will be held and about their guests and family. There are so many things to ask about a wedding or event that you should never get lost for questions. This will really get them talking.
Talk as if you already have the booking
When you are going through what will happen on the wedding day, talk in the first person. For example, “On the wedding day I will be arriving at the church for the service at 3pm right before you arrive so I can get some photos of your guests and the boys nervously waiting.”
This way you’re already starting to subconsciously imply that you are their wedding photographer.
Explain the process
Once you feel the meeting is coming to an end, go through the booking procedure they need to complete to reserve their date with you. Don’t leave it to chance. This simple thing may be the subtle indirect push they need to book without you having to ask directly. It also shows that you are organized and have procedures in place, which shows professionalism.
In conclusion, the best thing you can do during any client meeting is just be yourself. This may seem extremely obvious but being yourself and showing your own personality is the best thing you can do to make others feel comfortable around you.