Pre-Consultations: What’s The Point
I used to not do pre complications, and I wondered why I wasn't getting good numbers, and by the way, we need to welcome arena. Who is our new student here? Who joined us this afternoon? Thanks for coming arena appreciate it. Um, I wasn't getting good numbers, you know, I wasn't doing a pre consultation and the numbers weren't coming in, and I wondered why I'm like okay, that my pricing am I not selling right in person? Um, um, I just not getting the right clients and my not marketing right what's happening? Well, I just started asking clients you know what their thoughts were after the whole session was over and asking in the middle for those who didn't buy a while portrait, why didn't you? Well, I didn't know I could, but we didn't really think that we could afford it was too much for us at that time. So you're saying there was thing it's too expensive, and I thought we're going to lower my prices. No, that wasn't the answer. The answer was just prepping them so that they're so that ...
when they get to the ordering appointment, they are ready and prepared to buy to spend money, because if you try to do it at the ordering apartment, that's too quick that's too fast to make that kind of decision. So if you prep them beforehand, you're going to have better luck in celtic. Now, did you guys remember I told you? And just before lunch I said, I want you to really listen to what I'm saying to this this client and take note of the things that I say to her that number one in, dear her to me and number two get make her feel comfortable and number three give her ideas about her session. Take it away. What do you think? What did I say? You look great. And talking about how beautiful her baby wass yeah, and wass honest feeling. Yeah. It's definitely from the heart. And what else I think you said cherish and relishing a lot of very kind of strong words that I think tie into the preciousness of this moment, which is kind of the emotion that you're talking about selling people. Yeah. And you said there were so many great shots that it would look amazing in an album. Um, I got her thinking that night way I'm sorry. Interrupted you. I kind of jumped on you and me to do that anyone else have also mentioned to the dad that, you know oh, this gray is going to look terrific with, you know that you were thinking about how his shirt and what the baby was being rapped, and he was all part of the picture. So it wasn't just that you were taking pretty pictures of his child, it's, that you were thinking about and showing him that you were thinking about how this was going to be in an end product? Yes, exactly. You nailed it. And what did I say to mom when I put the baby in her arms? Do you remember? You guys might not be able to hear that? Maybe the internet can can help out a little bit. I said some things. No, not quite yet. Okay, I said some things to mom that were very endearing. I told her I go. I was telling her to safety spiel. And I said, you know, each baby post has three points of contact for safety, and I said, I'm gonna be in your bubble a little bit, so be warned, I'm going to be close to you and she's like that's. Okay, most moms had a baby. You don't care who's in your bubble. Okay, so when I put the baby before I put the baby in her arms, I said you were you know, you need to enjoy this because this is the last time your child will fit like this. A month from now, he will not settle and fit so perfectly in the art, in your arms away. I'm about to place him, and so I just want you to breathe them in and take this moment in because it won't be here present. Enjoy this and what did that do that made her feel as the images were being taken, it made her think about the fact that this was momentous. I'm telling her, my wife, my purpose. Do you see that? I'm projecting my purpose about about relishing that moment you become a parent into her heart, as I was photographing her was touching her on a deep level, and a lot of my mom's actually cry when I tell them that, and then the photographs, they will have tears running down their cheeks and they buy those images because they remember what it felt like to have that much emotion when they're being photographed. I tell them, let me do the work, just listen to what I say, you just have to enjoy this and follow my directions and they all of a sudden go oh, if you mean I don't have to do anything on my own, you just tell me what to do, yes I will take care of you and that was the whole point of that session I'm going to take care of you I'm going to take care of your baby and that's all part of that customer experience does that does that followed you guys see that I'm glad you noted some of those things that I said to her and I want you to understand that in this environment I had to kind of do it as we were shooting in the studio sometimes I don't really I'm in right ray mode and it's hard for me to like talk to the client when I'm photographing baby by himself I usually have mom and dad watch or hang out or do whatever and I'm pretty quiet I just talk to tiffany and what happens is when mama's breast feeding we have a little nursery at the studio and she's it's a private area and she can go in there and sit down and rest feed and while she's breastfeeding I'll chat with her about her home I'll do a mini pre consultation right there especially if I haven't seen her before if I've just done a phone consult I've done a phone consul she's typed out that form and now we're sitting face to face while she breast feeds a very intimate time and we're discussing her goals her style her vision, my creativity all these things so what I do here do you see it's really important and I'll talk about that more in just a minute but so I'll talk to her beforehand so it's a little bit of a different situation but I think we still got the message across so free consultations what you're gonna learn in this segment we're going to talk about why they're so important and how they help you in the session in the saleswoman we've already touched on that a little bit we're gonna get into it a little deeper what questions to ask you know why you're asking them not only for your benefit but for theirs okay we're gonna talk about what your goals should be at the pre consult okay what do you want to walk out of the pre consul with what kind of information do you want the pros and cons of in person consultations versus on the phone and then you can decide what you think will work for you how a good pre concert can establish a racial relationship for life remember this is the courting phase this is them meat usually meeting you for the first time this is where we're saying hey, we're going to date okay, so do you really need to do a pre pre consul hell, yes, hell yes and I don't know I don't really care that much and I don't want but yeah that's how important this is, okay, yes, it establishes the relationship it gets the client endeared to you it sets the ground rules you know what I mean it does all these things to really help you it guides the client in the direction the sale will go and I think you guys are getting this now and I'm gonna beat it into your heads a little bit more but plant the seed is the sale of their head they got to know what's coming they have to have a rule for their session questions thoughts concerns not at this point it gets the pre consul also gets the creative killers out of the way okay classic scenario you go on a shoot dad's wearing orange mom's wearing purple and the kids and bright white four's always got ahead of you think I don't want gosh that would be awful it's too can you imagine happened hasn't it oh yeah it's happened to me too you don't want that those kind of creativity killers just knock you flat you don't want to deal with that you back on susan you get him back on lance want to know or says does all the feelings about the moment transform into later uh photo sessions when the child is grown like maybe a possible senior portrait are you transferring this emotion for life because I have just planted a feeling in her heart and I photographed that session when she sees the images tomorrow those feelings are gonna come rushing back and in the future, as her child gets older and that baby no longer fits like that in that moment is no longer there it's going to make those emotions keep coming back to you. You have snapshots in your kid or any snapshots that you take or indication you go back and look at it. You're like, oh, I remember what we were doing that's okay, but you wouldn't remember that. How do you know how you not seen the photograph? Yeah. Any time you see a photograph, it triggers that emotional memory, right? Heck, yeah. That's gonna happen in lands as the great question it's important I should have said it's an important thing to note that that emotion that I am still in her when I'm shooting is going to be the same emotion when she sees it. And the same emotion twenty years down the road when she looks at the image again, probably even deeper because she'll have the nostalgia of that moment being gone. Okay, so it gets those creative killers out of the way. As you can tell, I plan my sessions. I'm an image maker, there's image makers and there's image takers. What are you and mitch taker is someone who takes the moment. They're very journalistic in the way they do things, and I can't do that for the life of me. I wish I could and they have wicked talent because they could just see a moment get it. I'm mohr I gotta put it together in pieces and make it I can pre visualize, but I have to make any price. You obviously saw that in the shooting the session today. So there's not both. Are justus good there's? Not one that's better over the other, but when you are trying to be creative, you have to have your creative killers, the things like clothing and and how they're going to act and what they're gonna wear and stuff like that has to get out of the way. You've got to talk about that. Of course it plans to see the sale, and it also courts the client to create that beautiful marriage. To get good sale, you must prepare the client long before they see the images. And I know I've said this a thousand times, but it's the whole point of a prehensile that's. Your single most important goal is to plant the seed of the sale and get them thinking about what they want to purchase. About what they want to do with the images, how they want to see them five, ten years from now, even with the wedding same thing is in fact wedding starters have a little bit better of an opportunity to do it because there's such a long relationship with the client, they have all this time to establish these good things and you know what? The wedding client doing it in person consultation is almost a given it's really almost a given you wouldn't do it over the phone you want the clients come and meet you there has to be a good report. Why can't we translate that same thing over the portrait and wouldn't it present produce the same results? Right? Same with seniors. I mean, senior, you're selling to the senior end of mom. Okay, so the mom, you have to instill those emotions with the senior, you have to kind of they're on in themselves a little bit. You know, tina, I remember being that way being a little bit and, you know, nothing can harm me and that's all about me. Me, me, you know, when you're a kid so that you have to appeal to that level on a senior so it's a different approach to a consul, okay, but it's still the same goal plan to see to the sale, okay? So should I do in the phone or should I do it in person? Here's some pros and cons to both with the phone you can't see the reaction of the client body language is such a beautiful thing and there's on the resource is list there's, a book called what is it the subtle art of body language or bye gerber? I think I have I'm not sure the title and remember it's on my ipad and it's he is a master at reading body language, it is so cool and when you can see the person in real life, you can't tell if they're closed off a little bit if they're uncomfortable, thurlow insecure if they're not open to you, if they're crossing their arms, if they're a little bit reluctant to kind of let you in all these body language things can help you determine where the client is going with their heads, so how they recommend that book and really studying body language to be able to read your client and women are actually better at doing this than men, because we're very tuned into feeling an emotion more so. Obviously I'm generally there's plenty of men out there who could do that? S o I don't want to stay here to help in any way, but it's a skill that does take learning, I guess that's my point it's hard to determine what product you're shooting for because the client can't see the products okay, when you do it in person, either with a catalog or in your studio with samples they can actually see see things and that visual stimulation gets them excited. Okay, so you don't have that when you're on the phone, but again, a good product catalog is going to help that it's going it's going to really get over that barrier, but it has to be good. I mean, we talked about the party run catalog and our designs those those companies spend millions of dollars making those catalogs look fantastic, so just think about how much effort they put into it to sell you should do the same thing you should be. Obviously we can't spend millions dollars, but there are ways to, you know, go into a beautiful clients home, hang up art, photograph their rooms, you know, why can't you do that? You all have good clients who have beautiful places of toe live, and why can't you say, hey, I'm trying to get a catalog or religion like to feature your home, I want to bring a few samples and hang them on your raul and there's ways to hang without putting, you know, holes in the walls and things like that. Phone it's convenient you know it's nice to just pick up the phone and it's fairly quick it doesn't you know when you're with someone in person you tend to chat and shoot the breeze and time goes by so in person takes a little time but there's also a benefit to that what's the benefit yeah exactly you build a relationship so you kind of have to away okay should I do it in person or should I not now with in person the client has to come in so especially like that student earlier who talked about her clients being three hours away you know that's going to be a challenge he's going to have to do things on the phone it takes it does take more time you know what just something to consider but again that time might be worth it it might be worth it if it endears your client to really build that relationship if you're the type of person who's you know I get the interview I get the job you might want to do in person the client can see the products which is always helpful and a deeper rollout relationship has developed with that verbal and nonverbal communication there's a commitment made I put commitment in quotes because it's a soft commitment every client when they call the first thing I say is you know what's your goal with the session I don't want a picture of johnny I don't know who thought about it. Okay let's talk what are your options? What wall do you want to hang a portrait on my favorite is albums because you know I could pass it on to my child when he's older we create custom art for people's homes we take pride and really relishing that moment of birth and you the moment you become a parent so let's, this is the basically the rest of your life we want to create something special for you we want to do that so when they when I verbalize that to them they go okay? I never thought about maybe I should think about it I usually suggest you want to come in for a consultation or if you know you'd like to book, we can easily I do it over the phone if you don't have time so I do both you know, if someone wants to come in, I'll have him come in if they don't want to come in, I'll talk to him on the phone. I've waffle back and forth should I do it in person? Should I not? You know, I'm the pendulum swings all the time on dh just like you guys I'm learning in business, justus much and sometimes I make mistakes ago I should have done this and you know you learn as you go but when you do something in person, the client sees a practical yeah, I really like to do that that's beautiful. I'd like to do that. Okay, well, then we'll shoot for it. You know, we should definitely plan if we're going to plan for him out for an album. I do need to know that in advance because we shoot for that a little differently than we would for a wall portrait. So when I know that going to the session, that makes it a lot easier for us to design it on the back end, what have I done? I've just softly committed them to the product you saw me do all that work for that session tiffany's over there editing the images right now, she probably done by the time I finished talking here and we've done all this work and if they come in and we and I say to her in the vue employment, okay, so we talked about doing an album let's look at the different options and she says, no, I don't want an album. Oh, my gosh, I just did all this work for you and you don't want an album when you told me you did, people don't really do that unless they're mean, you know, most people aren't mean most people want to do what they say they'll do so keep that in mind, that's really effective it's easier to plan to see the sail when you're when you're actually with them and they could see the products so it's something that you have to weigh it's trying to, like. Make someone fall in love with you on the phone versus on a first date that make a good, good analogy sometimes that guy you're talking on the phone, you could talk to him for hours and hours and hours because he's awesome and you have a great conversation on the phone and he's really easy to talk to, and sometimes you're like, I'm gonna be a date I'm not really sure about all go, but, boy, he was the number who she's laughing at me. And so but then when you meet him in person, you realize what a great guy he is like? Oh my gosh, I can't believe that I was hesitant about this on the phone. He's so nice. Okay, so it's the same concept and I really like in developing a relationship with a client to dating. And if you think about it that way, I think it'll help you relate something and make you approach it a little bit differently.