November 2020 // The Business Edition

2. CONSULTATION: LISTEN AND GENERATE VALUE

This is literally how I start my consultations: “Hi, so nice to meet you. Thank you so much for coming in today to chat about your portraits. Please tell me about your vision for your portrait session. What ideas do you have?” Yes, I do have an information sheet that they complete so I have a place to jump back to if they give me a blank stare. The creation of portraits is a collaborative effort. I try to create images that are an authentic visual representation of who that person is. Sometimes it is subtle and comes down to an expression that takes a mother back to when her daughter was little. And other times, it is more overt in terms of documenting an athletic interest or hobby. The location might be significant or hold a special memory. My goal is to “see” the individual or family so that the imagery I create is a true reflection. So the result of part one of the consultation is to listen and start creating a visual plan for the session. I want them excited! During this process, I make sure they know that they are hiring a team, not just me. I introduce them to Robin who does our sales and initial image processing. I also introduce them to Karen who does all of our design work and editing. Our team is rounded out with our makeup artist and our clothing stylist, who owns a local boutique. The team approach adds value and each of us has our area of expertise.

The second part of the consultation is to educate the client about our product offerings with full disclosure of pricing. It is critical to help the client imagine their images with the products being offered. If a client plans to be photographed in a prom dress or more formal look, I want to educate the client that a special art piece would be a perfect way to display such an image. Or if they are an athlete, I would recommend and show examples of our sports composites. Both of these are wonderful ways of expanding and maximizing a sale. In terms of the process, we show our offerings and hopefully have our clients fall in love with certain items and then go over pricing in full. By doing it in that order, the client has envisioned their child or family in a product and most will figure out a way of getting the products they fall in love with.

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