The Art of Language
In the pre consultation saying it right is half the battle. I know that this is intimidating stuff and, you know, usually when a client is calling for the first time, it's this is the kind of language you need to learn so you can get them to book the session and commit the product, etcetera, etcetera. So this is really where the sales process happens in the very beginning. Now, if you're if it's a baby plan client and they're coming tio from the newborn session than it's, not nearly as hard because you've already developed a relationship with them. If they're coming from the outside, then it's a process where you I have to really engage them with, get engage them away from the prices in the beginning and get connected with them on an emotional level before you get to the technical details of what's happening. Okay, so one of the biggest things I always tell people is asked those open ended questions, and this is totally from my journalism days. Who, what? Where, when? Why you guys know...
that adage, but when you ask questions that are open ended like that, you're going to get your client to talk if I say a question like, do you like this, yeah. Like they don't have tio have to answer it's like it and it works with kids to never ask a can of closed in question or you'll end up with an answer you to talk about it here do you want to go to bed? No let's go to bed now, dean I don't want tost says more than one word, right? So asking those opening the questions will really help you kind of get your client talking, get them excited about the process and give you more nuggets toe latch on to to be able to connect with him further. Okay, so asking those open ended questions is critical to the process. Tell me about his works great too instead of saying you stay away from those yes or no kind of answer is and things like tell me about your family tell me what your vision is for the session. You know that kind of thing that gets him get him talking. So does why is having your family portrait taken a good thing for you and your family or substitute baby in there? Why is joining the baby plan such a good thing for you guys right now? Such a leading question used to do that in journalism all the time, like when a happy event was going on, we're trying to do a feature story and why is this a good thing oh, because it's going to benefit the children all over our community they're gonna have their pencils in their backpacks they need for school and it raises the value of what we mean people just go off when you asked him about why this is a good thing and it gets them talking it's kind of reaching for that sound like which you know is something we do in journalism but it rings true with this with business as well you want your client to be engaged in the process, okay? And then finally always listen to what your client is saying and respond in kind ok, when you listen and can probe further and ask maura open ended questions, then you're going to connect with them even mohr on a level that they weren't expecting. So if you asked your client for example oh gosh, let me think of example off the top of my head um you tell me about your child's personality. What are they like? Oh, well, so and so is, um you know, so and so was so lively and he loves the color green and the other day we were such and such way were in the park and he picked a green grass and found for the clover and we talked about, you know, what was it about the for this cover and take it further is what I'm saying, my language, my I'm downloading still take it further than that, and that will help you connect with them on a deeper level. Okay, I was just thinking about a client. I just actually I don't you know how sometimes random ideas, random thoughts pop into your head and this was along those lines. I have a client who booked me a almost two years ago. It would have been in september, and she canceled her session because her her son was only ten months old at the time. She wanted to do like she had never had professional portraits of him taking, and she wasn't very wealthy single mom. And she told me that her son had a genetic brain disorder and, uh, that he was in and out of the hospital lot, that she wanted to get some portrait's taken of him, you know, while he was hospital. Well, right before the session and going back in the hospital and there was some back and forth and I honestly had for gotten about this was two years ago. So you forgot about it cause my sessions he's kind of non refundable, you know, if you book, you can't get it back sweeps. Raise we set aside that time for you, and so, you know, we can't replace it with somebody else, and we're not going to refund you on dh, so I just got an email from her from her last night, and she had told she was really sweet, and she asked for a refund. I'm going to give it to her, of course, but she said, you know, my son had tohave half his brain removed, so we're moving to seattle to be closer to our doctors, and I don't think I'll ever to be ableto have professional images of him taken, and it just, like, broke my heart, but I remember when we were talking, and she was telling me about her son and what was beautiful about him, it wasn't until halfway through the conversation that she mentioned his genetic disorder, and when I approach her further about it, but because I was actually worried about shooting him, like, was he going to be okay with the lights and stuff like that? And so that's kind of how we got out of that topic, but I wouldn't have known about that genetic problem had we not probed further into the pre consultation, does that make sense? And it would've come out eventually, of course, because it's such a big deal, but I think it's critical to show that interest in your clients and I actually feel really badly that I didn't follow up with her and check on her in the last year but I just kind of thought that she had disappeared and wasn't really interested in but it turns out that she just she couldn't and that she's moving to seattle just but anyway we do an important thing you guys we really do so have them have your client do the process we talked about visual here now we're talking about dio so make sure they actually fill out a questionnaire something where you're asking the same questions that you asked for a consultation on a form of some kind and I know it's repetitive but it's that way on purpose so that when you're asking these questions showing them different products they're saying that they're hearing it and then all of a sudden when they go home and they felt the questioner or they hang up the phone with you and go to fill out the questionnaire yes they're being asked the same questions over and over again but that's a good thing because it solidifies in their brain it's like going to a lecture taking notes and then having to take the test okay taking that test is what's really going teo solidify in your mind right? Okay studying for that test and doing it so make sure you have your client sign the document, there's something to be said for that filling out that questionnaire solidifies the information in their head. They become much more committed to the process because they're thoroughly reviewing it. That makes sense. It's not just a cavalier thing we're doing. This is when I consider this one of the most important parts of the process, and when my clients don't fill out the questionnaire, I say, when they come into the studio, you know what? We haven't filled out the questionnaire yet. We really need you to do that before we shoot. If they ask me, well, why? Well, it provides me with a lot of information about you and what we're going to be doing for the session. It gives us a plan, and I also need you to electronically sign for our city policies and liability release before we can photograph your family and they'll go ok. And they realized quickly and then go to fill out the form and it's. Not a big deal, but you have people who forget all the time. You just have to remind them, you know.