We learn a lot about ourselves with the way our customers describe our headshot session service. One particular customer describes us in this manner: "It's like popping in a friend's house for coffee." This sentence gave us an even deeper insight into what we do and what we try to avoid.
I'll start with what we avoid. There is a thought bubble in prospective customers of photographers: How hard is it to click a camera when it only takes a split second? Don't we just stand in front of the camera and you click away? My response to that is this: Do you want to be treated like an object or a person? With objects, we dissociate emotions. With people, we provide respect. With objects, we easily move on from them. With people, we allow them to process the headshot experience.
There are businesses where they can take their time to build a relationship with their customers. In our business, we only have a limited amount of time to connect with our client and establish a relationship. While I must admit there are clients who would want the session to be a transaction, many of them appreciate that we are genuinely interested and heavily invested in getting their photo right.
Photo by Allan Gojar | All rights reserved.
Whenever we do a shoot, whether it be done in our studio or in our clients' office, the most important minutes would be the first 2 - 3 minutes where we establish a common ground with our clients. The questions are not always the same as each person is different. During the shoot, more often than not, we exchange a few laughs (at times to a point of tears) and when we get the result, we go our separate ways. While there is obviously a transaction that took place, a relationship was established. This thought became evident as Allan and I were reviewing all the headshot photos we have done - we remember the stories and the laughter we shared with each client.
Maya Angelou aptly said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." We know that there will those who may not be as open and amenable to establishing a long-term relationship with our company. But as a conscious effort, we need to be certain that we did everything to connect with that person. It is the connection that establishes trust and the willingness to tell others about our service.