Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp

Lesson 17 of 35

Dealing With Client Objections & Problem Personalities, with Consistency

 

Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp

Lesson 17 of 35

Dealing With Client Objections & Problem Personalities, with Consistency

 

Lesson Info

Dealing With Client Objections & Problem Personalities, with Consistency

We have covered so much in this course just an incredible quantity of material on dh today's topic is actually usually a pretty popular one mainly I'm getting lots of giggles from the audience just from the from the slide here it's basically all the crappy clients that we have and dealing with difficult people it's always gonna happen no matter what in our industry in any business there's always going to be someone who is a challenge right and you all had them yet have you had a client who makes your head spin and gives you nightmares at night and makes you not want to eat your dinner and throw things across the room yeah we've all had them and they are no fun at all is a matter of fact when you get a crappy client seriously all you do is want to hide a whole hide in a hole somewhere and never do business again and every time you see them in your small town in the grocery store you run down to the other aisle so they won't see you coming right oh my god they're so until I run out of th...

e way trust me I've been there and hopefully they're not watching and you know what it really comes down to is usually it's when you have most people want to be nice right you got to give people the benefit of the benefit of the doubt most people are good people usually if they're a crappy client it's because you screwed up somewhere or they haven't issued going on you're in their life that is not in your control, okay? And you're the one stuck with dealing with it because they are inadvertently taking it out on you right now some people just have interesting personalities for lack of a better word, right? And they're people that you're not used to dealing with because really what it comes down to and no matter what field were in wedding portrait, commercial, whatever we are dealing with people and human nature and relationships and that runs the gamut you have multiple personalities that you will build that you will be dealing with in your career as an entrepreneur the major ones that we're going to cover today are these the negotiator, the indecisive, the know it all the silent type, the nit picker, the control freak and the victim and when I say all these you get in your head and idea who I'm talking about, don't you? Oh yeah, I've had one of those I've had them all pretty much multiple times and most people tend to sway to some of these tendencies at one point there lives or another chances are you do too chances are you get indecisive that about things you're a control freak about stuff you don't say a lot and become the silent type chances are you have dealt with this in your own personality as well as with clients now if this personality is something that's not you at all and you're not used to dealing with it when you meet that person you shut down right so a silent type person and a know it all don't really get along right because the know it all's gonna be constantly talking over the silent type and the silent type isn't strong enough and pushy enough to get their opinion in there right so a lot of these personalities very much conflict with one another but this is the way life isthe right this is you and your husband your wife your relationship your boyfriend girlfriend amy's over there laughing she's like yeah my husband's the poker or whatever who knows right this silent type okay and what are what are you nonstop talker okay yeah the there are going to be harder personalities for you than others just based on your own personality and what you get along with but if you can learn the different types and be able to assess each client who comes through your door and say to them or say to yourself in your mind okay this is a nitpicker this is someone I need thio understand where they're coming from why they're being this way and that will help me get what I need out of the relationship follow so we're going to handle them all and the ways that they object to the process of going through your studio, the experience of being a client with you, okay? And you know, what it really comes down to is we all have clients, you know, we want to strangle, and this little girl is not one of them, but, uh, she this is little arias she's, an absolute doll, and I absolutely love her parents is a matter of fact, her mother, the image of aria and her mother as newborns is one of my top winning images this year in print competition is I don't know if you guys have seen the painting, the cuts called a breath of heaven and that's when aria was just a teeny tiny little little baby. So actually, this client is one of my favorites, wonderful people always kind, but that doesn't always happen. So I think the thing I want to get across to you most of all is learned these personalities, not with the intent of being able to conquer them, not with the intent of being I'll show you, but more of the approach that okay? This person has a way of working, and I need to figure out how to get into their mind so that we have a good relationship for the short time that we're together. So if I train you how to understand where these people are coming from and what they're doing then you're going to be able to approach them with a lot more kindness, integrity, authenticity which one turn will do what raise your customer service and your brand okay, so the ways the pliant clients pushback khun sometimes just blow your mind right? Um I have this this picture is a spitting image of one of my clients. Okay, um belinda drew this um do you want me to tell you the story? Okay, so the only thing she did not have when she came back was her rifle. Okay, but I have a client who is what I classically call a control freak client. Okay, her house we're going to call her natalie okay? Her house is all white. Does that give you an impression of who she is? Yeah, the only thing colored in the home are the oak wood floors. Okay, the kitchen counters I have never seen kitchen counters that clean in my life. It looks like nobody lives there. Okay, so natalie came to me with her first baby and she did pregnancy images of me and on the maturity session you know how when you're editing in photo shop the background of the display space is black and so if your background color in the color picker is black and you crop the image just so if you just hit the background you'll get a black line along your image you have you never done that so like if you crop in image but crops slightly inside the image area the background will fill with black if that's your background color but then the display area is black too through if it's just a sliver of a hair you won't see it right okay, so she gets maturity session and um she takes her images in our files home two hours later okay, so you understand how polished this family is okay her house sol why she dressed I mean, everything is perfect. Okay, so two hours later she comes storming into the studio with her mother behind her in curlers in her bath robe mom was wearing a bathrobe and curlers and they both come storming in because we have a problem. Okay, I'm not coming on the stairs going what is going on? What? Oh, my god. I'm like thinking it's a major crisis ok, there is a weird black line going down the side of one of my images. Okay? It's okay, we can fix it not a big deal. No big deal let me do you have the usb? Yes, she gave it to me so I really hope this kind of thing does not happen in the new board session and I'm like okay don't worry, we'll fix it about the file upstairs opened up realize what the problem was cloned it out gave it to her it was all fixed and done but she was p oed at me I mean, this was like a major crisis and the issue here she's a control freak she doesn't trust that the people she hires are going to do the job she expects them to dio so her issues were solely trust and that is natalee's mother t I mean, she could have been holding that rifle ready to shoot me and that's how I pictured her coming in because let me tell you it was a little scary no makeup on curlers in her gray hair in a bathrobe just comes storming in like, oh my god, what happened? I mean, I thought it was a major crisis that it's a little tiny black line okay, but this is the control freak for you, right? So that's the story of natalie but these objections that people have and the things they try to confront you with in the sales room are sometimes things especially when you first starting out you don't know what to say to it the classic one we don't have wall space said the client with no vision okay, how do you deal with this? How do you cope with this and the sales room? What do you say yes let's talk about it I love this when we can talk about it and kind of have questions and comments and see what happens yes exactly suggests an album do you have a suggestion I would say oh you must have great art what do you have in your balls ok getting talking get him talking sure and sometimes you can lead that conversation into how important is that heart to you and your kids more important you know let's move the ark right or asked for pictures of their walls yes and you can assess if there might be a hidden space exactly we suggest an album or a display box show how a siri's can work in a small space even over a doorway they can do a series of small ten by ten little campuses and you've sold three ten inch campuses which is not a bad sale okay so suggest those uncommon wall spaces or in my situation I suggest the diddle digital files now I want my clients to purchase both an art piece and the digital so we usually go one direction or another and the pricing helps to convince them to do that but oftentimes in the pre consultation even on the booking phone call we're in the home you know what walt do you want a porter oh well we don't really have any wall space or you know we're in a rental is the classic thing I get? Yeah. Is it nice to know that we all get the same darn objections? I see people in the background I have gotten that one it feels good to know that other people get the same issues for all in the same boat oh, we're torrential! My argument to that is well, you know what? It doesn't really matter what color the walls are any rental what you should really look at it, the design and decor of your space, the furniture that will be moving with you wherever you go and the style that you naturally have is a person what's your personal aesthetic what do you love if you could shop for furniture anywhere on on an unlimited budget? Where would you go? I would say restoration hardware so to me, if a designer or photographer was going to design a wall space for me or a wall portrait, it would be in that feeling of restoration hardware with the color tones that I suggest to her right doesn't really matter if I'm in a rental or not, I could still hang something right, so youse need to educate your client. This is a classic one I get this almost every single session I can't decide right now or something along the line, said the client, who was overwhelmed almost all of them get overwhelmed to some degree it's how serious it is, okay my job is to talk him off the ledge and keep them from getting overwhelmed in the sales room and that's, of course, accomplished through the piece that we've been discussing this this whole week. So I would suggest an album or an image display box. Teo hold multiple images instead of just the one that they want for the wall. So that way they get them all in a peace rather than just you know, rather than just in a small wall siri's that only has a few images in it. I would prevent this in the first place with really good pre consultations. Now, like I said, can you always prevent it now? Some clients are naturally just going to get overwhelmed. It's emotional it's, their child it's this amazing time in their life, it's their family, it's their wedding, whatever it may be, all of that is associated with strong emotion naturally, so when they see the images, they are going to be overwhelmed. But you can help your issue by having a good priest on consultation, because if there's some kind of plan for the images, then when that overwhelming feeling does take place in the sales session, at least it's not so overwhelming that you can't get them back on track focus, focus, no squirrels, no squirrels, okay those of you who don't know the squirrel analogy squirrels is from the movie up, which is a disney movie, which any of us who are parents know the little dog in the movie always gets distracted by squirrels. So whenever I say that, it means those squirrels distractions, rabbit trail, we're going off on a different tangent, ok, so sorry effect that's, especially with international audience sometimes what's a squirrel? What is she talking about? Okay, prevented by designing for a specific place in their home, okay, if they can't make a decision, oftentimes might be one of the reasons my sales sessions go so quickly because I know they're doing something for a wall space we've talked about in the pre complication they come into the sales appointment, they know they're getting an art piece for the walls. We've already planned it so there's only a few images within the session that can go in that space and work well, so that reduces the sense of overwhelmed feeling because they know it's going to be a family image because those the ones that match okay, there's only three to four family images that we that air there. Which one did you like the best, since they know they're getting the rest on digital files? It's not as overwhelming, so there's a plan which narrows the focus okay have policies in place that require in order at the in person ordering appointment and tell them about that in advance so they could be prepared last resort online gallery with a hefty hefty fee. I only do this as a last resort. If someone cannot make a decision, they khun do a minimum, create a collection order, I will put the images online, they can take the digital files home and then tell me later which image they want to put in their art piece. Okay, but I only give them three days to do so because I just can't have people fall out of line, because if you fall out of my systematic line, then I'm not going to able to provide you with a customer service that I'm known for, and that hurts my business. Protect your brain and your baby what's another one. Yeah, my husband needs to be here, said the emotional client, who thought she could do this by herself. What the heck was she thinking? She wasn't and chances are it because I didn't warn her? I didn't prepare her. So when I'm at the end of the session and we're making or on the calendar and we're setting the the ordering appointment, one of the first things I ask is who needs to be here for this? And if she says oh, you know just just me I'll go mr smith what's your schedule like you're probably the one because usually moms are a maternity leave you're probably the one that has the tightest schedule why don't you have a look at your calendar let me know what date works for you oh I don't need to be here are you sure? Would you let your wife go out and purchase a sofa without you being there? Is that okay? That's pretty much what this is going to be like and I want to make sure that we're on the same page they like to say oh okay, well, maybe I do need to be here maybe I don't but if you say those kinds of words to them with that warning that's definitely gonna put the thought in their head maybe I should think about this little bit more it's more involved than I thought they have no idea they really don't okay so some some solutions to that objection are things like preventing this with good and well communicated policies communicating what's goingto happen at the ordering appointment beforehand remind them of course at the session at the session and put it in your policies that all decision makers must be present and of course using that line of you know would you buy a sofa or a surfboard or uh gibson guitar or whatever without your spouse, then it's probably ok. And I've had some know there are some clients out. Their wife comes in. Does it all spend about tone lund boat ton, load of money and it's all good. No problem. Okay, so you just have to feel that out and make sure that that's okay with the family to do that. Okay, we are on a limited budget. Said the poor client who just bought a new car. Don't you hate that? It's always the client with the porsche and the louis vuitton bag who spends no money? I see that coming and I'm like, uh oh, where I had one time in the very beginning, my top package used to be a twenty, five hundred dollar package used to be twenty five dollar package I had teared package structure before I changed pretty collection. This was back when I was in portland and in my old studio space. And I had a mechanic and a stay at home mom, come in with twins. It was my first set of twins, and I was so excited to twins that I, you know, kind of didn't really pre qualify him, and I found out at the ordering appointment that they were that he was a mechanic and she was staying home mom and I had this little like panic moment in my heart that my stomach kind of dropped down to my gut and I was like, oh no, this is gonna be here for sale ever they end up doing a maternity and a newborn session with me and bought the highest package at both sales appointments on their credit card I actually felt guilty is weapon that cut a guard I was like are you sure you want to do this? Like I knew they were gonna paint be paying this off for months but there are some people out there who it doesn't matter it's not about how much money they have it's about how much they care about fine art, family connection, relationships and family legacy those people love art, photography and those of your client's okay, so this happens a lot. I live in a pretty high end tourist town and they all say they're on a limited budget. Okay, you guys know it. It's the phone call you guy? Yeah, you know how it is. Ok? Budget should be predetermined at the pre consultation. In other words, if you put your pricing out there for your clients to look at and review before they book on your web site in an accessible place it's gonna weed out a whole heck of a lot of problems before they even show up on your front doorstep okay, so by even just saying oh, we started this and end at this or most clients spend between this and this that's at least enough most people including myself and I bet many of you in here too if you're shopping for a service and there is no price on the website, chances are you will think they're too expensive for you and not bother calling right? You're looking for a wedding photographer about mitts a photographer whatever they don't have prices on their website have a beautiful gorgeous high end brandon website first thing and I think this one's going to be expensive and I can't afford it don't even bother now if you want that great if you really want to just target that carriage trade that high end it's no big deal because then people who don't care about price will call you for enquiries and chances are you'll probably be able to book him but the phone won't ring nearly as much. I prefer my phone to ring, but I don't want to ring with people who are just price shoppers and whatever like I can't deal with that I don't have time okay? So I put pricing on there just enough to say this is how much you're going to be spending and if you can afford that call was pretty much what I'm implying so if you do that at an event in advance and you're going toe not run into that issue of we're on a limited budget very often. Ok, I don't ever push the budget. I just stretch it. There's a difference. The system stretches the budget, the person pushes the bus budget. A person pushing the budget is like the used car salesman trying to tell you you need to get all these extra add ons and insurance and yada yada. Okay, the system stretching the budget is listing the different options, the features and benefits to them and how much more they are and how much less it is to actually get a package of benefits rather than just buying the ala carte automobile. Follow that's. Why setting up these systems in your studio with the six piece of selling are going to help you create a system that will sell for you rather than you having to push a hard sell. Okay, planning the session, of course we'll remove this obstacle and you will on ly shoot for their goals, saving you time and money if I have a client and this is honest to god truth and it may sound harsh. But it's true, if I have clients who tell me, oh, you know our budgets, we should only spend, you know, six, six hundred dollars or so that's about what we could d'oh I am not gonna work nearly as hard for that session as I am for stephanie who's going to come in and spend six or seven thousand dollars with every single session that comes through the door okay if I know they're on a limited budget I'm still gonna provide amazing customer service I'm still going to give them everything we normally give them but I'm not going to go above and beyond like I would for a client whom I know is going to want mohr okay that makes sense I don't mean that sound harsh but it is kind of the reality of the situation but at the same time I want you to understand that there's still integrity and authenticity in the business we're still going provide what we say we're going provide it's not like we're doing less because they're not spending as much it's that hard bottom this is the service you get for this price makes sense the other other common objections are can we substitute to five sevens for that eight by ten kind of thing said the haven't their way client you know the client they want to substitute everything they want to change things up they want exceptions they want this they want that they have to make it their thing yeah we all know those they're such a pain high maintenance yes you can say yes to them but do it on your terms that's what the art of the goat of the negotiation is is being able to say no to them but really think you're saying they think you're saying yes, that makes sense so what I usually do is they say um oh, give me an objection that we can say yes, but no too yeah, there we go she's coming tech male material okay, so I just had this objection I had a client who in fact I'm shooting her newborn session on sunday when I get home and we just did her maternity and right before the maternity right when she book, she asked if she could do both sail sessions together as one and we said no that's not how it works okay, so she gave him a jury session she had a scheduled to come back for the material session but canceled for health reasons. Okay, well, then we called her to reschedule it and she's like, well, I just can't get in my back is injured doctor wants me on bed rest yada yada yada okay, great, she wanted to do him together, she was trying to like, do that and I'm totally believer I mean she's hurt she can't, you know, there's an issue and that's fine when I'm saying is is that I told her well, belinda told her, um yes, we can definitely help you out. What? What were we don't want you to have to come in multiple times because that was her real issue? She won't have to come back all these separate times because she's hurting she doesn't feel good, and of course I'm going to accommodate her, but I'm going to do it on my terms. I'm going to accommodate her while the same time getting separate sale sessions, so because she has to come in for her newborn session on sunday on you shoot that and then we're going to do the maternity sale session, and then she'll come back two weeks later to do the newborn session sale session. So instead of coming back three times she's only coming back too, so sometimes it's just a matter of finding out what the real issue is, she didn't want to come back multiple times and then fixing that issue from there. Not that she necessarily wanted to combine packages or do I just didn't want her to do both sessions this sales time at the same time, because then she'll get that in her head that that's what she wants to do, and then I'm running into a bigger problem later down the road, does that make sense? Okay, so set up your pricing. I'm sorry this one's important to give your client what they want, but it'd cost you and that works in your business model. So what I do is give options that work for that, okay, set up your pricing to avoid this ala carte credit collection print credit, that kind of thing so that clients don't necessarily need to switch and substitute things out this for that type of stuff. Okay, here we got this one. You've gotten it? Yeah, I have to. How many of you got in this one? We don't like the pictures. Yeah, I've gotten it recently, actually, there's a lot of people in the group who've had that happen on the facebook group. A couple of my students were like she doesn't like it when I d'oh it's it got wrenching. Okay, um, this last time this happened to me was I think it was two thousand eleven I want to say to you on twelve, maybe has it happened very often, but it has happened and unhappy clients are no fun. Okay, I would definitely offer a reshoot. This is one of those situations where you just let it go, but on the reshoot, make sure to plan and communicate the second session heavily to avoid the same mistakes and meet your client's expectations I always ask what they I didn't like about it what don't they like and sometimes it's themselves like how they look was it my bad posing was it what she was wearing is that the lighting situation she was in what was it so I can fix the issue next time because you don't want to run into the problem twice okay but yeah this is one of those situations where I might suck it up and issue a refund and if she's a true pita then I might consider giving her a refund and telling her to go along her merry way and you're referring her to someone else who might make her happier okay remember why you do this always in force and deal with these client objections and difficult personalities from that place of goodness in your heart and why you do what you do really sometimes someone's just having a bad day and as hard as it is you want to get defensive and you want to get like you know I call my sister invent belinda and I sit down can you wait just you need somebody to do that with okay especially as women we need that like sense of venting but do it someplace private do not do it online at least not someplace public online okay for god's sake don't do it on your personal facebook page oh my goodness don't do it on your business page for sure okay yeah I mean I've seen it show professionalism vent to your family to your friends sometimes spouses just don't get it you know I love my husband to death but I'll say something I'm like yeah honey whatever so I pick up the phone and call my sister and the whole b back you have dinner by yourself I need to vent about this, you know, so find somebody whom you can get it out with okay, you can get this stuff off your chest because it does help to do that but that what that's going to help you, teo is step back, get all the wiggles out and the anger out and that'll help you step back outside yourself, look at it from a different perspective and go ok was this person just having a bad day or they always like this? You mean you have to give people the benefit of the doubt and always show that ultimate professionalism now some crappy clients just have alternate personalities you makes you think they're like jekyll and hyde or something, right? Have you ever had like really crazy clients? Yeah and you know sometimes they truly are crazy and sometimes you're misinterpreting them and sometimes circumstances in their life are making them be that way and sometimes you're a pain in the ass sometimes you're the one who's the problem so be cognizant of that sometimes it's you who's being unreasonable, unapproachable and providing bad customer service so be willing to be self aware these people really make you want to check into the asylum. I mean, there are times when clients are just so cu cu luc ooh that you are like what happened to you like are you possessed? What what's going on here? Okay, but system izing your response to these people will give you confidence and ultimately, believe it or not, it will earn you their respect. Okay, now granted, you still have to be nice even though you want to punch him. So let's, look at these multiple personalities, okay? Like we talked about in the beginning, the first one, the negotiator. Okay, the negotiator is the guy who comes in and says to you, well, you know, I mean, we're buying like, three campuses can't you just give us a digital files? You know, that guy he's, the one who wants to like challenging go well, if we do this, can we get this in this for this price? That's that guy you know who he is, right? The negotiator is a rule challenge, especially for folks who, um especially for folks who have a hard time negotiating themselves like especially for people who are kind of pushovers, and I used to be that way in the sales room, like I used to kind of like I hit a negotiator. I'd be like, oh, my gosh, how do I how do I cope with this person? This person is just going to step all over me, and he was kind of giving like a little mouth and go, ok, I could deal with this, no big deal there, the smarmy sales person, attorney type that is really challenging to work with, so they want their way and they will pretty much guilt you into it. Okay, right, you have you guys experience this guy or gal for that matter, they kind of, like, want everything for nothing kind of thing. They're little smarmy you could tell right away when you talk to him and they have this cool, smooth sales person kind of mentality tomb, right? I usually give it to embalm their terms, and I'm very conscious of standing my ground kindly and with a smile. Each client is different, so you gotta feelem out. Sometimes the truth just hurts with these folks used to say, well, eyes is the way we do it. I'm sorry we can't break policies for just you because then we'd have to do it for everybody else, and I appreciate what you're trying to do, and I understand what you want, but unfortunately I can't give it to you this time and what's interesting is that there's this level of respect that occurs for you when you say that like the minute you stand up, not stand up to him like defensively and aggressively, but in a very calm hey, this is the way it is sorry I'd love to help you, but I can't go that kind of realize they're not going to get their way, and then they try to find an alternate route do you know what I mean? I always consider the overall relationship with the person okay and future business with this client sometimes it's best to concede in certain areas, you have to determine if concession is correct for is good for you and your business, okay, the indecisive this person is the perpetual can't make up my mind client, right? They sit there in the sale session and just go back and forth back and forth like a ping pong ball caressed the table and you just want to go just do it already, right? These are the sessions, the sale sessions that take, like three hours long, and you have I haven't had an indecisive yet we've got an indecisive amanda has they're hard, okay? The thing and the reason they're hard is because they just drain you because by the time the sale session and you're like, oh my god, that's over because it's just so long that drags out and they just they just can't get there ok guide the sale move it efficiently forward don't give too many decisions you should know if this person is indecisive before you get to that sales appointment and plan for it, you'll know that in the consultation you'll know that in dealing with them at the session so if you think our suspect in any way that they might be indecisive you better be sure and call that session down to exactly thirty twenty five images so there's not too many choices and ask yes or no questions do you like this one? Yes or no I don't know you got me come on that's what they do know that's what they dio she didn't hit the nail on the head, but at least that's better than well what do you like about this one? I don't know or they start hand like this and then just indecisive ok it's really hard but make the client sign for this order because they're the type of person who will call me the next day and be like we got put back on our order we can't afford it there that that's, that type of person okay, what about the silent type he just sits? There could be a she too I know I'm general I think, but this is the type of person who just sits there on the sales session and doesn't say a stinking word it's uncomfortable isn't it because they're all giggling in the audience because you know I'm proving a point but it's funny how when you are a great like me I'm a gregarious person I'd like to talk to people I'm very outgoing and so when someone like this gets in front of me it makes me a little uncomfortable because it's so opposite my personality resist the urge to fill the silence people who are quiet love quiet they are very comfortable with it so I suggest that you get comfortable with it too because if you mirror them they will respond better to you because most people who are quiet are usually shy they're a little introverted what's hard is when you get to personality types and one a silent type who was also a negotiator well now we're in trouble okay? But the silent type is comfortable with silence so if you mirror that you're going to make them comfortable too if you start talking and chatting usually they get more uncomfortable and shut down even mohr and get even more quiet okay, so if you can mirror that behavior and be comfortable with that seven second rule which is when I mean they used to do this in journalism all the time we were trained his interview eat as interview words too implement the seven second rule to interviewees whom we couldn't get to talk because now silent types don't necessarily doesn't work all the time on, but people who are not wanting to speak or talk if you're quiet for seven seconds and just kind of stare at them and asked him a question and say, you know, what is your most passionate pursuit in your life right now, you glanced away it's hard not when someone's trying to engage you it's hard not to respond. Most people want to fill the silence. So if you can recognize that inclination in the human psyche, you can use it to your advantage. Okay, so sales room it works as well. Now, obviously want to be nice about it. I mean, when I was interviewing dirty politicians and stuff like that and care if I was nice to just be quiet, answer me when they had the wonderful habit and trained response of the ant, the elephant, you ask them about the ant and they go oh, the answers so great they crawl on the floor. But if elephants there this is what happens to the elephant they like love to sway see this happen all the time the today show and matt lauer, he'll ask a question, they'll go off on some other rabbit trail okay that's the classic politician response and you have to be careful about that in the sales room as well okay but that's you know that's the smarmy people you don't know you're not going to dealing with that too often but the silent type is someone who's comfortable with silence and uncomfortable conversation so I always don't talk too much but when I do talk it's extremely important and the questions are pertinent and they're open ended what is open ended me it's not yes or no it's who what where when why so that they have two ants they have to answer more than just a yes or no answer they have to actually say something so open ended questions worked great with the silent type closed and questions do you could you would you yes or no type questions work very well or better with the person who was a indecisive okay you have a question don't you ugo I was going to ask I get tons of dad's that are silent and in the mother's or like wow like me so I start going on their personnel into the deads are getting uncomfortable so what would you do in that's innovation? I think it's a balance um when I'm talking to mom I would be more chatty but if I'm talking to dad I would shift into that mirror and go okay mr smith, what are your thoughts on this and I would direct pointed him out if mom starts getting all chatty over here oh that's so wonderful I know that's amazing I'd love to hear your husband's point of view you know like really bring it just keep and she'll get it I mean unless youse rock bottom stupid she'll get it so um they're out there I know but that's why I qualify it was but you know, there are airheads and strange people in the world but most people are pretty they've got their you know, two brain cells to rub together and can actually figure out you know, that dad needs to talk to you and that he has an opinion as well so I'd probably if they were both I had a couple clients where they're both just on sometimes you have to calm down there otherwise they just go like more ex escalate and it's a it's a train wreck so this is such the art of communication and conversation and body language and I suggest playing around with it and test it out but what I'm teaching you is to recognize it and system isat vanessa van edwards has a wonderful course here and creative live about body language and she also has one about conversation and I'm actually going to purchase it because I want to learn more from her about how to do this because it's so applicable in the sales room so applicable um but as long as you recognize it and can develop techniques and when it happens to you in the sales are going oh this guy's being quiet he must be a silent type okay I need to I need to respond to this I need to work this to my advantage so what do I need to dio I need to mirror him I need to calm down I need to be aware of it I need to not fill the silence I need to let him be quiet but also ask him open ended questions so that we can get this conversation started in things moving forward to his best advantage and line makes sense so that's the thought process that process that's going to go through your head the next time you see one of these personalities okay let's move on the know it all who I want to stop this one this is uncle bob at the wedding right in your way shooting thinking he knows how to take a bigger better picture than the professional this is the person the girl who comes into your sales appointment sits down looks at the images and goes why was she in the middle of the picture why did you put it over on the side? Can you put her in the middle? Yeah can you make that c b a I want it black and white but can you just make the flower red uh, okay, uh, this one sometimes it's the truth hurts that, you know, that my little saying that the truth hurts, explain your reasoning for doing in a certain way, although keep in mind sheer, he may not want to hear it, okay, kill with kindness and gratitude for helping you. This is the type of person who tries to take control of the session. So, like when I'm in a newborn session and the mom starts coming over and looking through my scarves because, oh, I like this color can we use this color and you're like, no, we can't, um, it's important, teo, you know, she she's just excited that's all it comes down to, and she thinks she knows she knows what she likes, and I will try to accommodate her by while the saint and express that gratitude for her wanting to help out. But then I will also say things like, my gosh, I'm so excited that you want to help out, and I really want to take your suggestion. So why don't you pull out the things that you really love? And I'll try to incorporate that, but please keep in mind I know you hired me for my creativity. And my ability to think and do this on the spot and sometimes it's easier if I have a little space that allows me to get my creative zone and really create something special for you. So tell me in advance what you like and we'll try to incorporate as much of what you like is you can but if you would mind not telling me right in the middle of a session because it takes me out of my creative zone, she has respect she understands why it's hard for you yet you're still trying to help her out and you're being grateful for her opinion. Okay, sometimes I'll just shows things both ways do things both ways and show the differences. So the classic you know I love to use the rule of thirds in my composition where I put the baby on the lower right power point and lots of negative space around it. I will sometimes get a little snotty without being study and say you know the baby I'll pull up cropping modem pro selected to show that the baby is right on that power point I'll say the four power points are a compositional design element all great art or most of the great art in the world is compositionally created with the power points in mind so your baby is put on the lower right power point cause the lower right power point represents calm pieces serenity as if you're reading to the end of a book so that's, why your baby is placed over in this right side to show the enormity of their lives with all of this negative space, while at the same time showing that peace and rest in the lower right power point and that's kind of a way of saying, I know more about this and you do show shut the heck up is pretty much what I'm saying, but I'm also giving a damn good reason for what I am doing something and they respect that, then they realize your authority on the issue now, granted. Well, I do it really snow you can I know more than you weigh now, not at all it's about if they really want to know the reason I'm going to tell them if they really still want it in the middle fine you can have in the middle of you really, really want it. And I'm gonna put that on my website. My portfolio? No. Okay. Sometimes it's best to just let the customer right? In some situations they feel better. You given. Okay, what about the nitpicker? Everything bothers them. I have these a lot, especially with mothers who come in and see themselves, all they want to do is pick themselves apart. High school seniors brides oh my arms are fat I don't like the way my chin looks I mean they're just nit pickers about anything and everything not only themselves but sometimes your work and I don't mean to it's almost insulting you know but they don't mean to be critical it's that usually that they're critical of themselves okay so offer options you're comfortable with and let them decide so if if they want something changed you need to tell them what the options are and then let them pick so they feel like they have some control over it explain your reasoning for doing it a certain way asked what they don't like because sometimes nit picky people aren't picking at the real problem there dancing around it so sometimes like you'll you'll have an image or something will be upon the wall of them and they don't really like that one may I ask what you don't like about it well I don't really like the color tones and there's just something odd about it I can't pinpoint it okay look at the baby a little bit more is there's something about the baby that's oh yeah she's frowning I don't like and that's the real problem she looks angry that will be a classic nit pick thing and then I could say well I could fix that but now I fixed in advance because I know it's a problem so I avoid that one but thie other option two is some people like like okay, I like the smile and this one on johnny's face but I like this look in susie so you got an option. You can either force them to pick one of the other or you khun suggest ahead swap if you could do it obviously going to provide that at a charge at a higher rate so there is options to resolve their net pickiness but they have to pay for the control freak. We talked about natalie in the beginning they doubt you'll do it right. Okay, these folks have trust issues, remind them why they hired you and ask what worries them and offer words to assure this is really all it comes down to always fix any issue right away because that instills the trust. Tell them that your creativity depends on them being able to have faith that you will do your job correctly. What's so funny. A year and a half later I get a phone call it's natalie january something fifteen she called me I'm having another baby I do may aid shoot from not booked. You know, I really wanted to tell her I was hoping she was calling me last minute but of course she's not going to call me last minute she's a control freak so all this stuff is planned out so I couldn't tell her I was booked even though I swore in my head I would never ever, ever take her again as a client you know what's funny is I did I took her and she was a piece of cake toe work with second time I loved what I did so happy her first child was kind of a pain in the butt to photograph because he didn't want to be with the baby it was lots of problems, but she didn't worry about it complain about it or have any issues at all because now she trusted us to do what we need to do and it was a great relationship if she calls me again I'm totally gonna take her on again so give people the benefit of the doubt the victim there lives a rh so hard oh my life terrible these folks are negative nellies and the world is always against them and they will precious pressure you with passive aggressive guilt trips you know these people right author offer empathy and understanding but this is this one is about, you know you being strong for your business and not caving into being kind okay um because they use these tactics to try to get out of you what they want it's hard to resist sometimes but I operate offer that empathy and understanding but stand the ground okay like they'll say things like, this is a really stretch for us. Can we just get one file? Why did you hire me in the first place? It would stretch you knew what the price is were I mean, this is this kind of folks, so I typically say, well, if they said that to me, I would say, oh, I understand that's a problem, but, you know, with each session we put in the same amount of work for your session that we do for anyone else, is that as much as I would like to be able to just offer you one, four, one file, unfortunately, I can't do that for profitability in my business. So if you would like tio, save your session for a later date, we can certainly schedule you another session for a hundred dollars fee a few months down the road when you're better able to pay for things, or we do have a payment plan if that would help. So I'm basically saying, I'm sorry about your situation, there's, not much I can do about it. You knew what was going on when you hired me. So please don't try to push my rules is basically what I'm saying, okay, ultimately it comes down to guarding your sandbox is really what what it means and it means calm play with me have a good time let's build a sand castle but the rules are posted outside the door and you've got to follow him if you want to come play I remember riding responses out beforehand will help you when you need those words practise with a friend system izing your response helps you tackle it easier but you still need to sound authentic so practice practice practice new problems always generate new policy new policies it's a given and will continue to happen to you as you continue on your journey of being an entrepreneur what you should not do don't be combative don't be a smart ass it'll bite you not only with this client but future clients the day discussed you with remember every time they see those images they will remember the experience don't give options you can't live with however mistakes only suck if you don't learn from them okay but highly there is absolutely no harm in firing a client when you need to some clients deserve to be fired now are you going to tell them they're fired no you are just going to be put the next time they call now in a case like natalie I took her and decided to see how it would work if it what didn't work I probably would have said to her at that point you know I'm not sure I can make you happy it pains me to say this but I should probably help you find another photographer who will better serve your needs because I really want you to be happy with this process and I want you to have images that you love so let's see if we can do that may well go way you know how it is but there is absolutely no harm in firing when you need to that's why you are an entrepreneur and you have your own business so you can control your own destiny questions, comments, issues you've had that you need help with anything we all good we've got one over here I knew that this is a combination of all of these personalities but how do you handle another photographer who likes their style and your skill and they want you to shoot photographs but then they want to edit them not only asked, I've been asked more than once interesting well that's flattering that you've been asked that's awesome you should look at that as if you know someone asked if a photographer asked me to photograph their family is the ultimate compliment I mean that to me it's like wow you know and the beautiful part about that is I know we both know how important photography is to them to both of us so you have a beautiful symbiotic relationship right there you know that portrait art is important to them and they want you to do it, which is probably the best cop I mean that's the best compliment I ever get um, I wanted my newborn dean photographed by a specific photographer newborn photographer in the us and when um when she was from far away and I wanted to fly her over here to the west coast and half her do it and I was willing to pay for five thousand dollars to do it, that was my budget, so I emailed and asked and you know, her prices for a session was about two thousand dollars with files so that I knew I was the prices on the site were hi very talented and I knew that it was going to call you if I had taken my baby across the country to her that's what it would cost me about two thousand dollars so I knew I needed to pay more to get her out to me. And when I emailed her and I told her how much I loved her work and asked for pricing, she told me it was ten thousand dollars and that didn't include any product nothing I wish she would have told me that she didn't want to do it because it broke my heart I absolutely revered this person looked up to them at the mentor and wanted to be her in every way and it made me really sad and I don't know what the real reason is, you know, maybe she doesn't want to travel I never got that far I couldn't I was so heartbroken that I couldn't communicate that to her or talk about it and um it still affects me to this day I mean I'm still because I had my heart set on it and I thought I could do it you know? You know that belief like like I could talk her into it and when she wrote that back to me it was such a short curt email and had no feeling or anything to it and basically it was ten grand to get her out there and shoot the session and that didn't include anything and I won't have to buy product on top of that, I was just like, oh my god, I I don't know what the real reason is I guess maybe she had a health crisis and couldn't come out there maybe she hated the fly and was scared and knew what had she'd only do it if she got a really good price maybe she just didn't want to do it, so she quoted some exorbitant price so that I wouldn't do it you said I wouldn't book I don't know, but I will always shoot someone else's child at my reasonable rates now if they want to edit the images unfortunately that's not gonna happen because if you want me to shoot your work shoot your family that tells me that you love my work and you love what I do and the way I post because clearly shooting is just a tiny fraction of what goes into what we do right the art includes everything including the end product so if someone came to me and said, oh, I want you to photograph my family I'm a photographer I love your work will you just give me the raw files and let me at it I would flat out say why do you want me then? Is it because you have no budget for it? You don't pay for it we'll let's talk can we trade that's what I did with the with the baby that I shot last week at molly's the woman her name is kimberly case was an incredible wedding photographer based out of bend, oregon and she called me and wanted me to photograph her newborn granddaughter who lives in seattle and the baby was born happened be born right during photo week calls me perfect timing I had brought my camera gear because she didn't tell me about it until after I got to seattle so I'm scrambling to borrow camera gear I call molly's your studio free can I come use it? I mean we were scrambling weren't way and I photographed her baby and kimberly bless her heart was willing to pay me I haven't had a professional family portrait in three and a half years, three years, no, two and a half years. I was like, she's, so talented, I told melinda, I go writer and social trade, so I get to go home and have a family session with camera, okay? And I am so excited, so I would offer something along that line if you need it, but for the most part, if someone hires you, even if the professional photographer I want that respect of knowing it's, not just me going like this, it's, everything that's involved in the process, if they can't afford it and you don't want anything from them, and you want to charge them for it like a true, like a true session, and honestly, I'd probably just say no, when I'd be kind of like, well, you know, I the post processing is part of the art and that's what defines my style and my brand and that's what you loved me for. So I want to do the whole thing, and if I can't do the whole thing, that maybe we should just wait until it's in your budget, probably what I would say, that was a very long answer to your short question, I apologize, but I hope that helps.

Class Description


Creating systems in any business is essential to its success. Learn how to run a business like a well-oiled machine in Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp with Julia Kelleher. 

Systems create a consistent experience for your customer and produce reliable results in your product. In this bootcamp, Julia will show you how to develop:

  • Superior customer service experiences
  • Efficient booking procedures
  • Time-saving product offerings
  • Reliable studio organizational plans
  • Streamlined sessions
  • Sales and pricing techniques
  • Images and ordering processes
  • File archiving techniques
  • Automated branding and marketing solutions
  • Systematized finance management 
By sticking with set systems, nothing falls through the cracks. Clients enjoy a predictable and upscale experience, sales are predictable (which makes your income predictable), orders are reliable and complete with no mistakes, and your numbers are usable!

Packed with incredible content, this bootcamp will help you build your photography business plan as if you could walk away and let someone else run it – reducing your workload, increasing your revenue and giving you more time for what’s important to you.

Find out exactly what it takes to develop go-to systems so your time is managed and organized and your studio achieves maximum efficiency in Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp with Julia Kelleher. 

PLEASE JOIN US ON FACEBOOK!

Studio Systems: A Photography Business Bootcamp is a multi-platform experience and we want YOUR participation! Please join us in this EXCLUSIVE FACEBOOK GROUP! You will be able to:

  • Ask questions related to the bootcamp content
  • Discuss the weekly homework assignments
  • Connect with a global community
  • Participate in weekly private Q&A sessions!
JOIN HERE: Julia Kelleher's CreativeLive Course Discussion

Reviews