Building Rapport and Trust with Clients
Let's talk a little bit about report that idea of likability and trust and report sometimes people get a little caught up in the idea of well, you know I don't know them very well or what might they think of me carry not be specific carry no, but right now you got the mike first, so so when you go into your somebody for the first time and have a conversation, you're sitting down for sales do you think to yourself we're going to best friends forever? I can't wait, no, but I hope so, yeah, yeah, it looked like, you know, a sugary thought, but it's just kind of go in thinking that what I have to do to get them the kind of images they want and have them not hate them and yeah and not think I was your thanks haysom please still hate though let's just start there, okay? So in a situation where you're meeting a client and you're trying or you're talking about, you know your photography and booking a session and that's the situation specifically I would love you to try and exercise. This isn't...
required intense amount of imagination and I would love for you specifically to try this exercise, which is to make the assumption like so many times I talk about not not setting expectations and don't just assume things forget all those other things I said make the assumption that the person you're about to start a conversation with is going to be an extremely close friend of yours they don't have to become one it doesn't matter where it goes from here there's probably a good chance that if you build a great report and you connect and you become friends that they do become a good friend of yours in ten years of shooting I can't tell you how many people I met when they called up to ask about a shoot that have become friends go out to dinner we hang out we email back and forth you know and that's the only really way to the friends of social media were actually talk about that later today I assume that this person is going to be a very close friend who you can trust and feel comfortable with and you know that there's no judgment that they just love you like they are if you could have that in your head and use your full imagination to embrace that do you think there's a chance you might act differently when you sit down to start talking with him if you did the full imagination yes if you do the full imagination absolutely I think it just we'll take it's something I will do but it will take time to like kind of okay right? But what that does is it stops the thought from coming in? What are they thinking? I meant me, right? You know, is their chance to replace what are they thinking of me with? They must be thinking the best things about me, okay? From an affection in love and caring and not not like I'm looking up to you and I think you're the best person in the whole world more like I like you. I want you to succeed. I want to be your bud. You know, just think about the idea of assuming report is something that I feel gets lost sometimes it gets muddied in this whole idea of what did they want from me? I don't want them to think I'm pushing anything on them. All these negative kind of self defeating thoughts that run into are ahead, which are really, really different from the other idea, which is this is we're going to be really close. We're going great conversation that she's going to be a lot of fun, let them set you up if they're going to say that the husband's grumbling and stuff but if you're assuming that he's gonna have a great time and then he says something like what? What did you say that you just get this over with? I mean, imagine you're if your response was like, you're not having a fabulous time and the vicar says so and if he says back to, you know, actually want to get out of here, but why you don't like or whatever you might say, but in your way, right? What have you just addressed it head on? Is there something I could be doing to make this a better experience for you? I really want you to have a good experience like, what did you say? No, your joke what's it mean what's he gonna say, because let me just give you a perfect example of what I'm thinking about all the time in the world. It was a shoot the chute, the purpose of this she was for the two year old, it was forty year old images, it was a family that I've done shoots for the little girl's whole life, and the mom wanted images of all three of them, the mom, that and a little girl and the dad like flat out was like, this is uncomfortable, uncomfortable for me, I don't like doing this and, you know, I mean, like being photocopied, it doesn't like being photographed, and I was like, you know, and I was like, and I would catch him being kind of pulling away from the family for those close images, and I'd be like, you know, come on cuddle in, you know, and at one point I just said I understand that this is uncomfortable for you but it's so important to your wife that she has these images just hang in there with us a little bit longer and I got one image of the three of them that she loves melted her heart but it was I knew it was painful for him and I tried to make it better but, you know, like, what do you say when he's like I don't want to do this? Yes, tomorrow s o it came up that he was uncomfortable why you're shooting yes. Is there a possibility that you could have learned this prior to the shooting? Well, and I do know I did know about prior to the shoot because I for shot them before, okay, no, no, like, with him, but you've never met before going into the shoot for the first time. Okay, so don't think of a specific instance, okay, so, so no sure, but the very first conversation you have part of the shoot, there was an opportunity to uncover whether or not there might be these problem areas in issue kind of right up front let's figure out what they are and have some sort of plan to address them, so if in that conversation it had come up like you know what I got to tell you my husband he gets really weird in front of camera and you're going to deal with that sorry like that you'd learn something about that it could've been opportunity to say well, do you know why hey just doesn't like it what specifically does he like? Well, playing will figure but she might come back and say he just feels like it's kind of stupid like toe look at a camera go yeah, you know and then ok, so you have this knowledge so then when you get the shoot if it were me one of the first things I would do is say hey, jerry whitman calm very okay well called jerry I would love to chat with you for two seconds before this begins I understand that you don't you know I love doing this. Is that accurate? Yeah, I think this is kind of done awesome. You think my whole job is done? Thank you know, inside that part because that would be me being self conscious and about me. So instead what I would say is ok, is it is it mostly just and you sort of photography any time you ever getting a picture taken or is it this act of all we're doing here is getting our picture taking which which part of it specifically that's weird for you and he might saying, well, you know, honestly my wife's into this but I think two hours of let's smile for the camera it's done what he's really thinking? I think when I hear that is he's incredibly self conscious that he thinks this is an awkward situation he doesn't really want to be in this he doesn't know what to do and so instead of saying teach me what to do, you make me feel more comfortable please he says this is stupid I mean and that's absolutely right like when you just said that it's now in the head had I made him more comfortable, it probably would not have been as uncomfortable I could've done that I could have made him more comfort and and instead of putting all the onus on you to make him more comfortable, it could have been a situation where you say, how can we work together to make you feel more comfortable? You know what? What is it in this situation that it is where to change? It wouldn't be so annoying. Is there something that you can see me or you doing that would make this a little less frustrating? And what you might hear is, well, honestly, we're in a big public park and people are watching us if we were alone or we're back in a parking garage or in your studio I would be fine it's just I don't like you look at me and then looking at me to see what I'm doing for you got it that's great information a half let's shift the environment to take that stress off you and make this significantly more comfortable so we can enjoy this experience instead of just hammer through it because later when we get to sales even if we hammered through it and got great shots we don't have the experience part and that's a lot of why people buy hi or we have no buy in from him he had to go through something really painful that was a dental equipment for him like who wants to relish in getting souvenirs of that? Yeah so as you build in the experience that's where the idea of the souvenir comes in wednesday when I was doing the work life balance course my husband took the kids up to the top of the space needle and at the end they take the picture of you with the space needle everybody looking on the view and why is that you want a souvenir of the experience that was cool? You know if if going up to space and it was horrible and it was rainy and cloudy and awful and people are trying to shove you over the edge of it who wants a picture of that keep in mind you're selling the experience in the capture in equal measure, right? Okay, all right, so these are the little things about we're talking about likability and report and trust all the reasons people will choose to buy from you. So let me actually question outside of facebook how many people make and how many people in your life make a concerted effort teo make a big deal of your birthday outside of hate t dog birthday it up on facebook how many people will se call you upset? Can I take you out for dinner? We'll send you a car don't make a big special occasion of this in your friend's life what were you saying goes chad host said one person and she said who's that and I said u oh she's I do love birthday she's really good about that so you're good at the giving for the birthday but you're an exception right she's an exception she's really the only person that will make sure that I have to do something my birthday and it is exciting alright tell get out what do that at lunch? All right, all right we're still professional that's that that, by the way is really lovely thie truth is nowadays we're all slammed and busy and overwhelmed and going and going and going fewer people actually make a point of celebrating something that's super significant to you and we're guilty of it too how many people do we make a big effort out of you know it's your birthday let's just been really lovely to commemorate this little occasions their life that mean a lot to us are getting overlooked more and more by everybody including ourselves right and it's kind of something that if you can make a point of building into your process little things that show that you're going to reach out and touch people they will say you know what? This is ridiculous but my photographer is the only person who thought that that these ideas of you know, correspondence and I thought of you because of this and you know this big thing just happened your life and I have the idea that it probably rocked your world and other people might be uncomfortable talking to you about this because they don't know what to say about this thing that happened to you and this thing could be any number of the painful experiences we all have in our life but I just want to reach out but you know, I was thinking of you I would love to do this for you if I could I'm not going to say what do you need because you have enough on your plate but you know just this thoughtful little things that we know to d'oh but we don't have tying to dio and yet when they're done for us we're blown away with how significant it wass this idea of showing up and staying in touch goes it sticks with somebody for a long time will pass the amount of time it took you to make the effort empathy hey is everything to do with photography right? I wonder how the other person feels how can I make them more comfortable so I can get a better expression from them to give them a photograph that they hired me to make that's empathy I'm genuinely surprised at how many people will do a beautiful job practicing empathy through the out the entire shoot and then abandoned it when it comes to the client sale because during the shoot they feel like they're given the client what they want during the sale they're afraid of forcing something on the client and so they back off the shoot parts fine you know I know that this is what you hired me to d'oh the sale part is where we get completely wonky and cut by completely wonky I mean we don't have any of those things and we have all these problems so practicing empathy is understanding during the work life balance course we discovered this a pretty good amount of focus on this at the end of the course we talked about relationships where many of us myself included left in tears we talked about the idea that the core problems in most relationships when you start getting into serious issues is because you feel unseen unheard and another or under appreciated and yet with clients we will put all this focus on hearing what they want seeing them very well shooting them telling them how much we love their business and then we wipe all that off the table and say so just send me your order that's the order taker mentality and we're not doing it because they're telling us they don't want to spend any more time with us we're doing it because we're afraid that they might think that we're trying to shove something on them practice empathy the whole way through all right, so the trust factor this sounds really silly but are you honest with your clients and honestly clients do you exaggerate what you're going to do for them or what you're gonna create for them after the fact and you used to simply tell the truth do you display integrity in your work as well as in your words yeah you do everybody hears nodding yes so what do you terrified over here that they might be perceived if you know that you're not trying to pull anything over on them? We have this fear that they may perceive that we're trying to be this huckster who's trying to take their money and yet it's completely out of sync with what we genuinely know ourselves to be doing ok here's another great thing about photography most people get into this because they have these actually, they're meeting these deeper, more beautiful needs photographer after a photographer after photographer that I talked to when I say wire, do you do this job? Why do you do photography? They say because I actually love showing people how beautiful they are I love playing with kids and capturing their gorgeousness I love seeing a family come together I love photographing a bride and groom on their wedding day and giving them something to commemorate that amazing experience it's like all these incredibly altruistic, positive, beautiful reasons, these are all the things that you're honestly feeling. So why do you fear something that you, you know, isn't true? You know, that's not true, a trust factor it's going to seem weird to them if you're trying to hide something that you already know is not true, they don't can't think I don't know what it is, but they're picking up on a vibe that you're a little weirded out right now and it affects the way they trust you if you can simply just get yourself in the mindset that, like, I'm not pulling anything over and you this is honestly the work I do, and this is honestly the reason I do it that hopefully will erase that weird, uncomfortable vibe that is bizarrely shaking things that this is the part of energy, right? We talked about energy this is the nonverbal part like I could be having a whole conversation with you and saying everything right but if I'm doing this you get the sense that I'm not comfortable or really have to be I mean whatever it is that's the sense that you're getting and but I'm using all the right words you need to embody the belief and the words for it nonverbally show them I believe the truth tomorrow I'm just curious how how what percentage of sales do you think is um not spoken is energy of the sales process sells processors specifically make up a statistic very good at that no, but in seriously when you when you study communication and the difference in verbal and nonverbal if I'm looking at you and I say to you I will not take your money I will not take it and spend it everywhere where do you believe to be true? What do you believe it's true one hundred percent of you think I'm lying and I'm gonna take your money and I'm apparently going to learn how to do this days it's gigantic I don't know what number for it but I'm sure we could find a number I would think it's excessively high we pick up on something that is a disconnect with what the words we're hearing and we trust our sense and our senses something is weird here I mean building trust with clients especially ongoing clients clients that come back time and time again one of the most wonderful ways to build trust is to show it in terms of how you treat client issues a great example I had a client come in I got like three or four months ago I one of my associates photographed their family portrait ce on dh this was years ago so the client they associate has actually since moved on and has her own business on the other side of the country but I want to say it was like five or six years ago this portrait session was shot she came in with this frame peace and inside the frame piece the photograph had slipped so the tape had come undone and the photograph had slipped what was just up on our wall and she said, look, I know this was forever ago and so and so doesn't work with you anymore but I paid for this and this is the issue I have. I have this wonderful opportunity at that exact second to build trust with her and everybody else she talks to that is my mindset I have this wonderful opportunity that she just brought into me for me to show her that I have integrity behind what my studio does and for her to tell her when she knows that this is what I did my mind said could be oh, crap. Why you bring me this thing that I didn't even dio from years ago? That I mean, you really expect me to pay for this now? I could go one of two ways. I'm gonna go the first way, which is how I went. We said not only will replace this, but I am pretty sure looking backwards schooling through records. I'm pretty sure that's about the exact time frame we moved over from this one frame we were using to a wholesale framer. And I remember there was a period of a month there where, you know, we had actually went from one friend to another. It was kind of a process. And I'm so sorry. I think somewhere along the way, way somebody used the wrong framing tape clearly, because this should not have slipped. What we would love to do is not only replace this, but any other frame pieces from that session we'd love to have we have internet studio. Come to your house, pick him up, take him back. We're gonna replace all of them. Make sure you have the absolute lifetime guaranteed secure you need and bring them back. What does that experience cost me? Literally. It probably cost me a couple hundred dollars. I have I have a framers who come in and out all the time all the time but they come every two weeks we have a whole cycle set up in terms of just having a very efficient process with our training and so when they come in the next time I just say you know do me a favor open these up retaped them close them, bring it back to me I've got I actually trying to think exactly how much it cost me and I didn't think was that much, but I had to certainly pay to be able to offer that experience or if I had chosen to do it myself, which I didn't I would had to have done it and that that takes my time but what ends up happening as an end result is I turn the problem into this wonderful marketing because word of mouth marketing is my core way I get things done and my studio manager knows is this sarah's my studio manager and she knows that we have a problem come in if we have a print for instance that comes that comes back and it doesn't look right we eat the cost and order another print I mean, hands down if we have a client call us and say you know when I hung the pieces up on the wall and this's going to sound terrible but I picked the wrong frame I'm so sorry can I get it reframed or something? Let's work with you to make sure you love these prints. Let you love these frames if I have to spend a little bit of money to fix these issues, I have a problem right now happening that another one of my associates took these took this huge group photo long story short, the way that the client chose to print it. It wasn't the optimal way to showcase this photo that's a very short way of saying a very convoluted issue. That's come up, I let our city manager know and she was going to, you know, she came back to the issues, this what I think we should do, and I said, absolutely, we're going to eat the cost and get another print, another situation, and because this is kind of a pain for our clients and we want to class have a great experience, please also give them gift certificate toe have their next session with me completely waved, I'll go out and I'll go to wherever it is and I'll do the next session, they don't have to pay the session fee. I want them to realize that we really, really, really care about the fact that this was inconvenient for them in any way this is building trust, I take a short term hit and I have a long term advantage and then this last part I talked about the idea of simply clarifying the fit between the needs and that somebody has and the products or services that you're offering clarification builds trust if I feel like you were trying to sell me on something and you're going on and on and on about it and I don't even understand all the parts of what it is you're trying to sell to me I feel like you're china snow me right if I had to save you what what exactly am I buying and it takes you two and a half minutes to answer and there's always like a little extra things there's this one thing I think about when you buy a car like when you if you lease a car and there's always like the hidden fees and charges and well how much is it gonna cost me again how does that break down? I'm very confused by this I don't trust you clarity builds trust as much as you can be very clear with your pricing very clear with your explanations say for instance when we do session fees I tell people right away my session fee is five hundred dollars there's no additional fees whatsoever for outfit changes location changes or poses or photo finishing or extra styling nothing it's that completely you will not get an extra bill for any of those things very clear think about the fact that if you could be very focused on what they need and what you offer and you find that's nice, clear bridge between the two home run and then this is the last part, if you leave them where they're just sitting there and you don't wait just to this. An hour ago, you said something and I just said, I don't understand you, I could have said, oh, yeah, but by telling you I didn't understand you and asking you to rephrase it or clarified in a way that I do understand, I showed you that I was listening and you had a russian affection for me, and you wanted to get up and hugged me, right? That's part of what we do, we tell somebody I don't understand you and I really do want understand use any way we could say this in a way that I can get and vice versa. You're telling me you're uncomfortable can tell me exactly what you're uncomfortable. Is there something I can do to alleviate that issue? This is just clarifying as much sweet clarify. We build trust, we ease, they sort of discomfort, and we move our way into making kick butt sales.