Three Phases of a Consultation
These are the three phases of the consultation, really, the first phase is all about connect, so we want to connect with them, and that phase can take as long as it needs to. I always say that face takes two hours all the better, the more time we spend connecting, the better we're going to be doing the better chance I have of working with them and the better connected they're going to feel to me. I mean, I know go figure the more time I spend connected with him, the better connected they're going to deal with me, remember, jeff talked about something a little bit, and it says the more you let other people talk, the more they trust you, so the more you let other people talk, the more they trust you, so we're gonna go in and talk a lot more about how to connect with people and how to make sure that when you're connecting with them, you are letting them feel like they're connecting with you, okay, I want make sure that's really clear it's, not just about connecting with them, because some...
times we feel like we have this great connection with people and the response there would be, do they feel like they have that connection with you, okay, so connecting is about it's, a two way street and it's about making sure that you have that connection with them, but they also feel that connection with you that's very important second, we're going to talk about the second phase really is learning it's learning understanding, and so we want to learn what they need we can't satisfy their needs if we don't know what they want. Now we have a pretty good idea of what they want that's that's because we've set up our pricing well and we understand our clients and we understand what they're they're must haves are generally speaking, not every client fits that, but generally speaking, most of our clients fit into the realm of what we understand they want, but that doesn't mean that we understand everything they want. You know, we have a general idea, it's a good head start, but we need to understand everything that they want on that is so we can help them get what they need. You know, jason's going to talk about this in the second segment a lot, he didn't talk about what really goes on when there's a sales transaction and how you know, when when a client, a potential client is coming to us, what they're looking for, and we have to understand what that is, we can't just give them the same exact message, the same exact what's the best way but the same exact you know we can just put our pricing sheet expect them to want the same exact thing that the last person wanted we have to understand what their unique wants and needs are so while we set up a boat that the fish want to jump in while we attract our ideal client we attracted by that embody our purpose and they understand what we're all about that doesn't mean that they don't have any you know, small nuances that are different about them that doesn't mean that their wedding is a little bit different or that their family portrait session is a little bit different than the last one and we have to understand that we need to learn about that so the second phase of the consultation is learning, learning what they need and the third phase we have the clothes and that word scares the heck out of all of us it kind of still scares me I'm like, oh, I want to close on them that's kind of this isn't like, you know I'm not gonna have a corporate job here, right? I don't have numbers I have to hit, but at the same time we do have numbers that we have to hit you know and that's what I remind myself up I don't I don't have any boss breathing down my neck about numbers and I'm like well, I don't, but maybe I should I do have numbers I need to hit I do need to make this business support me. This business has to make me happier and staying up all night stressing out about bill's does not make me happier, and so we have to understand that this is a business. Andi, we've been talking about the last two days, I don't think anybody here is under any illusions that it's not we've talked about it from a business standpoint, everything we've done so far has been from a business standpoint, and the clothes, though, doesn't need to be this awkward, awful sleazy scan me weird, you know, sort of experience, and I want to talk about how we can make it a natural experience, but also arm you guys with the right way to talk about it because there's ways to talk about the clothes that are going to help you in your closing rate there's ways they're going to help you in not messing up a client that wanted to book with you, and you just didn't make the clothes happen correctly and that's what happens a lot, and I want to be honest with you guys, we let good clients get out of our grasp sometimes. They want to book us and that close that period that is the close gets a little bit awkward. We don't ask the right questions. We don't say the right statements and before we know it, we've given them an option that's easier, which is for them to leave the easiest option for them is not to book us and that's really the big issue about the clothes, the clothes isn't so much closing them. It's making easiest option for them to book you the clothes is about making booking you the easiest option that's what a good closes and what we do sometimes to mess it up is we give them the easiest option to leave and to go book somebody else. And so whether we're you know whether we're sitting on our f ps, whether a meeting with clients in studio, whatever it is we don't want to give our clients are potential clients, the easier option which is leaving, we want to make the easiest option to book us, to hire us and so that's, really, what the clothes is going to come down to now, going back to where we want to start here, which is connecting and learning those the two first the first two phases there, I love this quote by stephen covey. And I think that if we use this is a model for going into the consultation, it really helps again frame what we're trying to do in that consultation we're trying to understand seek first to understand and then to be understood so in connecting it's all about making them feel connected to us that's the most important thing for them to feel connected to us and that has to be our first priority and oftentimes we go in the room and sometimes we want them to know so much about us we want them to know that were qualified to do this. I want him to know how many events we shot or that we've shot that family portrait session at that exact location they want or that we have a lot of experience we want them to hear about what we bring to the table that's uniquely different, we want to spend all this time telling them about us because we want them to understand why we're the best option and what I want to challenge you to do is stop talking understand them before you need them to understand you seek first just to understand them before you need them to understand you don't worry, they called you remember that they called you they want to talk to you so you don't need over qualify yourself, you don't even over explain yourself they're seeking you out and so that is a great example of how we can understand them before we have to feel like they need to understand us. So we talked a little about this yesterday and about how we're going to be talking about a method of connecting really and that's what this is the socratic method of sales is a method of connecting this is taking the idea that we know absolutely nothing and applying that to sales. Socrates talked about this idea that that we know nothing that we need to. We need to learn everything, and we can't understand the world unless we're inquisitive about it. I'm paraphrasing obviously a lot of what something, he said I'm not tryingto trying to pigeonhole him into what he was talking about, but the soccer t sales method is all about us understand that we know nothing and that we know nothing really about this client applying that to sail, so we have to elicit information from a prospect, so to determine their motivations, their fears, their agendas, everything we need to understand that because we can't assume that we know we want to know as much as possible about them, and we have to know as much as possible so we can make the best sales presentation to them that's really, what the socratic method of sales. Is in its definition you know, jeff and I talked a little bit about this yesterday up here and what we were talking about is pulling threads and that's the application of the socratic method of sales pulling threads and so if you think of, you know, pulling threads out of a sweater, you know, and it just kind of goes on and on and on and some threads you kind of pull out, they come out quickly and other threats you pull and you pull and you pull and you're like, oh, my goodness, it just keeps going and you probably shouldn't be pulling it because you're really told unraveling that sweater, but you can't stop and it just goes on and on on and then they all said that fascination with a bubble wrap just want to step on it. I sort of see the people who love the bubble wrap for hate the bubble wrap it on the guy who loves the bubble wrap I just want to pop every single one of them and I can't anyways okay? So pulling threads is all about pulling that threat and in sales in connecting we want to pull the threads that the client's offer us and so they're going to offer us certain things and we want to pull those threads will not pull this threat, so what are the benefits of approaching the consultation with this in mind with this methodology in mind the socratic method of sales? Well, first off there are three benefits and these the three benefits that I want to highlight, the first thing is that they will tell you if you just close your mouth and listen, you will be amazed at what people will tell you, you'll be amazed you will be astonished at what they'll tell you they will open up. They will think that you are the greatest conversationalist ever. If you just don't talk, I know it sounds kind of backwards, but they will think you're the greatest conversationalist if all you do is just stop talking, you know, and so and what's interesting is that it's really that simple? All you have to do is stop talking asked the right questions, and they will tell you they will tell you everything that matters to them. They will tell you everything they want, and then they need they'll tell you everything and here's the thing about it, you don't really want to ask questions necessarily about their wedding. You know this isn't the learned phase. This is the connect phase connecting is best done when you're not talking about their wedding when you're not talking about the reason the two of you are there, and so you want to connect on a level where you're talking about things that are deeply personal or surfacing it doesn't matter really that's the point you need to talk about things that don't have to do with the reason to each other there that's really the most important thing so people always ask me like what do I talk about with him? And I always say what you talk about is not nearly as important as whether you're talking or not you want them to be talking and so you could talk about the weather you could talk about sports you can talk about you know everything from where they're from and where they're going where they want to live where they want to move you could get very deep personal with him we will talk about those things but what I wanna have you understand here is that they will tell you everything that they want and need if you just keep quiet and make sure that you let them have that opportunity the second is you'll learn their objections you have to understand what their objections really are and by objections I mean the reasons why they wouldn't want to hire you everyone goes into a conversation like this where there's a potential sales transaction hoping for something good to come of it but understanding that there are possible objections that could come out of it as well and they've called you they've sought you out and they've wanted to meet with you whether it's in person whether this is stuff applies that your skype calls in your phone calls as well and so you have to understand they want to be here but that they do have potential objections and you need to learn those objections and again talking to them and letting them talk to you will will uncover these objections they'll they'll share with you their fears and that's really what a better way to say objections his fears so they're going to share with you their fear whether it's their fear of hiring the wrong photographer because their sister hired the wrong photographer whether it's their fear of getting you know cheated because of something that's happened in the past whatever their fear is if you let them talk they're going to probably share it with you especially if they feel that connection with you third off you will gain trust so you'll gain the trust that you need because sales is all about trust we buy from people not from brands so when we bought you know and that's that's a kind of a statement that's been around for a while and the brands we love so much are really the brands that kind of personifies something about us or about what we want and the same is true here is that they will they will trust you more when you are connecting with them, you know and I think that all of us understand this and all of this I think do try to connect with our clients when we're meeting with them but sometimes we do it the wrong way we connect over you know, I know that a lot of times I'll meet every once in a while you know somebody subsidy cracks and you sit down with someone and it's like the first thing they get to is high okay, so let's go and talk about your prices and it's like huh? You know we all have that happen it's like this is not the way I want the conversation to go you're trying to steer the conversation back or maybe you're you know, in a wedding scenario maybe your meeting with the bride but her mom that just wants to derail the conversation as she brings her mom and the bride till he wants to connect in this great time the mom keeps saying so is this the largest talent that you have or do you have another one back there and you're like hello, we're we're having a great conversation here and I want to turn on me like you are not the client thanks, but maybe you're paying the bill so this's so tough it's all about connecting with with them and it's very difficult sometimes to do and it's very difficult and if we keep in mind that pulling threads is the way to do that then I think that you'll find yourself able to take a conversation back in the right direction at all times and pulling threads is basically this you're asking them questions that allow them to open up and instead of responding with specific answers you continue to ask them why that matters to them so you continue to ask them why you continue asking why now it first starts with asking very open ended questions so you can't ask them something like, you know, just very specific okay, so how many hours of coverage do you think you need for your wedding that's a very specific question we don't want to go there in the first place you don't want to ask him a specific question it doesn't allow them to open up what you do want to ask them is an open ended question but a question it has direction to it so let me give an example what I don't recommend asking is how did you two meet because it is open ended but it's also very generic it's also very generic and then they give you the generic cancer you know you want to give them a question that's open ended, but that has direction to it so instead of saying how did you two meet, I would say, when was the moment when was the moment that you knew he was right for you wait please do not so say how different that is it's the same question I mean basically it isn't the exact same question, but it's sze going down the same lines it's going in the same direction you want tio with talking about them, you want them to open up about each other, you could ask him, how did they meet? And you get the same general responsible way both nurses and, you know, we saw each other from afar and he, you know, his fly was down and I made fun of them, and then one thing led to another and, you know, so whatever it is ongoing, you get the generic response and they didn't really tell you anything but he looking straight in the eye and you say some on lines of when was the moment that you knew he was right for you? And that opens up a whole different a whole different avenue? And but what's most important is actually not the answer it's the answers that followed the answers so again, who cares what they say? They're because what we really want to do is get them to continue talking and that's what pulling threads is, and whatever they're going to tell you, they're going to tell you. Hopefully, they're going to tell you something great. Maybe they're going get shy and not pay something great. Whatever they tell you, they're going to answer that question, and then you can follow up with ok, well, why, you know when? When was the moment that, you know is right for you? Well, you know, I'll tell you, it was when my mother passed away, and he stayed by my side for the entire three weeks that I couldn't even get out of bed in the morning. I was so so depressed and was still distraught, and he stayed by my side the entire three weeks. Wow. Well, why was that really important to you in someone? Well, because I have always loved my family, and I want a man in my life is just like my father, who brought me up to always be there. Wow, it sounds like your father and mother are really important to you. Oh, my gosh, there's so important to me. I can't believe I'm telling you this, but yes, I mean, I was, and then they go on and they tell him they share and they open up and that's that's connecting, asking them how they met and just get the generic response and moving on that's, not connecting. That's the surface connection in what you really want is to establish that deep connection with them and what happens is and let's go back and look at that I mean, again, I'm just I'm totally making up an example here but this this is a real example it's happened that's happened in my life because I love asking couples something like when was the moment that you knew he or that she was right for you and I love the responses I get but what I really love are the stories that keep going that's the pulling of threat keep pulling the thread because when you ask him that question, when was the moment he knew he was right for you, you could get any answer right? Every couple is gonna have a different answer to that and what they choose to tell you is so indicative of what they want to talk about what's important there offering up information that you didn't specifically asked about you know you ask him when was the moment that you knew who is right for you that's just one example the question it's an open ended question with direction and then she started talking about her mother and so you knew that family was deeply important she started talking about how he stuck by her side the whole way through and so you knew that commitment and dedication is important her she could have told you different story she told you I knew he was right when I looked in his eyes and they were blue and I've always want to marry a blond hair blue eyed guy. Okay, cool, we know looks really let's talk about that's more than you know, but I'm not trying to make light of it. What I'm really trying to say is what they choose to tell you is indicative of what they want to talk about and that's what pulling threads is it's continuing the conversation based on what they want to talk about that's what we use these yes and and me toos so my wife had a job in sales for a little while and they trained her to call people on the phone wasn't her favorite thing? I'll tell you she's more of a connector, she wants to know your story and this is more of a get the sail get the sale and it wasn't it wasn't bad it wasn't it wasn't it wasn't a bad strategy thing, it just wasn't the best job for her, but what the most important she walked away with from it was the the way that they asked the way they had you connect with people and it's a basic sales strategy but it's also a basic connecting strategy and it's utilizing yes and need to as the response and it goes back to the same socratic method of sales, which is how you respond to these things and you can always respond to questions by either asking for more details yes, and go on, go on, you know, or connecting with them and relating them me too. Oh, that's really important to me too, you know? And so these are just words that you can kind of arm yourself with, you know, it's good to have those words that you're stuck there like senator here and so you can always go back to, well, my tryingto find out more information or my trying to relate because really that's our response to every single thing that somebody says to us where they're trying to find out more information or we're going to try to relate with them to that. And so you can have this yes, and or me too, when you're trying to either find out more information or relate to them and I would recommend you make it more of your own find your words with that, but that's really pulling it down to how to connect with someone and howto let them continue to connect with you and then we've already talked a little about it, but why that's a great question because it causes people to go a little bit deeper and the more people share with you the more they trust you you know and that's really what the connect stages all about I want to leave you guys with the idea that connecting with them is more about them connecting with you and it's all about opening up and it's all about that trust inc it's created from that experience and when you are building a business based on the authentic you when you are putting that out there you're going to find that people are going to come to you ready to open up because you've already put yourself out there in some way shape or form and a lot of people will tell me and we'll talk about the consultation and I'll share with me that they have a really hard time getting their clients to open up and a lot about a lot of that is about what you're projecting as a business you're not attracting the kind of clients that are interested in opening up you know the more that you put out there about yourself the more authentic you are as a business the more authentic the people you attract and the easier it is to connect with them which then establishes mohr trust quicker which allows the booking process to be simpler. You get all that like six things in a row but really when we build a business around the authentic you when we build a business around you this part gets so much easier so if you're struggling with the consultation, if you're struggling with this part of the consultation with connecting, if everyone's come in to meet with you, every phone call you have is all about, just give me the price and let's, figure out what what I want, what I can spend with you, then you want to go all the way back to what you're attracting and how you are building the business to attract what you want. Ok, before I go move on any questions from the question for me being here, or do we have questions from online? Yes, the entire universe is charming and finally finally got through to the world, and we're at the universe good till day three it's alright, jeff will be proud e let him know yeah, jared ashes wondering if you have different approaches for different mindsets for example, alfa personalities versus introverts, it's a great it's a great question, because, you know, some people come in and want to kind of, you know, the africana wants to run the conversation kind of wants to have control, you know? I mean, I'm very I'm generalizing here, obviously stereotyping and then there's also just very, very intimate people and very, very introverted people that have a hard time opening up just because of the way their personality is I mean there's definitely a different approach in the way that in the way that you you go into it but the goal is still the exact same the goal is still connecting and the goal is still about you know, pulling the threads and trying to understand everything about them through the fact that they're connecting with you how you go about that is definitely different, you know, I know that I can be really loud and excitable and it kind of went around other loud excitable people that kind of brings that out of me and then when I'm around quiet people I know that I can I can be more quiet and more soft spoken and so I try to think about in terms of that I never want to be different than the authentic I don't want to be inauthentic I want to be me but you can definitely you know, fluctuate with that person that you're with you know and you know, they call that matching you know you're hearing or your matching that's another technique when you're working with people as you near them so they lean forward in their chair you're gonna lean forward in your chair if they sit back and cross their legs you sit back and cross their legs and so what you really want to do is mere them but continue to have the same goal and be yourself throughout that process excellent like this e stand like this you will hear what? Really? Yeah, great. Yeah, good question your oliver. So what happens when you're in a consultation and you're really not connecting with your client? So how do you kind of, you know, how do you get out of that situation when you you're just not connecting, no matter what you do, you tried everything, and you're just not connected at all, do you just, you know, in the conversation going, we're not, you know, match have you? How do you in that conversation? So it doesn't enough on an awkward, like, you know, moment, yeah, yeah, I mean, it's a good point. We've all met with people I remember I had a bride literally in the middle of a consultation I was in my first couple years I wasn't really I'm still very nervous, you know, about about in the middle in the moment, I never had those aren't that arsenal of kind of responses, the numbers we were signed, the contract, whether she's already a little weird, but not too weird, I wouldn't like I didn't want to be, you know, best friends there, but but it was still seemed like a good thing, and then in the middle, she kind of sign the contract and she's like oh good this you know this is good I'm so glad we got this taken care of I got to check this off my list and you know it's good to know where you are to side income burn your place down if you do a bad job of photos was like oh and I was like, wow that's that's really that's really that's just put it out there and she's like hope I totally would too like yeah okay and so I was like, you know what? I don't think I'm the best fit for you and she's like huh? And it's like I'm just kidding and I'm like I totally understand but I don't really I don't really I just stumbled through it but I basically came back to the point of saying you know what? I don't think we're the best fit for each other but let me help you find somebody who would be a better fit you know? And so I was trying to think who would be perfect for clients want to burn their house down on so I never really got that you're about the best fit for her but you know, I think that the more you project who you are, the easier it is to say hey, I'm actually not the best fit free because here's what I stand for I work best with that that that that I work best with creative and vibrant professionals and you know it's not that it's not that it's not that I don't work with people who aren't professionals but that gives you the way to talk out of the situation if you stand for everything then how do you get out of that? You know, there's no way that if you stand for anyone who will pay you well they're there to pay you so how yeah, you're right it's going to very hard to get out of that so it's easier when you know what you stand for katrina so how do you I mean, I get that you market towards the people that you're wanting to shoot with and you know, you have your words out there but how do you filter who comes in or do they come in and you just say, well, you're not a professional with a capital p so I don't work with you or how ad is that we're well, you know, I mean you're always going to find that you you're going I mean, I work with people who aren't professionals I work with, you know, I shot I was just interacting with one of my brides from about a year and a half ago actually you saw her up on the screen, it was one of the facebook shots I posted the one in the sun sentinel left it that didn't get as many calm but I still keep up with her and they just had a baby and what not, but you know, she wasn't professional with a capital p you know, and I had a great relationship that I still have a great relationship with her so it's all about attracting that with which will correspond will connect will interact and will really embody what what you put out there, but you're not going to always have every single person coming to the door that's a professional in the capital p and it's not to get to turn them away, it's that it allows you to attract the kind of person that truly represents what a professional in capital p is and so yes bring that back to the consultation I mean no, not everyone's going to be that, but you get the choice of whether you want to work with him or not and that's what connecting is all about, you're going to this process and you know, there is something to be said when you have to take a job to pay the bills and I'm not going to take that away from anyone. I'm really not I'm not here to tell you don't take jobs and starve while you're at it it's not I'm trying to say I'm going to say build a business that attracts what you want and then that way in the consultation rather than it being awkward and being one sided and having to work with people that you don't necessarily connect with, you get to understand better who your client is and then how to work with that. Ok, let's, keep going here, we need to get onto the learned face. So the next, the next step we started with connect, and now we've moved on to learn and in the finalist close and so in the learned faces, the second part is learn what I need. I think this is in many ways the easiest phase. I mean, not that any of these phases air easy, but I think this is easiest because you at this point hopefully really connected with each other. Hopefully you're both leaning forward in your seat and it's just it's really a great experience, you know, hopefully you've already started talking about, you know, when you guys go out for drinks or you know when you'll be able to take your dogs the park together or whatever it is, you've connected on, whatever it is that you guys haven't connection, hopefully that started to happen, and so this learned faces very easy and the learned phase we're trying to find out the details of what they want from us. So this is what we're trying to find what they, what they really want from us, what they need from us what are those things that they expect from us? You know? Because and we got a lot of questions, by the way in the road map the business roadmap about how do you avoid having problems down the road with what you want to do it a wedding versus what they want you to do it the wedding? How do you avoid having problems and miscommunication? Well, hey, this is where it starts this is a first step in finding that out and it's where you learn from them and so try to move from the superficial to the detailed try to move from the connecting to the learning it's kind of it's not a hard transition if things were going, so I just kind of wait for that right moment. I like to spend as much time connecting as I possibly can, but at some point I do move into the learned face and you want to ask them and repeat back them what they're telling you and repeating back to them kind of affirms what you're hearing and also allows him to kind of register because, you know, I know in the in the industry that that I work most in the bridal industry, you know, sometimes they got a lot going on in their minds you know there's a lot out there and so they'll say one thing and that kind of contradict themselves or you know they'll say something and if mom will contradicted and you're like oh, okay who's when if he wants in on one of you, doesn't he made that very clear now what do we talk about? But she can repeat back them so it sounds like having all day coverage is really important to you. Oh man, I just e heard you talk all about how when I shot that that waiting for your best friend it was myself and bronson, so it sounds like a second photographer is really important to you sounds like a second to talk about something you really want, you know, repeating back and then they can kind of go, yeah, yeah, it is really important to me and you want them to say yes, that is important me? Because later on, when you present the package that has a second photographer in it, you want to able to say I put a second photographer in here because that's what you want rather than saying I put a second photographer in there because I'm trying to earn a few extra bucks or I put a second photographer in there because I can't stand a shooter went without one cause I'm afraid I'm gonna collapse and die from stress so you know, I mean you want to get them to say to you what they want and you want to affirm it you want to re I'm sorry reaffirm it with them so you have them confirming it back to you and that is what will help you in the in the clothes is when they've told it to you and they didn't just circle around that they didn't just talk about the second shooter that was at the wedding you shop for the best friend that's not them telling you they want a second ship that's him talking about it and then you bring it back to them by saying so it sounds like having a second photographer is really important and they say yes it is really important to your right and then that is what we used to build the correct package or you know from our allah carter from our packages that's what we used to present to them down the road and they've affirmed what it is they already want and that makes it that's a huge step and not having to feel like you're closing them it makes the close less of a close okay so doesn't feel you know it doesn't feel weird when you're like building this package for them that you're like I know they want this but I feel weird because I feel like if I present this huge packages to them you know they're going toe freak out, because it's such a big price, and they're going to think I'm selling to them and all of this, we're going to go walk our dogs together, it's all going to fall apart now. And if you take the right steps and learn phase to get them to affirm it with you to get them to confirm yes, that is what I want. Well, then now it makes that close really easy, and we'll go over exactly how to talk about that. But if something is wrong, it's, simple like, oh, I'm sorry, I must have misunderstood you. That's, that's understand what? We just got to know each other, you know? But if you break that trust by appearing like you're trying to just up, sell the heck out of them, if that's the impression that they get within all that trust you created kind of collapses, it kind of kind of disappears. So that's, the learn, and as really the only part that I want to spend on the learn is figured out their needs and figure out their wants, and they are two different things, and we've kind of gone through the knees and the wants and how to discern what they truly want, so the clothes, the clothes is always the the most difficult part for photographers it's certainly was the most difficult part for me and to this day, I I honestly I still struggle, I don't have as high of a booking percentages I would like I still feel like great couples slip through my fingers and I'm like, I know he would have been perfect for each other I feel like, but obviously we weren't, but I also feel like, man, maybe we would have been perfect toe work with each other and I let them go during this process. So you know, these are the things that I've learned, but I certainly have not arrived in this category. I really I really happened I'm just going to be totally honest with you. I have more work to do in this, and I have more work to do in sales and that's why I brought jason and to help with sales, but I do think that the strategy is here. While I still might, I might not have perfected them, and I'm on the road to getting betterthan they are the right strategies to pursue, and they have made me a significantly better in the consultation and certainly in the clothes because again, really in the clothes were not trying to close them. We're just trying to get out of the way of a booking that was already supposed to happen you know, and that's what good pricing does but the clothes really isn't? Closing them is just is just giving them that opportunity that they want to give you the money so they can move forward with you. You know, s o really let's look at it from that standpoint and it's all about asking the right questions in the clothes and that's really what I think the basis is that if you asked the wrong questions here, it gives them an easier opportunity. Go elsewhere, then to book you and we talked about how you want to make it easier from the book you than to leave that's kind of weird doing and asking the right questions is what it comes down to it because you ask even the same question the wrong way, it makes it easier for them to leave and book someone else than it does from the book you so first off, never ask a question you don't already know the answer to this isn't the connect face. This is the close at this point don't ask questions unless you pretty much have a good idea what the answer is. Don't ask him about an album here or if you have absolutely no idea whether they want one or not you should know by down what they want you should know by now what they what they're looking for you should know by now their heart you should have connected with them so don't ask questions you don't don't really know the answer to or at least a pretty good idea of what the answer is and at this point you want to ask your questions to where the easiest answer is yes so you know e I know it sounds kind of you know tony robbins ish we've kind of talked about that a couple times now but you know you want positive affirmations right now you don't want knows you don't want knows coming out you want things that are yeses you want is to be a yes conversation at this point you want everything to be about yes yes yes you know I feel like I mean was that they had less that jim carrey movie where you go to that convention and never is just screaming yes, yes I mean that's kind of a model for what we want a little bit more subdued in the clothes phase we want a bunch of yeses we want people saying yes, we don't want people saying no it is a positive affirmation sort of mindset but it does help a lot so really, you know it's about asking good questions and it's about not asking bad questions and let's just kind of go through a little bit of that, you know, what's an example of ah question we're gonna have to ask what's an example of a bad way to ask it in a good way to ask you know we have do you need to talk to your parents before booking this is something I hear what I asked ours but how do you ask him about whether you want a book and I'll say I asked what they need to talk to their parents before booking? What a terrible question why would you ever ask them if they need to talk to their parents or booking it's a great thought but that's a terrible question cause what's the easiest answer here? Yes oh shoot well, I guess you better talk to your parents before you book me then, huh? You know it's like, oh human, it got me, you know don't ask it this way rather ask it this way how important his photography to you not the same question by any stretch of imagination is on the same question, but they're they're meeting with you and they've just gone through an hour and a half and asking a question like this allows him to say, you know, photography is very important to me and if they just simply say, well, you know, I gotta be honest with you it's really important me up to about two thousand dollars you can say, oh my gosh, awesome, this is really important to be up to about ten thousand dollars, so you know, but they're not going to say something that they're going to they're going talk about how important it is on ben, you know, you can ask them things like, you know, how important is it that we incorporate your parents with this, you know, how important is that? You know, it's really important? Well, how do we incorporate them? You know, asking the question in a way that leads to an answer you can work with is the important thing let's, look at another example here, so would you like some more time to think about it? This is the most common question I think photographers asked, and they usually ask it more like s o s o there's the prices and if he needs more time, think about it. You know it's totally fine to control that could either get up refusing to go somewhere that you guys could leave too. If you if you need anything, call me back and I could hold the day for you for like, a week if you want and that way from a calls me you know I'll just hold it for you but if you want you khun book right now but if you need to think about you can ok ok that's fine yeah, okay, that was it was good meeting you too you know? My gosh, I did that. So the first time bronson went on a consul patient I was I was I didn't again I didn't write a good man you at this point I hadn't read the manual so broads and I'm like, yeah it's the consultation for your first bride ever lets you just I'll go with you and just sit there you just, you know, talk to her and then sure the pricing and it's got a book and so excrement exact bronson puts the pricing out. I remember her name, but I still remember exactly where we were at the starbucks up in la toya and remember the exact starbucks were at and we're sitting outside of the table is like a saturday morning and so he puts the pricing in front of her and he goes, so goes the packages and she's like, wow he's like so you want a book on you kind of like looks up and she's like, oh um and he's like you don't have to if you don't want to not the right thing to say and she's like well it was almost like I was kind of off mid sentence ceo but he's got senator you don't have to if you don't wantto and oh man it was we still joke about that to think about that first meeting way left that that first meeting he called his wife he's like I bombed it I just but totally nose dived into the ground when he got the pricing out he's like I don't even know why I said it just came out this's came out you don't have to if you don't want to and at that point was ruined but we do that to ourselves we say the wrong thing we get nervous and we say the wrong thing or we say the right thing the wrong way we say so would you like some more time to think about it instead of saying does this package include everything you're looking for? How about that instead of asking so would you like some more time to think about it? How about saying does this package include everything you're looking for and then what is it one of the two answers you could have there yes great if the answer is yes awesome well, you know I can put together a contract then we can lock in the days that so we could work together wherever you want to say that if the answer is no they didn't tell, you know what they tell you exactly? I'm looking for a different package. Oh, good. Well, I must've misunderstood and let's figure this out or whatever the answer is there. So asking the right questions is so important in this phase because you're trying to make it so that the easiest option for them is to book you not tow, walk away not to go book somebody else, and so asking the right questions is so, so, so important he has been on the next slide, we talk about two things here and the third thing that I want to talk about his mindset before I do, though I know that's always a portion, it gets a lot of questions there in questions here in studio, the reason I handle hannah yeah, I guess at this point you're probably just relying hopefully on the fact that through the connection and learning what they want to that there isn't a pressure. I think I'm example, when I when my husband and I happened to be looking for rings, we went into the store, I saw the one I loved immediately, and then I proceeded to try on every single ring in the store so that I knew that I really wanted that one, so how, um so I personally hate to feel like I'm being pushy so I don't necessarily say do you need more time to think about it but I often leave the door open probably too long like I'm happy tow lot clients sit on it why why do you sit on it what you like you might be being pushy I just don't want them to pressure and to feel that sales right I mean, why do you feel like you're being pushed you know why? Why do you feel like they might take that take what you're doing as being pushy I probably don't need tio that's kind of my wife because I think that through that consultation I just don't want them to feel like oh my gosh she's making us decide which is probably my own fear of having to you know, one assuming that I don't want to have to decide right away, right? So I think that I guess I'm just asking that through this process hopefully so why did you try any too? But when you were when you were when you ring shopping with your husband, why did you even though you knew you told me you knew you knew I know okay, absolutely so why'd you try to be ring after that because I wanted to be sure you want I want my fear was that maybe that wasn't the perfect maybe there was a better one oh, so you didn't know no, I know you knew, you know so let me ask you this then how can you talk to your couples in a way that keeps them what what could have been done for you that would have kept you from trying it every ring in a store what could have happened for you that would have made it so that when you knew you knew you don't have an answer that right now but but what I'm saying is that what you're uncovering is great and I feel the same way often times and in a different light but I go to the same struggle when I walk into a store I don't want to be bugged by a salesman yeah I don't want to salesman to come up to me and talk to me I don't want even though I know they're trying to help you know like most of the salesmen are there to help you and I would get to where I want to be quicker if I took their help but I don't like to be bothered and so in the beginning I took that approach to my sit to my sales sessions to my meetings to my consultations and I never would bug them I would just kind of stick it out their engine this fade back, you know and I didn't because I was smearing the might might my hesitations but that's not healthy because you're also doing them a disservice by not helping them through the process and in them, the appetite we've all been, I've been to a place where I didn't feel pushed by the salesman, and I had to start looking at ok, I want I am I am I don't like being bothered when I go to a store or go to a place to buy something, yet I've had really great experiences where people have helped me. What was it about this experience that experiences that they did? And how can I take that and use that in my consultation? Because you're right, you are gonna be attracting people who are generally like you if you're putting out authentic version yourself. And so what I've done is studied and learned what they did successfully with me, and I've done that with my clients, and that helped me to overcome the things that I don't like and what I really have found I don't like is I don't like abrasiveness, I don't like abrasiveness, but if somebody walks up and says, hey, how are you doing today? Can I help you find anything specifically for what you're looking for? Something like that really actually helps kind of unseat my fear that I'm going to get sold to and I go, oh, well, actually, I'm looking for this. Awesome let me help you find that specifically and so that's why I used that when I'm learning about them and why I repeat back to them exactly what they want because I know for me that's a really big deal that I'm being heard that they're actually listen it's not it's, not just I have something that I'm trying to sell to you, and I don't really care what you want that you're listening to me and I walk in that store and I I'm being heard and so that's for me. Why? By repeating back to miss so important cause, I've noticed when I walk into a sales store by walking to buy a pair of shoes or something that when they repeat back to me what I want, it tells me they're listening to me and actually my best interest, so that helped me overcome that, so you've got to figure out what it is that can help you overcome that, and you've got to use that when you're talking to your clients. I think even the repeating technique is, as you said it, it actually lets them affirm it and exactly it's kind of that idea of I didn't come up with this, letting them realizing, oh yeah, that is what that is, what I want, and it really is over cars objections, so any treaty? Yeah, go ahead. First, when in these consultations, do you ever show your work? Bring out the album sloshed shows slide show or do you assume they already know your work? I have a couple albums in the table, I don't show them the images on the screen. I don't show them a slide show. I don't even talk about pictures first off of that point of artist in my pictures that second off their booking me my work, my photography is just the way that I promote my purpose. It's like starbucks, starbucks uses coffee to promote community coffee is just the tool they use to promote their mission, this community and so it's. Not that I'm hiding away from I worked on that I'm embarrassed by it, but I don't really worry about it. They ask about it. I go get it. If they want to see a slideshow from the venue, I show it to them it's. Not that I'm no, we will not look at him just say it's not that it's, just it's. Not that my purpose and being in my purpose in being there is I want you to be able to book me. And so I don't really worry about it. I don't bring any images to show if they want to see something, I'll definitely pull it out for them. We'll go through now or two, but more from a standpoint of showing them where now looks like less about the pictures that in the album and you're right, I already know they've been through my web site and all that kind of stuff, but oftentimes I meet with people who've never seen my website. They were referred to me by a friend, and I meet with him and I booked them. I can't tell you how many brides I've booked that have never seen an image of mine, you know, and I'll tell you a quick story about that. Actually, this is kind of a funny story I I booked, I got referred to a wedding up at the ritz carlton up in orange county and it's, a very nice venue, and this is amazing coordinator for this coordinator is is very well known, and she does great work, and I had had the distinct honor of getting to go to australia with her for two weeks and several of the coordinators and I was the photographer that was brought in by the tourism board of australia to shoot for, to shoot for them and it didn't pay off a lot but I wasn't there to get paid I was there to connect with all those coordinators and I got to go travel for two weeks to australia awesome and I connected eyes corners not talking about this corner first job the first way that she sent me was the daughter of a fairly high profile person and so she's like the budgets are going to be very big and you need to put a very good foot forward and so I went up there and she kind of told me that in dollars I was competing against I'm like oh my gosh is like the best photographers in california you know like the most well known the most expensive in congress and here I am just a guy from san diego and the worst part about it is that I would have been up all night with the flu the night before and I could even sit up and so I drove up there and I was still so sick and I met with her but when I drove there met on the way up I decided you know what? I'm not even going to bring a single image with me because everybody else I'm up against I happen to know who I'm up against they all have amazing images there amazing photographers I mean they're worker is work I look up tio I'm not I'm not gonna bring an image and I walked in there and I sat down and we started talking, but it and immediately she and I had a crazy connection because she was super into math to the math major in in college, and I was in a I majored in business management, but really at ucsd, it isn't much of the math majors, anything else, we talked for half an hour about math, so we talked about and her mom was saying in the moms like, man, you guys were going along great, and we talked for half an hour, I never showed an image. I said, thank you so much, they said, we have a couple of meetings, I said at that point, I was like, no problem, but I walked out, and also, when you're with a corner, you can't be quite as pushing sometimes, you know, you can't really push that sail home because they've set up those meetings, so you have to be a little bit different when you're with me with the coordinator, but I gotta call call a half an hour later, they said, we can't get all of the other appointments we want to work with. You ended up being, you know, over a twenty thousand dollars contract, they booked over twenty thousand dollars worth of services for me without ever seen an image. So you can this that speaks to the power of connecting is where the biggest contract I've ever done and everyone should have an image so it doesn't come down to the image it's not to say that the images are important they are, but they've already seen him on your website and you know they haven't it doesn't always matter it's about connecting it's about that relationship you're going to be with him on the most important to their lives with their wedding, your caption their family I mean boudoir that's such a great example of such an intimate experience, the images are very important, but connecting with them is more important because I mean, you were there with people on their most intimate moments of their lives and so that connection is so important it's just so vital I'm gonna keep going here if that's all right, sorry, I kind of give you the heads up in there, but I got to keep going so much more good stuff to talk about so mindset mindset you guys mind set was one of the biggest things we had the roadmap, the business roadmap was the mindset of confidence is people are feeling it's not feel people are feel like they don't have the confidence to do this they are feeling bogged down there feeling fearful they're feeling frustrated right now and I understand that I understand how important it is to feel confident, but that is such a tough time for so many photographers right now that there's so much competition out there right now that it's so easy to get, you get kind of taken in and all that, you know, they're gonna get sucked in and all that, and I get that I'm gonna tell you guys a story here a little bit about about my mindset the first couple of years and how I was always comparing myself and always trying to do other things, and what I want you to think about is don't think about yourself is being compared don't compare on yours, don't compare yourself and don't think about yourself is being compared. You can't think about yourself as being compared, and really, when we're meeting with people, when you're meeting with potentials were only being compared when were the wrong option. We're not being compared over the right option, we're being compared when were the wrong option when we're the right option, we're being chosen, okay, I want you guys to think about the power of changing your mindset because we spend so much time worrying about about what the other photographer that they might be meeting with is doing just shared a story with you about how I was so concerned with what the other photographers we're doing in this consultation I was lucky to have had that connection with her over math otherwise I would have spent so much time being fearful about what the other photographers were doing we're bringing to the table and it's not about that you guys because we're not being compared when were the right option? We're being chosen on dh so I don't want you to be um I want you to be the right option or not the option at all that's what I want you to think I want you to think that I'm the right option or I'm not the option at all and I don't want to have to worry about being compared because that that really pulls down your mindset and it really boils it down tio coming at it from a place of fear rather the place of confidence and really the consultation is all about confidence being confident in what you do and confident what you provide the experience you create, who you are and why that is amazing and why that's awesome and why they should want to be a part of that, you know you don't be the best option be the right option again don't be the best option be the right option let me tell you a story is going to kind of help solidify its little bit all right? I call it the vacuum cleaner in the dress story and a little weird oliver just give me a look like what? Yes it's the vacuum cleaner in the dress story so when my vacuum cleaner breaks it just broke fairly recently and they break so much more now than ever before. When I was growing up we had the same back, including for twenty years it was heavy as it was so heavy I could even push it down a six but it worked for twenty years and now we go through back in clean every two years anyways, so a vacuum cleaner broken we had to go buy a new one and so, you know, when your vacuum cleaner breaks, you're like, all right, just go get a new one, I guess, you know, you can add it to your list of things to do and it's like one of those things, you kind like us, right? I really have to get that back in clear. We haven't backing them like two weeks, okay? I'm gonna go and get the backing and so you go into the store and it kind of go to the vacuum cleaner section and you kind of look and you start looking around the different backing clears you're like, ok, that one cost that much and it it does this and it's blew that one cost this much little bit more but it's got more horsepower or wherever they remember how they rate vacuum cleaners, but it's got more suck to it and pulls mme or whatever they do. This vacuum cleaner is this and it's really powerful and it's going to last longer and ok, and so I said there, and I make a decision, right? I have to decide and I get a vacuum clear and what I pick, I picked the best option for my budget, for my needs, for what I'm looking for, I think the best option now the story of the dress now, I'm not speaking from experience here, but I am married, and so I have gone through this the idea of a woman finding the dress, maybe it's a, you know, recently we went to this nice party, and so sarah had to find a dress for it and so be a guy I'm kind of thinking about it a little more like a vacuum cleaner. I'm like, ok, so when you gonna get that dress years, you know, we're going to a party in a couple weeks, he's like I'm going to look for it today, I was like, ok, cool, so you leave it ten and you know, see it noon, you'll have the dress and she gets back and she doesn't have the dress like well, what happens like I couldn't find I didn't find the dresses like well, where do you go like I went down with the north's terms and in women to macy's well, did they not have dresses anymore? No, they had a lot of dresses I looked addresses for three hours but you don't have a dress like charity it wasn't the right dress you ladies know what I'm talking about it wasn't the right address and you know what? You'll search forever toe look for the right dress and you know what? It's never about buying the best dress you don't you would never go to nordstrom's when you're trying to buy a dress and just buy the best option available maybe you would if like that was the last day before maybe you would if you'd looked everywhere else but certainly your minds that would not be going into north comes to buy just the best dressed available it has to be the right dress and hopefully you find the right dress in your first time but it's about buying the right dress. And so what I want you guys to think about when you're booking when you're meeting with clients is that you want to be the right option not the best option you want to be the right option, be the person that they're seeking out rather than the person they're trying to compare you with you don't need to be the best option. You need to be the right option and that's the mindset that you need to get yourself into. So these are some great examples of what happens when you are the best option instead of the right option. When you are the best option, you're going to hear things like this. Can you throw in the engagement session for free? That means they're trying to find the best option for their photographer. The other night we're looking at is three thousand dollars. Can you match that? They're trying to find the best option. We're not trying to find the right option. They're trying to find the best option, you know, things like we have others were looking at, we'll let you know we'll make that well decided out of the best vacuum cleaners we see we'll pick the best one week we can find, you know, out of all the back and clears we're looking at, hopefully you're the best one versus and that's what I call selling to, you know, you're selling to them at that point at that point you're selling to them, and rather than being bought, you're selling to them and I want you to be bought. I want them to come seek you out and buy you and I want you to have that mindset that you deserve to be bought. I want you to have the confidence that you deserve to be bought. And so this is what being bought looks like I've known ever since he shot my best friend's wedding can I just have the same packages as her that's? That's that's something that happens it's like well, no actually cause she booked a really bad back it's just keep talking. No, but you know that's when you know you're being bought I've known ever since you shot my best friend's wedding can I just have the same package? Is her or can we secure you for a wedding and figure out the package later? That's a good I like that one is so great it's like yes, that's good. That means that you don't even care. We'll figure that out later. It's good. We already knew I like this, but we already know we're gonna book you. We just want to come in and hang out. That's seriously happens. I'm like wolf cafferty's thinking well, why are we doing all this thing today? It but they would have, like all of us that's pretty cool, okay, you know what I mean that happens it's just like we want to come in and take out your studio it's so pretty here it's got a good view and we need have a good bottle wind open and so we just do the fine it's like oh ok cool but that means that you're being bought that means you're being bought and I want you guys to be bought you know if you look at it you'll never get bought if you're the best option and you'll never have to sell if you're the right option and that's really what I want to leave you with the mindset that you can take to your consultations this idea that you need to have the right mindset you'll never be bought if you're the best option and you'll never have to sell if you're the right option so do you believe that you're the right option do you believe because I'll tell you the first three or four years I'd never I did not believe I was the right option I believe that was the best option I really did and here's what allowed me to turn the corner and all this is I started believing that I was there right option and it came in a point when I raise my prices above what I would have spent on myself I know it sounds really interesting but I never thought about this until one day when I raise my prices and all of a sudden I didn't it wasn't conscious, itjust happened when I was in meetings, I was all of a sudden the same way I was talking about things no longer worked, it didn't work for me, I wasn't comfortable do anymore because I used to talk about myself and so I was a good deal because I was lower priced than what I would pay for myself and so that's kind of how I would end up talking about myself. I had to I would talk about being a good deal and then one day I just raised my price and all of a sudden I didn't feel like I was that good deal anymore, and I'm what I went through this whole period, two or three months, I was like, oh my gosh, in my ripping clients off it might you know what what's going on and what I really had to mentally overcome is this idea had to believe that I might not be a good deal, but I was a great value, so I might not be a good deal anymore, but I'm a great value and I might be charging more now than what I would pay for myself, but that's justcause, I'm a cheapskate, I'm a great value. You know, seriously, all joking aside, I believe that I will take amazing images, and I will take amazing care of them. I know the kind of care that I put in every single client that I have, I truly believe I work so hard at that, and I really believe that they should book me. I really believe that we sat down and I've attracted a couple that is right for me, and we've gone through that consultation, and if everything has gone well and, you know, I believe that I can take care of their needs, and I believe that we connect, and I know that we'll have a great time together, and I know they're going, they're going to be able to get exactly what they want and more when I know that I believe that they should book me, I really do, and I think that we all have that belief, even through the fear, even through the lack of confidence. Deep down, we know when we should be booked, we know when we should be, we know when we would take amazing care of them, and you have to believe, but you're the best option for them. You have to believe that you're the right option for them, you have to believe that, and you have to come through the fear of feeling like you're pushing them you have to come through the fear of feeling like you're not good enough and you have to believe that you are the right option, and a lot of this comes from us actually doing it to ourselves, actually ruining the consultation on our own merits, we literally get out of the way and get answered. We really get in the way of a booking that's supposed to happen, you know? And I want to encourage you guys because aa lot of a lot of you shared and I'm in a lot of my conversations, it really does come down to that fear, and I had that fear for the first three or four years, and I overcame it by realizing wait a second, I do a great job, they do a great job, I care immensely and I really care about not just the product I give them, but about the experience they have, and I'll do anything to make sure they have that great experience. And if I truly believe that, I believe they're getting more value than what they're paying, even if it is more than what I would have spent on myself at the time, if I believe they're getting more value than I believe that they are getting exactly what they pay for, and mohr and I believe that they should book me. And that's how I've been able to overcome that fear is understanding that I want to be the right option and that I am the right option sometimes and sometimes I'm not the right option and that's ok too and when you're not the right option it's not the end of the world it's okay to not work with people that you're not the right fit for so there's also some permission there there's also a permission and kind of being ok with not being the right option for every single one because you can't be the right option for every single one you could be the best option for everyone but you can't be the right option for everyone and so I would encourage you to be the right option for those that you are the right option for and last the last point that I want to leave you with is you guys you have to practice this if we practice the consultation as much as we practiced shooting we would book significantly more I'm serious you why do you think that you have to practice shooting but you don't to practice this stuff this stuff requires practice it's hard to throw you a question and you don't want to say you say the wrong thing you think next time I'll get it but then you don't meet with some of the other two or three weeks and never practiced it anyways you need to practice it come up with a you know a script, memorize it if you have to in the beginning, you know that you can go through at the end of this, learn exactly what it is you need to say at the right times, learned what is best for you, you know, find that voice, practice it keep practicing, because just like when you're at a shoot and something happens in the moment, you don't want to be trying to spend time figuring out how to adjust her camera settings. You don't want to be missing that awesome moment that's happening right in front of you because your cameras in the wrong setting, you don't know how to get there quick enough. You want the camera to just be another extension of your mind? Well, I would love to see the consultation. Just be another extension of who you are, of what your brand is of what you attract and so you need to practice it practice, write it out and practice.